Introduced in 1960, the short-wheelbase was available in street or competition spec, with alloy bodywork on the lighter competition cars. All SWBs were more than capable as road cars,All SWBs were more than capable as road cars, with a level of trim and sound and weather proofing that seemed luxurious for their day. Much of the development work carried out on the Ferrari GT cars filtered down into some of Ferrari's non-competition-oriented cars, such as the 250 GTE. Lessons learned in making the V12 engines competitive in endurance races helped factory engineers develop the more pedestrian road-going engines' reliability, while lessons learned on chassis improvements required on such testing events as the Carrera Pan Americana were fed into all the products of the Maranello firm. As a result, it is relatively simple, on paper, to convert a car like a GTE to the specifications and style of the legendary SWB. As is often the case, "on paper" is not as easy as it sounds. Reproducing a car such as this is a labor of love for some, a way of creating a dream for less than the cost of the original. The reality is that the resultant car will never be valued at anything like its build cost. To some who love Ferrari, though, this is of small concern. The joy of owning such an immaculate piece of automotive art is value enough, and for subsequent owners, the joy of ownership of an icon is a much more viable prospect-a chance to drive a legend. This immaculate SWB re-creation is based on a 1962 250 GTE chassis, though so accurate is the re-creation that it was, for many years, considered to be an original 250 SWB. Some years later the "original" car came to light and this car's identity was clarified. However this car is understood to have changed hands in the past for a high six-figure price commensurate with the original examples.

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB replica

This car sold for $163,436, including buyer’s premium, at the Barrett-Jackson/Coys Monaco sale, May 17, 2002.

Lord Brocket lived a life nearly everyone could admire. He was a titled Baron, the third Baron of Brocket. He lived on a 57-acre family estate, was married to an outrageously beautiful lady and played polo with Prince Charles. He had a world-class automobile collection, including many highly prized vintage cars. He was also a crook.

Lord Brocket’s desire for the good things in life exceeded his ability to pay for them. He amassed a multi-million-dollar debt and engaged in a number of schemes to pay it off, ranging from embellishing facts to add value to his cars, to a faked theft of several important cars in an attempt to collect an exaggerated insurance settlement. The latter ruse led to his eventual downfall.

The car shown here is a well-known Lord Brocket scam. As the story goes, he wanted a Ferrari SWB and, being a bit short on funds, decided to build one instead of buying one. He purchased 250 GTE #4015, a partially completed SWB replica project, and brought it to England where it was finished by master craftsmen. He (allegedly) fraudulently stamped the chassis and engine with the number of a long-lost SWB, #3565. The result was a counterfeit SWB so authentic it would fool experts for years.

As Brocket’s financial problems deteriorated, he sold the car as the real #3565 to a well-known East Coast dealer. The dealer in turn sold it to a prominent American collector for a reported $750,000, the going rate for a real SWB at that time. The trick was exposed when the real #3565 was brought out of hibernation. The embarrassed owner of the counterfeit quickly dumped the car, properly identifying his #3565 as a reproduction. It is frowned upon to sell a car with a fictitious ID number, so a state-assigned number was obtained giving the car a new identity, #749761.

This car could not be duplicated for anywhere near the auction price of $163k. It is still crisp and in a condition worthy of any collection. It is also a forgery; an out-and-out rip-off of Ferrari’s design and someone else’s SWB. Any future owner will have to either lie about what it is or give an elaborate explanation whenever someone admires his car.

The owner reportedly sold the car for $125,000 (ouch)-a quick, “get it out of my life” price. The next owner put the car up for resale at $200,000 and eventually traded it for much less. It was then offered at about $145,000 before selling at Monaco.

The real #3565 was thoroughly restored and changed hands in 1999 for $695,000. It was then resold a month later for $832,652.

Lord Brocket received five years in prison for his attempted insurance scam. When the SWB scheme was discovered, an additional two years was added to his sentence.

In terms of replacement cost, this car should be considered well bought. Now clearly identified as a classy fake, the notorious Brocket provenance may even add a bit to its value down the road.-Steve Ahlgrim

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