The original Ferrari 250 GT Californias are amongst the world’s most sought-after and expensive classic cars, selling for as much as £20 million. The driving force behind the stunning recreation on offer at Barons is an Italian car aficionado who had long dreamt of owning such an iconic machine, and who has now – with exhaustive attention to detail and a deep dedication to authenticity – created a beautiful car that is almost indistinguishable from the original.
Based on a 1997 BMW Z3 M Sport – itself a highly desirable car and one that is the identical size, wheel-to-wheel to the original 250 GT – the recreation is a labour of love that offers the attention-gathering beauty and appeal of a classic 250 GT combined with the benefits of modern motoring technology and German engineering. The result is a true collector’s item which, in the words of its creator, ‘Looks like the real thing and sounds like the real thing but can be serviced in any modern garage facility without that service costing tens of thousands of pounds.”
Every item on the car, from the body panels to the seats, has either been purchased from Ferrari or GTO Engineering or bespoke manufactured to the most demanding standards. Original Ferrari parts include the indicator stalks (installed at a cost of €1,800), grille, window winders, door handles, badging, headlamps and rear view mirror. Even the ashtray is an original Ferrari item, bought from GTO Engineering for £400. To acquire one correct Nardi steering wheel as sported by the 250 GT, the owner actually had to buy four of them. The car runs on the original size Pirelli tyres, wrapped around an €8,000 set of Borrani wheels.
The £4,000 stainless steel exhaust features a resonator box so it sounds like a V12 on carburetors – and steroids! To create the bumpers, the vendor had a mold made and the bumpers were then cast in stainless steel – at a cost of £3,000. The engine is the 325 HP BMW M3 E36 power unit, giving outstanding reliability and even more power than the original 250 GT.
Fascinating attention to detail has resulted in modern features not sported by the original being cleverly disguised. For example, while the doors feature Ferrari window winders, opening the ashtray reveals the controls for the electric windows and heated seats. The seats themselves are precise replicas of the Ferrari originals – only with the benefit of heating for colder climates. Beneath the period radio sits a speaker with a difference. Entirely in keeping with the authentic 250 GT styling, this was made specially in Germany by Becker. It pulls down to reveal the air conditioning controls hidden behind. And the vendor chose to have the car painted black, with black upholstery, in tribute to the ‘lost Ferrari 250 GT, the black on black machine which has never been found.
This stunning and meticulously created machine offers the chance to acquire a recreation that is visually almost identical to the original 250 GT, built to the highest of standards and featuring an extensive range of Ferrari or bespoke-manufactured parts.
The vendor – a former Chairman of two Italian motor clubs and a lifelong enthusiast for Italian cars and motorcycles – commented, “I have owned some 500 cars, many of them very beautiful, but no other machine I have driven has attracted such a huge amount of positive attention.”
Original Ferrari 250 GT Californias sell for some £20 million. The estimate for this glorious and intricately detailed recreation is £70,000-£100,000.