September Sale 2018

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1998 Ferrari 550 Maranello

Lot No.: 331

Registration: S789 HGD
Chassis Number: ZFFZR49C000114681
Engine Number: 52086
Number of cylinders: 12
CC: 5474
Year of Manufacture: 1998
RHD/LHD: Right Hand Drive
Estimate (£): 95,000 - 110,000
(+buyer's premium of 15% including VAT @ 20%)
  • Great colour combination
  • Enviable service history 
  • The last of the purist's V12 manual Ferraris?
  • Real-world GT ability and a timeless modern classic
Firmly placed in Ferrari's history as one of their finest modern-era big GTs, the 550 Maranello's combination of elegant lines and legendary front-mounted 12-cylinder engine, meant that these cars had the potential to become instant classics.  Following in the footsteps and sharing the DNA of the 365 GTB/4 'Daytona', the 550 Maranello is inevitability compared to its forbear.  Few front-engined Ferraris have quite justified that comparison quite like the 550 Maranello.

Styled by Pininfarina, like its illustrious predecessor, the 550 Maranello was similarly proportioned, adopting the classical combination of long bonnet, small cabin and a truncated tail.  Classic Ferrari styling cues include a bonnet air scoop and hot air outlets behind the front wheel-arches recalling the great Competizione Ferraris of the past, whilst the rear incorporates Ferrari's characteristic twin circular lights.

The heart of any Ferrari is its engine, and the 550 Maranello's 48-valve, 5.5-litre V12 develops 485bhp at 7,000rpm.  The powertrain was housed in a tubular steel chassis, to which was attached aluminium coachwork, whilst the all-independent suspension incorporated dual-mode (normal/sports) damping, switch-selectable by the driver, which was complemented by speed-sensitive power-assisted steering.

The six-speed manual gearbox complements a slightly more even torque curve ensuring that the power delivery was a little less frenetic, whilst excellent weight distribution and delightful road manners make the 550 Maranello a truly refined driving machine, whilst still capable of almost 200 mph. With styling that is ageing particularly well, a high-quality cabin, generous storage and an enormous 100-litre-plus fuel tank, the 550 Maranello really is the consummate 'European Grand Tourer' in the true Ferrari mould.

In 2004, EVO magazine published a 'Greatest Driver's Cars' feature that set the 550 Maranello against the Porsche 911 GT3, Honda NSX-R and Pagani Zonda C12S.  The Ferrari won.  EVO stated “As with all great cars, there's no one facet that dominates the experience. Yes, the engine is mighty, but the chassis is its equal. There's never been a supercar that's so exploitable and so rounded in its capabilities.”

The car presented here is a UK-supplied, right-hand drive 1998 Ferrari 550 Maranello, which has covered just 31,164 miles, and looks resplendent in the discerning combination of Nero Daytona (Black) paintwork and Crema hide (with black piping).  The car was supplied new through Graypaul (Ferrari) in Edinburgh and was returned to the workshops of Glenvarigill (Ferrari) in Edinburgh for servicing up to 21,161 miles, back to Graypaul  up to 28,460 miles, then Lancaster (Ferrari) at Colchester at 29,672 miles, Ferrari specialists ‘Slades Garage’ , Bucks at 30,819 miles and most recently Dick Lovett (Ferrari) of Swindon at 31,142 miles, a total of five cam-belt changes during this period.  

This splendid car drives and performs extremely well, and has its confidence-inspiring maintenance history fully documented in the accompanying stamped-up service book.  It also retains its full book-pack and manuals plus a complete tool-kit.  The history file shows numerous invoices for servicing and maintenance.  

The 550 has been much hailed as a potential future classic, occupying a unique space where old world Ferrari V12s meets the new.  A 550 really is a must-have model for any serious Ferrari enthusiast.