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Advice on unusual F-car for track

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by solly, Feb 24, 2004.

  1. solly

    solly Formula 3

    Jun 2, 2001
    1,148
    Westchester NY
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    Dr. Steven S.
    Please look at this website:http://www.ferraris-online.com/cars/FE-288GTO-34555/main.shtml

    A very reputable dealer is listing this car, a 308/288GTO conversion, putting out approx 530bhp. While I am waiting to hear from the expert on this car about some details (Walter Gerber of Porsche and IMSA fame), I believe the following to be true:

    1) It is cheaper than my 360 Challenge to buy. I can sell the Challenge and pocket the difference.

    2) It is cheaper to maintain. 360 Challenge costs have run me about 40k per season in maintenance, replacements, etc. (12-15 track events, so aprox 30 days of track time). I was told this one would be less expensive.

    3) It has a lot more bhp, and is a bit lighter, so should perform better. Someone spent a huge amount of $$ developing this car for track use.

    4) It looks a lot cooler than a 360C.

    5) I'm not sure if it will be accepted at all Ferrari events, due to extreme modification (although it has been shown at concourses as a 308GTBi Modified). I only care about track events, but it would be nice to show as well. If it won't be universally accepted I would not buy it. Does anyone know one way or the other?

    I'd appreciate any feedback. Thanks
     
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  3. redcar1

    redcar1 Formula Junior
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    Nov 3, 2003
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    austin, tx
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    Mark
    The car was part of the infamous "Spillman Estate", the San Antonio "Ferrari Clerk".

    I understand that Mel Spillman spent TONS of the money he embezzled from the estates of deceased Texans on this car, but he never got it running properly. I think Mel is currently a guest of the State, but there should be plenty of people who could help fill in the blanks. I was told he had more money invested in this car than he did in his F40.

    Of course, the car was seized and changed Owners some time ago, and it could now be well sorted.

    Mark McKenzie
     
  4. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
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    Dec 1, 2000
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    Just from taking a quick look, my quick thoughts are...

    1) I don't see anything listed for suspension and roll cage mods. Not much of a track car if not.

    2) The uniqueness of this car and the turbos will cause it's own unique headaches. But at least it doesn't require a SD2!

    3) A GTO conversion is still just a GTO conversion, no matter how good it looks and how much HP it has. You'll be compared to as a better version of the $15k conversions and not real GTO's or real race cars.

    4) $40k a year to run your 360 Challenge!?! I had less than $3k for 15 track/race days in the 355 Challenge.

    5) When I was looking at a Ferrari to also club race, the Mohr's out by Monterey had a very nice built GTO conversion GT2 racer.
     
  5. thecarreaper

    thecarreaper F1 World Champ
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    Sep 30, 2003
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    i mean no offense, but why do you care what the " show car crowd" thinks? i applaud you for having a Challenge car and for using a ferrari the way it should be used. you like the car, you can use the car and save money SO BUY IT !!!! and send me a few pics. i hope to have a euro 308 by summer. yes , i am not an owner so my words may mean very little. however as someone on the " outside " looking in , i say enjoy it and use the money you saved for your other passions, or hire me to work for you!!! ( joke , sorry !) this is a stupid question on my part but how does a car that is raced "show" at a concours event/ car show? seems to me the wear and tear would show no matter what you do, short of having body spares on hand. ( rock chips, small dings ect) many here will envy your position, i say buy the 288/308 car and drive it TO WIN!!! best wishes to you in your endevor, POST PICS FOR US WANNA BE GUYS PLEASE !!! ( GRIN)
    michael
     
  6. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
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    Dec 1, 2000
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    The problem is organizations like the FCA and Cavallino might not even let the car into some events.
     
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  8. Jay GT4

    Jay GT4 F1 Rookie

    Oct 16, 2001
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    It does have a rollbar, look under "more information" and yes this was Mel Spillmen's car as per the car fax on the same page. I would think this is gonna be expensive to run also, just think of what it's gonna take to program the ECM if you ever want to change something.
     
  9. writerguy

    writerguy F1 Veteran

    Sep 30, 2003
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    Paging James Patterson.... Your input would be great...
     
  10. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

    Nov 20, 2002
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    Hmmm, to me after looking at the pictures the car does not look like a real race car. Too flashy!. By that I mean it looks like a show car, not a car that has seen lots of track time and thus really performs ... thus is it going to be a one lap wonder?

    Why you would think this car would be more reliable than a standard Ferrari from the factory (ie. the 360 Challenge) is beyond me ... modifications cause reliability problems ...

    I also think that a 360 Challenge would probably eat it for breakfast as remember the most time is spent in the corners, and a peaky turbo motor will WASTE time ... thanks to traction problems and boost, etc.

    Also somebody please get rid of the snorkles ... just direct air from the correct 288GTO air inlets (ie. rear side window opening).

    Looks like a money pit to me ;)

    Pete
     
  11. Chiaro_Slag

    Chiaro_Slag F1 Veteran

    Oct 31, 2003
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    Jerry
    I saw this car the other day & think it would be an absolute blast on the track!
     
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  13. Hubert

    Hubert F1 Rookie

    Jan 3, 2002
    2,642
    The Left Coast
    I wouldn't touch this car.
    From what I could see, this car lacks:
    a rollcage/bar;
    a proper race seat (that kirkey piece of **** doesn't count);
    suspension of any sort (unless "rebuilt" bilsteins count);
    Also, turbo cars on track generate a lot more heat, than n/a car and are prone to have cooling issues (notice copper headgaskets) and are tricky to drive.
    Looks to me like someone threw a lot of dough at this car, tacked on a lot of bling bling parts, but didn't really have a plan/direction for this car when they were building it. To me, that translates into inheriting a problem car since you don't know how many different people have been elbow deep in it.
    If you want to get serious, buy an SR3 Radical. A nicely spec'd radical is ~ 60k new, and will put the wood to anything less than a formula atlantic.
     
  14. thecarreaper

    thecarreaper F1 World Champ
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    WOW! i did not know that. i stand corrected!.
     
  15. Chiaro_Slag

    Chiaro_Slag F1 Veteran

    Oct 31, 2003
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    Bummer. :(

    Looks like it would be fun!
     
  16. BigHead

    BigHead Formula Junior

    Oct 31, 2003
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    Dennis
    Solly, I believe that this vehicle WOULD be allowed to run at most FCA track events. The guidelines specify that the car be powered by a FERRARI ENGINE, which this beast does have. And most organizers are relatively lax about enforcing this rule - this is clearly a Ferrari of some sort, so you'll get in. Of course, you will probably NOT be able to show this at, say, Cavallino, but any club event, sure.

    As to how fast it is... well, just on paper, if it really does have the claimed power, and assuming that the weight is reasonable, it will be very, very fast in a straight line. Ultimate lap times will also be a function of suspension, about which the ad is relatively silent. As to safety, the ad says that it has a pair of OMP carbon seats, though the pic shows only one seat (apparently a Kirkey aluminum one). It's not possible to tell from the pics whether there is an F40-esque integral roll cage; the tall carbon fiber sill could possibly hide a side intrusion bar. But since the text doesn't mention it, it probably does not.

    Given your size, I'd be concerned that you will not fit comfortably in it. A 288GTO does not have a large interior (nor does the 308), and you might be a lot more comfortable in the 360.

    Oh, and lest I forget, I'd wager that your costs to campaign this car would be a LOT more expensive than the 360CH - once you start breaking things (and believe me, things WILL start breaking), the $$$ will get astronomical.

    Lastly, your costs for running the 360 for a season sound pretty outrageous. :) It's your option, of course, but from what I've seen at WGI and LRP, you could save a LOT of money - the tradeoff, of course, is that you'd have to do a lot more work yourself (e.g., towing yourself, having maintenance done beforehand instead of at the track, etc.). FWIW, I know of a couple of 360 Challenge guys that spend a fraction of what you spent....

    vty,

    --Dennis
     
  17. Auraraptor

    Auraraptor F1 World Champ
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    Sep 25, 2002
    11,398
    MO
    Ask Will, he has what can be discribed as a 'different' track car.:)
     
  18. davem

    davem F1 Veteran
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    Jan 21, 2002
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    In the ad from Sheehan's site there are 2 pics of the front an back suspension. It certainly is not stock. Big Brembos, brake ducts, even looks like diffrent A arms. Heim jointed etc...
     
  19. solly

    solly Formula 3

    Jun 2, 2001
    1,148
    Westchester NY
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    Dr. Steven S.
    Thanks for the input guys.

    Yes, this was a Spillman car, and it has over $300,000 invested in it so far. I believe that there were overheating problems, hence the big $$ investment in bigger coolers, etc.

    Bill Hubbell wasn't allowed to track his spec race car at Cavallino, even though it is Ferrari powered, and looks just like a 512 (on steroids). It's the track events I need to be able to attend, not the concours.

    The only reason my 360 CH bills are so high is that I have neither time or knowledge to maintain this car myself ot trailer it around the country. Hence it is delivered to me at the track at each event fully prepped and teched, and is supported at each event by the Classic crew. Those fees add up quick. There was a one-time (I hope) charge of $18,000 last season when some pesky Corvette got in my way and I felt it was my duty to show him his proper place on the track, so real running costs without body mishaps closer to 22k.

    Anyway, I'm going to try and get this snorkel fakey GTO out on a track somewhere before I decide one way or another. I know from trying to get into Chuck's 288 GTO (a real one), that I cannot fit. I'm thinking with a thin racing seat maybe.

    It just caught my eye and had some wild specs. Thanks for the feedback.
     
  20. titanium360

    titanium360 F1 Rookie
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    Nov 10, 2003
    3,371
    solly, why don't you sign up with your local dealer for the challenge race . you can probably make a deal with them.
     
  21. FLATOUTRACING

    FLATOUTRACING F1 Rookie

    Aug 20, 2001
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    Solly, I wouldn't touch it. As other's have pointed out, big hp and light weight don't always equate to being faster on the track. Your 360 C has had hours and hours of track testing in Italy by people like Bador, Schumacher, and company, that 288 converison doesn't and judging from the people who have owned it, it's likely never turned a wheel in anger with a competant driver.

    The uniqueness of the engine could make it just as expensive if not more than your 360 C. I am sure you have seen Jeff Ipoletti's 355 GT at the Glen. It's an F40 killer when it's running right, but Jeff's mechanic does a lot of work each event to get it running.

    The fact that no one is trained on this engine means it will take double the time to fix things and double the cost.

    My main concern would be as mentioned above, it wasn't developed by the factory and just adding a neat suspension and some big hp doesn't mean it will set lap records.

    Just my 02 worth.

    Regards,

    Jon P. Kofod
    www.flatoutracing.net
     
  22. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
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    Dec 1, 2000
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    That's what I was thinking, if William couldn't get in, then I doubt this would either. However, most "regional" track events are just looking for numbers and would let you in. I also think the best track days aren't the Ferrari only ones.
     
  23. Billy10mm

    Billy10mm Formula Junior

    Nov 11, 2003
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    Billy Ng
    Doht!! I can't believe everyone missed the most obvious point that makes this car so completely unusable as a track car ....

    Go back to the web page and look at the dyno chart provided. Anyone here want to explain to me how this car will be even remotely usable in anything but a straight line or on the grass being judged? That looks roughly like what a single-turbo Civic looks like ... no power and then BOOOOOM, full on mahem. No thanks.

    Of course, would make an excellent drift car :)

    Bill in Brooklyn
     
  24. Schatten

    Schatten F1 World Champ
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    Apr 3, 2001
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    damn! that's just idiotic IMO, not letting the 512Beast out on the track at Cavallino. then again, it is catered to original condition and concours quality. maybe it is just bling-bling in their eyes. I just hope forza does a write up on the car in the future.
     
  25. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
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    Dec 1, 2000
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    I agree with you, but the concours/event sticklers are against any rebodies, although most early Ferraris were "rebodies".
     
  26. tifosi69

    tifosi69 Formula 3

    Dec 23, 2003
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    Al-Al Cool J
     
  27. tifosi69

    tifosi69 Formula 3

    Dec 23, 2003
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    Al-Al Cool J
    I went to Michael Sheehans and I looked at it further and this car, regardless of WHO owned/built it looks like a POS and a HUGE money pit. My friend tried to trick out a modified RUF 930 single turbo and it became an un-driveable, ub-reliable junk-mobile. Your 360CH is hands-down a better car, if for no other reason, it is designed, machined and built bu the FACTORY. STAY AWAY !!!

    P.S. IMHO, does not even really look like a 288GTO.
     
  28. Slomo

    Slomo Karting

    Nov 22, 2003
    145
    Bellevue, WA
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    David Chambers
    I am confused because I thought the Seattle F-Club just saw this car in a local (Seattle area) collectors garage. Info is posted in the NW area of F-Chat. Several guys saw the car in a garage tour a couple of weeks ago, and may have more info for those interested.
     

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