GWA Tuning's Ferrari 340 Mexico Berlinetta tribute. Image: GWA TuningEnlarge Photo
When it comes to exclusive Ferraris, it’s hard to top the Ferrari 340 Mexico Berlinetta. Only three were built (for competition in the 1952 Carrera Panamericana race), which is why a recent example sold for for $4.3 million at auction.
The best-placing 340 Mexico Berlinetta finished third in the 1952 Carrera Panamericana, behind a pair of Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing coupes. To honor this car, GWA Tuning has created a modern interpretation of the 340 Mexico Berlinetta driven to a podium finish by Luigi Chinetti.
Built on a Ferrari 456 platform, the GWA Tuning car was rebodied in aluminum by Mark Nungent, then updated with aerodynamic enhancements from more contemporary Ferrari models. The result is certainly polarizing; while Ferrari purists may object, there’s no denying that the car is distinctive, and every effort was made to use Ferrari components in the car’s construction.
The retro-modern theme of the exterior carries over to the interior as well, which features an old-school steering wheel, gauges and chronometers alongside modern carbon-fiber seats. A six-speed manual transmission, with Ferrari’s traditional-but-disappearing gated shifter, looks much more period correct than a pair of paddle shifters would. Besides, we have no idea where you’d mount the paddles on the giant steering wheel and skinny steering column.
Power comes from a 5.4-liter V-12, good for an estimated 476 horsepower. That’s quite a bit more robust than the original’s 4.1-liter V-12, which cranked out a paltry (by modern standards) 280 horsepower. The brakes and suspension were pulled from more contemporary Ferrari models, and 18-inch, five-spoke wheels with fake spinner caps complete the desired look.
GWA Tuning built the car as a design exercise and tribute to the original, so there are no plans for production. That could certainly change if a well-funded customer commissions another example, but GWA doesn’t reference the cost to build another copy. Let’s just put it this way: if you have to ask how much it costs, you really can’t afford one.