Ferraris are some of the most finicky of cars to maintain. Toyotas, on the other hand, are among the least. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe MR2-based F355 may be the best of both those worlds. That is if you’re not faked out by the price.
There’s an automotive maxim that goes “there’s no such thing as a cheap (insert German car brand here.)” That’s generally true and while the 2003 Porsche Boxster S we looked at on Friday was crazy cheap for the model—$5,500—its condition and lack of objective maintenance history would make it a major roll of the dice to buy.
That all led to a lot of comments about how to properly prep a car for sale, how to properly care for a car in general, and how to not walk, but run away from cars whose owners have eschewed those first two instructions. In the end, not even that cheap-seats price could save the pitiful Porsche, and it went down in a 61 percent Crack Pipe loss.
There used to be this reality show on TV called Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. In each episode, the host, Robin Leach, would intro some wealthy so-and-so, and then you’d get an inside look at their yacht, mansion, or whatever it was that normal people can’t afford. It was aspirational and pure fantasy for everyone but the one-percenters.
You know what, you don’t have to be rich and famous to live like someone who is. You can fake your way through life pretending to be rich and maybe even one day become, oh, I don’t know, President.
Today’s 1993 Ferrari F355 homage car could be your first step on that pathway to pretend pretentiousness. Based on a Toyota MR2 Turbo, it looks like the real deal but is priced thousands below what even a clapped out fright pig Ferrari might cost. Hell, I think people ask more for fire-damaged cars.
The ad claims the car to have been a recent conversion and to be one of “only 2 of these cars in the US. The manufacturer was Extreme cars from the UK.” It’s further claimed that “This was an exact copy of the original 355.”
Okay, I’m going to take a bit of an issue with that latter statement. It does look pretty good from afar, and admittedly the Fly Yellow paint is something you’d expect to see on a real Ferrari. But then things start to get a bit wonky when you get up close and personal. The panel fit, especially on the nose, is atrocious. The slot under the rear bumper is also uneven—uncomfortably pinched in the middle like it’s unhappy about something.
The wheels are aftermarket and like the car itself are a homage to real Ferrari rollers. Behind those site brakes are called out as having four-pot calipers in front, so those are an upgrade as well. They’ve been painted red and carry the Ferrari branding for some additional bling.
Underneath all this is apparently a fairly stock W20 MR2 Turbo. The body that’s leftover from that is evident in the windscreen and T-top roof section. Power comes from a JDM 3S-GTE which is claimed to have just 25,000 miles on the clock. That’s mated to a five-speed manual which the ad says “shifts flawlessly.”
The interior is mostly all MR2 as well, although the seats have been replaced with a pair of highly-bolstered buckets and the airbag-equipped steering wheel has been given the ol’ heave-ho in preference for a fat three-spoke affair. Everything electrical is said to work as it should but be forewarned that the car does not come with A/C so it’ll be a hot commodity all summer long.
Remarkably, the title is said to be clear. You might expect a major re-bodying to have followed some sort of life-changing incident but that does not seem to be the case. On another, less positive note, the seller says that the “car has not been put on the road since the build.” That may be the result of some issue with local safety or emissions testing, or it may just be that we’re in a pandemic and the seller hasn’t had the wherewithal to get the car out there.
Okay, so this fake Ferrari has its pros and cons, and in the long run, is going to be far cheaper to own and drive that would the real F355. Does that make its $16,000 price tag feel like a bargain? The seller says that’s half what it cost to build, and that’s believable. That being said, you can squeeze out a particularly rock-like turd any day of the week and no one but yourself is ever going to appreciate the effort.
What do you think, is this Toyota-based Ferrari worth that $16,000 asking? Or, is this a mishmash with a price that misses the target?
A note from Rob: we’re switching polls starting today as the Polldaddy polls have started limiting responses. Let me know if you have any trouble with this new poll. Thanks!
H/T to Jackbooted-hugs for the hookup!
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