Datsun-based Ferrari 250 GTO replica driven by Tom Cruise in ‘Vanilla Sky’ sold

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Based on a Datsun 280Z, and powered by a Chevrolet V8, this Alpha One GTO is one of the most famous Ferrari replicas to exist – even before its screen debut.

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The dark blue Ferrari 250 GTO replica – based on a Datsun 280Z – driven by Tom Cruise in Cameron Crowe’s 2001 movie ‘Vanilla Sky’ has sold for $US183,000 ($AU280,500).

It is formally known as an Alpha One GTO, a well-known replica of an original 1960s Ferrari 250 GTO based on a Datsun 280Z – from the company now known as Nissan – which was, in this case, built in 1976.

Sold on auction site Bring a Trailer, the Alpha One GTO uses a 5.7-litre Chevrolet V8 engine powering the rear wheels through a three-speed automatic transmission.

Despite its convincing Ferrari exterior, the chassis and underpinnings from the Datsun remain, with its independent four-wheel suspension. 

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Exterior highlights include painted Ferrari shields on each front wheel arch, a chrome fuel filler cap, and Ferrari-style wheel-arch vents. 

On the inside, the Datsun wears a Ferrari badge in the centre of its woodgrain steering wheel, and the instrument panel has been swapped out for a more Ferrari-esque cluster.

Though the automatic transmission is hidden by a leather boot designed to look like a manual transmission, it doesn’t mimic the exact chrome ‘gated’ H-pattern shifter in a 250 GTO.

The seller said the ‘Ferrari’ was bought by Paramount Pictures for the movie’s production, before undergoing a full restoration, and subsequently being acquired by the current owner in 2012.  

It is being sold with a copy of the previous California registration papers in the name of Paramount Pictures, a photo signed by film stars Tom Cruise and Penélope Cruz, the movie’s press kit – as distributed to the media at the time – and a Hot Wheels scale model.

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