In love with classic coachbuilt Ferraris of the 1950’s but unable to find or afford one in Mexico City, Jose Fernandez has spent the last 57 years building his own tribute car to the classic Cavillinos he loves so much. It all started with a book about Ferrari that he discovered in a bookstore, where he was so taken by the beautiful, sleek designs of 250 Europas and 340 Americas that he went home and carved his own dream car out of a block of balsa wood. Years later, he commissioned a full-scale foam and plastic model of what he dreamt his perfect Ferrari would look like. The next steps were the hardest though. He spent decades finding someone who could build a body based on his design that would fit over a 330 GTC chassis that he had shipped down to Mexico City from New York. Once a body was finally ready, it took years of refinement to get it to fit like it should, and then came all of the interior assembly and other details that needed to be finished. In the end, Jose ended up with a backdated Ferrari that he always dreamed of, even though it isn’t actually a factory-built Ferrari. He doesn’t care though. He’s passionate about the brand and loves the car he now gets to drive. To read more about this amazing project that took decades to become a reality, head over to Classic Driver.
There’s a really wide-ranging but obscure world just chock-full of handmade fiberglass cars out there. Although most of the popular fiberglass kit cars are designed to emulate popular designs from manufacturers like Porsche, Shelby, and Ford, there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of original designs out there made in small batches that utilized existing chassis and drivetrain options. It seems that quite a few of these designs have turned up on the property of Geoff Hacker in Tampa, Florida. Check out the video from Hagerty’s Barn Find Hunter series above and learn more about some of these wacky and innovative designs from the 1950s, 60s, and 70s that never quite made it to the mainstream.
Although not a kit car, this one-off mid-engined sportscar called the Sinthesis 2000 was a marriage of European design with American engineering and craftsmanship. Designed by Tom Tjaarda and built by Peter Giacobbi, the car stayed very true to the brief, which was to be something light, nimble, and rigid, but also efficient and fun to drive. With a steel tube chassis and aluminum bodywork hiding the mid-mounted 2.0-liter flat-4 engine, the Sinthesis only weighs about 2,200 lbs, making it a delight to drive. Unlike other people who get started building their own cars from scratch, it doesn’t seem like Peter ever had plans to put the car into any sort of production. Instead, he chooses to enjoy the car for himself, taking pride in the work he did to build it. To see a collection of photos of the Sinthesis 2000 Berlinetta, head over to Petrolicious.
On the cutting edge of amateur motorsports is the World Time Attack Challenge or WTAC. This series features extensively modified street cars that are pushing the limits of aerodynamics, chassis development, and power in a never-ending quest to chip away at lap times. Many of the cars that compete in WTAC are developed and built by small teams of enthusiastic engineers with minimal support, especially compared to other disciplines of motorsport like NASCAR, Formula 1, or WEC but that doesn’t seem to have any impact on the level of innovation coming out of this series. From the trick multi-piece carbon fiber brake rotors to the custom billet aluminum engine blocks, these cars were built for speed. To learn more about the lengths these teams have gone in the pursuit of speed, check out the article on Speedhunters.
When you think of a 1946 Willys Jeep, you don’t really think of a canyon-carving go-kart. In stock form, these were utility vehicles in every sense of the word, with only about 60 hp and designed to go over just about any terrain. Then you’ve got this thing, which is about as wild as a build can get, where the owner did a complete 180 from what the vehicle was designed to do. With over 200 hp from the Nissan SR20DET engine going to a Toyota Corolla rear differential and 60’s Mustang suspension to soak up the bumps, you can bet this old Jeep is an absolute riot to drive!