The Minotto Barchetta is undoubtedly the purest driving car of the 21st century
F355 Modificata. Image from Road and Track
Restomods have been a massive trend around the world within the past few years. From Singer, which reimagines the beauty of the air-cooled 911s, to the F355 Modificata, a perfect balance between road and track, all of these restomods focus on one thing. “Making an already great classic even better by using modern technology.” However, this guy called Hans Teijgler has brought the spirit of restomodding to a whole new level.
A Maserati 300S. Image from Gearmoose
Teijgler was a great fan of the old racers from back in the ‘50s, such as the Ferrari Monza 290 Mille Miglia, Testa Rossa 335S, Maserati 300S, and the Ermini 357 Sport. However, these cars are not only beautiful and fast but also extremely expensive. By the term ‘expensive,’ it isn’t a ‘Ferrari 488 expensive’; those cars easily cost the equivalent of two or more houses. For example, the Ferrari Monza 290 MM was sold for $22,005,000 last December.
Ferrari Monza 290 MM. Image from Yahoo
Of course, Teijgler experienced modern-day supercars as an alternative. However, he was not happy with most modern supercars. He wanted something without all those fancy gizmos, leaving only the pure driving experience like the good old days. His experience with modern cars has made Teijgler further crave the classic racers of his dreams.
However, for average people and even for highly paid professionals, those classics are not easy to obtain. However, Teijgler was not satisfied having a Maserati 300S for his laptop background like most of us do but instead decided to go out and build his dream car himself. It is no replica, but rather his modern reinterpretation of these classic racers. It's the Minotto Barchetta.
At first glance, the Minotto Barchetta looks like it is right from Ferrari’s racing garage. But once you look closely you can soon realize it is not a Ferrari nor a Maserati, but rather an homage to those legendary racers. The sleek curves flow throughout the bodywork, and the roofless design shows that this car was born to be driven.
However, if you go under the skin, it is even more fascinating. The bodywork is completely made out of carbon fibre, further saving weight over traditional aluminum bodyworks. Furthermore, additional layers of carbon fibre have been added to highly stressed areas, meaning the car does not need excessive bracing or roll bars.
Image from Minotti Facebook
Under the bonnet lies a Tipo F133F/H, the 5.8L V12 used in the 612 Scaglietti. The engine produces 530hp, which is not much in modern perspective. However, when you consider that the car only weighs 985 kilograms, that is a LOT of horsepower for such a light car. The engine is mated to an old school six-speed manual gearbox, but also has some modern technology like limited-slip differential too.
The interior is minimalistic while still being aesthetically pleasing. The floor, seats, dashboards, and the transmission tunnel are all-aluminum to save weight, which also well reflects the race cars back in the day. However, although the interior looks uncomfortable, the seats and the pedal box are fully adjustable to accommodate drivers up to 2 meters in height. The Jaeger gauges in the dashboard carry the same retro look but are electronically controlled with 21st-century technology. Overall, the car’s cabin is not cramped and uncomfortable like classic cars, while still carrying the nostalgic look.
So, what Teijgler had created is a perfect balance of modern technology and old school. The design and the interior feels retro, but without all the hassles caused by unergonomic designs. Furthermore, despite having a modern engine and technological gizmos like fully adjustable ride height and damping, the driver is still in total control. There are no electronic nannies to spoil the fun of pure driving. The car costs around €250k, which is about $280k in US currency. Not 'Corolla-grade cheap' but cheap enough for such a car.
Image from YOutube
Although the Minotto Barchetta is already worth drooling over in its current state, Teijgler is not fully satisfied with it. He states that the V12 is just ‘too much’ for a car like this. He originally planned something like an inline 6 to be fitted in the engine, but due to the lack of Italian I6s out there, he is now planning to use the legendary Alfa Romeo Busso V6 in the upcoming cars.
Image from Minotto Instagram
However, the Alfa Romeo Busso V6 is an old engine, and it only produces around 250hp and 300hp at the maximum. Thankfully, Autodelta has modified the Busso by enlarging it to 3.8L and modernizing components. It is expected to produce around 330hp easily, without the need for forced induction. Teijgler’s initial goal is to put the car into production, with Busso V6s and the Tipo V12 for an optional extra.
At the end of the day…
Teijgler’s Minotto Barchetta shows that dreams can come true, and you do not always have to be a multimillionaire to achieve them. Of course, the Minotto Barchetta will not be a cheap car. However, when compared to these real ‘50s legends, it is not only less expensive but more comfortable and free from depreciation concerns.
The big problem of the classic car community is that quite a lot of cars are stored in garages just to prevent depreciation. However, these cars are born to be driven, and the Minotto Barchetta is car that can relieve one’s desire to throw an old school Ferrari into a corner without having to worry about those ‘monetary issues’. Teijgler proudly states on his website, “Built to be driven 100% of the time. BIG smile guaranteed!” As an enthusiast, I am more than happy to see a car being used as it should be, and it just gives me a BIG smile without even driving it!