Ferrari 250 GTO Replica: Based On A Nissan 280Z With A BMW V12!

We love hearing from our readers. Especially when they send us one of a kind replicas that they have single handedly put together and engineered themselves at home! But what we respect more about Michelle and Haley is that they aren’t those kind of people that create a replica and try to convince others that their creation is 100% accurate -even though we’re 110% sure that 9 out of 10 passers-by would mistake this replica for the real thing. The reason for that is the passion that went into creating this car.

Michelle and Haley bought the 1977 Nissan 280Z based replica from eBay in 2001. At that point the car was essentially a 280Z with a Ferrari 250 GTO outfit as everything else remained stock. The two gear head gals drove the semi-replica for about 6 years up until last February when they decided to take action and turn the 250 GTO replica into something more desirable.

As Michelle noted on her email to us, “Every single body panel has been changed. Some of it began as Alpha1, Scorpionz and others, but all of it has been extensively modified by me”. And yes Michelle, we’re all impressed with the result! But these two didn’t stop with the body. Not only did they replace the original 6cylinder engine and the 5speed gearbox with a BMW V12 powerhouse combined with a 6speed Getrag gearbox, but they also converted the replica to RHD just to make it more special! However, since it’s their master creation, we'll let one of the builders, Michelle, give the full description. -Continued: Click “Read More…” below

Thanks for the email Michelle!

I thought you might like this one, It’s ours, and we built it at home. It’s a conglomeration of several kits and a lot of custom parts. I like to think of it as more of a street rod version of a 250 GTO than a replica per se as it’s not 100% accurate, it’s more the look and sound of a 250GTO racer, but with a full interior and more modern drivetrain, suspension, and brakes.

It began life as a 1977 280z. About 16 years ago a father and son turned it into a Ferrari GTO replica. They installed an Alpha1 kit but left the rest stock, 6 years ago Haley (my best friend and co-owner) and I got it on ebay. We drove it until last Feb when we decided to essentially change everything about it.

Every body panel has been changed. Some of it started as Alpha1, Scorpionz and others, but all of it has been extensively modified by me. We reduced the size of the hood opening. There are a lot of things on our car you don't see on any other GTO replicas. The vents in the rear 1/4 are metal and functional, the three openings below the grill are present, trap door on the nose between the hood and grill is there and functional.

The rear hatch was discarded and a trunk was fashioned. A rollbar and race seats were intalled, we converted it to right hand drive (just to be different) A custom dash fabricated. A rollbar was installed however we are contemplating a more solid cage. The wheelbase was stretched 4.25" and the firewall was recessed to make it better proportioned and to make room to lower and move back the engine to lower and move back the center of gravity.

Out went the 6 cylinder and 5 speed, in went a BMW V12 and Getrag 6 speed (think BMW 850csi). The engine has been converted to dry sump, manual Dellorto throttles, and has no distributors. Fuel and ignition is managed by an Electromotive Tec3r computer. The weight is about 2200lbs, and it’s RHD in America (to make it different from all the other replica 250 GTO’s out here.

We have a lot more planned, like slightly larger rear wheels (currently 15x 10 knock off's) and bigger brakes all around. As with anything it is a work in progress.

Michelle also sent us videos of her and Haley’s creation but due to lack of time we’ll post it tomorrow


Anonymous said... »June 26, 2007

Are they Hot?

TEAM GTO said... »July 04, 2007

Nice Job ladies! Ours is a BULLRUN Ferrari! Check it out! Visit:

Where are you located? We wish to swap stories!

Anonymous said... »July 09, 2007

I remember talking with Glenda Alphabet in the 80's about doing one of their Alpha 250GTOs. Back then (pre-Ferrari replica crack down), they offered a used Ferrari Columbo V-12 for an addtiional $3500 on the options list! That motor is probably $50K plus now...

Anonymous said... »July 10, 2007

We're in the Chicago area. We hadn't seen your car before, Thanx for the link!

Anon, I have seen SOHC engines that were worn out go for 30-40k.. and a recent rebuilt 3 carb engine had an asking price of $100,000....

Dave said... »July 17, 2007

Looks and sounds great.
I traded e-mails with you during the buildup (have an 850i with 6-speed) & had a source for a lightweight flywheel for you but lost touch.

So what's the intake system these days?

Anonymous said... »July 19, 2007

Hiya Dave,
It's currently got the factory intake, extrudehoned, with larger mechanical throttle bodies.. but still intending on installing a downdraft intake with 12 individual throttle bodies down the middle from Henry :) it should be REALLY neet

Anonymous said... »August 04, 2007

Met Michelle or Haley don't know
for sure; but pleasure was mine.
I was at Rolling Meadows show This Friday and introduced myself as old Irishman! You Girls are amazing,got to hear car run by finding video on line because the young woman was too busy to interrupt.Talk about doing a good job,i was amazed and at awe.

Anonymous said... »August 10, 2007

Out of all the replicas ive seen i really like how you have the third hole on the upper front hood with the cover and the hood is cut back instead of going all the way to the nose to make room for the intercooler cap. HOW DID YOU DO IT??? I have not seen any company not even Scorpian do this with the hood. Last question, is that a custom cap with a hinge or did you order it with a kit somewhere???? Please let me know how you did this hood.


Anonymous said... »August 14, 2007

Thanx Pops! That was Haley you met, I think that night I had work get in the way of going out. We SHOULD be out there this friday too :)

Ty, No one offers that touch or the matching vents under the nose like the real GTO has. I lengthened the wheelbase and as such added 4.25" to the nose itself in front of the hood and behind the wheels then glassed the nose all together and recut the hood opening to a more correct size. The cover there is made out of aluminum and with a twist of the Dzus fastener it opens. The cover itself is made from aluminum. I do plan on making covers for the three openings behind the grill like the originals as well, but prefer them open anyway. There is a pic of the nose being modified here:
that makes it easy to see where I added material. Hope this helps!

Anonymous said... »August 14, 2007


Thanks for the comment. Hey did you start with a Scorpian car hood? That is a great job to add that cap and lengthen the nose VEERY NICE touch. I have never seen anyone go that far. In your opinion what do you think are the best replica molds out there. Dont worry I am not trying to replicate your car. Plus it would be really hard to if anyone tried. I like the Scorpian molds the best so far. What are your thoughts?


Anonymous said... »August 16, 2007

Sorry one more question. What is better a ford 302 with 390 hp that fits a little better or a chevy 350 that just barely fits? The reason for the question is not becuase of power but for the sound. I know it will never be a 3.0 V12 but which one is better all around and can get the best high pitch sound out of her? Or does it not matter which one, and if not then what exhaust or mufflers will give us the closest sound? Thank you so much for you help.


Anonymous said... »May 07, 2008

Fantastic build and detail - especially since it is also RHD as well. Congrats to you both Michelle and Haley. Please let me know if you ever consider selling -I am in Australia so we drive right hand drive cars here. Or would ytou consider producing some moulds so I can begin to build a tribute GTO of the exacting detail you have created - In Australia we don't have the kits!

James said... »November 02, 2008

I've been researching 250GTO replicas for a few months, and this by far the BEST I have ever seen.

The extra effort really makes it something special and it shows.

Although, I do plan on basing off a '71 240 to bypass the CARB and running a side exhaust. But, w/ a 4.0 Aurora V8.

I hope my future project can even hope to hold a candle to yours.
Kudos to you both.

Anonymous said... »September 07, 2009


I've been offered a 250 GTO replica based on Datsun 280z with a 2.8 ltr Straight Six, sounds nice bodywork needs attention, has the knock on wire wheels, etc. Is it worth buying for a £1000 Thanks

Anonymous said... »May 06, 2010

You have no idea how awesome this car is, the pictures don't give it the justice it deserves.

It really needs to be seen with the naked eye to truly fall in love with it.

Anonymous said... »September 22, 2010


victor wright said... »March 11, 2012

im looking for a hood for one of these kits
any help pls?

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