These rebodies are selling far below construction costs and will deliver miles of smiles. But don’t go near Pebble Beach, and don’t expect to make money

Carrozzeria Touring’s 1949-53 Barchetta is considered one of Ferrari’s classic models. Only about 35 Touring Barchettas (literally translated as “little boat”) were produced using Touring’s patented Superleggera or super light construction, which wrapped the aluminum body panels on a lightweight steel tubing sub-frame. Most were intended for competition, but a few “Lusso” or luxury versions were fitted with leather interiors and a leather covering surrounding the cockpit area.
This beautiful alloy-bodied recreation is built as a Lusso version utilizing a left-hand-drive 330 2+2 chassis and driveline. Dominic Scaduto at his Scuderia Carrozzeria Italia in San Marcos, California, constructed it in the late 1980s.
Scaduto worked for Touring in the 1960s before immigrating to the U.S. in 1986. He built three of these Barchettas in the late 1980s utilizing Ferrari parts from a 212, 250 and in this case a 330 2+2 donor car. He shortened the chassis and fabricated the Superleggera sub-frame using slightly larger tubing than the original. Aluminum sections were cut, then shaped over a wooden body buck and welded to form the panels.
The whole process absorbed more than 2,000 hours. The finished chassis/body was trucked to a specialist shop to receive the rebuilt 4-liter, 330 2+2 300-hp engine and running gear. The “Lusso” interior gives it a charming dual capability for high-speed competition and open road events as well as being a satisfying and comfortable Gran Turismo. Correct outside laced Borranis with Dunlop racing tires complete the replica. Except for the 330 Veglia gauges substituted for the original Jaeger ones, the Touring Barchetta Recreation could pass for a 1952 original.

SCM Analysis

Detailing

Vehicle:1952 Ferrari 166/330 Recreation
Number Produced:35 approx. (Touring Barchettas)
Original List Price:Touring Barchetta replica $195,000
SCM Valuation:166 MM Barchetta (25) $1,100,000-$1,600,000
Tune Up Cost:$2,000
Distributor Caps:$400, two required
Chassis Number Location:Front frame tube
Engine Number Location:Engine rear mount
Club Info:Ferrari Club of America, Box 720597, Atlanta, GA 30358
Website:http://www.ferrariclubofamerica.org

The 1952 166/330 MM Touring Barchetta Recreation sold for $105,500 at RM’s Arizona auction in January 2005.
There are several ways to modify an existing Ferrari to make it into a more desirable model. The easiest modifications are the “cut” cars, Daytona coupes made into Spyders. But to recreate the ambience of the great models by building a replica Ferrari from scratch, using authentic vintage Ferrari parts from “mundane” donor Ferrari, takes a lot of knowledge and skill.
Building these replicas became a cottage industry during the late-1980s Ferrari bull market, when this 1952 166/330 MM Touring Barchetta Recreation was constructed. In fact, so profitable was the turning of $100,000 250 GTEs into “lost-but-now-found” $1,000,000 SWBs that in 1993 Italian authorities discovered a large vintage Ferrari counterfeiting operation. Ten fake Ferraris in various stages of reincarnation were found in workshops near Modena run by ex-Ferrari employees.
Many Ferrari conversions are facilitated by the similarities between the components of the high-performance or rare models and the mass-production (for Ferrari, anyway) touring versions. The chassis and suspension of a California Spyder are not greatly different from a 250 GTE 2+2. Authentic looking, driving, and sounding replicas were built by talented panel beaters around the world.
The only man to ever show a Ferrari 2+2 (a 250 GTE) at Pebble Beach, Len Miller spent a decade running down the whereabouts of all 955 250 GTE 2+2s. By 1993, his comprehensive 250 GTE register identified 117 that had been “transformed.” The majority became GTOs or Testa Rossas with a smattering of California replicas. (And after a decade he still had not discovered the whereabouts of 235 missing 250 2+2s. Many of these cars probably were donors for additional replicas, so these fakes are fairly common.) Mike Sheehan (see January, p. 50) tracks over 200 different 250 replicas.
So the fact that our subject car is a replica is not unusual. And in what is in an odd way refreshing, the creator of the car didn’t waste any time or effort worrying about authenticity. (That it was represented as a 166MM replica at this sale is odd, because previously it had always been promoted as a 212 replica. Presumably, this was because Scaduto developed the body buck for an actual 212 that he built a new body for, although which 212 he rebodied is unknown.)
The 330 engine and gearbox used in this car are wildly different from the 166/212, and any Ferrari aficionado could immediately tell that this car was a replica by looking under the hood.
Also, the car just looks wrong. The rear of this reconstruction seems a little more bulbous than the early 166s. This Touring Barchetta Recreation has a more rounded grille similar to those used on late 212s or the 340 America Barchettas. Since 166/212 Barchettas were intended for racing, few received the opulent Lusso interior this repop boasts. And all 166s were built as RHD models, while just a few 212s were LHD. The wheelbase of this car, at 2,260 mm, is close to that of the 212E, at 2,250. The 166 MM, at just 2,200 mm, was significantly shorter.
But make no mistake, this is one fast fake. This car has a claimed weight of 1,750 lbs, and with 300 hp has about 5.8 pounds per horsepower. By comparison, the new Corvette Z06 carries about 6.2 pounds per horsepower.
Of course the Barchetta has no a/c, power windows, or XM satellite radio with multiple speakers, so you’ll just have to listen to the glorious V12 when, as one previous owner said, “you are going faster than you ever wanted to go.” He described the performance of this recreation as “crazy, strong, handles great, brakes fairly good.” And he is a vintage racer (and long-time SCMer) with experience in a number of fast cars. Top speed is enhanced by the overdrive of the 330 four-speed transmission. The last owner took this car on many 1,000-mile retrospectives through California, Texas, and Utah with no problems.
Which brings us to the most important point about buying a rebodied Ferrari. Just as a collector is advised to consider what he is going to do with a car before buying a car or beginning a restoration, this is even more critical when buying a Ferrari rebody. These are not cars for the lawn at Pebble Beach.
For now, neither the Ferrari clubs nor the major concours have any tolerance for rebodied Ferraris. However, if your passion is to drive rather than polish, and you want to go on 1,000-mile retrospectives or vintage race in second-tier events, this 166/212/330 Barchetta would be accepted and thrill fans and organizers alike.
And don’t forget that rebodies on other older makes are sometimes acceptable. Many early Silver Ghost chassis have been resurrected and enjoy some respectability if they use correct materials and period bodies. Similarly, there are far more open Duesenbergs now than were ever produced, and some of these “new” dual-cowl phaetons are bringing big prices at auction.
With current prices between $150,000 and $200,000, these rebodies are selling far below construction costs. No high-quality rebodies have been done in the past decade as there has been no way to build one and make money (at least, not without trying to pass the car off as real). So in terms of build costs, this car was a bargain.
But the downside is investment value. When this car was first offered around March 1991, asking price was $325,000. By April 1992 it was $195,000. In January 2005, at $115,500, it must be considered downright cheap if bought for the right reasons, but it is doubtful that it, or any transformed cars, will appreciate significantly.
Hopefully the new owner will enjoy miles of trouble-free motoring and will stay away from marque purists and clubs. If it were mine, I’d consider springing for a set of repro Jaeger gauges to make the dash look a little more authentic.

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