Fauxrrari! McBurnie Replica Ferrari 250 GTO

Auto enthusiasts associate the phrase “McBurnie replica Ferrari” with the Corvette-based Ferrari Daytona replica used on the 1980s super-series Miami Vice. McBurnie Coachcraft also produced a Datsun / Nissan Z-based Ferrari 250 GTO replica. This example resides in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, and could be yours with a high bid here on eBay.

This McBurnie achieves the difficult task of appearing well-proportioned and attractive from many angles. The bodywork recalls the original in a convincing and appealing way. The top left hatch opening warns that fiberglass and rust repair will accompany the mechanical revival of this Japanese GTO, last tagged in 1991.

This page on mecum.com details modifications made by McBurnie, and notes on a similar car from the 1991 movie Delirious. I’ve driven several Datsun and Nissan Z cars and they all offer razor-sharp steering, excellent communication of grip, and a driving experience that’s probably as close to a Ferrari as most drivers could discern.

While it may be tempting (and possible) to envision a small-block Chevy 350 V8 transplant, the sky is the limit on building the Datsun / Nissan inline six. The fastest car I ever drove was a ’72 Datsun 240Z with a later 2.8 built by Leitzinger Motorsport. Considering its 9000 RPM redline and factory tach I was given the simple instruction to “shift when the needle disappears.” Considering well-sorted Shelby Cobra replicas typically sell between $25,000 and $40,000, the single bid of $10,200 seems reasonable for a vehicle with great performance potential and rare and attractive Ferrari good looks. Where do you value this discarded replica super-car?


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  1. Trevor Burnett

    I love this….

  2. Mark in WNC

    Looks a bit rough and these early Z cars were bad to rust. A 260 ,as the seller puts it,is not a “ZX”.

  3. XMA0891

    First time seeing one of these. Painting with a broad-brush, I’d say it is one of the best looking replicars I’ve ever seen. I kind-of like the shabby looks of this one for some reason. Killer wire wheels complete it. Z’s were great cars!! Did like to rot… Nice find!

  4. Rick

    “Properly fixed/restored worth $40-800K”…. uh, no. It’s a replica. Worth what someone will pay.. maybe $15K tops if it’s “restored”.. I love me a seller who “knows what he’s got”…

    Like 1
  5. Dolphin Member

    If someone really likes kit cars this could work for them. Starting with a 260Z body and making it look a bit like a Ferrari 250 GTO isn’t the worse looking car ever made. In fact, it’s been thought that the original 240Z was inspired by the shape of some famous ’60s Ferraris, which probably has a lot to do with this car looking a lot better some of the kit cars of the past. The fact that no Ferrari of the ’60s ever had a large opening rear hatch like this car is a problem however.

    But even good 260Zs are rising in value now, so you will have to figure that a fake ‘Ferrari’ might not fit with everyone’s idea of a collectible, and might not increase in value once it’s in your garage. The seller is offering potential values for this car in “fixed/restored” condition of “40K-800K & up”. Possibly there might be one person on the planet who might pay $40K for a ‘properly fixed/restored’ car like this, but the “800K & up” number is pure fantasy.

    The basic car under the added ‘glas bodywork is misdescribed by the seller. As Mark said, it’s based on a 260Z. The seller’s description of the car being based on a 260 ZX is wrong. There was never a 260 ZX Datsun. And being a 260Z with the flat top carbs, it will not perform as well as a properly running early 240Z.

    • Adam T45 Staff

      Hey gord, on the one that you’ve left the link to, it is fitted with black wheels that look similar to Nascar wheels. Do you know what they actually are? I’ve never seen them here in Australia, but I quite like them.

      • Rustowner

        You’re close with the NASCAR thought. They’re indeed circle track wheels. Possible from one of the major companies like Aero, Bart or Basset. Hope that helps.

  6. Pookie Jamie P

    This looks like the car that was on Fantomworks the other day.

  7. Adam Wright

    They made a convertible version that had nice lines too.

  8. Wagon master Member

    The featured one is looking for serious buyers. Maybe if he presented himself as a credible serious seller he might find one. I like the latter example posted by @gord !

  9. 8banger dave Member

    At the end of the day, it’s just a Z, and a tired one at that. I love Zs and had a snappy little 240 years back. Great little cars, but as mentioned, they are prone to surrendering to the Tin Worm – especially the front (boxed) frame areas and such. Where are all the Scarabs?

  10. Wagon master Member

    Besides, the pristine film hero car only brought $35k at Mecum, but in a down market at that time! Maybe $50-60 ish now for that condition …. prime time at BJ of course!!

  11. grant

    The kind of ad that irritates me the most, from the inaccurate description to the “worth 800k restored!” and the cherry on top is the string of completely unrelated “keywords” at the bottom. Surprised it’s been bid as high as it has.

    • Pete

      Probably bid up that high by a friend of the seller or his other ebay profile. LOL.

      I actually like the cars lines and looks. If I had the money I would buy it just for fun to mess with people.

  12. Derek

    Nice looking car. Maybe better than the original Ferrari.

    • Brakeservo

      Maybe better than the original Ferrari – really?? Last GTO at public auction brought $38.5 Million and a private sale at a rumoured $56 or $52 Million, so yeah, I suppose this $1500 fiberglass fantasy is easily better!!?? To my mind, nothing speaks of “cheap kit kar” more than one of those horrid Grant steering wheels and cheap vinyl upholstery.

  13. englishcarguy

    This thing has been on and off eBay for over a year. I always see it in my TVR search probably due to the “keywords”. Including pictures of a real GTO is what gets me. It has NOTHING to do with a real GTO, NOTHING.

  14. Victor Anderson

    I’d say the seller is clueless or trying to rip some one off. fixed/restored” condition of “40K-800K & up” … I assume he means 80K not 800k — but anyway in 100% perfect condition I doubt you’d get more that 22k for it — might get close to 30k if the running gear was swapped out to a V8 with different transmission, rear end, brakes,suspension, etc etc etc. In other words – if you paid nothing for this car, by the time you put the money in it to fix it up, it wouldn’t be worth what you put into it. Sometimes you run across a car that’s not worth the money even if the car is free. This appears to be one of them.

  15. Adam T45 Staff

    It would probably be worth more if the replica kit were ditched and it was restored to original condition.

  16. Doyler

    Drop an Alfa Busso in for some Italian Music?

  17. Chuck

    Having owned four “Z” cars back in the day (’72,’73,’74 & ’77) I wish they had left the original dash. It looked far better than that monstrosity.

  18. Brakeservo

    I didn’t know McBurnie had anything to do with these, as far as I remember it was Joe Alphabet who started the whole GTO on a 240Z thing.

  19. Brakeservo

    Seller shoots himself in the foot as far as any sort of credibility goes by including a copy of a genuine Ferrari powered aluminum bodied GTO replica and trying to equate it to the value of his plastic fantastic.

  20. Wayne

    Hello Mate! AdamT45
    Go to Summit Racing, wheels, bolt pattern and select price low to high. These will come up in a couple of different brands. I have used these on older 50s, 60s and 70s cars where I wanted wider wheels so that the “new” radials would look, ride and handle properly. And then put the stock wheel covers back on for a stock/period look.

    • Adam T45 Staff

      Thanks so much for that Wayne. I appreciate it.

  21. Cris

    There’s one of these local to me here in Colorado. When the owner shows up at car events he’s ALWAYS wearing a black satin members only jacket with Ferrari logo’s front and back.

  22. Dutch 1960

    I think it was one of these that was taken to a Ferrari 250 GTO reunion, some years back, at Laguna Seca or Sonoma. It blended right in, and the owners of the real thing didn’t pick up on it. They even got their car in the group photo at the start/finish line, as they do at those things. Road &Track wrote it all up (though it sounds like something more out of the old Car & Driver, to be honest).

    I don’t know if it says something about the quality of the reproduction. Maybe it says more about the quality of the average Ferrari owner.

    • angliagt angliagt Member

      That was an MGA custom that was taken to Laguna.
      I have that article here,somewhere.

      If you bought this,you’d really get tired of hearing
      “Is that your Ferrari?”.

  23. Michael thomas

    they are not bad kits when installed properly but that’s the problem. They were kits and the garage builder that installed them used fiberglass to install the panels to metal. Today we actually have bonding products that work. This owner is stupid as you can get. He list former sales and compare this to a aluminum bodied replica that was built with all Ferrari running gear and is very close to a real GTO and built by one of the best, worth close to a million . Not this kmart kit car version.

  24. sluggo

    These McBurnie kits are one of the best kits on the market in days gone by,, these days I would say Factory 5 is the best, and not cheap by any means. (most factory 5 replicas DO start at $50,000) But the prices for this type of kit car are all over the map depending on the quality of the skills and workmanship of the builder.
    I was after one of these for years and timing was never right. I missed out on a partially completed kit on a Z for around $5k about 7 years back.. But I bought a different kit car project instead. (Fiberfab Banshee/Caribee)
    So, just depends on the price you can settle at, but dont turn your nose up at these,, they are a good kit, just needs to fit your budget. The Z cars as donors are a good choice. ALL the Z car issues are easy to resolve. Some great Z car forums will walk you thru it. (AlteredZ.com is a good place to start).
    V8 conversions if done right are great. See the Jags that run forever website for a good conversion manual.
    Protip- A old school SBC and 5 speed is only 40 pounds difference than the stock drive train. (Assuming alloy intake, water pump and headers) But the SBC transforms these cars.
    a late model 280Z rear diff swap will get you posi and the same size ring gear and setup as a late corvette and is a common upgrade. ALL the suspension, brakes and handling is covered with a wide variety of products out there. How fast do you want to go?
    But I DO agree the stock Z car dash is FAR more attractive. I am using a 1974 260Z for my donor car as well.

  25. Harry Hodson

    (kicking myself once again )
    I test drove one very similar ( much wider rear rim/tire set up ) at a used car dealer 15+years ago.
    Had the salesman curled on the floorboard after hitting a 90 degree corner WAY to fast.
    back then they were asking $1800.
    (another stiff booting)

  26. Jose Delgadillo

    I’ve had several early and later Zs and I loved them. Would I drive this? Sure, but I wouldn’t try to fool anyone into thinking it was a real Ferrari. I’d put some Datsun badges on it, and definitely no Members Only jacket! Come to think of it, I’d drive one of those Porsche 917 Lazer kit cars. I guess I have no pride.

  27. sluggo

    Jose, I am with you,,,I have a Fiberfab banshee/Caribee kit car project and the donor is a 1974 260Z

  28. Kevin Rosier

    It always amazes me so many cars of this type I’ve seen over the years that never got completely finished. Seems everyone advertised or seen in person says”still needs ______ finished, hooked up, etc. I’ll guess the builders ran out of time, money, patience or just got bored. That or the wife demanded the new mini van be parked IN the garage.

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