After a week of walking through shopping malls, I've realized Americans love customizing their objects. There's no other reason why jewelry stores stay in business, people can design their own iPhone case, and why the interior decorator profession exists. Meanwhile, I, a Thinkpad user who finally "upgraded" to Windows 8.1, am perfectly content with buying anything off the Old Navy rack rather than Armani.
This week, I saw that Jim Glickenhaus released a teaser image of his newest bespoke car. Instead of skimming the post and going back to watching Arrested Development as is usually the case, I decided to make a list of one-off cars I would create if I'd invested in Google's IPO.
Three episodes later, I ended up reimagining the entire Ferrari lineup as I would want it. Conveniently, Ferrari has five model lines at the moment, meaning I could commission a one-off of each of their models. Unfortunately, I lack both the cash and prominence with the factory (unless I bought nine-figures worth of Ferraris in an instant) to make these cars happen.
So I've tried to get Ferrari, a company that once decided noted JPMorgan apologist Maria Bartiromo warranted a response on Twitter more than me, a noted unemployed millennial, or more likely, its well-heeled clientele to make a factory-customized version of each of their models. Below is some guidance on what to tell the designer to sketch, until the realization you can buy a classic Ferrari at auction for less money, with greater investment potential, and most importantly, without dealing with Ferrari management.
Author's Note: Unfortunately, I don't have Mark Stehrenberger or Jason Torchinsky's mad drawing skills, so I'm just writing the ideas down and waiting for some automotive designer to create them. Though be sure to mention me in your Concours d' Elegance awards speech.
Ferrari FF 4-door Gran Turismo
As I've written before, the FF should have four doors. But Ferrari doesn't seem to be heading in that direction anytime soon. And when a company offers a rear-seat entertainment system and raised rear-seating there should be direct access for rear passengers. So someone should contact their favorite coachbuilder and have a Ferrari sedan custom-made. If you think there's no precedent, look no further than the 456 Venice, commissioned by the Sultan of Brunei, a man who also got Bentley to build an SUV.
Ferrari California-based 250 GT SWB Berlinetta
The California's styling has always been compromised because of that folding metal roof. As a result, I've always wondered how beautiful it could be with a fixed roof. I'd send it to a coachbuilder to create proper Ferrari coupe using the 250 GT SWB Berlinetta as inspiration. That way owners will be escape the "entry-level Ferrari" stigma that California's are stuck with. And if it must be a convertible, use the 250 GT SWB California Spyder as inspiration. Just make sure your teenage son's best friend isn't named Ferris.
Ferrari F12 "Monoposto"
In the past few years, we've seen cars like the Lamborghini Aventador J, Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Stirling Moss, and the Aston Martin CC100. All of them have been considered really cool toys. I can't imagine more fun track or road rally cars like an F12 with no roof, windscreen, and presumably the radio. At that point, there's no reason to complain "too much power!" and "It looks almost exactly like an FF!" Though if someone does call for a monoposto F12, wear a full-face helmet when driving it. The bugs on the road (and your dentist) will thank you.
Ferrari 458-based 250LM
I will admit the 458 is quite beautiful by itself. But some people may want to stand out on FerrariChat or at those car meets in upscale shopping center parking lots. After all, some millionaire will have the same bragging rights as you. Therefore, have your 458 rebodied like a car that won the 24 Hours of LeMans. The last 250LM sold for $14.3 million so recreating a modern-day version will be much cheaper. Though be warned. If Eric Clapton couldn't get a V12 in his one-off 458 styled like a 512BB, chances are you can't too, short of being named Silvio or Fernando.
LaFerrari-based Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale
Let's be honest. The styling of the LaFerrari isn't a work of art. (And neither is the name.) But many Jalopnik readers will agree that the 33 Stradale is. That car was the Veyron of its time and is more rare than a 250 GTO. The best part is Ferrari has, on occasion, allowed its cars to be rebadged as other models. (Think Maserati MC12 and the one-off modern-day Lancia Stratos.)
Now here comes the bad news. This car will be insanely expensive to create, to ensure a new design doesn't adversely affect the engine's cooling mechanisms. You will also have to face off against Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, a man who can allow or deny special projects involving Ferraris. And people will take photos of the car wherever you go. However, whoever commissions this car will win Best of Show in a Concours d' Elegance fifty years from now.
Satish Kondapavulur runs Clunkerture, named because "Clunker.com" was $82 at auction and would've taken 30% out of the balance of his Eagle Vision for LeMons fund. In between contemplating cross-country runs, he spends much of his time attempting to convince others that his MkV Jetta 2.0T Wolfsburg is indeed a sports sedan.
First photograph taken by me. All other image credit goes to Ferrari.