Smiths Gauges Star in 80s Movie Ferris Buellers Day Off

In 1986, USA actor Matthew Broderick burst onto the scenes in the John Hughes movie, Ferris Bueller's Day Off.  However, the real star of the movie was a red 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder, a car widely regarded as the one of the most beautiful convertibles ever made.

One of the key co-stars in the movie was a Smiths speedometer.  Without the Smiths speedometer and in-built odometer, Ferris, Cameron and Mia would not have been able to discover that the garage car park attendants had spent a whole afternoon driving and racking up the miles around Chicago in Cameron's father's prized Ferrari.  Despite a pained and futile attempt to reverse the mileage by hoisting the back wheels of the car into the air and driving in reverse, the additional mileage remained.  However, it was the sight of the Ferrari falling off the stand and catapulting to destruction into the trees way below Cameron's house that was far too painful for any classic car enthusiast to bear.

The Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder was launched in 1959 for the North America.  In all only 56 were built.  The model was a variant of the 250 GT Berlinetta, with a shorter wheelbase (2.6m to 2.4m) giving the car sharper handling.  In 2015, one of the 56 was sold in auction at Pebble Beach, USA for $15.2m, making it one of the most expensive cars ever sold at auction.

The Ferrari featured in the movie was a fibreglass-bodied replica of a 1961 250 GT SWB California Spyder built by Modena Spyder California.  Two and half cars were built, with two interchangeable as stunt and hero cars and the 1/2 a rolling fibreglass shell that was used when the car disappeared into the trees at the end of the movie.  The car that featured in the movie is reported to be worth between $200,000 and $300,000.

Smiths Instruments are found mounted in the dashboard of a wide range of makes and models of classic car.  Other movies starring roles include appearing in the James Bond movie Spectre.  

For more information on gauges for classic cars, please contact us on:

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Tags: Ferrari, Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder, Ferris Buellers Day Off, Movie Cars,

Categories: Case Histories

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