Meet The Minotto Barchetta, A Carbon-Bodied, Ferrari V12-Propelled Homage To The 1950s
Photography by AutoLeven
If you can’t afford what you want, there are basically two (legal) options to change that situation. The common path is to work hard, save up, and hope to earn enough in the process to make the purchase at a later date. In the world of classic cars however, even the best-paid professions have a hard time keeping up with ever-appreciating values of these sought-after automobiles. The other option is to build, not buy. That’s more or less the route that Hans Teijgeler chose to reach his dream, but what he’s created is no replica.
In his younger years, Hans had many a fixation, and he indulged in them thanks to his own impetus to build what he couldn’t buy. Rolling up the good old sleeves and figuring out how to do it himself led to everything from custom-made surfboards to fully operational airplanes—whatever it may be, Hans has always found a way to create what he loved, which only pulled him deeper into the passion.
Later on in his life, after experiencing modern day supercars and being disappointed by what they delivered, Hans decided to, as he says, “Go for it.” He wanted a car that had an element that all these modern-day Instagram toys were lacking: a pure driving experience. Readers of Petrolicious already know the tradeoff between modern performance and the joys of analog driving, but Hans has done a pretty damn good job of merging the two in the car you see here. It’s called the Minotto Barchetta, and it’s not hard to spot the stylistic homage to the barchetta body’s heyday in the 1950s and early ‘60s.
So let’s start with the design. Hans’ vision of the Minotto required that it be a car benefiting from modern construction techniques, while retaining a presence similar to the barchettas of the 1950s and ’60s. With some help, Hans got to it, and almost instantly came up with the form that you see here.It took a lot longer for the design to be realized however, but the Minotto’s lines are the same as they appeared on the first pencil drawings done years ago. As mentioned, Hans wanted to apply modern techniques in the build process, so rather than shaping the body from aluminum as it would have been in the period, Hans opted for carbon fiber.
The traditional styling and the restraint displayed in not showing off any carbon fiber weave from the outside is a cool mix—while the car will automatically grab your attention, it doesn’t reveal all of its tricks right off the bat. Because the material can be layered up to create extra rigidity in key places, the material provides more than just the benefit of light weight; by reinforcing the body in certain places with extra layers of carbon fiber, the Minotto increases its overall torsional stiffness without resorting to excessive bracing or bars. Hans says it took him about a year to shape the body in carbon, but he reckons most of it was spent sanding. With the help of his friend and colleague, Rutger Meijer, Hans had created the look he was after. It was time to put some power into the equation.
When it came to the motor, Hans was adamant that the project not go limp once you lifted up the hood. It had to have proper power on tap, and not from a high-strung turbocharged four-banger (as cool as those can be). Hans decided that a Ferrari V12 checked enough of his boxes, and he got to sourcing some Italian cylinders to fill the empty engine bay. The Tipo F133F/H is a 5.8L V12 from the 612 Scaglietti, and you don’t need me to tell you that the Minotto doesn’t weight nearly what the big GT Ferrari does. In other words, this was plenty of power. The 530 horses are channeled through a 6-speed manual transmission and a limited-slip, with the sound coming out of an almost completely straight-piped exhaust system. I’ll give you a moment to try to imagine what it’s like to drive through a tunnel.
This massive V12 was not an offhand decision though. Hans needed a narrow footprint to fit in the bay and provide the weight distribution he was looking for, so an inline six seemed like the obvious choice. There are a bunch of tunable straight-sixes to choose from, and he also considered the Nissan VQ line of V6s at one point. The problem was not in the performance potential, it was all about keeping the Italian soul in the project. Even if the barchettas of the day were rarely packing the cylinder count that Hans has in the Minotto, I think we can all agree that the red-headed V12 suits this project better than a 2JZ. At the end of the day though, the V12 proved too heavy, too powerful, and perhaps just “too much” for the platform. This is a prototype though, so Hans has opted to leave it in. Once he starts building these for clients, they will retain their Italian roots but halve the cylinder count. They will feature the 3.2L version of Alfa Romeo’s famous “Busso” V6s, so you can count on them sounding amazing, even if its not a V12 howl.
The only downside of this engine is that it only produces around 250 horsepower. It’s not a paltry amount by any means, but it’s not enough for a car that looks like this one. This is where Autodelta comes into play. As of now, they are set up to provide Hans with the beautiful Busso V6, but in 3.8L form instead of the 3.2L. It should make for the perfect mill for the Minotto, but because the V12 will still appeal to certain people who don’t care much about pragmatism, Hans still wants to offer this engine as an optional extra.
Today, Hans and his team are fine tuning the Minotto, with the ultimate goal to take it into production. They recently came one step closer to this dream when Louwman Exclusive, one of the biggest luxury car dealerships in The Netherlands, agreed to give the Minotto Barchetta a spot on their showroom floor. Who knows, maybe it will inspire the next Hans to build his own version one day.