You know you want one. It’s the iconic motoring brand, red-hot and plucked from the dream state of childhood fantasies.
The Ferrari. Any Ferrari.
But you have a problem, my friend, and it’s a big problem.
The latest model from Maranello, the 458 Spider, will sell for a very dear MSRP of $257,000, and that’s a mighty pile of filth lucre. This V8 powered beauty generates an enormous 570 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque and all that power gets moved to the rear wheels through a seven-speed, dual-clutch automated manual transmission.
But it’s a quarter of a million dollars.
So how about a “Ferrari” motorcycle instead.
Well you can have one. In fact, you have two choices. One of them an official badged version approved by Enzo, and the other, well, a sort of loophole version which slipped through the cracks of history.
The first was created through the sentimental generosity of Piero Ferrari. David Kay of David Kay Engineering wrote Piero and asked permission to build a one-off Ferrari badged memorial piece to his late father, and though it seems beyond belief, Piero Ferrari granted his permission . After four years – and 3,000 man hours of labor – the 900cc Ferrari motorcycle was complete. The machine’s body was shaped from aluminum represents Kay’s vision of what a Ferrari factory motorcycle should look like.
And while it was more of an homage and an art project, it did move out. The bike features a 105-hp engine and a top speed estimated at nearly 165 mph.
So what happened to it? It just sold at auction this month for $166,000.
But you say you don’t want an “art piece,” you want a functioning, production Ferrari motorcycle. You can have one of those as well and the story behind the creation of those machines is equally strange and wonderful quirk of fate.
It’s a Ferrari motorcycle, yes, but not from that Ferrari. And Enzo was “not pleased” when he found out. To complicate matters further, it turns out the bikes were made by his brother Fratelli, and that must have cast a pall over the table at family dinners.
Built in Milan, Fratelli Ferrari motorcycles, and though they weren’t fast, they were good looking, rolled out off the factory floor from 1951 through 1954. That three-year run makes them an extremely rare commodity indeed. The tiny, underpowered machines came in displacements from 123cc to 248cc, featured two or four-stroke single or twin-cylinder powerplants and were based on the Parillas of the time as Fratelli had spent some time on the production line there.