‘The Maranello needs no excuses: it is right-minded, a return to traditional values, albeit values and standards that tower high above those set by the Daytona when it shuffled off to extinction a quarter of a century ago.’ – Car magazine.
With the introduction of the 550 Maranello in 1997, Ferrari returned to its tradition of building front-engined V12 sports cars, resurrecting a line that had remained dormant since the demise of the 365 GTB/4 ‘Daytona’ in 1974. The heart of any Ferrari is its engine, and the 550 Maranello’s 48-valve, 5.5-litre V12 developed 485bhp at 7,000rpm, some 100-or-so horsepower more than the Daytona’s. Ferrari had discovered long ago that providing optimum balance in a front-engined sports car necessitated the use of a rear transaxle, and the Maranello’s came with six speeds. The power train was housed in a tubular steel chassis, to which was attached aluminium coachwork, while the all-independent suspension incorporated dual-mode (normal/sports) damping, switch-selectable by the driver, which was complemented by speed-sensitive power-assisted steering.
Styled by Pininfarina like its illustrious ‘Daytona’ predecessor, the 550 Maranello was similarly proportioned, adopting the classical combination of long bonnet, small cabin and truncated tail. The body’s aerodynamics were developed in the wind tunnel, where hours of testing ensured that the minimum of drag was combined with constant downforce regardless of set up, an important consideration in a 200mph road car. Styling details such as the bonnet air scoop and hot air outlets behind the front wheelarches recalled the great competizione Ferraris of the past, in particular the immortal 250 GTO, while the tail incorporated Ferrari’s characteristic twin circular lights.
This stunning 550 Maranello in ‘Argento Nürburgring’ with black leather interior was first registered on 1st February 1999 in Italy to a well known Ferrari enthusiast, joining his stable of Ferraris which included over the years a 288 GTO, F40, F50, and Enzo as well as a 550 Barchetta. Two of his company’s subsidiaries – Pisa Ceramiche and Mirage – acted as sponsors for the Benetton and Williams Formula 1 teams during the 1996/97 season.
The car was serviced by the official Ferrari dealer, Motor Service SrL of Modena, and it has been noted that the four magnesium wheels were replaced at the service on 4th March 2003 when the odometer reading was recorded as 1,650 kilometres. Another service was carried out on 7th October 2010, at which time the timing belts were replaced. The current owner, who purchased the Ferrari in November 2017, had it serviced again at Motor Service on 1st December 2017, and once again the all-important timing belts were changed. At that point the odometer reading was 2,044 kilometres. Furthermore, the interior switches were repainted as the original plastic had become sticky, a well-known fault of Ferraris from this period. At the time of photographing, the odometer reading was 2,080 kilometres, which is believed to be correct.
This beautifully presented 550 Maranello comes with its original tool kit, original indoor Ferrari dust cover, original service book and owner’s manual, Italian registration documents, and the invoice for the last service.