"Court to rule on mystery of 'cloned' Ferrari"

Discussion in 'Vintage (thru 365 GTC4)' started by QWKDTSN, Nov 24, 2006.

  1. New FerrariChat Miami Video w/updates on venues and entrants! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tq9K3CzZYWs
  1. QWKDTSN

    QWKDTSN Formula Junior

    Oct 14, 2006
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    Steven Patch
    "When Egon Hofer, an Austrian racing driver and classic-car collector, bought a sleek, shiny red 1960s Ferrari once driven by Graham Hill, he thought that he had a unique racing car, worth almost £700,000 today.
    He was dismayed to discover that there was another 330 P with the same chassis number in the Maranello Rosso museum at Ferrari’s headquarters near Modena, northern Italy.

    This week a five-year legal battle came to a head when a court in Modena appointed an independent expert to answer a question that has gripped the world of racing enthusiasts: which Ferrari is the clone?"

    More... http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-2470773,00.html

    Any thoughts or additional information? I apologize if there have been other posts on this subject before and I missed them!
     
  2. Aardy

    Aardy F1 Rookie
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    Feb 21, 2004
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    Cyril TESTE
    When you know that the remains of 0818 passed through the hands of David Piper, it's not difficult to understand that he must have sold original parts to different persons (as usual) and that two owners claim now to have the original one.
    The question is : who has the original frame ??

    My opinion is that the Violati's one is a replica rebuilt in UK around original engine.
    If yes, does Hofer have the original's frame ??? Not sure at all...
     
  3. sicqnus

    sicqnus Formula Junior

    Jul 11, 2005
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    Cyril Chartier
    Violati also have rebuilt the 365P2/3 that Albert Uderzo have totalled (completly burned) on the Imola track in Italy. The only original parts are the serial numbers plates. Everything else have been rebuilt.
    There are many duplicates on the market or in private hands. Since Ferrari have launched the "Classiche Program", I sense a sort of panic on the market.
    Lots of lawsuits to come...
     
  4. iwanna860monza

    iwanna860monza Karting

    Sep 19, 2004
    237
    Believe me when I say this sort of thing has been going on ever since stuff got worth big money back in the 80's.
    The issue that compounds all of this is this particular car was pretty much destroyed in Dick Petheroe's FATAL accident at Goodwood back in 65/66, not sure which, either way this poses a question
    "WHAT WAS LEFT"
    Engine ??
    Chassis ??
    Front end/ Rear end ??
    Anything ??
    That will be the question begging for an answer
    Timmy
     
  5. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

    Nov 20, 2002
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    Pete
    That is enough for me.

    Thus a car was bought in 1967, only 3 years after the Le Mans race, and all the original documentation indicated that this was the same car.

    As I believe completely in 'continual history' then this is the car, even if the chassis had been replaced (if you buy a car and then crash it and purchase a new chassis for the same car AND thus add the original chassis number to this new chassis then they OLD chassis ceases being 'the' chassis and just becomes an assembly of metal. This happens many times in race cars history). Even if you did not add the old chassis number to the new chassis it's still the same car, EXCEPT that races cars are referenced by their chassis numbers ...

    Ofcourse the courts will (should) validate cars on who has the 'original' chassis tag (even if that is the only original part).

    I really hope the court finds in favour of Mr Hofer, as it will be very interesting to see how Ferrari handle this ... sort of kills their certification process straight away. We all know that Ferrari's certification process is going to be completely ???? anyway, and more likely related to whether you are their ???? or not. Just my humble unexpert opinion ofcourse ;) ...

    Pete
     
  6. vroomgt

    vroomgt Formula 3

    Aug 23, 2004
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    Ofcourse the courts will (should) validate cars on who has the 'original' chassis tag (even if that is the only original part).

    [/QUOTE]

    The most celebrated case of this is surely that of the Bentley "Old Mother Gun",

    the courts found for continuous history.
     
  7. kare

    kare F1 Rookie
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    Nov 11, 2003
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    There are people who even think that if papers are transferred to another car, the original car ceases being 'the' chassis.
     
  8. iwanna860monza

    iwanna860monza Karting

    Sep 19, 2004
    237
    A couple of interesting points raised in the whole debacle
    1 - If Mr. Hofer takes his car into Italy, it COULD be impounded, ruled a fake and destroyed.
    2 - If Mr. Hofer's car is accepted as the real deal, then what does that say about Ferrari's Historic program ?????????????


    Tim
     
  9. QWKDTSN

    QWKDTSN Formula Junior

    Oct 14, 2006
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    Steven Patch
    I'm sorry, but what's the basis for that statement? That seems completely absurd!
     
  10. EnzoNZ

    EnzoNZ F1 Rookie
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    Precedence - Italian courts have ordered cars seized and crushed if they are deemed 'fakes'
     
  11. Motob

    Motob Formula 3
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    Nov 11, 2003
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    Brian Brown
    This is a prime example of why he doesn't want to bring the car to Italy:


    MASERATIS MELTED DOWN: A SHATTERING EXAMPLE OF ITALIAN JUSTICE

    By order of an Italian Court, two reconstructed Maserati sports-racing cars from the 1950s - an A6GCS and a 350S – have been delivered by the Police to a local scrapyard to be crushed into cubes for recycling.

    No, this is not a joke.

    It happened on March 22nd 2006 in obedience to a Court order made in Ferrara, Italy. Furthermore, in full execution of that order, the two cubes were then melted in a foundry furnace; just to be on the safe side and because, as we all know, fire is the safest way to deal with sin.

    This story began six years ago with a police operation which was carried out simultaneously in 17 different locations, including restorers, body shops, and private garages and houses. The whole operation was launched after months of intelligence investigation, ’phone tapping, etc. (more or less the sort of effort which might have been better justified if cracking down on the Medellin Cartel).

    Let me just add that – at least in this case – there was no fraud or malicious representation involved and that this Operation was not provoked by any automobile manufacturer.

    In fact, it seems that Maserati – one of the 17 locations raided that morning – was particularly excited by the Police’s unexpected visit to inspect the activities of the Registro Maserati, located in Via Ciro Menotti 322, Modena.

    It would be interesting to discuss this judicial initiative of six years ago and its possible consequences, but right now we can only add that no significant penal consequence has been produced (or probably will ever result) from these investigations. On the other hand, nobody will even know what the final cost will be for the Italian taxpayer, or whether any other criminal-policy priorities might have been better tackled with that kind of effort.

    What is abundantly relevant is that the Italian Judges tend now to interpret the existing legal provisions for Brand Protection in the sense that a copy of a classic automobile could potentially be an infringement of that Code.

    Therefore, while the replica business is booming world-wide, this activity – and I mean bona fide activity – can be persecuted in Italy even to the extent of confiscation – and destruction! - of the reproduced car.

    This kind of reasoning leads to regarding such replicas in exactly the same manner as the law regards the thousand of Louis Vuitton fake purses sold daily by hordes of immigrants on all the squares and the beaches of the western world.

    Returning to the events of March 22nd, I must add that a lack of formal communication of the order of the Court left it impossible for the cars’ owner to present any legal defence which might have prevent their destruction.

    This is an unfortunate circumstance (leaving the door open for further litigation for damages against the Judicial Administration), but here I will concentrate upon the general issue.

    Personally, I know no detail concerning the A6GCS involved in this case, but I do know of the 350S which had been reconstructed by Maurizio Grazzi of Ferrara.

    I have no evidence to support his claim of originality for his chassis – apparently found in Modena – but I know that the aluminium body of that car had been correctly made by a well-known body specialist, Elis Garuti, of Rubiera. Of greater concern, Mr. Grazzi had patiently collected ORIGINAL major and minor components for this car with fastidious perseverance.

    The ORIGINAL engine came from the Orsi firm (former owners of the Maserati company), the transaxle from the Parravano/Sorrell parts collection via David Cottingham in the UK. Suspensions, brakes, wheels, tanks, steering and several other components employed in the car’s re-assembly were all original.

    We may still accept that an ensemble of original factory-made, in-period components does not create an original car.

    Of course this I accept, but in any case the seizure would have been probably sufficient to enact the law.

    While awaiting further investigation and verification, confiscation of the car would have been more than sufficient, perhaps making an order to entrust the car to a Museum, a University or to any other Public Institution as a “didactic copy”.

    In fact, only three original Maserati 350S dry-sump sports-racing car engines were made by the Factory in period.

    If I recall correctly, one was broken on the test bench while being run by Ermanno Cozza – now in charge of the Maserati archives (and he still shows the pain of this memory whenever he recalls that episode).

    One of the other two original 350S engines is in the USA, installed in chassis number 3502 … and the third was in Grazzi’s now destroyed car.

    Nice shot! One of the only two surviving genuine Maserati-made engines of this historic type has been obliterated by the machinations of the Italian legal system - the only one which had survived at all this side of the Ocean.

    Using laws more apt to deal with tons of fake Chinese watches, the Judges have ensured there might be no further possibility of seeing a rare set of mechanical parts of high technical and historical significance.

    Well done!

    Let me add that the man in charge of the crushing machine not only refused to operate it but in fact left his workplace, leaving one of his young assistants to do the job. I guess he might be still asking if some common sense is left anywhere in ‘modern Italy’.

    While this happens in Italy, at International level a car with supposed identity 3503 is offered for sale as the real thing, having presumably a Maserati 3500GT shortened chassis, in left-hand-drive form, and only vaguely resembling the original car.

    I do not intend to add any further comment.

    I can only be troubled by the opinion of Italian justice that enthusiasts, historians and car collectors world-wide might now form. I am afraid not a good one. And let me add that it is with a strong sense of bitterness that I am broadcasting this sad and foolish story.

    Franco Lombardi
     
  12. Olczyk

    Olczyk Formula Junior
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    #12 Olczyk, Nov 28, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Here photo of Hoger car during construction or reconstruction in Modena by the body shop Ferrari ( not the Factory ).
    Hofer have also the Bizzarrini BO 222 who for many years claim to be the ex Le Mans racing car, in reality, in front of all evidences, Hofer agree that BO 222 have been renumbered after the season to be sold as a street car and carry now IA3 222. Car was own by Gregor Fisken and is now in Belgium. The Bizz BO 222 that Hofer own is a mystery !
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  13. iwanna860monza

    iwanna860monza Karting

    Sep 19, 2004
    237
    So....
    We have an interesting situation whereby as I said earlier this will be the first real test of the Ferrari certification. Personally I wont be surprised if they decide it is much easier to just try and destroy, literally or not, the Hofer car than to accept they might haver been hasty with Violatti's.

    The issue I can see which will very much cloud the picture is if I buy 2 new Ferrari's per year and I have a classic say, like Violatti's 330P, will Ferrari want to offend me if I take me fake Ferrari to get certified ??? I mean I am a valued customer ??? At which point are they independant and scrupulous. And at which point do they say we had better accept this and Keep our customer happy.

    Personally if I ever have the money, unlikely but you never know, for a true classic I will be Hiring someone like Marcel Massini and getting his thoughts of originality/ lack of .
     
  14. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

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    Any ruling yet?

    Pete
     
  15. Napolis

    Napolis Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Not yet.

    Best 2 U!
     
  16. synchro

    synchro F1 Veteran
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    Many others feel that Marcel knows much more about the cars than the factory.
     
  17. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

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    Thanks. I really feel for Hofer ... hope this turns out right.

    The factory never cared about their cars before and thus caused (well a fair bit of it, Piper did the rest :D :D) this mess.
    Pete
     
  18. iwanna860monza

    iwanna860monza Karting

    Sep 19, 2004
    237
    So has anyone heard any more regarding this matter, a year has passed ?????????????
    Tim
     
  19. Napolis

    Napolis Three Time F1 World Champ
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    It is still before the court. It will be a while longer.
     
  20. Jeff Kennedy

    Jeff Kennedy F1 Rookie
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    To synchro and I wanna860 monza, be careful even with consultants. I in no way wish to cast any aspersions in any form whatsoever on Marcel but there are some stories around of a few other instances where "well known experts" have blessed some questionable cases. With the monies that can be at stake some may find the ability to find moral flexibility when there should be none.

    I don't have a solution. Do you convene multiple experts and see if there is a consensus? I actually appreciate napolis since he has been completely will to take some murky situations and put it out there openly for all to see and discuss/ague about.

    Jeff
     
  21. Napolis

    Napolis Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Here's another interesting one:

    http://www.rmauctions.com/FeatureCars.cfm?CarID=r188&SaleCode=AZ08
     
  22. iwanna860monza

    iwanna860monza Karting

    Sep 19, 2004
    237
    Jim

    The 450S is another fascinating "What if", I mean anything is possible and who is to know what happened in 1957, and books will only ever tell us so much. However the price the car is offered at suggests a large discount is being given for the potential history issues and further wouldnt it be great to see the car in historic racing being thrashed to within an inch of its life, because what is hurt, its not like someone would be potentially destroying a 50 year old example of italian craftwork, hmmmmm. What I am trying to suggest, with great subtlety is, Jim - BUY IT.

    Timmmmmmy
     
  23. solofast

    solofast Formula 3

    Oct 8, 2007
    1,755
    Indianapolis
    I agree Jim, go for it.... Nowadays, nothing is irreplaceable...

    I design and make prototype turbine engines for a living, absolutely cutting edge technology stuff using light alloys (titanium and aluminum) and high temperature nickel alloys (we laugh at temperatures that car guys get all sweaty over). With today's CAD technology I can (and literally do) make ANYTHING. And just about any part that would go into a classic car is included here, be it a block, tranny case or steering box, anything. If you gave me any part that you wanted to make, or a sketch or a photo of the original, I could create a CAD model, have a rapid prototype of the part made in plastic, and then have it cast in an appropriate material, have it machined, and you wouldn't be able to tell the difference from the original part, right down to a casting numbers and logo. This isn't something that most folks can afford, but I guess that if you have $2mil in a car and you NEED a block maybe $20k for a casting wouldn't be a big deal, all it takes is time and money. I guess my point here is that while it used to be that some of these old cars were irreplaceable, now they really aren't. So you can flog it just like Fangio and Moss did, and not really worry that you won't be able to fix it if you do break it.
     
  24. Napolis

    Napolis Three Time F1 World Champ
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    My racing days are over. I'm a "Demo" guy these days. It is an interesting car and would make a great Vintage racer. Many events would welcome it for sure. I wonder how the Shell Ferrari Challenge would feel about it running.
     
  25. Napolis

    Napolis Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Very interesting. I hope I never have to get in touch with you about a block but it's good to know. Technology is really incredible. P 4/5 has an on board computer that stores the entire car and all of it's components in CAD. Hoping not to need that either but it's good to have.

    Best
     

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