Aug 3, 2005

Kit cars in Beijing

I saw what appeared to be a 2005 Ferrari F430 on the Fourth Ring Road in Chaoyang District today, driven by a young lad. I wasn't able to inspect it closely, since I was inside a taxi at the time. However, I'm quite certain it was a kit car.

Is it possible to build such a kit car? Of course it is. Check out this Lamborghini Murcielago kit car on eBay. It would fool most passers-by.

As many can testify, there are lots of great fake merchandise and art replicas in China. Not to mention, workers do their job very quickly. Construction of buildings goes on at a pace much faster than in the west. Star Wars III was on DVD in Beijing the day it opened in theaters across the world. It stands to reason that a late model Ferrari could be reproduced with the same speed and accuracy.

And the non-technical analysis: no one would be so obscene as to drive a real Ferrari as a commute-car in Beijing. On the roads inside the city, there's never an opportunity to go more than 45 MPH. In the countryside, the road quality is poor, and the peasants, mules, and farm vehicles make fast driving impossible.

If only I could have heard the engine sound of the "Ferrari", I'd be able to say without a doubt if it was authentic or not. Until I encounter the elusive car again, we'll not know for sure.

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