My Car Quest

October 22, 2018

What About Ferrari Continuation Cars – Is It Really A Good Idea?

OPINION: Should Ferrari jump in the pool with Jaguar and build a continuation car?

by Wallace Wyss –

And if so, which model, pray tell? Well the most coveted Ferrari of all the 250 GTO.

A real one cost between $50 and $70 million USD and there are only 39. The only one for sale this author knows of is the Series 2 that is going upon the block at Monterey in August 2018.

Ferrari 250 GTO

Ferrari 250 GTO- Photo by Mike Gulett

Why would Ferrari even think of doing such a thing? Because they have seen the publicity that Jaguar got. On the Hagerty web site a writer announces,

Jaguar only built 75 D-Types back in the 1950s. It intended to build 100. So now, more than 60 years later, the marque’s Jaguar Classic division is creating and assembling by hand 25 additional “vintage” two-seaters, using brand new components. The goal in building these alluring “Continuation Series” cars is not just to recognize and publicize the enviable history and heritage of the venerable British brand. It is to make money.

Jaguar originally had a good argument to build them — that the factory caught fire in ’57 so they couldn’t fill out their orders. Then they announced the Lightweight E-type. No factory fire there, so now they no longer need to justify this trip down memory lane.

The former head of Ferrari, the late Sergio Marchionne, only recently spoke to Top Gear at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, saying that a continuation Ferrari 250 GTO is possible, but that he “struggle[s] with the term ‘continuation car’.”

In one way it could be easy. These are low tech cars compared to modern cars that have as many as 50 computers.

Somehow these cars can be built as if you went back in a time machine and ordered them, and they don’t necessarily have to have air bags, computer this and computer that.

I wonder about registration, yet every day I see Cobra replicas tooling around without air bags, without safety bumpers, and not even mufflers, just side pipes bellowing thunder. They drive through a loophole for kit cars that started with the VW dune buggies and just morphed to include more complete cars.

Ferrari 250 GTO

Continuation GTOs could carry on SN from last one made – Painting by Wallace Wyss.

I have mulled over this situation and here’s my learned opinion, take it or leave it (actually love to hear your comments…)

PRO: There’s a lot of youngins’ growing up now that have never seen or heard a fabled Ferrari like a 250GTO or P3 or 250LM at speed. Presumably the real versions of these cars are now too valuable to race. But if the replicas are say, under $350,000, the owners might venture out onto a track. Then we could indulge in our love of the Sixties with the cars that got us turned onto sports cars in the first place.

CON: The trouble is, say someone buys one, and they up and die two years from now. Will his relatives even know what year it is? Some of these exact copies might end up at auctions that are less expert than the major ones at Monterey, with much confusion ensuing.

PRO: Ferrari could choose to build cars that are race cars but still streetable like the 250LM, GTO, 330LMB, whereas real LeMans racers that came along after 1967 are sometimes way too much race car and not enough comfort to join a tour of Ferraris, say of the Loire Valley, for instance.

Ferrari Race Car

All out race cars could be built if they only have to conform to ’60s standards – Painting by Wallace Wyss.

CON: The adding of exact tool room copies of cars like the 250GTO is that they could take the wind out of the sails of these constantly appreciating classics. Imagine going to an auction five years from now and seeing five “continuation” GTOs, they could lessen your zeal to see a real one. Like going to a Broadway play to see some fabulous female singer and then out on stage trots ten look alikes. Go to the art world and mention “Andy Warhol” and you get a lot of sour expressions. Turns out the fake Warhols are reproduced by the thousands so it’s difficult to tell the originals from the copies.

PRO: Don’t worry about what I just said above. Cobras are a good example. The AC Autokraft Cobras came along after the AC Shelby ones died out, and they haven’t hurt the original Cobra values at all. Neither has the plethora of fiberglass bodied Cobras. In fact small block Cobras are now close to $800,000 and big blocks, especially the 427s (some had 428s) even higher. So there’s a case where the continuations didn’t hurt the original cars’ values at all, they merely ignited interest.

Ferrari 275 GTB

Ferrari 275 GTB – Painting by Wallace Wyss

CON: Vintage racing groups might oppose their entrance onto the grid. Think of the poor owner who has spent a few hundred thousand restoring his Ferrari race car only to have it race against an exact copy that has new metal, not worn metal so is less likely to suffer metal fatigue. And think of how much the engine could be improved using 2018 trickery?

I could see the big vintage races banning them. So then how would you justify what they cost if you can’t race them?

PRO: I think the vintage racing organizations will cave. The crowd wants to see them (hey, there’s an idea for Monterey for 2019—ten GT40s against ten Ferrari prototypes). They will allow them. I bet if you look at some of the GT40s real close that are already running vintage, they were built long after 1967. So the creeping into vintage racing of replicas is probably already happening.

1965 Ferrari 250 LM

This 1965 Ferrari 250 LM is the last Ferrari to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans – Photo by Mike Gulett

The Ferrari 250 GTO, Lusso, P3/4, 250LM or half a dozen more could live again as a continuation cars. The purists who oppose them will be outnumbered by newbies who want to see and hear these cars on the road.

What say you? – Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

Wallace Wyss

 
 
 
THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss authored three books on Shelbys and GT40s. If the subject is film rights, he can be reached at Photojournalistpro2@gmail.com

 
 
 

 

 

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Summary
What About Ferrari Continuation Cars - Is It Really A Good Idea?
Article Name
What About Ferrari Continuation Cars - Is It Really A Good Idea?
Description
Why would Ferrari even think of doing such a thing? Because they have seen the publicity that Jaguar got.
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Comments

  1. optimader says:

    The more the merrier.

    Life is too short to worry about someone else’s investment sensibilities, particularly when it come to taking the cool cars of my childhood and turning them into Carbonite..

    If you spend $70MM on a car make sure it isn’t your last $70MM?

    As with any whimsically inflated purchase of an Object, they are highly exposed to the risk of unintended consequences.

    I imagine Ferrari would use 3rd parties to build Ferrari branded continuation vehicles to compartmentalize liability risk?

  2. roger-ramjet says:

    Wallace…I ask you to read your first CON.

    How could you think that the relatives of the Continuation Ferrari “not know what year it is”??

    Obviously they would just add two years from the date of purchase!!!

    • wallace wyss says:

      I didn’t phrase that right. If I told my relatives, who don’t know cars, that I had a Cobra,and that’s all they remember then it could br an AC Cobra 260, 289 series I, series II, Comp 289, 427, 427S/C. 427 with 428, Autokraft Cobra or fiberglass bodied replica or dozen more. I , in my role as barn finder have bought cars from relatives who had no idea of what the car was other than the name on the title.

  3. THIS IS A DISCUSSION FOR, MULTI-MILLIONAIRES.

  4. wallace wyss says:

    Lost me on the caplock keys but overall my question of the readers is–do you approve of exact copies being made of anything–be it Fender Stratocasters, vintage Rolex Daytonas, etc? And moreover copies made by the original makers? I think theoretically it lowers the value of the originals but honestly seeing that replicas haven;’ hurt the values of real A, C Cobras I have to admit I may be wrong. Another example is Riva, making copies of their old speedboats. Also quakity repros enlarge the audience , bringing in more who may want the real one. Who is to say that the guy buying the Kirkham Cobra today won’t prosper in business and bid on a real one tomorrow?

  5. J Corbacio says:

    What makes you think Ferrari would even consider selling any “continuation” car that they build for $350,000? Aston-Martin and Jaguar are selling theirs for 2 million each.

    Ferrari would have little trouble getting 4 to 5 mil each for 250 Pontoon Fender Testa Rossa. A run of 25 would bring in 100 mil in revenue. You’re talking serious money. A run of 410S or 335S should be able to bring in 3 mil per copy. Each year do a run of a different historical model. The 250 GTO wouldn’t be built until about 5 years into run, then of course in keeping with a Ferrari tradition you would have to have purchased at least 2 of the previous historic runs to qualify to purchase a GTO.

    As a bonus you would provide enough cars to revive the Ferrari Historic Challenge Series.

    • Optimader says:

      You make a couple of the underlying points. If F were to engage in continuation production, they will by there nature be handbuilt and an order of magnitude more expensive -more like $3mm or more i would suppose, or every nickel they can suck out of the opportunity.

      As well it is worth pointing out:
      “..Because the cars are not created for the street, Jaguar hopes one of the core uses to which its customers will put them will occur on the track. “We fully expect that people will race them at vintage races,” Hanning said, citing similar experiences with previous Continuation Series cars, like the lightweight E-Types the brand built recently. “Those were raced at Goodwood and Le Mans Classic, and elsewhere,” he said…”

  6. wallace wyss says:

    In constitutional circles they consider a judge who sticks only to the wording of the Constitution a “strict constructionist,” so I for instance say a P51 Mustang built the day after VJ day is no longer a World War II airplane but a World War II-era warplane. Thusly, a lightweight E-type constructed in modern times is no longer a “period” piece and I am appalled that Goodwood and the LeMans Classic would allow them to be fielded in a vintage race next to E-type lightweights built in-period.
    If this continues in short order we will have Mercedes 300SL all alloy gullwings,
    Porsche 356 Carrera Speedsters, and even Divco milk trucks , all brand new, looking old

    • optimader says:

      Agree, the continuation cars should be raced in their own class
      “So I for instance say a P51 Mustang built the day after VJ day is no longer a World War II airplane but a World War II-era warplane. ”

      Correct!, then that philosophical question, when does a WW2 P-51 cease to be a WW2 P-51 as parts are progressively and inexorably replaced to maintain airworthiness?

      As a youth I was able to fit in the retrofit back seat of friends dad’s P-51D. Still have the occasional dream about those times –Simpler times :o/

      Enjoy
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcmE7QI1WZY
      Saint Barths Airshow 2011 – Cockpit Cameras – Texas Flying Legends Museum

      RIP Bob Odegard

  7. Mike Clarke says:

    Ironically at the bottom of the page is this “replica orologi rolex siti sicuri ” click it and it’s for replica watches.

  8. wallace wyss says:

    In answer to Optimader, to me it is still a WWII plane even if all the small parts hve been replaced, such as a Ferrari GTO with a Chevy V8 is still a Ferrari that is temporarily missing its engine, But once someone says “This old frame is cracking–let’s build a new one” I am wary because then someone could fish the old frame out of the dumpster and register that with the original number and you’d have two frames with the same number. You have to draw the line someplace and I am going by the chassis as the ultimate criterion is something is an original or a replica

    • Optimader says:

      Hi Wallace,
      Many of the high performance WWII have extensive replacement programs which include obviously the engines and props, but as well the alcad sheet (and fabric) surfaces, the entire wings, fuel cells, fuselage snd all manner of buts and pieces kanding gear wheels etc etc

      In fact Bob O was in the business of manufacturing new P51 wings
      I asked the question as a humorous philosophical conundrum

  9. John Shea says:

    I believe I have Abe Lincoln’s old ax ? The thing looks amazingly original, the guy I got it from said only the handle and blade have been replaced.

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