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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Believe It or Not: This Gorgeous Ferrari is Actually a $14,500 Replica

BOLD RIDE

Copyright © 2015 Bold Ride LLC.
 
ferrari-replica-karma-gt-front

The thought of owning a classic Ferrari crosses the mind of many a car enthusiast. It’s then commonly followed by extreme sticker shock. The most sought-after of these cars demand absolutely stratospheric values.
 
However, you don’t have to sell the house in order to rock those Ferrari looks. You could drive something like this—a replica known as a “Karma GT.” These cars were built to resemble the much loved Ferrari Dino 246 GT cars, and tell an interesting story of their own accord.

This stunningly adorned Karma GT sports an unmistakeable Gulf Racing livery (somewhat odd on a “Ferrari”) and recently appeared on eBay for only $14,500. The going rate for an actual Dino 246 GT? Around $270,000. Your call—is it a good buy?

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To the hardcore Ferraristi, the Dino cars never got the full amount of praise they deserved. Dino was conceived as a sub-brand of Ferrari, honoring the name of Enzo Ferrari’s son, and intended to denote the early 206 GT’s mid-engine layout and V6 powerplant—unconventional in Ferrari road cars at the time.

Though they lacked 12-cylinders, the mainstream Prancing Horse faithful fell in love with the Dinos, and soon they’d be the object of replica carmakers.

The Karma GT was one such car. It originated in the early 1980s in California, and was actually based on another replica Ferrari Dino…the Kelmark GT. These cars rode atop donor Volkswagen Beetle chassis, and oddly enough would go on to spawn yet even more Dino replicas—an “Eagle GT” kit car using a Porsche 914 chassis, and the truly hard-charging “Magnum,” which sported a high-revving Mazda Wankel engine. So many cars…one great original design.


ferrari-replica-karma-gt-interior

Though you won’t find a triumphant Ferrari V6 under this skin, this Karma GT does appear to retain its Volkswagen origins, now sporting a twin-carbureted 1800cc air-cooled engine, front disc brakes, and rear drums…à la Beetle.

Inside, you’ll find a generally well decorated interior, complete with wood-wrapped steering wheel and an infotainment system with pop-out navigation screen. The 246 GT certainly never had one of those. At one point the replica is said to have lived in the United Kingdom, which explains the right-hand-drive configuration.

All in all, it’s not an actual Ferrari, but an interesting bit of kit car history nonetheless.