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Blown Ferrari gets bowtie boost

2011-04-18 08:13

STARS AND STRIPES FERRARI: Ferrari’s very rare, very lightweight F360 GT. Why does it read SS 427 on the side though?

Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Ferrari
Model F360 GT
Engine 7l twin-turbo V8
Power 735kW
Jason Thorgalsen is a Californian photographer who speciialises in automotive subjects.

As a perk of his profession he gets to see, position and capture some pretty rare and exotic cars.

Recently, Thorsgalsen was privileged to visit the garage of a (very) wealthy Southern Californian car enthusiast to photograph his extensive collection of supercars.

Featuring an equal split of four Ferraris and Porsches, with two Paganis and a Lotus thrown in for good measure (there was a RUF widebody parked somewhere in the corner), the anonymous owner of all these fantastic cars Thorsgalsen was photographing obviously had impeccable taste.

On closer inspection, though, one of his four Ferraris, a very rare an circuit-legal only F360 GT, illustrated that impeccable taste in supercars and plain automotive witchcraft sometimes orbit in awfully close proximity.

BIG-BLOCK FERRARI?

Look at the deep yellow F360 GT in question and you'll notice  it has some rather interesting side-script insignia bearing ‘SS 427’.

Any petrolhead worth their Martini-liveried racing jacket will immediately make the correlation between that inscription and Chevrolet’s seminal 7-litre big-block V8. Corvette pushrod V8 power in a Ferrari? Indeed.

With such a broad collection of supercars under his roof, the F360 GT owner decided to have some fun and Americanise his bright yellow Ferrari after the car blew its standard 3.6-litre V8 at a track-day event. Legendary Corvette performance specialist Lingenfelter was commissioned to assemble and transplant a 735kW big-block V8 into the F360 GT.

Lingenfelter’s signature performance engine for its Corvette power upgrade is a twin-turbo big-block V8 and, surprisingly, it nestled 'midships in the F360 GT without requiring much in the way of bodywork alteration.

It has nearly twice the swept capacity (and less than half the valves) of the GT’s original 3.6-litre V8 but we are not quite sure how this track-day only car’s impeccable handling will be affected by the Lingenfelter conversion. One thing is certain – it is hardly going to be any slower in a straight line than any other Ferrari, the current 150-series F1 car included.

BORN IN THE USA: You don’t really expect a Ferrari to be running around with this badge on the back, now do you?…

The F360 GT’s standard paddle-shift transmission was never going to cope with this American V8’s output so Lingenfelter’s engineers recommended a Weismann six-speed semi-auto transmission.

Although we suspect the F360 GT's handling has been slightly compromised - by the additional mass burden this pushrod-actuated lump of an American V8 engine has brought to bear on this lightest of all Ferrari F360 models - it remains a rather mad idea executed with outstanding pioneer style. Before the purists complain, at least the owner kept those original F360GT specification alloy wheels instead of replacing them with ZR1 mags...

Brand traditionalists will obviously recoil at the thought of a Chevrolet-powered Ferrari, yet somehow that bowtie badge doesn't seem at all out of place against the mesh background of this F360 GT’s rear – now does it?
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