This one-off Ferrari concept was a steal.
For the latest episode of Jay Leno's Garage, the comedian and retired host of The Tonight Show invited the owner of the little known Ferrari Conciso for a chat. It's so little known that the owner, Franco Valobra, didn't pay anywhere near what he was expecting to pay when it crossed the auction block with RM Sothebys. He paid just around $141,000 in 2018 for a car that Ferrari didn't build, yet is so good the Italian supercar maker let it keep the prancing horse badges. "We were the only bidder, and we got it right away," Valobra explains.
The Conciso, Italian for concise, was styled by Bernd Michalak’s Design Studio of Mainz using a 1989 Ferrari 328 GTS. Concise is an apt name for the car as it's small and exacting. Michalak shaved off 800 lbs, almost a third, from the 328 GTS in creating this minimalist masterpiece with no rear overhang, roof, or doors. According to Valobra, Michalak describes the Ferrari Conciso as his "three-dimensional business card."
What Michalak effectively created from the 328 GTS is an ultra-lightweight car that can be driven pleasantly on the road to the track. Helmets, conveniently stored in the side of the car, can be used when pretending to be a racecar driver, or, as Valobra points out, rainy weather. It may have no doors or roof, but what it does have is Ferrari badging, which is stunning considering Ferrari had no input int the car outside of building the chassis it's made from.
Leno was quite taken by the car and, driving the Conciso with the wind in his face, he says: "It’s really fun to drive. It’s really fantastic. It really is a go-cart.” And, according to Valobra, it has all the comfort and performance of a Ferrari and none of the weight. For getting around town, he's got the right attitude to having no doors and roof though, saying, "The only thing is getting in and getting out, which is part of the show. Wherever you arrive there’s a little crowd around, so you’d better be agile enough not to fall on your face.”
To us, that sounds like just another small price to pay.