Even in 1986, one didn't simply drive around Chicago in a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California to make a movie. That holds true for picking up your girlfriend at the high school, jumping it on a janky side street, and it's especially true when kicking it out of an elevated garage, sending it crashing to the ground.
Of course, we're talking about the Ferrari from the classic John Hughes film Ferris Bueller's Day Off, which wasn't a Ferrari at all. That didn't stop the replica featured here from bringing Ferrari money at a recent auction – $313,000 to be exact, including all fees. It was recently hammered home by Bonhams at the Amelia Island Auction in Florida, listed by the auction house as one of four built for the movie by California-based company Modena Design & Development. A letter from Paramount Picture Cars states the authenticity of the vehicle, though it's believed this one was originally a static-use promotional car without an engine.
At some point in its history that changed. Under the hood is a Ford 5.0-Liter V8 engine, looking very much like the fuel-injected 5.0 used by numerous Fords of that era, including the Mustang. The auction lists only 165 horsepower, suggesting this wasn't a high-output engine sourced from Ford's pony car. And though the photos show a sparkling gated shifter between the front seats, a four-speed automatic actually handles gear changes. Power is sent to a solid rear axle, with four-wheel disc brakes at the corners. Everything is mounted in a custom chassis sharing the same wheelbase as a real 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider.
On the subject of real Ferraris, the recent Amelia Island event saw another auction house sell a proper 250 GT SWB California. Whether by design or pure coincidence, both selling in the same event at the same time offered an interesting comparison of Hollywood power versus pedigree, and well, pedigree won big time.
Whereas the movie replica brought $313,000 it's still less than two percent of the 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California's final price. When the bidding ended, the exceptionally rare Ferrari sold for $18,045,000.