Resumes, orgasms, and enthusiasm are three things that people oftentimes fake. Right up there with them is Ferraris, as evidenced by today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Testarossa replica. Could this be one fake that’s actually better to buy and own?
What are the two most terrifying words you can think of? For me—at least at this time of year—it’s “pumpkin spice.” No matter where I go, from Trader Joes to the hardware store I’m hit with pumpkin this and spice that. It’s like a clown hitting you in the face with an orange gourd pie at each and every doorway.
Almost as ghastly a prospect as a pumpkin OD was represented by yesterday’s custom 1996 Buick Roadmaster wagon. That roller came with a nice bit of purple haze paintwork, but also a seriously dubious description and a $1,550 price that seemed non-negotiable. That was not a winning combination, and in fact the Buick bombed in a 66 percent Crack Pipe loss.
In Barbet Schroeder’s classic thriller, Single White Female, Bridget Fonda slowly sees her new roommate, Jennifer Jason Leigh co-opt her appearance, persona, and lifestyle. When Leigh attempts to extend her obsessive mining of Fonda’s life to include her boyfriend things get out of hand. Or, well… into foreheads. Anyway, that’s an example of mimicry gone mad. Here’s an example of where—I think at least—it’s totally working.
This beauty is advertised as a 1987 Ferrari Testarossa replica, and damn but it does seem to be pulling it off. Beneath the fake Ferrari body lives a 1986 Pontiac Fiero space frame which has been stretched between the wheels to further the accuracy of the illusion.
This isn’t just all show and no go either. In place of the Fiero’s soul-sucking Iron Duke four or it’s more or less adequate 2.8-litre V6 lies a Buick L67 Series III. That’s a 3.8-litre V6 topped by an Eaton M90 Roots style supercharger. So equipped, the mill was capable of 240 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. Yes, here it sits backward as it mimics its FWD before life. That just means you’ll have to get a long funnel to reach the oil fill which is now facing the firewall.
Next to the 3800 sits a Muncie 4-speed manual, and that is worked through the Fiero’s standard shifter rather than a more Ferarri-esque gated unit. The rest of the interior is a mad mix of stock Fiero—HVAC controls, center column bin and armrest—and totally revamped dash and seats. All in all it works just fine. In fact, the seller claims those rosso thrones are actual Testarossa units.
As noted, the exterior looks like the Ferrari, at least from afar. It’s a buttload wider than its Fiero forefather and fills the width with Ferrari-badged five-spoke wheels and fat tires. Tail lamps, mirrors, and grilles all work to extend the impression that really this is the car of choice of ‘80s drug dealers.
That mimicry extends to the nose, although the expected pop-up lamps have been replaced by fixed mini-projectors here. The seller claims that makes the car look like the later 512 TR, but I think it makes it look like it’s trying to decide if that woman at WalMart is wearing flesh-colored leggings or just no pants.
The appropriately if unsurprisingly red paint looks excellent and the ad notes clean shut lines and straight bodywork. Also on the seller’s punch list are a replaced radiator and heater core so that upon his ownership everything would be “new.”
The ad claims 18,711 kilometers on the clock but seeing as the car has been massaged extensively out of its factory form, and that’s not the original odometer in the dash, take that with two grains of salt. The title is clear and the price tag is $23,700.
That’s about a quarter of what a real Testarossa would go for these days. The market for exotics is pretty soft at the moment and the cheese grater era of Italy’s most famous nameplate has yet to really find its legs. Still, that doesn’t mean you’re ever going to find a real-deal Testarossa at anywhere near this asking. The Buick mill is also going to be tons cheaper to maintain than the flat V12 in an actual 512.
That being said, this is the knock-off handbag of the automotive world. Buy this and you will be branded a poseur by those in the know. Here’s the thing—screw those guys.
You do you.
If doing you means driving a replica of a car you love because that’s what you can afford then I say go get some.
With that encouragement in mind, do you think $23,700 is a fair price for this faux Ferrari? Or, for that much, would you demand a gated shifter and at least eight cylinders?
H/T to the Evan for the hookup!
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