The rare or not so rare 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Bueller… Bueller… Bueller…
Cameron: [Ferris slowly pulls the Ferrari out of the garage] No, Ferris. I’m putting my foot down. You’re just gonna have to think of something else.
[Ferris keeps driving]
Cameron: How bout we rent a nice Cadillac? My treat! We could call a limo! A nice stretch jobs with the TV and the bar. How about that?
Ferris: [Ferris pulls the car back slightly] Come on. Live a little!
[Cameron crosses himself, walks to the car]
Yea, I can’t blame Cameron for trying to stop Ferris Bueller from taking his dad’s rare 1961 Ferrari 250 for a joyride. Especially knowing that only 55 of these cars were ever built. But hey, ya only live once right? As Ferris Bueller says: “Life moves pretty fast, If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Solid words, I might add. But seriously how rare is this car?
The real thing.
At the time of the film, said car would have been worth around $350,000. If you think that’s chump change. How about the same car on the auction block today? The highest recorded auction sale of a Ferrari 250 GT California was $10,894,900. That car once belonged to actor James Coburn and was won by British national radio DJ celebrity Chris Evans. The original cars of course were all hand built with steel and aluminum body panels. The engines were the same V12 engines Ferrari used in their Tour de France race car at the time. Very classy and very rare automobiles.
Well the one on screen, not so rare.
Due to the rarity of the car, three replicas were used in the film. The fiberglass replicas were built by Modena Design and Research for Paramount Pictures. Modena used MG convertibles as a base car. Under the hood, Ford’s beloved 302 V8 was crammed in. Overall these replicas were very well crafted. To an untrained eye it’s fairly hard to tell if they’re the real or not (fooled me for years). Matter of fact, Ferrari ended up suing Modena for use of trademark design and emblems. Not soon after the suit the company went out of business.
Have you ever noticed the license plate numbers/names on different cars in the film? For example the license plate on the Ferrari says “NRVOUS.” Other cars appear with special vanity license plates as well. Some examples include the text VCTN (National Lampoon’s Vacation), TBC (The Breakfast Club), MMOM (Mr. Mom), and 4FBDO (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off). This little Easter egg plays tribute to the director’s (John Hughes) earlier works. Another interesting fact is Ferris and Cameron attempt to row back the mileage by running the car in reverse. This trick would work with most cable driven speedos. If the movie Matilda had been around prior to Ferris Bueller, I’m sure the guys would have tried using the electric drill to reset the mileage.
As with all good things, they must come to an end. If you’ve seen the movie, you’ve seen the horror a classic car crashing through a window and dropping off into a creek. If I were Cameron’s father it’s hard to say what I would have done. But again, it’s just a car. In this case it was a replica of a classic rare car. Not all is lost. Kids, learn a lesson from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. If you’re thinking about taking your parent’s rare car out on a joy ride (without them knowing), don’t do it. There are plenty of ways to “live” life and have fun. Happy skip day(s) to all the seniors of the class of 2010! Till then have fun and don’t get caught.