The Dutch design house Niels Van Roij Design has a strong portfolio of cars they’ve adapted into station wagons and shooting brakes, including Teslas and Rolls-Royces, so it makes sense that they’d be who you’d approach if you wanted to create a modern interpretation of one of the most iconic shooting brake-like cars ever built: the 1962 Ferrari 250GT SWB “Breadvan.” Well, after years of work, the firm has finished their Breadvan Hommage, and it’s pretty incredible, even if it does kinda look like a modern take on a Pontiac Sunfire from the front.
I guess maybe that sounds a little cruel but, come on, if you saw this, you’d think it was a totally plausible GM plan to re-introduce the Pontiac marque with a bold new, probably electric, sports car:
Yes, I added the Pontiac badge, but if you’re not seeing at least two kinds of Pontiac in that front end, you’re either lying to yourself or you’re the “true admirer of an Italian brand” who approached Niels van Roij Design with a boatload of cash to build this thing.
That said, the rear view of this thing looks pretty wonderful:
If you’re wondering why that stupid-looking Fanatec sticker is on there, you’re not alone. Fanatec makes sim racing wheels and controllers, and it’s believed the owner of the company is the person who commissioned this, which must be true, because why else would you put that big sticker on there and not, say, your favourite Oakley sticker, right? Or maybe a Calvin peeing on a Lamborghini logo?
There are no Ferrari badges on the car, even though it was built from a Ferrari 550 Maranello, mostly because Ferrari is pretty litigious about the use of their name and logo, and also perhaps as a bit of a reminder that the original Breadvan was not exactly a Ferrari, either.
The original Kamm-tailed Breadvan came to be because a certain Count Volpi, who ran the Scuderia Serenissima racing team, had his orders for two Ferrari 250 GTOs cancelled because the Count had hired some employees away from Ferrari.
So, without the racecars he wanted, Volpi hired the Giotto Bizzarrini to re-engineer an older Ferrari 250 GT SWB Competition car into something that would beat those fancy new GTOs, and Bizzarrini delivered, completely reworking the design of the older cars, making them significantly lighter and adding the distinctive Kamm-back bodywork that looked so very van-like.
I love that they bothered to put that glass hatch in there — there’s actually a good bit of room back there, making it perhaps the only Ferrari racing car that would be a reasonable choice to take on a Home Depot run.
Anyway, this car is a legend now, so it’s hardly surprising some wealthy Ferrari geek would want a modern interpretation.
Of course, anytime you get a design house to make something as high-profile as this, you’re forced to endure one of these painfully pretentious videos about the car:
Yes, yes, the connection between the object and human being, mechanical souls and aluminium hearts and precision and art and blah blah blah jeezis how many times do we have to watch this same basic video. We get it, it’s amazing, and you guys do good, careful work. Wonderful.
The modern Breadvan sports a unique set of adjustable shock absorbers built by KONI just for this, as a tribute to the original Breadvan’s use of Koni adjustable shocks as well.
The interior is full of blue Alacantara (I’m told the colour comes from feeding the wild Scandinavian alacants a diet high in indigo and ground lapis lazui) and the instruments feature pleasingly retro typography, along with a bunch of other little details:
The monogram can also be found on the dials, all 7 boasting pure silver inlays. The clock says: ‘che importa’. Italian for ‘who cares!’ All switchgear is made out of milled aluminium, linking to the gated shifter, which is set on a raised block. The driver is surrounded by quilted black leather: it can be found on the centre console, the lower door cards and the headliner. The door panels feature an unpainted, hand beaten aluminium element, which links to the custom body, made in the exact same way. A small embroidered Italian flag in the corner of the aluminium insert is highlighting the roots of the vehicle. The door is opened through pulling a lightweight red cord, whilst a blue Alcantara insert functions as a grab handle to close it.
Oh, the clock says “who cares!” What a puckish jape! Timepiece wit like that normally will run you nearly $US50 ($65) on Amazon.
I’m just razzing you, owner of this one-of-a-kind automotive masterpiece! We’re just having fun! If you have the money, a one-off custom car is not something I want to ever discourage anyone from doing, so you know, enjoy.