By on May 17, 2012

Perhaps inspired by my recent TTAC fiction piece The little death, I was idly shopping for 360 Modenas on eBay this morning when I came across this little gem. Obviously, it’s not a real 360… but it’s not THAT bad, right?

The “360″ was built from a final-generation Toyota MR2 and can be yours for $18,900. According to the moderator of one of the kit-car boards I’ve read, the builder was supposedly “pressured by Ferrari” to stop making them. My guess is that Ferrari’s attorneys sent him a boilerplate letter telling him not to use the Prancing Horse, but perhaps the company is still smarting over that whole first-two-seasons-of-Miami-Vice deal. Hard to say.

Still, given that the cheapest 360 eBay currently has is likely to pull about forty-nine thousand dollars, there’s clearly a savings involved with driving a Toyota Modena. And before anybody asks, $49K is still too much for that “real” one. Everything about it, from the all-season tires to the wear patterns on the interior, screams “$25,000 worth of deferred maintenance”. Better to drop eighty or ninety on a nice one… and as long as you don’t expect to outrun a new Mustang GT, you’re lookin’ good!

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45 Comments on “I Must Say, Sir, Your Ferrari 360 Sounds Suspiciously Like A Toyota...”


  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    So, someone takes a car that’s basically slightly-off-kilter copy of a Porsche and reskins it into an even-more-off-kilter copy of a Ferrari.

    Hey, whatever floats your boat…

    • 0 avatar
      probert

      So Toyota was producing mid engine sports cars since 1986, and the final iteration was a lovely sophisticated machine with infinitely more charm than anyPorsche since the 70s – and and you pan it as a copy of a Porsche? Your car knowledge is lacking.

  • avatar
    tuffjuff

    To be fair, some people would rather spend $50k to own a battered version of “the real one” and maybe just slap some new tires on and live with the nasty interior than spend double on a nicer looking, better condition copy.

    I would never do it, but I can see the appeal… maybe.

  • avatar
    Bunter1

    A buddy of mine has a Fiero “348″. Why did anyone copy the 348 anyway.

    This looks pretty good, the 360 was good looking, far better than the Mr. Two, so it’s a plus.
    ANd it should be reliable-why not if you enjoy it?

  • avatar
    redmondjp

    Looks like a Ferrari – check.

    Toyota reliability underneath – check.

    Costs less than a new Camry – check.

    What’s not to like again?

    Oh, wait, you may want to check first with your auto insurance agent. They may consider it a kit car and not want to insure it at all . . .

  • avatar

    There are few things more expensive than a cheap exotic car. A $49k 360 will be a very expensive beast, unless you just want to park it and look at it.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      Funny thing about that. I just had an guy bring his ’03 “SL55 AMG” in. Whenever we get a car in for service we run a VMI, which is the Vehicle Master Inquiry. It theoretically shows every service since the car was new, as well as the options, engine number, transmission number, date of production, and “status”, which means whether the warranty is valid or not. This one was a “status 8″ which means it is a stolen vehicle recovery” It also showed that it is a SL500 not a SL55. Popping the hood, and looking at the brakes also confirms this. He paid real SL55 money for a hacked together SL500 with AMG badges on it.

  • avatar
    Crosley

    I’m usually one that can find a way to appreciate all sorts of different automotive passions, but I’ve always thought kit cars of modern exotic makes are so absurd they deserve to be called out and ridiculed in public.

    I’m obviously not talking about AC Cobras, but when someone tries to make a Lamborghini or Ferrari out of a Fiero or Toyota, do we not have a duty to make them see the err of their ways? Maybe we can point their love of cars in a healthier direction?

  • avatar

    With the recent death of Carroll Shelby and his important role in Ford taking on Ferrari in international motorsports on my mind, I wonder if the Ford GT needs the same kind of expensive regular service that Ferraris need. Why should any car, short of an actual racecar, need that kind of maintenance? It’s as though Ferrari designs that expense into their cars. I’ve never really understood it beyond exploiting their customers. It’s not like Ferrari engines are more powerful than those made by other companies.Ford Coyote and GM LS9 engines can be pretty much treated like any other US made V8s in terms of regular service.

    I can buy a fully restored Lotus Europa for what it costs to do scheduled work on a Ferrari.

    • 0 avatar
      mnm4ever

      +1

      I always thought that if I could afford a Ferrari or Lambo, I would get a Ford GT instead. They get just as much attention, they are just as fast, and I would guess ultra reliable compared to anything European. Apparently they hold thier value quite well too, IIRC the prices never dip below $150k.

      • 0 avatar
        MBella

        Just look at how reliable Jeremy Clarkson’s was.

      • 0 avatar

        +2

        Will anyone care to shine some light on GT holding its value? I rarely see any rear or mid-engine vehicle holds value like Ford GT. Maybe Ronnie shall write an article on it ?

      • 0 avatar
        mnm4ever

        I think its strictly the limited production, combined with the price. The same way old guys buy new Shelby Mustangs and keep them in a garage waiting for them to double in value, people did that with the GT too. Problem is, there is too little demand and too much supply. Ford hit the sweet spot with the production numbers of Ford GTs, along with the actual desirability, compared to a $50k Mustang thats just too similar to a $20k Mustang.

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    This car looks sweet. Since I’m only dreaming anyway, I’ll include this one on my list of fantasies.

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    I am shocked that there are ANY comments from people who actually like this thing! Really? You guys are being sarcastic right??

    First off, it doesnt look like a Ferrari. It looks like a chinese copy of a Ferrari with all the wrong proportions. Second off, it wont fool anyone, you will just be the dumba$$ who paid $20k for a $10k MR2, and ruined it.

    For a little more money, you can buy a Mondial and at least have a real Ferrari. Or you can buy a Porsche 911, a Boxster, a Lotus, or any number of obscure sports cars that would at least be REAL.

    Or spend a lot less and buy a really nice MR2 Spyder. We get lots of questions and comments on it, it still shocks my wife and I how many people have no idea what kind of car it is.

    • 0 avatar
      rampriscort

      There’s a pretty big disconnect between your second paragraph and your last sentence. Car guys will know, the other 99% will have no idea.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      A regular MR2 > this creation >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> a Mondial, unless you are a douchebag brand whore who doesn’t get that Ferrari has dropped some real duds. The Mondial would have been a crappy Fiat, so as a Ferrari its 100% unacceptable. Same with the 400.

      My only gripe with this car is that for all that work the builder could have did something totally original. Instead, they built what looks like a Chinese 360. Again though, still much better than Ferrari’s worst. There’s more to a car than its brand

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    My fantasies do not include big repair bills, having the car towed a hundred miles to the nearest dealer, or even fooling anyone as to the make of the car. My fantasies do include driving a red convertible, and pretending to be Mario Andretti. I may get a pair of driving gloves.

    • 0 avatar
      mnm4ever

      Ok, thats not even a bad fantasy, not a great one, but not bad. So why spend $18k on a fake Ferrari, if you have no intention of fooling someone? Spend far less and buy a red MRS, or a red Miata, a red VW Cabrio, a Mustang, etc… there are no end of red convertibles to satisfy whatever fantasy you have in mind.

      Or if your fantasy includes some kind of exotic angle to it, spend the same money and buy a red 911 Cabrio, a red Z3 or Z4, Boxster, 350Z convertible, whatever. Want the italian flair? Get a Alfa or Fiat. Probably not the best choice to avoid the tow, but honestly, the MR2 isnt the easiest car to work on either.

  • avatar
    icemilkcoffee

    As long as it looks convincing enough for the drunken sluts going home with you- that’s all that matters.

  • avatar
    probert

    Hey my Lotus sounds like a Toyota. I’m going to have this looked into ASAP and STAT.

  • avatar
    chrishs2000

    One time at a custom car show, a Lamborghini Countach rolled up and everyone crowded around it with ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’. Then he opened the door to reveal a mid-80′s Fiero interior. The crowd dissipated as though the car was filled to the roof with diahrrea.

  • avatar

    Jack, will you seriously purchase a Modena? I’ve toyed with that idea on & off for a few months , but I cannot justify the constant expenses of maintenance, clutch & transmission jobs. I can deal with the car payments, however I’m scary of other misc maintenance items.

  • avatar

    I still can’t decide between the 360 and F430.

  • avatar
    Astigmatism

    If you really want exclusivity, a dealer in LA is apparently selling the world’s only front-wheel drive F355:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1997-Ferrari-F355-Spider-6-Speed-Stunning-Green-w-Tan-Int-/221021647804

    (OT but other than the apparent cluelessness of the dealer, damn that is a fine-looking piece of metal.)

  • avatar
    jeffzekas

    Basically, you are paying $19,995 for prettier Toyota MR2– a car which has a KBB private party value of $5,933 in good condition… I am thinking: just buy a nice MR2, and save $13,000!

  • avatar
    skor

    “but perhaps the company is still smarting over that whole first-two-seasons-of-Miami-Vice deal. Hard to say.”

    McBurnie Coachworks, manufactured the kit used in Miami Vice. Underneath it was a C3 Vette. It was gorgeous, and Chevy powered from back in the day when Chevy mills would go for years with no work at all. What’s not to like?

    I wanted one so bad, but I was only a college boy living on peanut butter and Ramen. By the time I could afford the kit, McBurnie had long since been “cease and desisted” out of business by Enzo.

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    If I remember correctly, the later white Testarossa used in Miami Vice was also a Corvette in disguise.
    No fake Magnum stache is needed- I have a full beard, but I DO have a Detroit Tigers ballcap already.

    • 0 avatar
      skor

      Three Testarossa were used, two genuine Ferraris and a fake Testarossa built on an old DeTomaso Pantera (used for stunts).

    • 0 avatar
      mnm4ever

      No, the Testarossa was a real Ferrari. After the show got so immensely popular, Ferrari wanted them to stop using the fake one. They really couldn’t legally do that, so instead offered up a black TR in exchange. Which, from what I heard, was promptly wrecked. The white one was the only one available on short notice, so they ended up using white, if the story is to be believed. I think the did build a couple fake ones for stunt work though, so maybe those were Corvettes underneath?

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    NSX

    • 0 avatar
      mnm4ever

      +1

      An NSX is the best choice for anyone who wants (and can afford) a used Ferrari. The cost of tires is nothing compared to the cost of maintaining an Italian exotic. $35-50k, depending on the year, much more for the last cpl model years. I prefer the earlier ones with the popup headlights, those strange double-pod exposed ones look odd.

      • 0 avatar
        Robert Schwartz

        You could pull some Ferrari Badges off a wreck, and very few men would be wiser, and certainly the only woman in the world who would not be fooled is Mona Lisa Vito.

  • avatar
    skotastic

    mnm4ever is right on.

    This thing should be killed with fire.

    Being a phony is never cool – whether in person or the car you drive.

    I would FAR rather own an MR2 or even a Tercel than this POS – I’d rather be poor and honest than a tasteless poser.

    Also, I don’t get this desire to fool people with fake badges. IF I even cared what others thought, I’d only really care about folk who have taste and knowledge of cars rather than random chumps impressed by anything red on wheels.

  • avatar
    itsgotvtak

    What wear patterns are you seeing, Jack? I don’t like the tires either but they look relatively new. I wouldn’t be surprised if the dealer put threw on the cheapest rubber he could find while he horsed the car up.

  • avatar
    Lampredi

    This thing should be called the Ferrari Merda.


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