Aki’s 1973 Ferrari Daytona Spyder replica

This Daytona Spyder gets a huge amount of attention — even though it isn’t a true Ferrari. Proud owner Aki tells us more about his awesome replica
By Imran Malik, Features Writer
|
December 16, 2016
Aki is all smiles with his stunning replica
Aki is all smiles with his stunning replica(1/6)
Out of the 1,406 Daytonas that Ferrari built, just 122 were Spyders. They’re very rare so if you can’t find one, make one!
Out of the 1,406 Daytonas that Ferrari built, just 122 were Spyders. They’re very rare so if you can’t find one, make one!(2/6)
He drives this stunner every day — but things would probably be different if it was the real deal...
He drives this stunner every day — but things would probably be different if it was the real deal...(3/6)
Photos: Aiza Castillo-Domingo/ANM
Photos: Aiza Castillo-Domingo/ANM(4/6)
Photos: Aiza Castillo-Domingo/ANM
Photos: Aiza Castillo-Domingo/ANM(5/6)
Photos: Aiza Castillo-Domingo/ANM
Photos: Aiza Castillo-Domingo/ANM(6/6)

Welcome to My Wheels, Aki, or should we say Detective James “Sonny” Crockett! We love your Daytona replica, it looks just like the one from Miami Vice. How did you come across this beauty?

Thanks for featuring me in the magazine! I found it in the US. It was hand-built by RowleyCorvette in 1990 on a 1981 C3 Chevrolet Corvette chassis and engine. Inside the boot there is a plaque that shows this is car #37 from RowleyCorvette and it also has the name of the first owner, which is a nice touch. When I saw it, I knew I had to have it as I am a massive Miami Vice fan. That was the coolest show on TV when I was a teenager. I watched every episode and bought the DVD set as soon as it became available. Owning and driving this car to me was the ultimate boyhood dream and I am so excited to finally have a chance to make it come true.

 

We’re really pleased for you — but why not a white Testarossa?

I was thinking about it but I was worried about the maintenance costs and, anyway, since I wanted to have a daily driver, the Daytona felt a safer choice. The fact that in the TV series they had a Daytona Replica made the choice even easier for me. I had the car thoroughly tested before buying it and I’ve been the proud owner for the past few months.

 

You’re from Finland, so naturally, cars and motor racing is in your DNA…

You’re right — I think you could say most Finnish men are petrolheads; you only need to check the amount of World Champions we have in Rally, Formula 1, Moto Racing, Enduro, Trial, etc to prove my point. From a country with a population of only 5-6 million, it is a crazy achievement.

I love cars and have owned various models over the years, such as a BMW X5, Audi A4 Cabriolet and a few family haulers including a Volvo V50, Toyota Innova and Mitsubishi Pajero. The most interesting one was a BMW M3 Cabriolet with a six-speed manual gearbox, re-mapped ECU and Dinan performance exhaust system. That thing really made a nice sound when driving in the tunnel and had loads of power.

However, the best car I have ever driven is a Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow II, which belongs to my father-in-law back in Finland. It’s perhaps more an emotional choice as it was our wedding car. Sitting in the back of that makes you feel like royalty.

 

Those are superb. Back to the Daytona, it has a 350 (5.7-litre) V8 under that long bonnet; how much power is it putting out and how fun is this car to drive?

It has about 200 horsepower, which is definitely enough for a car this light.
The chassis and suspension are actually pretty good and could manage more power and torque and, in fact, I am considering doing some upgrades in the future to boost the output.

But as a daily driver it doesn’t get much better than this — I drive it from home to work and it’s also a lot of fun to drive down Jumeirah Beach Road and JBR. Winter weather in Dubai suits this car perfectly, so now it is time to make the most of it.

 

It turns even more heads than you thought it would, doesn’t it?

I must say, I have been blown away by the amount of thumbs up and positive remarks from other people. It seems that almost every time I go to the petrol station somebody comes to ask me details about the car and if it is for sale.

I am very happy to be able to contribute a little to the rich variety of cars on the streets of the UAE. It looks far more unique than anything else on the roads, which is a plus. The look of the car is the best thing about it — and also the rumble of the V8 from the quad exhaust pipes. It brings a smile to my face every time I turn the key.

Since the car is a classic and more than 30 years old, there are the occasional hiccups, but as the engine and chassis are from a C3 Corvette, there are plenty of spare parts around and they’re not too expensive.

 

We wish you years of happy motoring. Finally, what is your dream car?

I have two: a Ferrari 288 GTO and a Vector W8. Both are supercars from the Eighties and to me they’re still some of the greatest-looking cars of all time.

 

Got a hot ride? Email us at mywheels@gulfnews.com with a photo and description and you could be our next my wheels star!

Profile

Name:Aki Kotakorpi

Job:Finance Director

From:Finland

Wheels:1973 Ferrari Daytona Spyder replica

In the UAE:Eight years