Only 122 real 365 GTS/4 Spiders were ever built and they now regularly command upwards of a million bucks. Today's McBurnie-built Nice Price or Crack Pipe Faux-rrari is only thirty five grand, but it still looks like a million.
When I was a kid, one of my favorite 1/24 scale models was Monogram's S'Cool Bus, a twin-engine dragster that would have made you pop quiz in your pants had it really rolled up to your stop. Nowhere near as popular, as evidenced by its 60% Crack Pipe vote, was yesterday's 1963 VW Bugus, the price of which was considered by many to be bogus. Totally.
You might also consider today's C3 Corvette-based McBurnie Daytona to be bogus, although perhaps in the more traditional use of the term, meaning fake, rather than the Bill & Ted usage, meaning egregiously unfortunate. But while bogus in authenticity, it's pretty righteous in style.
Michael Mann's pastel pumping crime drama Miami Vice was all about style over substance. The show's lead protagonists appeared more GQ than Metro Dade, while the new wave soundtrack branded it immediately timely, but ultimately dated, and pretty boy Don Johnson drove a car waaaaay above his pay grade – or so it seemed.
Truth be told, you couldn't blame him for the stretch, the 365 GTS/4, in Spider guise being one of the most sublimely beautiful designs ever to carry Colombo's alloy twelve. As was the tradition of the time, the 365 appellation refers to the displacement - in cubic centimeters - of a single cylinder. Add up twelve of those and you get that the engine is 4.4 litres in size. Power from the Weber-fed twelve is sent to a rear-mounted transaxle, used for optimal weight distribution and bar room trivia contests. Another fun fact; Borrani wire wheels were originally offered on the car, making the GTS/4 one of the last of Ferrari's cars to roll on something other than alloys.
Today's Daytona is a 5.7 litre. And it's a V8, whose related bowties have nothing to do with pasta. The SBC underneath this car's fiberglass hood once powered another plastic fantastic, a C3 Corvette, and peering under its skirt will show that car's beefy ladder frame and front-mounted gearbox. Vestiges of its ‘Vette origins may be found in the windshield frame and climate controls, which notably stand out due to how fully the rest of the illusion works. McBurnie, who built the Miami Vice car, eventually worked out a deal with Ferrari in which they would no longer make the Daytona clones, in return for which they got to maintain possession of their testicles, or something like that.
But before all that transpired, they pumped out a bunch of the cars which, much to Ferrari's consternation, remain on the market to this day. The McBurnie Daytonas currently out there range from some real dog turds to those like this one, which is clean enough that even the most picky of virgins wouldn't mind getting deflowered on its hood. There are also less virgin-friendly examples that are – it pains me to say this – equipped with automatics. This one thankfully has three pedals to push with your Bontonis, and a four speed stick to give your right arm something to do in between deflowerings.
The seller says a '79 Vette was the donor, and that year the beefier L82 made 220-bhp. That's not to say this 350 isn't the weaker L48, or that it hasn't been breathed on since. However, as it has been in semi-storage for so many years, popping that ‘70s icon out and throwing in a modern iteration wouldn't be such a bad idea. The rest of the car looks to be in pretty fantastic condition and, as McBurnie splashed a real 365 GTS/4, it's hard to tell it's not one of Enzo's peen substitutes at a glance. The five spoke wheels are kind of douchie, and the car seems to be riding higher than a dog walking though a cactus patch, but that's the kind of thing that can be easily fixed, or left alone. Inside, the dash is iffy, but the rest gets enough dead cow and authentic enough styling that you might not notice.
Unlike Fiero-based 308s, the Corvette provides not only a reasonable approximation of dimension, but also performance for a proper Faux-rrari. As real 365 GTS/4s are out of reach for many, (and seriously, how much would you drive an investment-grade car like that?) being able to get much the same visual experience at much lower price has its appeal. Plus there's all those virgins.
The question is, how appealing is this one's $35,000 price tag? That's not a lot to claim to have joined the ranks of the uber elite, but is it too much to risk being found out to be as fake as Don Johnson's five o'clock shadow?
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