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1993 FERRARI MONDIAL T - F430 CHALLENGE CUSTOM

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This Ferrari Mondial T is a one-of-kind custom build that boasts early press car provenance, low chassis mileage, and a frankly astonishing powertrain upgrade. Notwithstanding the larger wheels, exhaust tips, and lowered suspension, this car looks just like a normal Mondial T. Under the engine lid however is the 483bhp 4.3-litre naturally aspirated V8 and six-speed sequential manual gearbox taken from an F430 Challenge car.

Interestingly, this car started life as the Maranello Concessionaires demonstrator for the Valeo ‘clutchless’ manual transmission. It was registered in April 1993 on the number plate ‘K601 YPD’ - which remains on the car today - and was featured on the Top Gear television show in September 1993, driven by Michele Newman. The clip is included below.

There are now just three previous registered keepers on the log book, and the current owner acquired the car 14 years ago, when it had around 31,000 miles on the odometer. Shortly after buying it, he took it to the Ferrari experts at DK Engineering, and commissioned them to prepare this Mondial T for track work. An unusual choice perhaps, but the car had plenty of headroom for the very tall owner, and the ‘clutchless’ manual suited him. A roll cage was subsequently fitted, larger wheels were installed, and the brakes and suspension were upgraded to F355 specification items.

Still perfectly road legal, the Mondial T was nonetheless used sparingly over the next 10 years, covering less than 1,500 miles on the road and track. In 2015, the owner returned to DK Engineering with a more challenging request. He wanted the car to be given a substantial power upgrade to make it much more exciting on track, but wanted to keep the convenience of the spacious cabin and automated transmission.

With such a broad brief, the possibilities were tantalising. An F40 engine was briefly considered, especially as it had already been paired with the Valeo system in the one-off car built for Gianni Agnelli, but it was thought the transmission would not keep up for serious track work. Ultimately, the decision was made to use a donor car that was altogether more contemporary - an F430 Challenge.

What followed was an uncompromising, no-expense-spared labour of love for the owner, where no detail was overlooked. The total cost of the fastidious transformation conducted by DK Engineering, including the price to acquire a very clean Challenge car, was the best part of £400,000.

The Mondial T was stripped of its engine and gearbox, and the same process was carried out on the F430 donor car. After plenty of careful measurement and planning, the Mondial’s subframe received extensive bracing to support the new powertrain, before the process of engine and transmission installation and systems integration could begin.

Its F355-sourced uprated suspension and brakes remained in place, while the wheels were upgraded to the 18-inch five-spoke alloys from a Ferrari 575M Maranello. The car weighs around 1500kg, which means its power-to-weight ratio is in the same ballpark as the likes of the Porsche 996 GT2, Jaguar XJ220 and Audi R8 V10.

The Challenge engine and gearbox ECUs were carried over, but the Mondial T retains the original wiring for the cabin features, which means all of the switchgear works as it should – including the power sliding sunroof. During the most recent track preparation, the car has also been fitted with a plumbed-in fire extinguisher system.

As part of the transformation, the car was resprayed from its silver hue to a vibrant yellow, in line with its more exuberant character. Today, its bodywork and paint remain in great shape, with no evidence of any prior accident damage, and certainly none during the owner’s 14-year tenure. The only external clues to the more aggressive engine lurking behind the cabin are the larger wheels and fatter tyres, a glimpse of a roll cage or bucket seat through the glass, and the larger twin exhaust tips - though they exit through the same apertures as the standard car. Because of this amusingly ‘stock’ appearance, the car has become affectionately known as ‘Lupo Vestito da Pecora’ - the wolf in sheeps’ clothing.

In the cabin, the conversion is considerably more obvious. The rear seats have been deleted, with a half roll cage in their place, and Sparco Evo II composite bucket seats for the driver and front passenger. There are Schroth Racing harnesses, and an Alcantara-trimmed Sparco steering wheel. The original leather trim around the door cards and dashboard is still in place, though the conventional set of gauges has been swapped for the digital instrument readout from the F430 Challenge car.

The centre console features a handful of new switches and toggles, including push-button start, a power cut-off, and a reverse gear selector. Suspension setting controls are sited next to external release buttons and a separate fuel gauge. Maintaining some road car conveniences, the Mondial T still has functioning electric windows, a Pioneer radio and CD player, and sliding sunroof.

Its last scheduled maintenance was a service carried out in 2018, and the car has been driven sparingly since the transformation, with other projects taking up the owner’s time. However, it has been put through annual MOTs since then, each time passing at the first attempt with no advisories. The next test is due on 16 November 2020. Its wheels are fitted with Yokohama Advan Neova tyres, which are all still in excellent condition.

This custom hybrid of a Ferrari Mondial T and an F430 Challenge car is a sublime creation that boasts remarkable pace, impressive reliability, and a bespoke aesthetic that belies the power ready to be unleashed from the engine bay. It was commissioned and completed at vast expense, and is now offered for sale at a fraction of that cost. This stands out as a genuinely unique track-focused Ferrari, not to mention a road-legal car with an F430 Challenge drivetrain. It is most certainly an opportunity not to be missed!

All UK-registered cars and motorbikes on Collecting Cars are run through an online HPI check. This vehicle shows no insurance database markers for damage or theft, and has no finance owing.

History

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DKE_1977seller

Hi Giles,

The car came to us with aftermarket seats fitted so we do not have these. We have the original steering wheel but this won't fit in the car; the steering boss is specific to the fitted wheel from the donor F430 Challenge with the integrated F1 paddleshift.

Thanks,

GPK

Great, thank you for putting the link up

GilesMorse

Hi DKE,

Are the original seats and steering wheel still with the car and would they fit (with the cage removed etc)?

Thanks,

Giles

DKE_1977seller

Hi GPK,

I've asked that it be embedded above,

Thanks,

Collecting_Cars

Hi GPK,
We have now embedded a time-coded link to the video that included this Ferrari Mondial T on SeenThroughGlass.
We are leaving the old Top Gear clip up, as we are sure a few bidders will be interested to see this car's early life as the Maranello Concessionaires press demonstrator.
The Collecting Cars team.

GPK

Instead of a link to elderly, irrelevant Top Gear footage, is it possible, for reference, to have a link to the “Seen Through Glass” YouTube footage?

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