In case you need any further inspiration to dip into our 550 Maranello buyer's guide...
V12 Ferraris exist in a different plane from their shouty, mid-engined counterparts. Sure, the 'baby' ones have their place. But crushing GT performance, elegant looks and a sumptuous interior nestled behind a howling, red-headed V12 engine was a Ferrari staple long before mid-mounted engines and, indeed, the word 'supercar' were even commonplace.
And this week we present to you temptation in the form of a how-to guide to buying one of the best of recent times - the 550 Maranello.
Just in case you need some inspiration to assist in your deliberations we've got a Friday treat in the form of a gorgeous 550-themed desktop.
Our thanks to our colleagues on Classic & Sports Car for this one, this shoot for the Maranello coming from an in-depth feature in the latest issue (out now!) and photographed in fine style by Malcolm Griffiths.
So. Check out their feature. Digest our in-depth buying guide. And then, suitably fired up, hit the classifieds!
You know, instinctively that's what I went with. And then I checked a dictionary and it wasn't too clear. Having read your response I checked another dictionary and it was. Should've gone with my instincts and been done with it!
Anyway. It's now on a different plane following...
Dictionary number two said:
2 a level of existence, conciousness or development
She Who Must Be Obeyed will be having a blue or grey manual, with black leather. I feel the 550 will go the same way as a 275GTB/4 Daytona price wise....
There was a similar discussion on Ferrarichat this week. It should be remembered there are around 5700 550 and 575s combined (if you include the Superamerica and Barchetta specials) compared with 1400 Daytonas and about 700 275s (2 and 4 cam combined) making the older cars much rarer. The increased availability will mean that IMO the newer cars will never quite attain the values of the older cars, but I agree they are probably a little undervalued in the market place at the moment.
The older models offer a very different driving experience to the 550/575 (or any other modern car for that matter). I suspect after a couple more generations of Ferrari Berlinetta the 550/575 will come into their own for people seeking a different driving experience to whatever modern hydrid gas turbine quadruple clutch (joke) car is then on sale.
I owned one, my first Ferrari, and what a stunning car to drive, clutch a little heavy, gearbox a bit clunky, but it is an event every time you go out in it, no gimmicks, no modern tech or driver aids, turn the traction control off and wow. Servicing costs over the two years I had mine were fairly minimal, as was the classic insurance, I paid about £400 fully comp for 5000 miles, and servicing/repairs were about £2200 for the 2 years I had mine which included a battery and alternator repair, and 2 front shocks. Great fun and totally recommend, sure you could get a GTR, C63, DB9 etc, but why be the same as everyone else, and the 550 will at least retain its immediate value, and over the long term increase, whereas the others will certainly decrease in value.
I thought this was an ugly car when it came out, and time has not been kind to it.
I thought it was ugly at launch too, and I much prefer the styling of the 599 or the original Vanquish or for that matter the 456GT. However, I think time has been reasonably kind to the 550. The high miles one a friend had seemed to get better looking the more time I spent around it. The bonnet vent and the grille and headlights are all a bit fussy, but from the front axle back it's quite elegant. It was TDF blue with standard alloys and that combination seemed to work fairly well. They are also seriously fast, even by the standards of today.
I borrowed one for a weekend and took it from London to N Wales. The performance was stunning but well matched by the car's thirst. I was hugely impressed by the precision with which it could be placed in the corners, at high speed too, and by the remarkable body control and damping, coupled with fairly decent ride. However, I felt it was simply too wide for a serious driver on UK single carriageway roads, and it also felt very heavy (as did the clutch and gearchange). I felt it was a better all round drive and a higher quality item than a Vanquish, but reluctantly concluded that the weight and width ruled it out for me. Also on 550s, there's an issue with the exhaust. The standard car is a bit too quiet, yet the often-fitted sports exhaust is very boomy and shouty which is embarrassing in town.
I am really not a fan of Ferraris, not sure why but they never 'did' it for me... with the exception of the 550/575. Can't put a tangiable reason on it but a Nero 575 with a manual box and cream interior is just about the perfect car IMHO.