My Car Quest

July 22, 2019

How A Hong Kong Man Satisfied His Boy Racer Urge By Commissioning The Ferrari P80/C

by Wallace Wyss –

Ferrari not only sells breathtakingly sensual sports cars but, hey, if you have the money and want something a little different than the net bloke what walks in the showroom, you commission something special. Now I don’t know exactly what the instructions were on this 488-based coupe but I imagine it was something like “Use every trick on current racing cars.”

Ferrari P80/C

This treatment has the rear spoiler integrated

And so it is, the P80/C. You can tell it has some subtle influences from the 330 P3/4 and the 1966 Dino 206 S.

It was done at the Ferrari Styling Centre, and you can bet they love these private commissions because it gives them a chance to create a car, a prototype in essence, that might spawn a future model. GM and other companies must be jealous because their old prototypes are just a “flash in the pan,” a “wow” at a car show and they never get built. At Ferrari, if you have the money, they have the time and energy to build your dream.

Ferrari P80/C

The high side view shows the GT40-style radiator vents in the bonnet

The Ferrari Styling Centre’s was not creating a retromobile of past design cues, they wanted the result to be a modern car.

As sensual as the car is, the only drawback as I can see it, is you have to be extremely careful in parking it, lest you knock off that front undertray spoiler, and also the car took three years to finish. I don’t know why, maybe the owner/commissioner, kept coming up with new ideas.

Ferrari P80/C

Look ma, no headlights

Ferrari says “the highly intense gestation period was the result of in-depth styling research and lengthy engineering development, with meticulous analysis of performance parameters as well as scrupulous aerodynamic testing, all with a different approach than taken by Ferrari with its one-off cars in the past.”

Ferrari P80/C

Styling rendering didn’t have the tall spoiler; that came later

In other words, they weren’t just tacking on a rear spoiler on wings for the “boy racer” image but they wanted to be sure every little bit of the car worked.

Fortunately for Ferrari, they were unfettered by any requirement to meet laws regarding headlight height, curb height, yadda-yadda because the car is built only for the track. That also required major changes to the powerplant.

They started out with a semi-racing car, a Ferrari that can be driven on the street but still ready for the track, the 488 GT3, which has a longer wheelbase (+50 mm compared to the 488 GTB). They wanted a cab forward-effect in which the rear is elongated, more like say a ‘60s prototype where the engine compartment dominated.

Dominating the car from the front and rear are the broad flying buttresses that expand towards the side air intakes.

The side windows merging with the blackened out side intakes, gives a downward slant to the sides, making it look like it’s a ground hugger.

Seen from above, (where cars are rarely photographed) the body shape becomes more apparent, wider at the front axles, narrowing toward the rear, then widening out again over the rear axles.

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This car is intended for a club event where there are no International regulations, thus they didn’t have to obey any rules about what they added.

No panel of the car is from the 488GT3, everything is unique to this car. Overall they got a 5% gain in efficiency.

How much did it cost? With these private commissions, Ferrari is not talking, but I like to see the experimentation reaching a consumer. I hope with the new mid-engine Corvette, GM opens a similar shop to build cars to customer’s tastes. Hey, a new profit center, right?

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Ferrari P80/C

Downflow was the goal

Wallace Wyss

Wallace Wyss

 
 
THE AUTHOR: WALLACE WYSS – For a list of paintings available of this car, write mendoart7@gmail.com

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Images compliments of Ferrari.

Ferrari logo

Summary
How A Hong Kong Man Satisfied His Boy Racer Urge By Commissioning The Ferrari P80/C
Article Name
How A Hong Kong Man Satisfied His Boy Racer Urge By Commissioning The Ferrari P80/C
Description
This car is intended for a club event where there are no International regulations, thus they didn’t have to obey any rules about what they added.
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Comments

  1. SKIP HINOJOS says

    OBSCENE WEALTH SICKENS ME, WHEN I KNOW THOSE WHO HAVE IT HAVE GIVEN LITTLE, TO THOSE WHO REALLY NEED IT TO SURVIVE. IN FACT I SO JADED I BELIEVE MOST PEOPLE WITH GREAT WEALTH , GOT IT BY CHEATING OTHERS OUT OF A GOOD WAGE AND A JOB WITH SOME BENEFITS ,M OTHER THAN PAY. GREED I ONE OF THE BIGGEST SINS, SAYS GOD.

  2. wallace wyss says

    If i wasn’t for high rollers who want automakers to stick their neck out and make something unusual, a good many race cars would not exist. They are the lifeblood of many a small automaker. And maybe they made their money by honestly making a great product. We don’t even know who the man is yet….

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