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Ferrari 250GT Traversa (Crossmember)

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Ferrari 250GT Traversa (Crossmember)

Building an exact replica of every nut and bolt is a long and tedious process guaranteed to produce design and measurement mistakes along the way. While access to the original cars is limited, finding the original frame without a body attached is even more difficult.

I could purchase an old, rusty 330GTE frame which is almost identical to a 250GT frame but that also has it’s drawbacks.

Here is a horrible example of a Ferrari 330GTE frame.

Ferrari started mass producing cars in the mid sixties. The 330GTE was one of its most successful models to date no matter what you think of it’s look! The frame is the same basic design used on the 250GT coupe, GTO and California along with many other models from the same period.

1963 Ferrari 330GTE America

If we are going to all the trouble of building a reproduction, why don’t we just go a step further and build the car better than it would have been done in the 1960’s? We have an advantage over the craftsman back then in that we can use modern manufacturing techniques to build what they couldn’t due to technical limitations of the time.

The first part for us to build will be the front steering and suspensions system. This is also the most complicated part on the vehicle other than the engine and drive train.

250GT Front Suspension with crossmember (traversa)

But if we don’t build it using the exact same techniques with the same parts, are will still building a real Ferrari? Well that depends on what your goal is. For me, I want to learn the techniques along with the artistic thinking that went into the build and design of each vehicle back then. It’s not about making “a fake”, it is about learning to be a better artist and inventor. The amount of design time I will spend in Solidworks to build each part will also help me become more proficient with the software. It’s all about learning and making a better looking, award worthy reproduction of the original cars. Parts are scarce for the originals so it’s also about using parts that are readily available or easy to manufacture in small quantities.

If we use an original and expensive 330GTE frame, technically it is still a real Ferrari with just different body panels. It was actually common for the Italians to “re-body” cars from that period. The problem is that used, Ferrari 330GTEs even in poor shape now go for around $300,000.00 not to mention that we would be destroying a valuable piece of automotive history.

Times have changed and these classic cars are very expensive. We have to find a better way.

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