Jeep + Ferrari = Bill Harrah’s 1969 Jerrari 4×4

Founder of the Harrah’s casino empire, Bill Harrah, amassed a massive car collection with upwards of 1,500 vehicles. Among them was his prized Jerrari – a case of what can be done to make lemonade out of lemons. The Jerrari is a Jeep Wagoneer with the nose from Harrah’s wrecked Ferrari 365 GT 2 + 2 grafted on! At one time, it was even powered by the 4.4 liter Ferrari V12 engine and 5-speed manual transmission. Find “Jerrari 1” here on Classic Driver with no price listed. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Mitchell G. for the find. 

Harrah saw a need that would eventually become one of the most popular vehicle styles of the modern era: an opulent SUV with oodles of horsepower. Given his fame and fortune, he even approached Enzo about the idea, who (rightfully) said his company’s DNA should never be associated with the likes of a station wagon. Thus, the Jerrari was born, with Harrah having his personal team of mechanics and craftsmen modify the Ferrari nose to fit a brand-new Wagoneer, while also transplanting the V12 drivetrain. The engine was later swapped into a Wagoneer that maintained its stock outside appearance, and that truck is known as Jerrari II.

Jerrari 1 may have a less exotic powerplant, but it’s still a low mileage Wagoneer with a beautiful interior. The wood-rimmed three-spoke wheel sure looks like the genuine article pulled from Harrah’s wrecked Ferrari, which was damaged when one of his personal technicians took it out for a spin. The Jerrari was later repainted from its factory colors to the current shade of British racing green, a favorite of Harrah’s. It looks great to this day, along with the factory interior. Incredibly, there are only 7,000 miles on the truck, and it shows. Not surprisingly, the Jerrari was as much of a celebrity as Harrah himself, well known among the various circles he traveled in.

Unfortunately, you’re not going to find the Ferrari V12 under the hood. That now lives in Jerrari II, which is a 1977 model that is on display at the National Automobile Museum in Reno, Nevada. Jerrari I now comes with what the listing calls an “original” 390 V8, but doesn’t specify whether it was removed from the Wagoneer before the V12 swap, or if it came from Jerrari II when the Ferrari mill was dropped into that one. Regardless, it looks right at home in the Ferrari engine bay, and while it may not make quite the same noises as an Italian V12, the custom snout is just as convincing. Would you rock this Jerarri?

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Comments

  1. angliagt angliagt Member

    I remember reading the article about the original in
    Road & Track,& have always thought it was a really cool
    vehicle.Also saw it in Reno at the 2011 MG meet.

    Like 10
  2. CCFisher

    A project like this done today would probably trigger legal action by Ferrari to protect their trademarks.

    The 390 is not the original engine. In 1969, Jeep was still Kaiser Jeep, and the available V8 was a Buick 350. By the time AMC took over, the 390 had been replaced by the 401.

    Like 7
    • Norm

      1968 AMX had 390 motors!

      • bog

        Norm – right on ! One of my Army buddies, another young and single Officer, brought one to Germany. And yes, we raced each other on the Autobahn. I had a one year older Fairlane GTA (also a high performance 390). I won. Can’t tell you how many AMC people have spouted stats at me over the years about that NOT happening. Hah, I say !

  3. Curt Lemay

    Amazing how much money can be amassed via vice.

    Like 13
    • Mikefromthehammer

      Having much money is not necessarily all it is cracked up to be.

      https://youtu.be/BnJeMnzJOcw

      Like 3
    • Gary

      Agreed. I want a brothel in my basement. Then maybe I could afford this car. How do you even get a lic to run a casino? Must be really well connected.

      Like 4
      • Cobra Steve

        @Gary, if I had a brothel in my basement, I’m afraid of what I would do. More-than-likely consume the profits…just thinkin’. Good thing where I live we do not have basements.

        Like 8
      • Gary

        Cobra, I feel ya brother, but I am too old to partake in the merchandise, I just want those cash profits from vice. Come on baby, Grandpa needs some more cars! I am surprised this is not legalized, taxed, and regulated. Seems like they have opened the floodgates on sin, why not go all the way? Besides, it is “natural”, so it must be healthy. Of course, when they do, only the big connected guys will have a chance to start a biz in this. Graft and corruption, even for stuff like this.

        Like 4
    • Gerard Frederick

      Behind every great fortune is a great crime – French philosopher Pascal. It´s as true today as at any time in history, in any country on earth.

      Like 3
  4. Euromoto Member

    “…Harrah’s wrecked Ferrari, which was damaged when one of his *former* personal technicians took it out for a spin.” There, fixed it for you.

    Like 10
  5. bobhess bobhess Member

    We lived just outside of Reno in the early ’70s and made many trips to Harrah’s museum and still didn’t see all the cars. What with two narrow gauge railroad trains, a Ford Trimotor hanging from the ceiling of the main display room, watching the restoration crews at work, you got the idea that Harrah could do most anything with any car or other vehicle. Interestingly, never saw the Jerrari.

    Like 9
  6. David Frank David Frank Member

    As I recall, the placard at the museum describing the Jerrari II tells of a race between Harrah in the Jerrati ll and his helicopter pilot in Harrah’s helicopter between Tahoe and Reno. The Jerrati ll is claimed to have won. (Well, that’s what the placard says anyway)

    Like 2
  7. Trevor

    The story should read,”I have my rich uncle’s wrecked Ferrari in the backyard and a jeep Wagoneer and a case of beer let’s make this happen!”

    Like 5
  8. Patrick Farmer

    This car is cool. It is better than a Ford Fairmont Station Wagon with a Ford Mustang nose. Old man Ferrari was a porcupine quill. I bet this one coming from a part of Italian culture that were not the Boy Scouts gave him the whistling poopskis. Station Wagons make great drag cars. I new a woman that ran a 1971 Torino wagon with a built 351 Cleveland. She was a terror to the competition. Women have a better Reaction Time than men, with that and all that glass holding down the rear end, she came out of the hole like a missile.

    Like 5
    • SDJames

      “whistling poopskis” is my new favorite phrase. The cars on this site are cool, but the comments are why I really come back everyday…

      Like 5
  9. bobH Member

    In my opinion, truly ugly. Somehow, in my distorted mind, it reminds me of a cross between a Citron and a Volvo. What a waste of a wagoneer. (Or, as some might say, what a waste of a Ferrari.) Enzo was right.

    Like 9
  10. Jack Quintrall

    That Sparks, NV museum was fabulous. They had a shop that could take an abandoned relic out of the desert, and make it like new. A few survivors remain at the National Auto Museum in Reno.

    Like 6
  11. Howie Mueler

    Yes this is proof someone had too much money, at least they did not paint it red.

    Like 1
  12. charlie Member

    Bill Harrah’s estate ended up with more cars than money, and so, much of the collection was sold off to help fund a museum for the rest. What this brings to mind is the collections of people like Jay Leno, Ralph Lauren, and other collectors, who, like the rest of us, are not eternal. Looking at the auction pages there are many small private collections that are being put on the market this year. I viewed the Dingman collection, half Ford products, half not, when he was alive, it all went to auction, it was a great collection that was rarely, if ever open to the public at large. I think those of us who can only afford one car as a hobby, should be happy with what we have!

    Like 10
  13. Charles Marks

    Anytime that anyone saves old cars from being crushed and sold for scrap, I’m there. Bill Harrah did just that. And not only upper crust name plates; lots of pedestrian cars that today would never be restored. As much an historian as a car guy.

    Like 10
  14. bobhess bobhess Member

    bobH…Kind of looks like the first catfish I ever caught….

    Like 1
  15. Barry Traylor

    yuck!

  16. Barry Traylor

    YUCK! What a horror

  17. John

    I’m not sure what to think of it, but at 6 feet tall, I’m not sure I’m tall enough to check the oil. LOL

  18. ROBERT STEVENS

    Nothing but butt-ugly!

    Like 1
  19. t-bone BOB

    Located in Germany

  20. Dan

    I think most of the people that are commenting on this page do not have a clue what Bill Harrah was about. He adopted two children in his older years. He never had any thing to do with the brothels and especially in his basement. You people who are ignorant of this maybe thinking of Joe Conforty the owner of the Mustang Ranch, and he himself was a very generous person who supported many worthy causes in Sparks and Reno. The truth is the car were swindled by the Holiday Inn Corporation, they bought Harrah’s and then took all the very valuable cars, Stuts Bearcats, and all the most expensive cars then sold Harrah’s right after. So if you are going to talk crap and show your ignorance at least know what you are talking about or don’t say anything at all.

    Like 3
    • Gary

      Relax friend. I was just making a joke about what someone else here said about how profitable vice is. I get it, you respect Mr H. Okay, but while he may not have been a practicing pimp per say, he still did get a great deal of profit from what every holy man in the world would consider a grave sin. And that sin sometimes causes bad things to some people. I would like to know how he was legally able to do that. What quiet deals did he do, legal? The car collection, great of course, but a person does eventually have to look into the roots of great wealth that buys all of that cool stuff.

      Like 1
      • Steve R

        The man has been dead for over 40 years, what’s to be gained by inquiring into how he made his fortune. If there was evidence it was accumulated illegally, the proper authorities would have looked into it decades ago. To suggest otherwise at this point in time points towards it being a vindictive witch-hunt.

        Steve R

        Like 4
    • David

      You are Exactly Right. Hagerty recently had a 3-part article on Harrah and his collection…and the sale of most of the collection by Holiday Inn. William Harrah was a Great Man.

      Like 1
  21. charlie Member

    Prostitution is regulated, and taxed, in Nevada, by county option – legal in some counties, not in others. It has been that way for decades. In the old days before cell phones, the Vegas and Reno yellow pages had dozens of ads for the legal ones, but, as I remember it, not in the counties where the two cities were located.

    Like 1
  22. Danny

    Just because you can, doesn’t mean you have too. Fugly.

  23. chrlsful

    an early Cherokee w/a Jag nose?
    Well, this is #2 for this yr’s BF: never seen B4 rigs.
    U do it for me 2, 3 X each yr. Can’t wait for the nxt one !
    Thnx,
    – -Chad

  24. martinsane

    I love it and if only i was born under an appropriate moniker i would carry a similar torch…

    For those that mentioned legalities your bucket isnfull of obvious holes. The guy owned both vehicles, chose to Frankenstein them together and enjoyed them. He didnt mass produce them or anything, so it seems you could would and should do the same today without any legal recourse, as again the cars are yours to do what you wish with.

    Like 1
  25. GCS Member

    It looks like a frog face on a wagoneer. Whatever floats your boat…The stock one with thecV-12 was probably fun.

  26. bog

    I wonder if he actually did approach Enzo(or the factory, for that matter) about building a Ferrari station wagon or 4X4. For those of you familiar with Enzo, or the brand carrying his name, money DID talk. And continues to talk if you’re the “right” person. They built a “one-off” custom for Eric Clapton, exactly the way he wanted it. The Sultan of Brunei’s family actually HAS Ferrari station wagons that were built for them, and some were gifts. And now, “horrors”, is a Ferrari SUV that’s sure prettier than the Jerrari I…..

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