How James Glickenhaus challenged his Italian idols and created some of the fastest cars on the planet…
It’s just a small piece of metal: a yellow-and-black emblem featuring a prancing horse and the initials S F, for Scuderia Ferrari. But as James Glickenhaus pried off the universally revered badge from the car’s body panel, he wasn’t just breaching etiquette — he was boldly declaring his independence.
One of the biggest and most passionate Ferrari collectors alive, Glickenhaus not only signalled that he was cutting ties with the world’s foremost supercar builder; he planned to beat the carmaker at its own game, building his own cars with superior design and improved performance, and even earning on-track victories at some of the world’s most prestigious races. Ferrari’s biggest fan had become Ferrari’s biggest challenger.
Glickenhaus has found success in diverse areas. He wrote and directed eight Hollywood films before moving into a profitable career in finance. He has also curated an automotive collection composed of the most exotic of cars. His passion reached a tipping point when representatives of Pininfarina, the legendary Italian coachbuilder, contacted him about commissioning a truly special project.
Glickenhaus envisioned a combination of the beautiful, sculpted lines of his 1967 P3/4 and the performance of the current Ferrari lineup, specifically components from his recently purchased Enzo Ferrari, a multimillion-dollar performance-focused hypercar with few rivals. The result of this partnership, the Ferrari P4/5 by Pininfarina, is widely regarded as one of the most impressive vehicles on the planet (a member of the Saudi royal family supposedly offered US$40 million for the car and was rejected).
Despite the acclaim, Glickenhaus wasn’t satisfied with what he had been able to achieve with the P4/5. He wanted to win the Nürburgring 24 Hour endurance race, and to that end he commissioned the P4/5 Competizione, partnering with independent consultant Paolo Garella and founding a new organisation for this build, Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus (SCG). Built using components from a racing legal Ferrari 430, the car was soon obliterating records at the Nürburgring, competing in the 2011 race before winning the 2012 experimental class. When Ferrari expressed displeasure at the competition on the track using its brand and logo, the P4/5 C shed the Ferrari name and badge.
Glickenhaus now possessed two of the most desirable machines in the automotive world. But he was also in control of something just as significant: Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus, an elite design and racing team formed to help achieve the goals of the P4/5 project. Glickenhaus soon conceived the team’s next great project, the SCG 003.
SCG got to work. Glickenhaus wanted more than just to win the Nürburgring 24 Hour; he wanted to do it in style. The results of these efforts were the limited edition hypercars SCG 003 C (Competizione), the SCG 003CS (Competizione Stradale), and the SCG 003S (Stradale).
Typically, automakers start with a road version of a car before tuning it for the track, but Glickenhaus decided that the opposite approach was preferable and started with the racing version. First to arrive was the C, a racing-focused model that, in accordance with FIA and other racing organisations’ regulations, was outfitted with a 550- horsepower, 3.5-litre Honda V-6. Despite the limitation, the C has recorded blisteringly fast times around the Nürburgring, including a record-setting 6:33. Next came the 003CS, a sort of hybrid between the racing C and the yet-to-be-built road-focused S. The car is a V-8 road-legal vehicle, but a V-6 engine can easily be swapped in for track races. Last up is the 003S, the Stradale, with a twin-turbo, 4.4-litre V-8 producing around 750 horsepower paired to a seven-speed, dualclutch gearbox.
The aero package, so aggressive on the C and CS models, is toned down for the S to ensure that the car’s ability to reach a top speed of 350 km/h doesn’t sacrifice comfort or reliability in daily driving. Glickenhaus aims to produce three cars this year and eight in 2018, each priced at up to US$2 million. With a new GT racecar costing US$25 million to design and build, and customised supercars going for upwards of US$5 million, the SCG 003 offers unbeatable performance and design, with a reasonable price tag… relatively speaking.
By Keith Gordon
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