Thursday, April 7, 2011

Freakshow: 1970 Fiat Spider/ Ferrari 250GT mutant

Wow. Now this is something you don't see very often.

For those of us who know and love Italian automobiles, this is the ultimate head-scratcher. Someone has taken great pains (and exercised considerable skill) in mutating a 1970 Fiat Spider into something that looks remarkably like a Ferrari 250GT California Spyder. Even to the experienced eye, one has to stare to see where the Fiat ends and the Ferrari starts.

We'll ignore the obvious question of "why" and instead go to the more interesting question of "how". In the eighties, there were a string of replica bodies produced for many Ferraris, including Daytona and Cal Spyders. Copyright infringement litigation by Ferrari quashed that cottage industry, but the bodies were already out there. Some were in fiberglass and others were in metal. The vehicle in this auction does not specify the material used, or whether it utilized a pre-existing replica body. Upon closer inspection, it appears that the Fiat body is basically intact, with an added nose and tail fins over stock fenders and rear quarters. However some of the trim pieces might indeed be from one of the replica kits.

The engine is clearly all Fiat, and that is not a bad thing. Despite having only a third of the cylinders of the 250GT, the DOHC 1.8 makes a great noise and winds up admirably. It was designed by Lampredi, the same Ferrari engineer who designed the early 12 cylinder motors.

The auction description is a perfect example of a little knowledge being dangerous. The seller cut-and-pastes tech data from a standard Fiat Spider manual, but gets some of the Ferrari details woefully wrong. Misspellings do not add confidence. However, the workmanship looks remarkably detailed and the presentation very tidy.

The reserve is off the car at $13k and whoever the new owner is--and whatever he chooses to do with this car-- will be very interesting to watch.


  1. What a remarkable waste of time & money!

  2. It uses bits from the earlier Fiat 1500 Cabriolet, too - like the rear lamps and the steering weel. Looks nice in my eyes.

  3. Where is this being auctioned?

  4. Click on the link under the photo. It was on Ebay but appears to have been removed....presumably sold.
    Good Luck!

  5. There is actually more right with the car than wrong. There is a lot of time and energy spent doing what is a pretty well done tribute car.

  6. I love this car! I remember the auction but on the opposite coast. If it would have been here I would have bought it. If the owner wants to sell...

  7. And Jim on Whidbey maybe should produce a kit to style 124s like this? But maybe use Dino treatment for the rear. Would it be THAT different than the Italia. There's a million 124s out there...