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Niels van Roij Design unveils tribute to Ferrari 'Breadvan'


Unusually, the base car came with factory-fitted carbonfibre bucket seats, which have been retrimmed in blue as a nod to the original Breadvan. Further interior references include the raised gearstick and scalloped door cards, which sport unfinished aluminium trims.

The Maranello’s plastic switchgear has been replaced with milled aluminium and there are bespoke dials, while quilted black leather has been used to create a cocoon-effect cabin.

Under the skin, the 550’s adaptive dampers have been forfeited for motorsport-spec Koni shocks – manually adjustable for both compression and rebound – while a custom-made exhaust adds throatiness. The 20in wheels, supplemented by spacers to bolster track width, are 2in larger than the originals.

The 5474cc quad-cam V12 is unmodified, making 478bhp at 7000rpm. Overall weight is thought to have dropped slightly from the original 1716kg, so 60mph should arrive no later than the 4.3sec claimed in 1996.

Q&A with Niels van Roij

How did you get started on the project?

“We did a huge amount of research with a collector of Ferrari memorabilia. Blueprints, brochures, letters from Enzo Ferrari, period magazine articles – everything we needed to get the essence of the car. We then began translating it into a modern piece of design.”

What was the most challenging part of the build?

“I designed an enormous amount of detail on the car, with very subtle surface changes. For instance, the vents behind the driver’s head each have a super-soft vertical line next to them. It’s important not to make it look like a flat vent, but to give sculpture and body. It’s an extremely difficult task to make that out of a flat piece of aluminium. It was also very challenging for the painter, who did weeks of sanding alone. I pushed them to the limit.”

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What other craftsmen were needed?

“Many specialists worked on this car, from the guys who turned the switchgear to the automotive dial-maker. The dials have real silver inlays and feature the iconic Breadvan outline, which was also embroidered into the headrests. We had a great number of specialists and sub-projects.”

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