MY FERRARI REPLICA
Phillip Badder: An early obsession with all things mechanical fuelled Phillip’s desire to collect classic cars – including this beautiful Ferrari 250 GT California replica
My passion for vehicles started in 1967 when I was legally old enough to ride a scooter for the first time. I’d bought a 1960 Lambretta 125 a few months earlier and spent hours renovating it, polishing up the chrome and adding all the mod regalia so that it was ready to roll when I turned 16. I loved the freedom it gave me but the girls were less keen on riding pillion when it rained so I bought an Isetta bubble car. It only had three wheels but it had a roof and I was allowed to drive it on my bike licence. Within a week of my 17th birthday I’d passed my test and replaced the Isetta with a Morris Minor that cost me £25 including a new engine!
By 1971 I’d managed to buy my first sportscar, an MG Midget, and two years later I was driving a Porsche. By buying well and selling at the right time I continued to work my way up the ownership ladder. Classic cars weren’t very sought after in the 1970s so you could pick up some amazing cars quite cheaply.
A few years ago I was tipped off by a friend in the trade that a beautiful Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder replica was for sale. It was made by the same company that built the car in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and looked just as good as the real thing. I leapt at the chance to own it.
I won’t tell you what I paid for it but it was a lot less than the £12million Chris Evans’s paid for his genuine Ferrari 250 GT California. Even a good replica sells for as much as £100,000 these days. To be honest it’s not about the value for me, it’s all about the pleasure of owning such a beautiful thing. I still use it on the roads around home but only when it’s dry. Much like boats, cars need to be used or they start to fall part.
I’ve always had an affinity with the water, too, ever since I competed in kayak races as a kid. I started with a classic Chris-craft 27 Concept, which I did up and sold to a friend, and last year I bought a Pearl 43 which had been left to rot by a previous owner ( MBY Oct 2017).
I love the freedom that owning a boat gives me – there’s something very special about waking up to the sound of water lapping against the hull. One day I’d like to own a classic Fairey Swordsman – just like my 250 GT replica it’s comfortable, quick and stylish and would give me the ultimate classic boat/car pairing.