1980 F 250 GTO ReplicaView vehicle description
Update: We have received a lot of enquiries regarding the registration situation with this car. We are not in a position to officially advise and suggest potential bidders discuss with the vendor.
The initial purchasers of the 36 Ferrari 250 GTOs built – the ‘250’ refers to the capacity of each of its twelve cylinders, while the ‘GTO’ stands for Gran Turismo Omologato, which is Italian for ‘Grand Touring Homologated’ – were individually vetted by none other than Enzo Ferrari himself.
Weighing well under a tonne and fitted with a V12 engine that develops almost 300bhp, performance was brisk. They handle too because while the competition-proven chassis was based on that of the 250 GT SWB (a good sign in itself) that of the finished cars was even lighter, stiffer, and lower.
The body panels, which are hung on a hand-welded oval tube frame, led to the car being widely acknowledged as one of the most beautiful cars ever built, if not THE most – and the interior is as beautiful as it is minimal.
Wildly popular when new and very successful in competition in the hands of drivers like Phil Hill, their legendary reputation means that the Ferrari 250 GTO is currently the world’s most expensive car with the last one selling in 2018 for $70,000,000.
This puts them beyond the reach of almost everyone bar our boss, which means that there is a steady – and growing – market for high-quality replicas such as this one.
Welcome to the auction for this stunning and extraordinarily well finished Ferrari 250 GTO replica. Built on a Datsun 280ZX chassis and fitted with a Ferrari 400i V12 engine under the bonnet, it has been fully restored over a five-year period.
First registered on the 30th of December 1980 and recorded as being a Ferrari Coupé on the V5 registration document (it has Ferrari 400i chassis plates under the bonnet, inside the nearside door shut, and on the steering column), it is eligible for historic status but this will need applying for.
In the care of the vendor for the past five years, it now sports fresh paint, a rebuilt engine and refinished tan leather interior. Recently serviced and MOT’d, it looks and sounds very close to the real thing. And may even be faster.
The owner is a talented amateur racing driver you see, and his cars have to go as well as they look. That he also derives enormous pleasure from project managing the restoration of cars like this means that his two decades of doing so have filled his address book with folk who share his vision.
On the Outside
The Rosso Red coachwork is very good for any vehicle, let alone a GRP car; with very credible shutlines, nigh-on ripple-free panels and very good alignment, the paint is excellent as well it might be given how recently it was applied. With just 300 miles under its belt since being completed, there are almost no stonechips, marks or other signs of use.
And there are plenty of other lovely little details to admire; we especially like the neat Perspex rain covers on the vents, the faired-in headlamps, and the alloy fuel filler cap.
The centre-lock wire wheels are in decent shape and show only the lightest of scuffs to their perimeter. Yellow Ferrari-branded brake calipers peek out from behind them, and they’re clothed in 205/60R15 Runway Enduro-606 tyres on the front and 225/60R15 Nankang tyres on the rear.
Problems? Well, and this being very nit-picky, the leather straps that hold down the bonnet may have moved a bit past patinated, and the alloy grille surround is a little rippled but we think these just add character although we could understand why fastidious folk might want to replace them.
Unlike many, this replica hides its origins extremely well and has a very convincing shape. We know that aficionados might spot subtle differences from the original, but believe us, most people you meet when driving it absolutely love it. And they don't mind at all when they hear it is a replica.
On the Inside
The tan leather interior was custom made as part of the car’s recent restoration. As you can see from the photographs, it looks sensational and feels and smells even better.
The quilted leather seats are supported by matching door cards and the lid of the useful cubby box. Wonderfully stitched and as comfortable as they are handsome, they work in concert with matching blue Sabelt harnesses to hold the driver and passenger securely in place.
The three-spoke, black leather Momo steering wheel is as elegant as it is unassuming and thus in perfect keeping with the original design ethos, as is the simple pleated headlining and parcel shelf.
The lead for the ECU is neatly hidden in the glovebox and while the modern speedometer might look a little out of place, it is GPS-powered so works despite the new engine and gearbox combination.
The boot is home to the spare wire wheel, which is the same size as the wheels and tyres fitted to the front axle.
Work to do is minimal: the black door lock buttons tend to jam the lock, and the rev counter is U/S. The former problem can be dodged by not using them, while the latter could be easily resolved by buying a new rev counter to match the speedometer.
So light and powerful you pull away in second gear under normal circumstances, the rebuilt and newly serviced Ferrari 400i V12 engine literally starts on the button because there is a push-button starter under a fighter pilot-style switch cover - and flipping the cover up before stabbing the button to prod the V12 engine into raucous life never gets boring.
It then settles quickly into an even tickover; carburettors might look wonderful but nothing beats fuel injection for instant starting no matter what the weather. It shows good oil pressure too, as you can see in the accompanying video of it starting and running.
We’ve driven it (obviously…) and the tester’s notes report that the engine is “super sweet and running exceptionally well” on super unleaded petrol. As we mentioned earlier, it is best to pull away in second gear normally and we never felt the need to hang onto every rev in order to wring some very impressive performances out of it.
The BMW-sourced five-speed gearbox is slick and easy to use and all-in-all, it is very driveable. That it attracted a huge amount of attention wherever we took it goes without saying, surely?
Problems? Well, the exhaust system is very low, so care is needed when negotiating hazards such as speed bumps but other than that the only thing we noticed was the inoperative rev counter and a hole in one of the silencer boxes.
Driven here the 50 miles or so from his home, the owner does note that prolonged use in traffic can see underbonnet temperatures rise but this wasn’t a problem we experienced in our brief test drive. It's also good practice to store with a trickle charger attached if for more than a week or so but a suitable charger is included. Worth mentioning here is the new battery fitted to the car just last week.
Oh, and our local classic car specialists, guys not known for tolerating even the most insignificant of flaws, were impressed with the build quality and attention to detail. We aren’t going to name them because their positivity in no way counts as a professional recommendation but their opinion is one we value enormously. They liked the noise too!
The GTO’s MOT certificate, which is valid until July 2021, was gained with a comment to the effect that the exhaust is loud…….., but we’re glad about that!
Recently MOT’d and serviced by Mann Autoservices, the owner’s favourite classic car fettlers, it benefits from a new front brake master cylinder and propshaft coupling.
Please visit the documents section of the gallery of this listing where you will find photos of some of the paperwork that supports our claim that this car has been restored and maintained to a very good standard.
If you’d like to inspect the car prior to placing a bid – something we would encourage – then please use the Contact Seller button to arrange an appointment.
What We Think
Beautifully presented and looking every inch the multi-million-pound car it resembles, this example is exquisitely engineered and built with an uncommonly high degree of diligence.
No, it’s not an original but then this one is going to sell for around 0.1% - 0.2% of the cost of a real one, or somewhere between £50,000 and £100,000. And that not inconsiderable sum gets you behind the wheel of one of the best evocations we’ve seen – and one fitted with a modern Ferrari engine for fuss-free starting and running and easy maintenance.
And, let us not forget that even if you were in a position to own an original, you, like almost every other owner, wouldn’t be able to use it even for high-days-and-holidays – which means you’d be tempted to commission a lookalike like this one anyway…
Viewing is always encouraged, and this particular car is located with us at The Market HQ near Abingdon; to arrange an appointment please use the Contact Seller button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.
If needed, please remember we have a network of trusted suppliers we work with regularly and can recommend: Classic & Sportscar Finance for purchase-financing, Footman James for classic car insurance, Classic Concierge for storing your car plus we have a list of contacts who can help with transport and shipping.
BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we never stop encouraging bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at the vehicles delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.
Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.
Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using simple cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.
Please note that this is sold as seen and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, return policy does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.
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