With the real thing costing $40 million, Jay Leno goes for a spin in a highly accurate Ferrari 250 TR replica
Replica is often seen as a dirty word in the world of classic cars as they are imitations of real icons. However, some machines are so unobtainable, with values stretching to many millions, that sometimes a high-quality replica is your only chance of ownership. This 1959 Ferrari 250 TR Tribute that visited Jay Leno’s Garage is pretty special due to its attention to detail and authenticity.
This car’s story begins in Italy, where Peter Giacobbi saw its body hung on a wall in a warehouse. It was a ‘proof of concept’ piece that its builder would hope to win Ferrari’s business with - something that didn’t work out, hence the body being hung on a wall for 50 years. Giacobbi bought it and decided to create the most authentic replica Ferrari 250 TR possible.
Using as many Ferrari parts as he could, this 250 TR replica sticks exceptionally close to the real car, even matching the number of bolts used on each panel. It has Ferrari suspension, transmission and rear end, and even a 4.4-liter Ferrari V12 engine of the period. Anything that couldn’t be acquired was handmade by experts to exacting details.
It took ten years to build the Ferrari 250 TR, longer than anticipated thanks to someone crashing into the project and almost destroying it. Giacobbi has visited the Ferrari factory in Maranello and actually spoke to Piero Ferrari, however, in true Ferrari fashion, the Prancing Horse didn’t want any attachment to a car it didn’t build itself.
"I think they appreciate it, but they really don’t want to have anything to do with it," said Giacobbi.
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Another reason for Giacobbi wanting to build a replica, besides the $40 million price tag of the real thing, is that he wanted to take it racing. A few modern safety related items such as a battery cut-off switch have been added to ensure that the car is compliant with motorsport regulations.
After a spin on the open road, Leno remarks: "There’s no modern car that gives you this sort of visceral thrill. I mean, [McLaren] P1s and the Ferrari Enzos, those are great, but they’re not like this. This is from the era when the man made the car.". A ringing endorsement for the vehicle.
We have to say, this replica 250 TR really looks to be something special.