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Firebird Donor: Ferrari 308 Replica Kit Car

Another day, another forgotten kit car project that is doing its best to look like a Ferrari. This attempt at building a copy of one of the most iconic Ferrari profiles ever made has stopped well short of the goal line in terms of reaching a meaningful completion. The seller has at least chosen a different platform than a Fiero to base it on, so you’re getting a V8 instead of an anemic four-cylinder, but that may be where the good news stops. Still, it has some other highlights like a set of Recaro bucket seats and some period-correct alloy wheels, so perhaps not all hope is lost. Find it here on craigslist for – gulp – $12,000 in Miami, Florida.

Well, perhaps I should stop being so optimistic right there and then. That’s a lot of scratch for a car like this and in this sort of condition, so this could be a case of the seller being told to get rid of the car and then pricing it so high that it never actually leaves. I have to give credit to the original designer of the kit, as the fake Ferrari actually does a half-decent job at being a copycat, even if the size of the headlight doors alone gives it away as being a clone. The bodywork is so-so, as it was obviously painted at one time but now that top layer is stripping away – a bad paintjob to begin with or too many years in the Florida sun, you decide.

The interior is definitely a highlight, as those look like half-decent Recaro seats with a pretty slick upholstery job to remind anyone sitting in it that they are riding in a vehicle designed to look like a Ferrari. Evidently, someone spent some real money at some point, as the back seat is also done up to match the fronts. The door panels likewise sport a two-tone look. The seller adds that it comes with removably glass T-tops and power windows that still work. The listing notes he has owned the replica Ferrari for 15 years and has now lost interest in finishing it, a common plight for owners of replicas like these.

The good news is that 5.0L V8 that’s under the hood has under 500 miles on it and was apparently rebuilt by a professional machine shop, so there’s some value in the drivetrain alone. The doors are said to operate via poppers and the seller claims you’ll get plenty of attention driving this Faux-arrari around town. The list of needs isn’t short, ranging from the obvious fiberglass and paint repairs to apparently some wiring issues connected to the gauges that fail to relay any useful information. The asking price likely reflects the years of effort and storage the seller has committed to keeping this thing around, but it’s going to require a fair amount of discounting to move it to a new home.


  1. Frank

    This is not a kit car!

    This is a Mera which was sold new at Pontiac dealers.

    They even had Philip Michael-Thomas of Miami Vice fame as a spokesperson for these things.

    Like 2
    • Brian Ashe

      Nope. The Mera was based on the Fiero, not the Firebird. There are no pictures of the engine bay in the ad, but the center console has a handbrake, so it’s not a Fiero — those had the handbrake by the driver’s door sill.

      Like 12
      • Frank

        You’re correct. My mistake I’m confusing my fake ferraris – this is NOT a Mera – it’s a Machiavelli Max. That’s the firebird-based, factory-Pontiac-dealer sold Ferrari 308 clone that the Miami Vice guy was shilling.

        Like 1
      • PRA4SNW

        Frank, Right in the ad, the seller states that it is NOT a Machiavelli Max.

        I have to say that the Max actually looks pretty good. This one still looks too much like a Firebird.

        Like 1
  2. Frank

    This is not a kit car! It is a Mera which was sold new at Pontiac dealers in the late ’80s.

    Like 1
    • Cyndi Hershey

      That’s not a Miera.

      Like 0
  3. Claudio

    The biggest mistake in this car ad is the price

    It should be corrected to $1200.00

    And the rear seat was not an option on a fiero

    Like 11
    • Brian Ashe

      Claudio, good catch on the rear seats. That’s a pretty big hint that it’s not a Fiero. :-)

      Like 0
  4. Marco

    I can’t stop laughing, except maybe long enough to throw up! What an embarrassment.

    Like 6
  5. MarveH

    I never understood the desire to make a fake Ferrari. These toupee transformations will never drive, feel, or handle like a real Ferrari so they are done for just the looks. So are you trying to make people think you’re richer than you are as this is parked outside your double-wide?

    Like 4
  6. Red Car Club

    Jeff Lavery, Hemmings says there were NO “anemic four-cylinder” Pontiac Meras.

    “The Pontiac Mera may look like a Ferrari 308, but underneath its fiberglass replacement body beats the 2.8-liter V-6 heart of the Pontiac Fiero. Don’t call it a kit car, though, since Mera models were only available as new cars, sold through a select group of Pontiac dealers with a full GM warranty. Mera production began in 1987 and lasted into 1988 before the inevitable lawsuit from Ferrari put an end to the company after 247 examples were constructed (all with V-6 engines).”

    Like 1
  7. malcolm boyes

    With the B$ Ferrari badges removed on the outside this might be fun to run around in. Hard to believe anyone will think this really is a Ferarri so why not just enjoy a tarted up Firebird.

    Like 2
    • Claudio

      Malcolm , i agree
      Remove all of the ferrari fakeness and enjoy as a custom car
      A firebird was not a great car but it was far from awful
      Reliable and comfortable
      But the price is still in the clouds
      I guess that where the seller is !

      Like 1
  8. Jace F.

    If it was cheap, I’d just buy it for the Recaro seats and the engine/transmission and put them in something worthwhile.

    Like 2
  9. Mike

    Car cover is OFF! Let’s give the seller a thumbs up for that. As for the rest of the car? Meh…

    Like 2
  10. 433Jeff

    Ferrari sues pontiac i like the idea maybe not this car, nice!

    Like 0
  11. Phipps


    Like 1
  12. Guardstang

    I wouldn’t even own a fake Rolex watch.

    Like 0
  13. Howie Mueler

    They have owned it for 15 years and no longer has the time to finish it, how slow do they move? And lost interest, really.

    Like 5
  14. laurence

    I remember these Fire-rraris (or Ferra-birds?…) being advertised in the ’80s. They look much more Firebird than Prancing Horse. No pun intended (or is it?), but these “replicas” that make a mockery of the true meaning of the word “replica”, are for the “birds”!

    Like 1
  15. Sam Shive

    $120.00 is still too much money

    Like 0
  16. Kenn

    Howie Mueler, it took me 20 years to complete a cedar strip canoe. I’m not a slow mover, just had a family to raise and life to live. Jeeze Louise it’s becoming depressing to read all the disparaging comments folks in their ivory towers or on their high horses are dispensing.

    Like 3
  17. MoPar Mike

    Makes me want to make a Ferrari look like a Pontiac, not that I’d ever afford a Ferrari.

    Like 1
  18. jwaltb

    There is no resemblance to a Ferrari here. $12 maybe.

    Like 0
  19. Claudio

    One must pay the average selling price of a beat up firebird of same year and use it as a modified bird as long as all the bogus fake stuff is removed
    So, whats the going rate of a used bird nowadays ?

    Like 0

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