Matt’s Ferrari Replica Will Leave You Saying 'Bueller, Bueller?': Your Ride
Matt and Sheri Clarke know a thing or two about classic cars. Having built a number of gorgeous rides themselves, they travel the country hunting down some of the most sought after classics on behalf of their customers. So imagine the couple’s excitement when they stumbled onto this head turner. “Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?” This is a Modena Spyder California, one very similar to the car used in the Hollywood classic Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. It’s a shape designed to mirror the rarified Ferrari 250 GT California, a car which is frankly unobtainium for anything less than a few million in pocket change. Though a replica, this Spyder is by no stretch of the imagination a budget build. Matt and Sheri took some time to talk about their garage superstar, appropriately wearing the license plate ‘Sick Day’, and here’s what they had to say. RELATED: Take a Closer Look at the Legendary 1962 Ferrari 250 GT California
So just how did you become owners of a Modena Spyder?
I searched 10 years for this car and had wanted one ever since I saw Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. I finally found it in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and flew there with only one tenth of the cash in his asking price. After seeing the car, I gave him that as a deposit and flew back home thinking, “How am I going to find the rest?” Being that it was one of 32 Modena Spyders produced following the movie, we did what any normal people would do… we sold our 2010 Shelby GT500 to pay for it.
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A Shelby for a Spyder! What does it feel like to drive?
There is no explanation - it is truly the best feeling ever. Considering an original 250 GT California would set you back between $8 and $12 million, I think buying this Modena movie copy is about the best thing I ever did. We removed the old donor engine and fitted a Ford Performance 363-cubic-inch V8. It now has 486 horsepower, runs a Tremec five-speed gearbox, and weighs less than 1,600 pounds.
You don’t have to be a car person to know what it is. When you drive past people in the streets, they drop their jaws and you can see them thinking, “What the hell are you doing driving it around?” Whenever I park the car, I get out as fast as I can before the crowds of people run to the car for pictures. If you get caught by one person, you eventually get caught by them all – makes going to the shop for milk an extremely long process.
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What really drew you in when you bought the car?
The fact that it was in a million pieces wasn’t a deterrent. We do two high-end builds a year and I wanted to go over this car from top to bottom and rebuild it like new. Luckily, the owner had practically everything I needed to finish where he had stopped. As I found out, chasing the smallest items for a ‘60s Ferrari isn’t as easy as rebuilding a Mustang. Endless hours went into chasing parts – the side mirrors and steering wheel will stick in my mind for eternity.
Does the car have a name?
I call it ‘Rari, but we’ve nicknamed it ‘Ford’s Bastard Child.' Given the history between Ford and Ferrari, it’s ironic but fitting that this car has a Ford powerplant underneath. That would probably have them both turning in their graves, but all the car guys get it and love it.
Anything you’d change about the car?
Actually, I’d love to change the mufflers to give it a more solid note at medium rpm. Apart from that, I wouldn’t change a thing. It has a good PowerBase audio system, the color is great, I love the horsepower. I just love this car.
Photo Credit: Joe Greeves and Matt Clarke
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