A NEW APPROACH IN AN AGE OLD BUSINESS+44 (0) 1926 691 141
Sold for: £121,500
Just 3,429 miles from new with one owner; never offered for sale Beautiful genuine condition; always garage-stored, complete service history Recently professionally detailed and fully serviced (including belts) 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 a mere 3,429 miles from new with its one and only owner, who purchased it from Charles Hurst Ltd. (Ferrari) of Belfast in July 1998. A hectic international business life means that our vendor has only used the car occasionally hence the enviable low mileage, but has ensured it was always garaged stored. It was serviced by Charles Hurst Ltd. at 2,095 miles and 2,580 miles (belts replaced) and then again at 3,429 miles (belts replaced) with renowned Ferrari specialists ‘Keys Motorsport Ltd.’ of Towcester, who have inspected the car and were impressed with its overall condition, noting its particularly sweet-running engine and slick gear-change. This recent thorough service should give a new owner real confidence in a car that has recently come out of storage; however, due to the car's lack of regular use there may be some remedial work required. The service history is fully documented in the accompanying books and manuals. 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 and this fabulous car has to be one of the lowest mileage examples available, plus it benefits from single ownership and a classic colour combination. This is a car not to be missed.