Don’t call it a Berlinetta

Look at it this way: If you went out to buy a real, Modena-built Ferrari 250 GT short-wheelbase Berlinetta from the late 1950s, you’d run headlong into two irrefutably realities: Number One, the car would probably cost you something on the order of $20 million to buy. And Number Two, you’d never dare to drive it in anger, due largely to reality Number One. This is Pebble Beach show field stuff we’re talking about here. A more rational solution exists from the blokes at the RML Group of Wellingborough in the United Kingdom – the same town from which Willingboro, New Jersey, where I worked for more than 20 years, takes its name – which has produced very high-end continuation cars for a long time. While no pricing is yet announced for their latest effort, known officially as the RML Short Wheelbase, it stands to be considerably cheaper, and thus worthy of actual driving, than the real article from Italy.

Perhaps the nicest news regarding RML’s new offering is that it does indeed boast deep DNA from Maranello. The engine is Ferrari’s 5,474cc V-12, properly mounted longitudinally and driving the rear wheels to the tune of a claimed 478 horsespower, with a Ferrari six-speed manual transmission completing the driveline. RML claims 0-60 MPH in 4.1 seconds with full chat on the other side of 185 MPH, both far better numbers than the original article could ever manage. Rather than the Berlinetta’s hand-hammered Pininfarina metals, the RML Short Wheelbase utilized carbon-fiber bodywork. A production run estimated at 30 cars is expected to commence by the end of this year.

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