There is evidence that the great Woolly Mammoth met its decline and ultimate decimation from the face of the Earth not by an asteroid, comet, pole shift, molten lava, Y2K, a 2012 death ray, or nuclear disaster. It was in all likelihood simply hunted off the planet, a majestic creation of Mother Nature erased from all existence by mankind. In man's relentless domination and neediness, the pristine becomes sullied, the delicate balance disrupted. And so it goes.
In the Ferrari community it is well known (and often despised) that perfectly good original Ferraris, their engines and chassis and serial numbers, are sacrificed every year in order to feed the fringe-esque "replica market." No small feat, the cost to create another "Ferrari" from a donor car can be as much as buying a "real" Ferrari. But that clearly doesn't matter. What does end up being done is the dreaded "recreation" or "tribute car." Very often (or most often I would be willing to bet) what results is another "GTO." Why? Because.
With the obvious cadre of tasteless and bizarrely proportioned efforts built from scratch or on Nissan Z car chassis, the more expensive specimens created from actual Ferrari donor cars (namely the Ferrari 250 GTE and 330 GT), often command higher attention to detail, feature many original Ferrari parts (including the entire engine), and can have considerable value. With enough worksmanship, artistry, and serial number provenance, some "replicas" can be quite stunning. At this level they are, at least in part, actual or virtual "Ferraris." For example, the car below is the closest you can get to having an actual Ferrari GTO without it being one:
(above: 1964 Ferrari GTO replica on 330 GT chassis, body by Scaglietti)"For Sale: 1964 Ferrari 250 GTO Replica by Allegretti... The word ’replica’ doesn’t always have to be a negative one. Take this 1964 Ferrari 250 GTO Replica by Allegretti for example. Back in the 1970′s a German Ferrari collector discovered three Scaglietti Series I GTO bodies at the renowned Ferrari coachbuilders Allegretti. The bodies were produced to quickly replace damaged bodies of original 250 GTO’s used in races. One of these Scaglietti spare bodies was used to build a 250 GTO, chassis number 5815GT.
The base for the project was a Ferrari 330 supplied to Allegretti by the German Collector. It features a 3.9 liter engine producing 365bhp, with two overhead camshafts, six double carburettors and dry sump lubrication. When the replica was finished in 1979, it entered the German collection, where it has remained until now. Back then, the build cost the owner more than 1 million Deutschmark or € 500,000.
Essentially, this car is an original Ferrari 250 GTO with a different chassis and engine. With the original Series 1 250 GTO’s being the most coveted collectors car of modern times, this replica is very special indeed. Coys says the car is in excellent condition, regularly serviced despite very little use. It has EU registration documents and so can be registered throughout the EU without further costs."
Blasphemy or just history?
I think the lines can become blurred somewhere between then and now, between a body and parts ensemble crafted by artisans and craftspeople of old (as in the above example) --versus modern rip offs and blatant sacrifice of dwindling "lesser" models. So when will it stop? Answer: when there are no more Ferrari 250 GTEs and 330 GTs; they will be hunted to extinction. Why? Because. That's just the way it is. Unless the replica market ceases to exist, certain models of original cars will simply be destroyed every year until there are no more. Desire cannot be regulated. Money buys all.
And, lo and behold, the impetus for this article:
"A beaten-up old Ferrari that has spent more than 30 years languishing in a garage is set to sell for £60,000."From February 20, 2012: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2103371/Would-pay-60-000-Beaten-Ferrari-s-rusted-garage-30-years-goes-sale-need-100-000-makeover.html#ixzz1nAsid3Ac
(above photo: unrestored Ferrari 250 GTE found after sitting since 1975, formerly owned by Dino De Laurentiis)
We all love the "barn find" story, if not only for its archetypal sense of mystery and curiosity. There is a romantic atmosphere around the diamond in the rough, rather, the glorious diamond that once was, became abandoned, traversed decades sitting in neglect --to then be discovered, recovered, and resurrected. A vintage car's return to glory can be both a reverence to history and a recapturing of a time that many may have never experienced. A showroom-condition old car can be amazing. A vintage mint Ferrari is magical. A vintage mint original Ferrari is sublime.
Indeed, I hope I am wrong, but instead of this:
(above photos: fully restored Ferrari 250 GTE, chassis 4329, currently for sale)
We will get this:
(above photo: fake GTO, body by redneck)
Behold: The Ferrari 250 GTE and 330 GT: To be hunted to extinction. Were I the reader of means and intent and passion, I would take the next 250 GTE or 330 GT barn find and sock them away in another barn. Their original state will eclipse in value and sentiment any replica they assume in their butchered form.
Comments are always welcome.