Sunday, December 16, 2012

Volvo P1800 and Ferrari 250 GT Lusso

The 2 cars are not that far away,  and a Ferrari 250 GT Lusso was built off a Volvo P1800 to create a great replica of Steve McQueens car in Tower Heist.

 the result is pretty interesting

 The "Ferrari" Lusso used in many of the scenes is actually a heavily modified Volvo 1800. 2 were fabricated. Corroboration from the builder found on FerrariChat: "Hi, I'm Erich Schultz. I built the two replica Lussos for Tower Heist. I was hired by Ralph Lucci of Automobile Film Club of America, based in New York to do the job. Brett Ratner, the film's director wanted the job done by Ted Moser of Picture Car Warehouse in LA. Ted and I are friends so I told Ralph I would do the job with Ted and act as the project manager. Initially, we were given just seven weeks from getting the job to the final delivery date for two complete cars. I thought that this time frame was unrealistic and I needed ten weeks. We ended up taking eight and a half weeks from start to finish to build them. The decision to build onto a Volvo P1800 platform was mine. I noticed the similarity between the Lusso's windshield, A-pillar, and side windows with the P1800, which incidentally was designed in Italy. I used the P1800 as a platform for the Lusso mold plug. With the exception of the windshield frame, every surface and the overall dimensions of the P1800 were changed with metal work, MDF, urethane foam, fiberglass, and Bondo to transform it into a facsimile of the Lusso. Our replica is not identical in any way. We had to settle for very close. We did not have access to a real Lusso to get measurements or make plans or templates. I had a photo file of pictures that were downloaded from the internet and had to approximate everything by trying to scale dimensions from those photos."  

As the P1800 enthusiasts are aware,  the P1800 was designed by Pelle Petterson in Turin in the Frua workshop, with the same technique and just nearby the various Maserati A6G and other unique Frua creations of the time, no wonder Pelle as per his mandate included in the design all the features of Italian GTs of the time but also the wood mockup frame used was most probably very close if not similar for some parts with the one used for the Maseratis design. This very story of the design of 1800 on its own is epic and worth a book, I was in touch few years ago with Exner junior about his father the renown Virgil Exner who most probably was one of the other designs ultimately rejected with preference for Pelle's design. You may soon see a book in your bookshop about this ...

1957 Segre, Pelle Petterson, Frua