Aug 21, 2013

‘Ferris Bueller’ Ferrari Sells for $235,000

‘Ferris Bueller’ Ferrari Sells for $235,000. There are a few lessons to take away from John Hughes' 1986 film "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," if you're thinking of purchasing a 1963 Ferrari California Spyder.

First, school administrators won't be fazed if you use one to pick up a student who's supposedly leaving school to mourn the death of a loved one. Second, high school students playing hooky have nothing on Chicago public garage attendants, who have nothing but time to use the city's broad, traffic-free streets as their private proving grounds. Third, take out your daddy issues on the car all you'd like -- just shut it off first.

Finally, there's this little chestnut from Matthew Broderick's title character regarding the car itself: "It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up."

On Saturday in Monterey, Calif., someone with that kind of bankroll took Ferris' advice and blew $235,000 on one of the car's three versions used in the film. While all three were replicas made by fabricator Modena, the vehicle in question was completely restored after the scene in which Cameron Frye's foot sent it sailing through a plate-glass window -- a scene that had to be shot nine times.

The front suspension had to be completely rebuilt, but the car that just sold at Mecum Auctions is still worthy of the joyride the film gave it.

"It is tough, because I built it and I've lived with it for over 25 years, so I hope it'll go to someone that'll use it and really enjoy the car a lot," Neil Glassmoyer, the car's co-designer and co-builder, who has owned it for 27 years, told NBC affiliate KSBW. "A lot of movie cars are just for looks. They don't perform well at all. This car has over 500 horsepower (and a) very sophisticated chassis. It handles better than it looks, and that was the main thing I wanted to do when we were building this car."

The irony of both the car's demand and its selling price seemed just as lost on folks at the auction as the nudging joke about formerly cocaine-packed DeLoreans was to the subjects of a documentary about owners of the cars used in 1985's "Back to the Future." Cameron has a whole monologue devoted to the car's role in his relationship with his distant, withholding, car-collecting dad. The vehicle represents everything that's wrong with Cameron's family dynamic and the cherry red, chromed-out wall between him and his father.

It's a metaphor for ambitious, absentee '80s parents and the neglected, introverted kids left in their wake who now overcompensate by establishing their own children as the center of the universe.

It's also, until its untimely demise, the one portion of Ferris and company's wonderful day that just refuses to go right. In a film about the joys of living life on one's own terms, the Ferrari is the leaden anchor of others' actions and expectations.

It is, simply put, the worst thing the movie has to offer -- and someone just paid $235,000 for it. Life moves pretty fast, but it doesn't move fast enough for people to miss its most obvious points entirely.