A Ferrari That Is “Definitely” Not A Fiero

Story and Photography by the Staff of the 24 Hours of Lemons

Lemons racing attracts all kinds of vehicles, including imitation boats, ersatz airplanes, and even an upside-down Camaro. To date, however, there have been no Ferraris in Lemons.

That doesn’t mean there haven’t been several quote-unquote “Ferraris,” including Datsun-based GTOs, MR2s with Testarossa body kits, and even a not-very-convincing F1 tribute based on an Integra.

But the gold standard of imitation Ferraris–in Lemons, and perhaps in general–are the Fiero-based replicas. For starters, the Fiero’s mid-engine layout makes the proportions somewhat plausible for a Ferrari stand-in. Then there’s something inherently funny about taking a car that came with an Iron Duke and attempting to turn it into an exotic.

Humor was probably the main motivation behind Ratsun Racing’s Fiero-based Ferrari F40 Lemons entry. As they prepped the car for the race, however, they saw some real performance potential as well. The team assumed–correctly–that the Lemons judges would be lenient on a fake F40, so they swapped in a supercharged 3800 V6 from a Buick as well as a coil-over suspension kit, one of the few available for the Fiero. On paper, the car looked fast, and from 1000 yards away it looked like a real Ferrari. What could possibly go wrong?

The answer, as it turns out, was “plenty.” The welder came out early and often to address various front-end failures of the aftermarket suspension–one team member vowed to drive to the manufacturer in Michigan in person to complain after the race. (He did–and discovered it had gone out of business.)

Once the team finally solved the front end issues, one of the rear coil-overs collapsed on track, pushing the oversized rear tire up into the massive clamshell engine lid, causing the lid to swing all the way over the top as the car skidded to a stop, and sending the oversized F40 rear wing smashing through the windshield. It was a decisive (and slapstick) end to the Fierorarri’s race.

Despite (or because of) this history, Lemons looks forward to seeing other machines like this in competition. And, the Lemons judges assure us, the first team to bring a Fiero-bodied Ferrari will also face minimal spending scrutiny

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Comments
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dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
4/3/20 1:04 p.m.

For some reason I REALLY REALLY like that!!!!  As in I want one!!!

 

Where do you get the body kit from?

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
4/3/20 1:10 p.m.

I will just leave this here for anyone that wants to go down the rabbit hole.  laugh

 

http://www.kitcarlist.com/ferrari-replica-kits.html

 

 

NorseDave
NorseDave Reader
4/3/20 1:18 p.m.
dean1484 said:

I will just leave this here for anyone that wants to go down the rabbit hole.  laugh

 

http://www.kitcarlist.com/ferrari-replica-kits.html

 

 

Wait, Koenig is still in business!!!???!!!

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/3/20 1:20 p.m.

Paging JG, paging JG. 

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
4/3/20 1:29 p.m.

One day we'll all regret ruining these perfectly good Fieros

slowbird
slowbird Dork
4/3/20 1:54 p.m.

Ask 3DBotMaker about the Fiero that slipped into their Ferrari tournament. laugh

 

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
4/3/20 1:57 p.m.
JG Pasterjak said:

One day we'll all regret ruining these perfectly good Fieros

What is a "perfectly good" Fiero?

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
4/3/20 2:16 p.m.

In reply to dean1484 :

A lot of those don't actually look too terrible.

I remember seeing a 250 GTO replica built on a 280ZX. Sure, it was pretty obvious that it wasn't a Ferrari, but I thought it would of made a cool drift car or something.

APEowner
APEowner Dork
4/3/20 2:43 p.m.
JG Pasterjak said:

One day we'll all regret ruining these perfectly good Fieros

I know that there are people who like Fieros and I don't want to offend any of them but by most objective measurements they're not good cars.  They exhibit all of the issues that GMs parts bin engineering and poor quality control during the 80s produced. 

Of course, almost none of the things that make us fall in love with and mess around with old cars are based on objective measurements.  There's no logical train of thought that would lead to the 640HP 2nd Gen Camaro or the '78 Crossely 32F Formula Ford that make up two thirds of my race fleet.  Once could (and I have) make some logical arguments for the Spec Miata that comprises the other third but really any logical argument for a race car is more than a little suspect.

wspohn
wspohn Dork
4/5/20 1:48 p.m.

I have owned a couple of Fieros.

IMHO the initial 4 cylinder was garbage - weak problem prone engine mated to an inept chassis.

The V6 was a step forward but they didn't finally get it  right until the last year, 1988. That year had totally different and far superior suspension and brakes and could take more power. I built a stroked turbo 300 bhp engine for mine and drove it for almost two decades. I also owned the previous year so have personal knowledge of how the two platforms compare.

If you have to trash a Fiero, do it to an 84-87 please.

And the good Ferrari GTO rebodies on the 240Z platform look brilliant! They chose a car that has a windscreen that is very close to the same rake angle as the Ferrari, which is key to looking right.

 

 

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
4/5/20 1:55 p.m.

I've been seeing snips of this sled on YouTubes Lemons reviews. It's epic.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/5/20 1:58 p.m.

Show me a prettier car than a Ferrari GTO. 

No Time
No Time Dork
4/5/20 2:27 p.m.
dean1484 said:

I will just leave this here for anyone that wants to go down the rabbit hole.  laugh

 

http://www.kitcarlist.com/ferrari-replica-kits.html

 

 

Here you go, and it's in Mass:

Fierrari

RichardSIA
RichardSIA Reader
4/5/20 9:02 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

Show me a prettier car than a Ferrari GTO. 

Several.

Ferrari P3/P4, '57 Testa Rossa, just to keep it Ferrari.

Greg Smith (Forum Supporter)
Greg Smith (Forum Supporter) Dork
4/5/20 10:23 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

Show me a prettier car than a Ferrari GTO. 

Editorial Director, Grassroots Motorsports & Classic Motorsports

I guess I like some more curves :)

 

you know, we *are* into April. Maybe an April Madness for the best looking car ever?

wspohn
wspohn Dork
4/6/20 10:41 a.m.
Greg Smith (Forum Supporter) said:
David S. Wallens said:

Show me a prettier car than a Ferrari GTO. 

Editorial Director, Grassroots Motorsports & Classic Motorsports

you know, we *are* into April. Maybe an April Madness for the best looking car ever?

 

Here you go:

Got into a discussion with some other car geeks (not much else to do right now) about what the very best looking cars of all time were.

I came up with these. Remember that these shouldn't just be cars that look kind of nice, they should be game changers -creme de la creme. There were a lot of runners up for me - Porsche, Astons, Corvette (maybe C2?), Datsun 240Z, several prewar Bugattis and Talbot Lagos, AC Cobra, Ford GT 40, etc. but I ruthlessly eliminated all but what I felt were the very best (agonized over the SS 100, but decided that it represented a vintage styling idiom that was worthy).

Obviously a personal list, but I wondered what others here might include.
 

 

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
4/6/20 5:24 p.m.

In reply to No Time :

Ohhhhh My. .. . ..

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
4/6/20 5:32 p.m.

I really like this.  I did not know this even existed until now

 

 

 

ae86andkp61
ae86andkp61 Dork
4/6/20 7:08 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

I'm in agreement that the 250 GTO is one of the prettiest of all time, but how about the Ferrari 330 LMB? It is like a mashup of the best of the 250 GTO with the best of the 250 Lusso.

 

Greg Smith (Forum Supporter)
Greg Smith (Forum Supporter) Dork
4/6/20 8:26 p.m.

Hm. I like your criteria. Game changers. Striking and beautiful design. Iconic.

That Mercedes is a beaut!

 

To round out a field of 16 (or even 32?) I would have to include:

 - Lotus Elan (presaging the MX5 , etc)
 - Triumph TR7 (a visionary design before the angular cars of the 1980s) - and yeah, I'm biased. And yeah, it probably loses in the first round. Whatever. ;)
 - Porsche 356
 - BMW 2002
 - Porsche 928
 - Volvo 240 - beautiful in its form built for function. Maybe? If that's a go, the Honda CVCC or further back, Austin Mini could qualify. All quirkily beautiful in their own ways, but none of them a "supermodel" of cars. 

On second thought, game changer + beauty really is on its own level. 

 

 

 

RatsunRacing
RatsunRacing
5/22/20 3:46 p.m.

If you'd like to know more about our epic WTF40 build for the 24 Hours of Lemons (and our epic failures) then check us out at: www.Facebook.com/RatsunRacing

24 Hours of Lemons NOLA 2018 - https://youtu.be/m-V9xzumyS4

24 Hours of Lemons NOLA 2019 - https://youtu.be/uMlOme4zJzE

 

RatsunRacing
RatsunRacing New Reader
5/22/20 3:50 p.m.

 

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) UberDork
5/22/20 3:53 p.m.
wspohn said:

Got into a discussion with some other car geeks (not much else to do right now) about what the very best looking cars of all time were.

 My tastes run a bit more modern -- I'd put the FD RX-7 and F355 on my list.

 

MotorsportsGordon
MotorsportsGordon HalfDork
5/22/20 4:57 p.m.
RichardSIA said:
David S. Wallens said:

Show me a prettier car than a Ferrari GTO. 

Several.

Ferrari P3/P4, '57 Testa Rossa, just to keep it Ferrari.

Enzo Ferreri called the xke the most beautiful car ever made when it was released.

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