My Car Quest

June 19, 2024

A Ford Roadster Hot Rod Like No Other

by Mike Gulett –

Walking around a Concours event one can see the most unusual sites. Take this Ferrari powered Ford Hot Rod for example that was on display at the Carmel Concours on the Avenue in 2014.

I have seen one other Ferrari powered American style Hot Rod before but I like this one just a little bit better. This one has an older Ferrari engine and touches that make it really special. I chatted with the owner, Larry Carter, for a few minutes (I worked with Larry Carter in the late 1980s in Silicon Valley).

Ferrari Ford Hot Rod

I love those wheels.

Ferrari Ford Hot Rod

The sign on this Ferrari Ford Hot Rod said,

If Enzo Ferrari had come to America in the ’50s or ’60s and wanted to build an American hot rod, what would he have built?

Larry Carter’s answer to this question is his 1933 Ford Roadster “The Angelo Special”.

With hot-rod-builder-to-the-stars Roy Brizio of South San Francisco Larry decided on a high-boy roadster but with a Ferrari motor, gauges (from Larry’s family in Montebelluna, Italy), interior (copied from a 599GTB Fiorano) and other Ferrari-style options.

Larry and Dayle Dindrai built a 365GTC/4 V12 motor complete with sidedraft Webers. And the car is dedicated to Larry’s grandfather, Angelo Martimbianco who sadly died at the early age of 35 and Larry never met. Salute!

Ferrari Ford Hot Rod

Ferrari Ford Hot Rod

I can imagine this Ferrari powered Ford Hot Rod being made back in the 1960s and I suspect Enzo would have had a difficult time topping it. Even if you don’t do a build like this one proper suspension parts are critical for success. The Ferrari V12 engine sound is not what we expect from a ’33 Ford Roadster and that is one of many things that makes this Ford-Ferrari Hot Rod something special.

Look at the pleated seats with contrast red stitching – very Ferrari like.

Let us know what you think in the Comments.



Ferrari Ford Hot Rod

Ferrari Ford Hot Rod

Ferrari Ford Hot Rod

Ferrari Ford Hot Rod

Ferrari Ford Hot Rod

ferrari logo

Ford Logo

A version of this article was posted in August 2014. All photos by Mike Gulett.
A Ford Roadster Hot Rod Like No Other
Article Name
A Ford Roadster Hot Rod Like No Other
A Ferrari powered American Hot Rod like none you have seen before.


  1. The detail on this car was top notch, the fact that they used polished nickel sealed the deal for me, this was one amazing ride. This car blended the coolness of hot rod with the simplistic beauty of Italian design. One of my favorite cars of the Monterey weekend…..and I am not a hot rod guy.

  2. Paul Harvey says

    Beautifully detailed, and I love the completely symmetrical dashboard.
    Maybe he had a RHD conversion in mind.
    Even the handbrake seems ready for it, just like a Triumph TR3.

  3. Jim Gardiner says

    Splendid car, but it needs a bumper hitch for a certain boat.

    When you could not bring Ferreri’s into the USA because they would not crash test 10 cars, a friend of my Dads brought a 275 GTB in from Canada. Late 60’s. My Dad insured the guys buisness and also his personal property, including the Ferrari. On their lunch hour two Mechanics took it out for a spin and lost control at 125 mph and took out 12 parked cars. What was left of that beautiful Burgundy Ferrari was parted out and the 12 cylinder engine was sold to a guy in Louisiana who put it in a ski boat.

  4. I am not a fan of “cross breeding” but this is gorgeous. It goes to show that professional approach mixed in with a good amount of taste can and will produce beauty.

    • If you don’t like “cross breeding” does this mean you don’t approve of a Chevy engine in a Ford hot rod?

      • That’s absolutely correct, Mike. I hate seeing “mutant” rods. Yes, the SBC is ubiquitous, but Ford has worthy crate lumps as well. Not using a Ford motor in a Ford chassis to me is a sign of short cutting. I’m sure there are some great “mutant” rods out there, they are just not my cup of Ceylon…

  5. David Grant says

    I have a question. How many bodies did Ferrari build for the chassis they produced? My guess is none. So, in a sense, all Ferraris are hybrids. If an Italian, Swiss, French or British automobile manufacture can install an American power plant in one of their automobiles, like Iso, Monteverdi, Facel Vega, Cobra or Nash Healey, why not try something like a Ferrari engine in a Ford Roadster like Dick “Magoo” Megugorac did in 1979 with a 1932 Ford Roadster, for Brian Burnett, then owner of Ferrari of Los Gatos. Brian’s father, Rex Burnett, was the one that did all the cutaway drawings in Hot Rod Magazine back in the 1950’s This is not the first time that Roy has installed a Ferrari engine in Ford. He did it with a 1932 Ford Roadster in 1987, that won the big trophy, America’s Most Beautiful Roadster (AMBR). Funny thing, I have never heard any of the hot rod guys complain that someone installed a Ferrari engine in a Ford hot rod. Everyone thought that it was bitchin. Don’t forget, that most of your high end collectors have significant, historical Hot Rods in their collections. I cannot wait to hear the reaction on this website next year when 1949 to 1951 Mercury Customs are featured at Pebble Beach. Let the comments begin.

    • David,

      Different people have different opinions on this subject and that is OK with me. I have thought it was strange to see a Ford with a Chevy engine but I think it is great to see a Ford with a Ferrari engine. I have also seen a Ferrari with a Chevy engine.

      Thank you for this history lesson about Ferrari of Los Gatos – I did not know this. For years I lived close to Ferrari of Los Gatos and spent many weekends wandering around their lot and on occasion test driving some of their used Ferraris.

      For the past 12 years (until I recently moved to Carmel) I lived 5 minutes from Ferrari of Los Gatos and bought several cars there over the years. They are now owned by the Qvale family dealers and are no longer a Ferrari dealer but are dealers for: Aston Martin, Bentley, Rolls Royce, Lamborghini, Bugatti and Lotus.

      Also, in the “small world category” the owner and creator of this Ferrari-Ford Hot Rod lives in Los Gatos.

      I have not heard the word “bitchin” in a long time – I like it!

  6. This thread is Bitchin! I also think It’ s ironic that hot rod guys can be that critical. Their whole hobby is about chopping, changing and modifying cars.

    • Dave Craddock says

      Fords were mostly powered by Ford in the old days of hot rods ,the flathead was king until 1955 when Chevrolet
      came out with the small block V8 , even though the modern day SBF didn’t come along til 1962 they were not popular because the front sump oil pan interfered with the steering it took a while for the aftermarket to offer relocated oil pumps thereby changing the sump to the back. For the last 25 years the independent front suspensions(many based on pinto/Mustang components) tidied up the steering linkage issues giving plenty clearance on the early Ford hot rods . And now as history repeats itself,,,,,,, the flathead is back,, with a vengeance ! LOL

  7. Jim Van Lenten says

    Ferrari motor fits well because of its very narrow “V”

  8. wallace wyss says

    I remember when Phil Hill did a driving impression in Roadn &Track or one of its specials of a Cobra kit car with a Ferrari V12. Might have been a four cam six carb as well. I think it’s the ultimate complement to the hot rod or kit car to have an engine that was originally built to be for exotic Italian cars. And i agree the rod is understated in the extreme with diamond-tufted upholstery, nickel plating and minimal gadgetry. I bet at hot rod shows it was the first time many spectators saw a Ferrari.

  9. Time fly’s by that article written in 2014. Looking at the car today I’d say the engine and body still look fantastic. The interior looks a bit garnish /modern and could use a re-do. Maybe in a baseball mitt brown w lots of pleats like a Italian company would do.

    • Mike,

      Yes time does go by quickly. However, I like this interior with the pleats and contrast stitching it looks very much like a Ferrari. But I do like your idea of “baseball mitt brown” because it is sticking and rare.

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