Bum-dum, chicka-chickaa! I’m so very sorry for implanting that earworm of a melody into your head for the rest of the day, but I had to, it was required for the topic of today: the faux-Ferrari from one of the best films of all time, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. And you could soon own it.
Built to resemble a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California, the car is actually an amalgam of very disparate parts, including a steel-tube subframe, a Ford-sourced small-block V-8, and the Ferrari-inspired fiberglass bodywork — a far cry from the Italian coachwork of the real deal.
The reasons behind a kit car being used for the movie are fairly obvious. First, it’s much easier to insure from a production standpoint. Second, a real Ferrari likely would have typical Italian issues. Not something you’d want when filmmakers need something to work take-after-take. And lastly, a real 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California comes carrying a price tag well into the seven figures, even in the late ’80s when the film was made.
For the movie, the production company had three cars built: one for static shots that were without running gear and two others meant for the bulk of the movie’s scenes and shots. This particular example is one of the fully running replicas. According to Mecum, the auction house set to see this movie legend cross the block later next week, the 1985 Modena GT Spyder California just recently completed a 10-year restoration and enhancement from the original design.
In place of the original movie-trim, 260 CI V-8 is a race-ready Ford Windsor engine good for 500 horsepower after a thorough upgrade. Up front, there’s a fully independent suspension, while a solid rear axle with four-link attachments at the back. Add some Wilwood brakes and the car finally drives, corners, and stops like a true Ferrari.
Originally, this particular car was meant to be the film’s stunt car. But while shooting the movie’s famous jump scene, the front suspension broke most of its bolts and both cars ended up becoming both star and stunt cars as the crew raced to fix whichever was broke that day of shooting.
According to the man who built it, Neil Glassmoyer of Modena Spyder Designs, “The first time director John Hughes called, I hung up on him because I thought it was a friend of mine who was given to practical jokes. Then he called back and convinced me it really was him, so Mark and I took the car to his office. While we were waiting outside to meet Hughes, this scruffy-looking fellow came out of the building and began looking the car over; we thought from his appearance he must have been a janitor or something. Then he looked up at a window and shouted, ‘This is it!’ and several heads poked out to have a look. That scruffy-looking fellow was John Hughes, and the people in the window were his staff.”
Mecum hasn’t released an auction estimate as of this writing, but this car sold five years ago for $235,000. That said, as 1980s nostalgia has seen a massive upswing over the last two years (i.e. Radwood), that number could climb even higher. We’ll just have to see if people are ready to find that since life moves pretty fast, maybe they need a stop and take a look around. Possibly behind the wheel of this lovely faux-Ferrari.
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