If you like cars and have made a big stack of cash from your chosen vocation, you’re probably going to want to spend a chunk of it on some exotica. Paul Halstead, however, went a different way. Having found fortune in the IT world in the 1980s, he thought it would be a great idea to establish De Tomaso Australia. Sounds risky in itself, but Halstead went one step further by trying to make his own car under the guise ‘Giocattolo Motori’.
The company’s one and only vehicle - the Group B - was a heavily modified Alfa Romeo Sprint, reworked to give a mid-engine layout. An Alfa V6 was used at first, later making way for a Holden V8. This delicious slice of automotive lunacy turned out to be a disaster - the endeavour went bust after just 15 cars were made.
Still with us? Good, as there’s a point to this quick history lesson - Halstead is back and has something even sillier in mind.
The Giocattolo Marcella is not a hypercar - according to Halstead, it’s a ‘hyperod’. It’ll be good for 1400bhp, achieved via a W16 engine. Sort of.
Since developing such a power unit from scratch would be hideously expensive, and as Bugatti is unlikely to strike up an engine supply deal with a hypercar minnow any time soon, the Marcella uses two engines. A pair of 7.0-litre General Motors LS7 V8s are to be mounted in the middle and turned to 45-degrees, each retaining their original crankshafts.
The cranks - which sit just 250mm apart thanks to the angling of the two engines - are joined to a custom transfer case. The two blocks meanwhile are mated to an alloy billet bracket made by Australian firm Albins, which has also made an alloy billet transaxle for the Marcela.
Dry sump lubrication will help keep the one metre-wide, 14.0-litre Hulk of an engine low in the car’s chassis, and it’ll form a stressed member of its structure. As with the Group B, former McLaren engineer Barry Lock is involved.
The name can be traced back to the original, ruinous folding of Giocattolo. Having lost almost everything, Halstead promised his wife, Marcella, he’d make another fortune (which he did), build another car (which he’s about to), and name it after her (which he still will, despite them since divorcing).
Will this three-seater monster ever come to fruition? It’s gotten further than most start-up supercars since the engine already exists, but it’s hard not to treat the Marcella with a healthy dose of scepticism at this stage. You can’t help but root for a project like this, though.
Via Car Advice