Everyone understands that millionaires can be eccentric. They often develop odd hobbies, collect exotic items, or spend inordinate amounts of time vacationing in strange locales that can only be reached by parachute. Marco Srour is one such millionaire. He collects high-end Italian cars, and his collection currently includes a Dino 246, a Ferrari F50, a Maserati Mexico, and an Alfa Giulietta Spider. It also includes a funky, little vehicle that he originally purchased for his then twelve-year-old son. He bought a Ferrari F2 500 race car that was sized for a child. Carrozzerria Allegretti, a custom car shop in Italy, built the 2/3rds size race car for children. Mr. Srour purchased it for $75,000. It had a maximum speed of 40 mph, 27 horsepower, and a four speed transmission. After getting a good look at his son's birthday present, Mr. Srour decided to keep it for himself. (Hopefully he got his son something else.) In fact, he decided to approach respected mechanic, Raffi Najjarian, with a request to make the tiny car street-legal. Work began in 2005, and seven years later, Mr. Srour has a working 3-foot tall, 6-foot long model replica of one of Ferrari's most successful race cars.
Extensive changes were made to the model car in order to make it road-worthy, including adding headlights, turn signals, a modified muffler, six inches of legroom, and a dual circuit brake system. Mr. Najjarian also built the transmission system from scratch, and added a handmade camshaft. The original 1952 Topolino engine was modified with racing components manufactured by Abarth. The mini-F2 now has a top speed of 90 mph and an output of 45 horsepower. The car turns heads, and occasionally almost causes accidents, as people do "double takes" on the highway when Mr. Srour drives it around. He has to drive carefully because the car is so short, but in all other ways, it is a completely functional mini-car. Najjarian is currently working on Srour's next mini-car, a 2/3rds sized model of a 275 GTB/4 NART Spyder, that will have room for passengers and travel at speeds of up to 120 miles per hour. Mr. Srour's choice of hobby may be eccentric, but you have to admit, it's kind of cool.