Hershey, PA – The iconic movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” has become an American favorite. Who wouldn’t want to take the day off and go for a joy ride in a red “Ferrari”? While the AACA Museum, Inc. can’t let you take a drive, they can let you take the day off and get a selfie with this iconic car.
As part of an ongoing exhibit of historically significant vehicles within the AACA Museum, Inc., the Historic Vehicle Association has arranged for a temporary exhibition of this iconic replica Ferrari from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off to be on view in Hershey from June 21 – October 31, 2018. This vehicle was added to the National Historic Register in April of this year. The HAER Number for this vehicle is MD-192, and it was constructed in the summer of 1985 by Modena Design & Development; Mark Goyette and Neil Glassmoyer. The present owner is Mr. Bob Winegard who purchased the car in April of 2010 and transported it back to the United States. The car was most recently on view in Washington, DC in early April as part of the 4th annual HVA Cars at the Capital event.
Created for the iconic 1986 film “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, in which the Ferris Bueller character skips school, kidnaps his best friends, Cameron Frye and Sloane Peterson, borrows Cameron’s dad’s beloved “Ferrari” and makes a day of it in the city of Chicago, the 1985 Modena Spyder California is not what it was made to appear. This famed “Ferrari” that appeared in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” was actually a replica constructed in the summer of 1985 by Modena Design & Development; Mark Goyette and Neil Glassmoyer (El Cajon, CA). It was modeled off of the Italian built, Ferrari 250 GT California (1957-1963). The two-door, two-seat, front-engine sports car featured a 1974 302 c.i.d. Ford V-8, C-4 automatic transmission, and rear-wheel drive. Neal Glassmoyer and Mark Goyette built the fiberglass convertible on a custom tube-frame designed by Bob Webb and constructed by David Turley. Glassmoyer and Goyette sourced parts from many different automobiles to replicate as close as possible, an actual Ferrari and create a well-handling performance sports car. Torsion bar suspension is used front and rear, adapted to Ford Mustang A-arms at the front, and a Ford Mustang solid axle at the rear. The windshield is from a Fiat Spider 124, taillights are from a VW Type 3, the trunk lid is from an MG MGB, the speedometer is from a Jaguar E-Type, and the front bumper is from, and MGBV and the rear is from a Volkswagen Karmann-Ghia.
History of the Ferris “Ferrari”
In 1984, Mark Goyette and Neil Glassmoyer built a one-off fiberglass replica of a Ferrari 250GT California (1957-1963). Although constructed for a customer, this car was a prototype of the cars they planned to build for their newly established company, Modena Design & Development in El Cajon, CA. In the spring of 1985, before they had a chance to launch the business, their prototype attracted the attention of John Hughes a Hollywood movie director and writer. Hughes was working on producing the film “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and thought the Spyder would be a good stand-in for the Ferrari he wanted the characters to drive. An actual Ferrari was too expensive for the studio to rent or use.
Hughes called Glassmoyer and Goyette to bring the prototype Spyder to Paramount Pictures Studios so he could check it out. After seeing it in person, Hughes requested the car for the film, but since it had been built for a customer, Goyette and Glassmoyer couldn’t loan it out. Instead, the studio agreed to lease a complete car, purchase a partially-complete car and a rolling shell.
Goyette and Glassmoyer then embarked on hastily building three cars on a tight timeline for the film. Despite long nights, they were successful, and all the three cars in various states of completion were finished for their film debut in Chicago in the fall of 1985.
The film “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” premiered in June 1986. The car that was completed and leased to the studio (the car that is documented for the National Historic Vehicle Register) was used for the wide shots where it shows the entire car. The partially completed car that was sold to the studio was used for the shots of the actors in the car, and the rolling shell was used for the scene where the car is launched out of the window.
After filming was completed, the leased car was returned to Modena Design & Development. The studio used it for the jump scene, and the car had suffered significant damage. Modena Design & Development repaired it and sold to its first private owner, Dorian Kunch in San Diego, CA. The car changed hands a number of times and exhibits various updates and modifications that were performed by its different owners. By 2003, the car had been sold to an owner in the United Kingdom. The current owner, Bob Winegard, purchased the car from a Bonhams auction that was held April 19, 2010, at the Hendon, RAF Museum in the United Kingdom. Mr. Winegard had the car shipped to the United States and subsequently had the vehicle restored and returned to its movie specifications by Greg Weldy of American Coventry in Highland, MD.
Following the release of the film, Modena Design & Development was sued by Ferrari, as were other replica and kit car builders. The case was settled out of court with Modena Design & Development allowed to continue production with minor changes. The company kept producing complete cars, and different “stage” kits and Keith Knapp purchased the company in the late 1980s.
Today, Mark Goyette owns an antique car restoration shop in Bennington, VT. Neil Glassmoyer is based in Phoenix, AZ and is producing a new line of Modena Spyder Californias.
As Ferris said “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” This is one exhibition that you don’t want to miss, so schedule some time off to view this iconic vehicle before it’s gone. Other current exhibits on view at the AACA Museum, Inc. include Mustangs: Six Generations of America’s Favorite Pony Car and a trio of Thunderbirds on view from the International Thunderbird Club.
About the Historic Vehicle Association
The HVA is dedicated to preserving and sharing America’s automotive heritage. In 2014, the HVA established the National Historic Vehicle Register in partnership with the U.S. Department of the Interior, Heritage Documentation Programs and Library of Congress to document historically significant automobiles in America’s past. The HVA is supported by over 400,000 individual historic vehicle owners, key stakeholders and corporations, as well as individual benefactors. Please visit www.historicvehicle.org.
About the AACA Museum, Inc.
The AACA Museum Inc., a Smithsonian Affiliate, displays beautifully restored and original automobiles, buses, and motorcycles in unique life-like scenes representing the 1890s – 1980s on a cross-country journey from New York to San Francisco. This Museum, a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, is known to be one of the largest automotive museums, and is celebrating its 15th Anniversary in 2018. Special exhibits change several times a year and focus on a variety of eras and types of vehicles. The AACA Museum, Inc. is home to the Cammack Tucker Collection; along with being the home of the Tucker Automobile Club of America. The Museum holds the World’s largest and most prestigious permanent collection of Tucker Automobiles and related artifacts. The Museum is in South Hanover Township, located just off Route 39, one mile west of Hersheypark Drive, Hershey, Pennsylvania. Regular admission $12.50, seniors age 61 and older $11.50, juniors age 4-12 $9.50, children age 3 and under, AACA Museum, Inc. Members and AACA Members are FREE. The Museum is open daily from 9:00 AMto 5:00 PM. For further information, please call 717-566-7100 or visit www.AACAMuseum.org.
AACA Museum, Inc. | 161 Museum Drive | 717-566-7100