A Ferrari restomod is a rare creature, these are the best of them.
If you have a large truckload of cash to spare and love old sports cars, but want modern performance or comforts, there's plenty of choices out there for companies to build you a restomod. Restomods (restoration + modifications) have become popular over the past decade, and some pioneering companies have become big names in the automotive world, like Singer Vehicle Design and ICON. There are more companies that specialize in all kinds of restomods now, but one thing you'll notice is how rare a restomod Ferrari is. Part of the reason they're so rare is down to how easy it is to be kicked out of the cult of Ferrari for desecration. To the hardcore fans, every Ferrari is perfect, and any suggestion otherwise is an affront to the long-dead Enzo himself. Then there's Ferrari itself, and a PR department that isn't afraid of blacklisting people or having the lawyers sharp up their cease and desists if they don't like what a client chooses to do to their own car. Just ask Deadmau5 about the story of his Ferrari 458 Italia.
All of the above means this is not a long list. However, the last car gives us some hope that bringing old Italian supercars into the 21st century will be more commonplace. In the meantime, these are the best restomod Ferraris so far.
Carobu Engineering is run by Swedish engine builder Bert Wehr and Californian hot rodder Tate Casey. The company specializes in Ferrari and Mercedes restomodding, and this build is based around a low-mileage Ferrari 512BB with an unmolested boxer engine. It needed some work on the body and a respray to start with, but the real work began once the engine came out to be serviced. By the time Carobu was done tuning the engine's airflow and using a new camshaft, it had a much stronger power curve. The engine now makes 375 lb-ft of torque between 4,000 to 6,500 rpm, and at 7,000 rpm, the engine delivers an athletic 470 hp. That works out over 100 hp up from stock, and a big kick up in performance.
The suspension and brakes were rebuilt, and the wheels upgraded to 17-inch items so the 15-inch tires could be traded for modern rubber. The cream interior was replaced with a black interior with red accents to match the new red paint.
This 1967 Dino 246 build is often described as the first "outlaw Ferrari," but that doesn't give it full credit. Jay Leno said, "This is the car the factory should have built," which is more accurate. The 246 has always been a beautiful car, but now its full potential has been realized by famed Ferrari collector David Lee via the British company Mototechnique. Sitting in the middle of the car is a new engine based around a bored-out Ferrari F40 block and making 400 hp. The engine is aluminum, so no heavier than the original 40-year old V6.
The suspension is all-new and based around Koni shocks, and the new custom 17-inch alloy wheels forced new factory-style wide fenders to be created for the build. It's fast; it's beautiful, and, surprisingly, Lee says, "I've had no negative comments from Ferrari purists on social media or in person."
This Ferrari 328 restomod has caused an outcry from the purists. It's a collaboration between Casil Motors and Button Built, with 30 models slated to be sold. The headlines include a kevlar and carbon fiber widebody kit, adjustable air suspension, Wilwood brakes, and a set of Rotiform wheels. Under the hood, the 3.2-liter naturally aspirated V8 has been modified using, amongst other things, Casil's own throttle bodies and generates around 400 hp. The interior for this one is vintage styled using Bride carbon-fiber seats, Alcantara upholstery, a Momo steering wheel, and a gated manual shifter.
The Ferrari 365 GTC/4 came with legendary Italian company's Columbo 4.4-liter V12 engine making just under 340 hp. This restomod from Carobu, however, does not use that engine. Instead, power is supplied by a 5.0-liter engine from the later 412i and using the Weber carburetors and air boxes from the original engine. Now, this 365 makes 385 lb-ft of torque and 410 hp. It has also been upgraded with a custom cooling system, Brembo GT Big Brake Kit, Razzo Rosso wheels, and adjustable-height height-adjustable shocks wrapped in racing springs. The wheels are also wider than stock now, eight inches at the front and ten inches at the rear, so the body is now wider as well.
Inside, the rear seats have been removed, and the fronts replaced with 550 Maranello seats. On the outside, the front and rear bumpers have been removed, and both ends modified drastically to give a more aggressive appearance.
DK Engineering calls it's restomodded Ferrari Mondial "Lupo Vestito da Pecora," which translates as "A Wolf In Sheep's Clothing." It's a stretch to call any Ferrari a sheep, but this one is converted into a road-legal track car. The original 3.2-liter V8 making 210 hp was deemed too weak, so the rear subframe was strengthened while an engine and transmission sourced from a Ferrari F430 Challenge car were dropped into the upgraded chassis. It now makes over 480 hp with 343 lb-ft of torque, and the only real tell from the outside are the larger wheels containing upgraded brakes. Inside, there's a fire suppression system, a Sparco steering wheel, Sparco seats, a digital dash, push-button start, and controls for suspension settings.
There are simple touches to this car, such as European marker lights and a refreshed front end. Race mechanics stripped down and rebuilt the engine, and the flywheel and clutch were replaced with parts from a Ferrari 355 Challenge. The same car supplied a steering rack, exhaust, and wheels for the project. The exhaust is straight through, and the 3.5-liter V8 makes a crackling 375 hp. All in, the F355 Modificata sits somewhere between a Singer-like reimagining and a bespoke track special.
The interior is dressed using material supplied from the company that dressed the Ferrari F40's interior, while the driving experience is stripped down for the enthusiast. The good news is that Jeff Segal, the owner and modifier of this car, who raced for Ferrari and has won at Le Mans, Daytona, and Sebring, is planning to get into the restomod business. We're hoping that means more Ferrari restomods will finally make it onto the roads.