A NEW APPROACH IN AN AGE OLD BUSINESS+44 (0) 1926 691 141
Sold for: £67,500
When Luca di Montezemolo took office in 1991, a two-seat, front-engined V-12 Coupe had been absent from the company’s line-up since the 365 GTB/4 Daytona and so the decision was taken to revive the format as a replacement for Ferraris mid-engine, flat-12 models. After 30 months of development, the Ferrari 550 Maranello was presented in July 1996 at the Nürburgring circuit in Germany and is now firmly placed in Ferrari's history as one of their finest modern-era big GTs. 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, clothed in achingly beautiful 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 made possible 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.”
This lovely, left-hand drive 550 Maranello dates from 2000 and is finished in the stunning and desirable special order colour of Blue Pozzi with a Nero hide interior featuring Daytona seats. Having been enjoyed by only three owners who have covered just 39,028km (24,392 miles), the car is in sparkling condition sporting new wheels, brand new tyres and an aftermarket sports exhaust system. Accompanying the car is its service book stamped by Ferrari main dealer and Ferrari specialists, and kept in the original leather wallet. At 37,000 km, in 2017, it had a major service at QV in Egham including cam belts and engine mounts and was most recently serviced in March 2019.
The 550 has been much hailed as a potential future classic, occupying a unique space where old-world Ferrari V12s meets the new. Now that values have settled it really is a must-have model for any serious Ferrari enthusiast and this fabulous low-mileage example in such a rare colour warrants serious consideration.