Gullwing America Replicating a Rare Ferrari with the 340 Competizione
About a decade-and-a-half before the Baja 1000 was born, the epic Mexican motor racing adventure du jour was La Carrera Panamericana. Inaugurated in 1950 to celebrate the completion of (and contested along the Mexican leg of) the Panamerican Highway, this long, harrowing, juggling-chainsaws-while-sh*tfaced dangerous race attracted an eclectic mix of drivers and cars from the U.S. and Europe in each of its five runnings. The 1953 and ’54 events were rounds of the World Sportscar Championship, which brought the factory teams from the likes of Ferrari, Porsche and Mercedes-Benz into the fray.
Not surprisingly, most of the works team cars that competed in the race back in the day were made in microscopic numbers and specifically designed to handle the rigors of the Carrera Panamericana. One such vehicle was the aptly named Ferrari 340 Mexico of 1952. Just three of those stylish coupes were constructed. Well, soon there will be a fourth. Sort of. Huh?
The vehicle you see here (in conceptual rendering form) is a modern tribute to the 340 Mexico being constructed by Gullwing America, maker of heinously awesome Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing replicas. Dubbed the 340 Competizione, this new car’s lines definitely ape many of the Vignale-penned ones of the original. However, there have been some changes, such a revised front apron and larger, more modern taillights. The car sits considerably lower to the pavement, and rolls on gold-painted five-spoke wheels. Those attributes are partly due to an emphasis on performance, but mostly due to the fact that the 340 Competizione rides on a modern chassis.
Specifically, there’s a Ferrari 456 GT platform hiding underneath that ultra-retro aluminum bodywork. Look underneath and you’ll also find the 456’s 5.4L V12 (generating 470hp) and 6-speed manual transmission. The interior is also a mix of old and new, with a period-styled dash and gauges juxtaposed against a pair of leather-upholstered carbon fiber racing shells. You could say the cabin (if not the whole car) has something for everybody.
But the car itself is most definitely not available to everybody. For starters, the pricetag should reach well into seven-figures, if not cross into eight-figures. Another thing working against you is the fact only one 340 Competizione will be built; any more than that would put GWA and its customers at risk for being the subject of a Ferrari legal department-issued fatwa. So it would be easier to buy an original 340 Mexico, right? Well, those are 300% more plentiful, sure, but they’re also slower, worse handling, take longer to stop, require much more mechanical attention to keep them running properly. Oh, and the most recent one to change hands (chassis number 0224 AT) did so for $4.3 million this past March. Choose wisely.
Source: Gullwing America