Can You Outlaw a Classic Ferrari, But Make It Better? That’s What This Millionaire (Thinks He) Did

Well, to be honest, the Ferrari wasn’t a great one to begin with. In fact, when the Italian luxury automaker made the Dino in the late sixties to early seventies, to extend its range to a low-cost relatively high-production sports car, the car was so badly shunned that Ferrari did not even attach its badge to it initially. And the poor car remained just Dino. But still, it was pretty to look at.

So, why would a car collector today want one? Well, what happens after amassing a huge collection of Rolls-Royce, Pagani and Porsche models, but with a particular love for Ferraris? For David Lee, whose riches came from his family business dealing in watches, he got bored.

When interviewed by Bloomberg recently, Lee said, “But I started to get tired of it. With hyper-cars, if you have money and you present yourself well to the ownership, you can buy a car. A lot of people have them…I wanted to own something that is not what money can buy.” The worst kind of first world problem? Of course. But a problem, nonetheless.

So, Lee “committed the cardinal sin” amongst car collectors—he outlawed aka modified one. He bought a 1972 Dino for a sliver of his but our entire life’s fortune, ie. US$260,000, and then spent about four times more to modify it.

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Working with a body shop in the UK, Lee yanked out the original V6 that could only squeeze out 192 hp, and replaced it with a 3.6-litre V8 that churns out 400 hp. He had the car updated with new parts: new rims, transmission and brakes; a transparent carbon-fibre engine cover at the rear; new leather upholstery; steel knob for the gear shifter, and, of course, a holder for an iPhone, and more. It took over a year to complete the modifications.

With new looks and fresh insides, it needed a new name, so Lee now calls it the Monza 3.6 Evo Dino. And the Monza 3.6 Evo Dino will be making an appearance in former talk show host, now car show host, Jay Leno’s car series.

While Lee is proud of his car, into which he had invested so much time and money, Bloombergreported trying to contact Ferrari for comments. The automaker’s response included pointing out (“…it is worth noting…”) that the Ferrari has a certification process to ensure authenticity of classic Ferrari cars, and also preserve their value, and that Ferrari didn’t know of Lee’s Dino. Sounds like this particular Dino will spend it’s second life also snubbed by the high society of classic cars.

Still, it still is pretty to look at.

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