Saving Ferrari's Last Manual Car - The California
Throughout the modern California's history, only 3 cars were built with manual transmission, and with one of them crashing, it leaves only 2 remaining on the planet, until now.
The Ferrari California was released back in 2008 and has since been succeeded by the California T and more recently, the Ferrari Portofino. When introduced, the California represented a new fourth model range for Ferrari. The California represented a radical new design by Pininfarina S.p.A. and was developed under the oversight of Ken Okuyama.The model was primarily intended to attract new Ferrari owners. The car's grand touring personality was emphasized with a slightly higher ride height compared to its more aggressive siblings. Overall, the California was considered a landmark car for Ferrari in that it represents a number of concepts being used for the first time in their road cars
- The first front engined Ferrari with a V8
- The first to feature a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission
- The first hard top convertible with a folding metal roof
- The first with multi-link rear suspension
- The first with direct petrol injection
Although the California wasn't one of the ultimate prancing horses from the Italian automaker's illustrious history, the total production of all variants was about 17,300 vehicles. Up until the 2012 model year, customers could opt to ditch the California's seven-speed dual-clutch option for a gated six-speed box. With the rapidly increasing values of manual supercars right now, you may expect that a number of Ferrari customers opted to have their California fitted with the gated box. Sadly, this wasn't the case.Throughout the modern California's history (2008 to 2017), only 3 cars were built with the gated six speed manual, and with one of them meeting it untimely demise on the roads of Italy, it leaves only 2 remaining on the planet, until now.
According to European Auto Group's owner Art Bartosik, they were able to secure the some of the parts, like the transmission used in the manual California.
"About a year ago, a very loyal follower contacted us directly about purchasing a manual transaxle from Europe. How he came across this information was unknown but we were all ears. According to him, one of the three manual Ferrari California's was involved in a wreck, the car ended up at the scrapyard, the car was dismantled, and the components were offered for sale," says EAG owner Art Bartosik. "The components included the Graziano six-speed manual transaxle, linkages, brackets, shift tower, etc. EAG reached out directly to the dismantling company, made a deal on the components, and shipped them to the US."
With European Auto Group involved from the technical side and U.K. based company, AV Engineering and Trevor Mensah on the computer management side, we can expect a superior product, making EAG the perfect company to perform the transplant as the company already offers manual swaps for the Ferrari 360, 430, and 599. The Texas-based tuner has also built the world's only manual-converted Ferrari 430 Scuderia as well as the first manual-swapped fifth-generation Toyota Supra.
EAG has wasted zero time in making this a reality as they have already started the process according to a recent slate of videos documenting the process
There is a ton of information regarding this process in the video above, including the fact that the California shares parts and similar components from the Ferrari F430 and 599 and that the hole needed to run shift cables already exist.
We reached out and asked how many California's EAG is planning to release and here's what Art had to say.
"We are unsure how many of these Graziano transmissions are on the shelf but it may be possible for us to do a few limited-run cars using the factory parts from the wreckage and converting a newer 13-14 MY Californias with the HS Handling package," says Bartosik. "During this process, we could remaster the parts for a few more potential builds. We may do a limited run of converted Californias that will be resold to consumers but it all depends on the demand."
Seems as though there may be hope for customers who want to drive the California in the elusive gated six speed manual, as long as there is enough backing, support, and interest in it. If not, this may be the last and only option to get your hands on a manual Ferrari California.