“Ain’t nothing like the real thing, baby,” sang the legendary Marvin Gaye. The world is full of replicas, knockoffs and sad attempts intended to deceive the masses for some gain. There’s a reason people look out for fake Rolex watches or chomp down on pearls to test whether they’re authentic.
No matter how hard the reproductions try to imitate the real thing, they ain’t nothing like the real thing. The same idea applies to the world of automobiles where replicas run rampant. With the improved quality of parts and other advancements, it’s never been easier to make a fake car—at least on the outside.
If there’s one brand no one should ever mimic, but does, it’s Ferrari. These one of a kind cars go through a production process few other automakers can match. The idea that someone out of their garage can imitate their engineering is ludicrous.
In Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, there’s a scene where Jennifer Jason Leigh’s character plays the guitar. Kurt Russell seizes the instrument and breaks it as the cameras rolls. That made Leigh’s jaw fall to the floor. According to The Truth About Cars, it was a valuable Martin guitar that was almost 150 years old. The same source points out that this is why many films end up using fake Ferraris, especially if it’s an action scene that could result in damage to the vehicle.
We’re going to look at fake Ferraris used in both major Hollywood films and by tuners who tried to take a shortcut and ended up showing disrespect for the brand.
20 Magnum P.I. Reboot Ferraris
The original Magnum P.I. used real Ferraris, but the reboot is a different story. This time, it looks like they aren’t willing to shell out the cash for a real Ferrari, at least for one like the old show had. They even managed to destroy, as Autoblog points out, not one—but two Ferraris!
The first one was a Ferrari 458 Spider. Autoblog thinks it’s on a GM F body though from the looks of it. It appears like the second Ferrari, which is a 308 GTB, is real. It looks as though they used computer graphics for the scene where it gets destroyed much to everyone's relief.
19 Fake Ferrari F30
When a fake starts gaining attention and recognition, it causes enthusiasts to pause. We admit, this Ferrari F30 looks beautiful, but knowing it’s a copycat cheapens it. According to CarBuzz, this 1986 Pontiac Fiero got the Ferrari makeover so it could appear in a Michael Jackson music video.
In light of this fake Ferrari’s supposed historical connection, the owner won’t take less than $28,500 for it. That’s not all the attention this car got though. It also managed to win a Best in Show award. The brand must be boiling over this Pontiac Fiero posing in Ferrari's clothing when it could be a real one.
18 Lamborghini With Ferrari Badge
At first glance, a Lamborghini with a Ferrari badge makes one wonder if there’s some exclusive one-off collaboration between the two automakers. In reality though, as AutoEvolution reports, it was just a Lamborghini Huracan owner who slapped a Ferrari logo on the side.
This is a sacrilegious move both brands would find offense over, considering they’re both rivals. It’s one thing to misappropriate Ferrari’s logo, but it’s another thing to put it on a Lambo and share the photo. The only kind of special edition one-off we should be focusing on from Ferrari that actually exists is their P80/C track supercar.
17 Vanilla Sky 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO
The Ferrari 250 GTO is a beloved and valuable model. Part of what makes it so coveted is that they only made 36 in all, as per South China Morning Post. These cars have sold for as much as $80 million. So it's hard to blame the filmmakers behind Vanilla Sky for going with a fake one, especially when they have Tom Cruise on the payroll.
Hagerty points out that the Ferrari 250 GTO that appeared in the opening on the film is MIA on their list of unforgettable movie Ferraris simply because it's a fake. It takes a brave and wealthy film studio to actually put a real Ferrari in one of their action blockbusters.
16 Corvette Stingray Turned Ferrari
Car owners do the darndest things. This day in age, there aren’t any limits on what some will do to their rides, even if it offends a legend like Ferrari. Autoweek reports that this Corvette Stingray—an incredible car in its own right—has taken advantage of Ferrari's cache with the brand's badges.
While the Lambo before only appeared to have a single logo on the fender, this one goes all out. There isn’t just a logo on the fender, but the recognizable horse on all the wheels too. Ferrari can’t be too happy about seeing their brand’s iconic logo used on another car they had nothing to do with.
15 Fake Ferrari 308 GTB
From a distance, it might pass for a Ferrari 308 GTB. In reality, though, we’ve got another Pontiac Fiero on our hands, reports CarBuzz. While it might stir up nostalgia in fans of the original Magnum, P.I. show starring Tom Selleck, it’s a far cry from the real thing. Ferrari doesn’t take too kindly to these actions, even going so far as to take legal action in the past.
According to Car Throttle, Ferrari sued Corporate Concepts in 1987 for mimicking their 308. Not only does the brand have the money to do it, but the respect of car enthusiasts everywhere.
14 Ferrari FXX from Fast and Furious 6
Ferrari fans with keen eyes may notice something afoot when watching the opening of Fast and Furious 6. It only appears briefly, but there’s a shot of a Ferrari FXX rolling down the street with kids crowding around it to get a peek. According to Jalopnik, the car was not a bona fide Ferrari, but actually a kit car.
One could argue it’s just a film and that it’s not a big deal considering most of what one sees in a movie is fake. The problem is it doesn’t sit well with Ferrari, who Jalopnik reports even went so far as to shut down a company's website after posting photos of a fake Ferrari without consent.
13 Try To Spot The Fake
This photo pits two “Ferraris" against each other—one is real, the other fake. The one on the left is a Ferrari 458, which from here looks legit. The right “Ferrari,” on the other hand, has something amiss. The supposed F40’s hood looks stretched and completely off from the real thing.
The problem with copying iconic cars is enthusiasts will be able to detect much easier whether it's a real one or not. Copy a more obscure car, and the chances are lower someone will be able to spot the difference. For Ferrari fans, it’s a shame these two cars are even sitting side by side.
12 Corvette C4 Turned Ferrari
When someone encounters a real Ferrari, they know that every part of it comes from the legendary brand. When people make a fake Ferrari, it ends up being an abomination that cobbles together parts from different sources. This is unacceptable in the eyes of Ferrari and many car enthusiasts.
According to Corvette Online, this one is really a C4 Corvette made to look like a Ferrari. They note that someone bought it on eBay thinking it was a real Ferrari and ended up paying $100,000 for it. When someone tries to actually profit off Ferrari’s name and legacy, that’s when things sour to a whole new level of bad.
11 Ferris Bueller 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California
“The 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California,” says Cameron to his best friend Ferris Bueller. “Less than a hundred were made. My father spent three years restoring this car. It is his love. It is his passion.” That’s when Ferris, who’s looking to take the car out for a spin, makes a snarky comment: “It is his fault he didn’t lock the garage” (Movie Quote Database).
Those who’ve seen the movie are all too familiar with the Ferrari’s fate, which doesn’t end well. It may not surprise them then that the car was really a replica of a Ferrari 250 GT, as per The Drive.
10 Ford Cougar Turned Ferrari F430 Scuderia
If there’s one thing that grinds Ferrari’s gears, it’s got to be tuners profiting off the brand. The cars are so coveted, people are willing to shell out thousands for a replica kit car. This sorry example is a Ford Cougar made to look like a Ferrari.
According to Gumtree, it even had 109,405 miles on it at the time it went up for sale. Posing as a Ferrari 430, someone actually bought this kit car for what amounted to more than $15,000. We can’t blame Ferrari for wanting to prevent owners from pawning off the brand and all their hard work.
9 Fake Ferrari 308
There’s a lot that's wrong with this car, even for a replica. While someone had a Pontiac Fiero to work with as the frame, they didn’t use it to the full advantage as far as fake Ferraris go. The wheels don’t look good and the dashboard—in other photos—look nothing like an actual 308’s.
Car Throttle even has a little fun pointing out some of its flaws, including a unicorn logo on the steering wheel. We can hear the execs at Ferrari’s headquarters from here screaming about this bad replica, which the owner even went so far as to try and sell it off as a real Ferrari 308.
8 Miami Vice 1972 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona
We hate to break the news to fans of the hit show Miami Vice: Don Johnson didn’t drive a real Ferrari. While Johnson's character drives a 1972 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona in the show, Hagerty reports the body sits on a Corvette chassis. That’s a sneaky move on the producers’ part.
The same source goes on to note that the car did blow up in the show, which wasn’t a huge loss. The show somewhat redeemed itself when it brought in a real Ferrari Testarossa, perhaps after feeling guilty for deceiving viewers for so long. We hope Ferrari forgave the show in retrospect.
7 Peugeot 406 Coupe Turned Ferrari F360
The world is full of Ferrari replicas. It drives the brand crazy that there are so many wannabes running amok. It also supports the mystique that exists surrounding Ferrari owners. According to Kit Car Empire, some tuner sought to make a Ferrari F360 using a Peugeot 406 coupe as the frame.
That seems like a reasonable alternative to a Pontiac Fiero, which seems to be the preferred frame for Ferrari replicas. While tuners and kit cars deserve kudos for their miming skills, Ferrari is none too happy with these kit cars cropping up. It’s only asking for trouble from a brand that’s taken great lengths to protect itself in the past.
6 Fake Ferrari 328 GTS
Should Ferrari hold replicas and their tuners accountable to the same rules they do its real car owners? This is a philosophical question for car enthusiasts to ponder. On the one hand, it’s arguable that when one gets a hold of a car they can do whatever they want to it from a custom standpoint.
Others may look down on it, but they agree that tuners can change the body however they want. The other side argues there are cars held to sacred automobile laws, and that copying iconic Ferrari models is unacceptable. This replica falls short of a 1987 Ferrari 328 GTS, suggesting rules are necessary.
5 Tower Heist 1963 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso
In the action movie The Rock, they ended up using a genuine Ferrari. According to Hagerty, both Nicolas Cage and the director, Michael Bay, are such huge fans of Ferrari they couldn't settle for a replica. That wasn’t the case though for the 2011 action film Tower Heist starring Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy.
They actually used a fake 250 Lusso in that movie, as per the same source. The real robbery that took place was the audiences who saw this movie expecting to see a real Ferrari. Don’t forget to check out cars Nicolas Cage owned before he went broke.
4 Pontiac Fiero Turned Ferrari 308 GTS
There’s no shortage of Pontiac Fieros on this list posing as Ferraris. The car does offer a suitable platform for Ferrari replicas, but it’s not going to rub the brand the right way. They would consider this an act of heresy. It doesn’t help the car’s image that it’s standing in what looks like a parking garage in Las Vegas.
One can spot the recognizable Luxor Hotel sitting in the background amid the foggy atmosphere. The setting seems like the perfect place for a fake Ferrari to reside in. Perhaps it should remain in exile there to avoid Ferrari’s wrath.
3 Kia Stinger With Ferrari Badges
This photo speaks for itself, but it would be an injustice not to defend Ferrari. As much as a Kia Stinger is a worthy car in its own right, a Ferrari badge has no place being anywhere near one. That’s not to discredit Kia either. It’s only meant to highlight Ferrari, which rightly belongs in its own separate category. There are few brands one can say about that.
It may be just a small logo with a yellow background and black horse, but in the auto world, that means prestige and panache. Even something as simple as the color red has become synonymous with the famous brand.
2 Fake Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa
If it was possible in a garage somewhere, as opposed to the factory Ferrari works out of, then perhaps replicas like these would be more acceptable. From a quick glance though, one can easily see this aspiring Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa has never been anywhere near Ferrari's factory.
The Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa was a pioneering race car that tested out a 3.1-liter engine at Le Mans, according to Sports Car Digest. It’s fun to imitate the greats as this car does, but some models should be off limits. Furthermore, brands ought to be off limits too. Ferrari isn’t a brand tuners want to mess with, no matter how good the replica looks.
1 Fake Ferrari Dino
Yikes. Here’s Frankenstein’s monster roaming the streets in broad daylight looking the worse for wear. Intended to be a Ferrari Dino, this attempt at a reproduction lacks the prominent passenger compartment featured on the original. CarBuzz reports that someone listed this Ferrari wannabe for about $20,000, which is a lot for a kit car of this caliber.
Giving this car the benefit of the doubt, they do mention it has a V8, which will help drivers pretend it’s a Ferrari for the first few minutes. Once the illusion wears off though, they’ll wonder where their $20,000 went and whether they should’ve just put it towards the real thing.
Sources: The Truth About Cars, Jalopnik, AutoEvolution, The Drive, Movie Quote Database, South China Morning Post, Hagerty, Autoblog, Corvette Online, Autoweek, Gumtree, Car Throttle, CarBuzz, Kit Car Empire, Sports Car Digest