Sacrilege is a word that gets bandied around in the automotive community any time a purist’s delicate sensibilities are ruffled. But what about when an unconventional project is done so well that all people can do is enthuse?
Meet David Lee. He’s the CEO of Hing Wa Lee jewelers and an investment empire. He also loves Ferraris and is known for his collection of Italian stallions. Lee wanted to build a unique car–a classic Ferrari that’s as easy to drive as a modern supercar.
Lee says he sunk $1 million dollars into this project. From behind the wheel of his modified 1972 Dino, which he calls the Monza 3.6 Evo, the investment seems to have been worth it. The build is cohesive to an impressive degree, which Lee says was his intention; the car is supposed to drive like it came from the factory.
The “3.6” figure in the name comes from the naturally aspirated V-8’s displacement. The engine started as a 2.9-liter twin-turbo sourced from the legendary Ferrari F40, but Lee’s builder removed the turbos and bored the block out to 3.6-liters. There’s also been a subsequent overhaul of parts, including new pistons and headers, and an F40 radiator. The resulting output is a delightful 400 hp in a car that revs past 7,000 rpm. The driver changes gears with a delightful 5-speed manual that Lee says comes from a Ferrari 328.
There are other modern touches like low-speed power steering, mighty Brembo brakes, a revised suspension, and bigger 17-in. wheels which are recasts of the originals from the Dino. The whole build is balanced, planted, and way easier to drive than expected. All that power in a 2,400-lb car with near 50/50 weight distribution is almost always a winning combination.