Car Culture

Ferris Bueller's Day Off Ferrari replica headed to auction

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

Matt Magnino/Mecum

"The 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California. Less than 100 were made. My father spent three years restoring this car. It is his love. It is his passion. It is his fault he didn't lock the garage." 

If you're of a certain age -- and maybe even not -- that brief quoted exchange is all you need to conjure up a vivid image. If you're like me, you picture a young Matthew Broderick and Alan Ruck standing in the presence of what would become movie royalty -- the red Ferrari replica roadster in the John Hughes classic, Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Indeed, the movie car wasn't a real Ferrari 250 at all, it was a 1985 Modena GT Spyder California -- a Ford small-block V8-powered doppelgänger powering a steel-tube spaceframe clad in fiberglass bodywork. In fact, as is typical with Hollywood movies, it wasn't one car, but three, that were used in the filming -- two working cars and one rolling shell. You're looking at one of the two complete cars.

Chassis No. 0003 is headed to the Mecum Auctions gala event in Monterey, California on the weekend of August 23-25, where it will cross the block as part of the sales that annually accompany the region's famed Pebble Beach Concours weekend.

This particular faux Ferrari features a balanced-and-blueprinted Ford 351 Windsor engine good for a claimed 500 horsepower. The car is said to have received "nine months of refreshing and updating" by Neil Glassmoyer, one of the founders of Modena Design, and at least in these photos, it looks sensational and ready to live out your Chicagoland hooky fantasies.

This replica Ferrari has become one of the most recognized movie cars of all time.

Paramount Pictures

There's no word on an estimated sale price from Mecum Auctions, nor any indication of a minimum reserve price, but this exact car last changed hands in 2013 at another Mecum event for $235,000. 

Since that time, it was added to the National Historic Vehicle Register earlier this year. It may be a replica, but that doesn't mean this car hasn't become an icon in its own right. In fact, it's one of just 24 vehicles to ever have been added to the registry. In other words, this Modena GT is likely to have appreciated a fair bit. And even if it hasn't, it'll almost certainly sell for many millions less than a genuine Ferrari 250.  

It's best to let Ferris himself take it from here: "It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up."