Is this Ferrari the best Toyota ever made?
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They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Though, they also say that copying and plagiarism is for unimaginative chumps that deserve a swift thump on the knuckles.
It is a very fine line that separates the two concepts above. At what point does a copy become a homage, or vice versa? Well, perhaps this Ferrari 288 GTO is that very point.
If you're a well traveled motoring world follower you'll be well aware of the trend of building Ferrari replicas off cheaper platforms of a similar size. Most popular in this context are Ferrari kits based around America's Pontiac Fiero and Japan's Toyota MR2.
There's also a kit out there that can transform a Peugeot 406 into a Ferrari 360, which ... no. Just, no.
A lot of these replicas of course are complete rubbish, looking cheap and nasty with their hideous panel gaps, poor proportions, and cheap fixtures. But, this example that's currently for sale in the UK for £29,950 (NZ$55,500) could be enough to raise a few eyebrows.
It's based on a 1993 Toyota MR2, a car that was once frequently and ironically dubbed as 'the poor man's Ferrari'. Especially when painted in luscious red. Under the skin is a mid-mounted 3.0-litre V6 engine; a Toyota 3VS-FE unit. The kit is built by Dave Jones Kitcars (owned I can only assume by someone named David Jones), and formed out of fiberglass.
Inside the leather seats from a Mazda MX-5 of equal vintage do their best to look like they belong, while a full dashboard conversion helps complete (?) the look. There are several other talking points worth a mention, including the laser cut grills that fill each vent hole and the very authentic looking wheels. If you want to eyeball these details in full you can take a look at the eBay listing.
Above all else, the kicker for this conversion (Toyarri? Feryota?) is that it looks surprisingly authentic throughout. The side profile looks perhaps a smidge off, but from the front three quarter and rear three quarter, I would wager than it would fool a healthy number of car enthusiasts.
That might be blasphemy for most. But hey, if you've got to copy someone else ... you may as well do it right.