Fresh out of the oven with an almost shimmering glow, Niels van Roij’s ‘Breadvan Hommage’ is the best-looking shooting brake you’re ever likely to come across.
The beautiful creation draws inspiration from a certain Italian V12 Gran Turismo coupe, namely Ferrari’s iconic and somewhat notorious 250 GT, affectionately dubbed ‘La Camionnette’ (little truck) by more sophisticated French journalists, while tenacious English scribblers labelled it the plain and simple ‘Breadvan’.
The original Breadvan was built by Sports Cars of Modena whose intention it was to race a 250 GTO; Enzo Ferrari was having none of it and promptly cancelled the order leaving the team to source a donor 250 GT SWB Competition which had previously raced in the 1961 Tour de France.
Fast fast-forward nearly 60 years and a ‘true admirer’ of an Italian brand knocks on the door of award-winning automotive designer, Niels van Roij with the unusual request of creating him a Breadvan Hommage.
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We saw it as a great privilege that we were asked to celebrate the ’62 Breadvan through this Hommage commission. We intended to be inspired by the original, but ensured we were not limited by it in our creativity – the Breadvan Hommage is a new original
Make no mistake, this ‘new’ Ferrari has been painstakingly reimagined from it’s exterior and interior design, to the meticulous clay modelling and coachbuilding of the Breadvan Hommage body; only the windscreen remains OEM.
Breadvan Hommage Interior
Exquisite attention to detail has also been paid to the aesthetics of the cockpit, with a subtle but prominent embroidered reminder of the iconic shape, strategically positioned into the head restraints of the blue Alcantara carbon fibre backed seats. The ‘less is more’ monogram can also be found on all 7 of the traditional and rather splendid pure silver inlaid dials.
A nod to Italy’s feisty heritage arrives in the shape of an analogue clock which simply states ‘che importa’ – Italian for ‘who cares!’, alongside the other essential dial which always looks better in something loud and fast – Benzina…
All switchgear is crafted from milled aluminium, linking to the gated shifter which is set on a raised block. The fortunate pilot is surrounded by quilted black leather found on the centre console, lower door cards and even the headliner should you wish to impress those jealous passengers.
The car is a complex, three-dimensional sculpture, which has to look right from all angles and under different light circumstances. Like sketching, the clay modelling process is iterative and the Breadvan Hommage was reshaped many times, to get it spot on.
After establishing the correct proportions the search for sophistication in the surfacing, or skin, started: finding the right subtleties for transitions from one element to another. It includes the exterior graphics like the richly sculpted air vents on the front fenders. The body of the Breadvan Hommage was hand-beaten by coachbuilder Bas van Roomen. Bas also worked on the clay model of the Breadvan Hommage. Only the windscreen of that car remained OEM and it was painted in one of the eight specially designed reds
Enzo Ferrari may have dismissed the idea of any 250 GTO ever racing with or without badges but he did say “The Ferrari is a dream—people dream of owning this special vehicle and for most people, it will remain a dream apart from those lucky few“.
The Breadvan Hommage is, without doubt, an unapologetic automotive epiphany, achieved by refusing to accept something ‘acceptable’.
Image credit: Robbert Moree and Luuk van Kaathoven