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“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” is one of the more iconic car films from the 1980s. Even if you haven’t seen the film, chances are good that you know some of the references. It is a film that has permeated our culture. Like the film itself, the hero car from the film, a Ferrari California Spyder, has also been elevated from just a car to an iconic piece of automotive design. That makes the “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” Ferrari quite the icon indeed, and now it’s for sale. 

Ferris Bueller's Day Off Movie Poster
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off Movie Poster | Paramount Pictures

What car did they drive in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off?” 

“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” is a film about a charming high schooler named Ferris Bueller (Matthew Brodrick) skipping school for the day and convinces his girlfriend Sloane and his best friend Cameron to ditch with him. The three friends run around the suburbs of Chicago all day in a 1961 Ferrari California Spyder “borrowed” from Cameron’s domineering father. 

People will be quick to give this as the answer for what the car was in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. However, while the film told us the car was California Spyder, that was all a bit of movie magic. 

Before we get to that, the use of the Ferrari in the film actually happened by accident. John Hughes. Silodrome explains that Hughes was initially planning to use a Mercedes 500SL. Eventually, the list of picture cars came down to only two options; a Porsche 911 and the Modena GT Spyder California. Hughes called Neil Glassmoyer at Modena to ask if he could see a car for an upcoming film. Glassmoyer reportedly hung up on him thinking it was a practical joke. 

After persistent calling, Glassmoyer finally believed Hughes and brought the replica Ferrari to the studio. Upon seeing the car in person, Hughes knew this was the car for the film. The Ferris Buller’s Day Off car might look like a Ferrari California Spyder, but it’s just a replica built by the now-famous Modena Design & Development. 

Ferris Bueller’s car crash scene stings less

At the risk of ruining the film for anyone who hasn’t seen it, the film’s climax happens when Cameron is bashing his father’s prized Ferrari California out of anger. While this is happening, the teens foolishly have the Fauxrarri propped up with the car running in reverse to run the odometer back. The car eventually slips off the jacks and shoots through the glass-walled garage, and falls to its death. It is a tough scene to watch. Despite the car not being a real Ferarri, it’s still a well-executed emotional scene. 

How much is the Ferris Bueller’s Day Off car worth? 

A Modena Spyder California, the hero car from Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Modena Spyder California |

Four cars were built for the film. The one we see here is the only of the four built to actually be driven in the film. Given its complete build, it commands a bit more value than the others might. 

In proper LA fashion, this car originally went to an LA plastic surgeon who got the car from a Paramount Pictures employee who gave the surgeon the car as partial payment for “services.” The doctor kept the 302 V8 “Ferrari” for 30 years until the current owner found it tucked away in storage. This iconic picture car is estimated to fetch between $350,000 – $450,000 Bonhams auction at Amelia Island on March 2nd. Check out the listing here for more photos and details.