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Friday 2nd November 2012

PH buying guide: Ferrari 550 Maranello

For the price of a well-stocked Audi TT you could instead have a V12 Ferrari - here's how



Not every supercar from the 1990s has aged as well as the Ferrari 550 Maranello. The 550 may have got off to a slow start with those who expected sweeping drama from the styling of a Ferrari, but this front-engined replacement for the F512 has moved gracefully into its middle years. It has also proved the shrewder buy over its 575M replacement that simply didn't handle nearly as well until Ferrari introduced a handling pack to cure the 575's ills.

Old-school looks, new-school appeal
Old-school looks, new-school appeal
Launched in 1996 costing £143,000, the 550 is far more practical than the F512 thanks to its 485hp 5.5-litre V12 engine being mounted up front. Even with a six-speed transaxle gearbox, boot space was decently generous and the 550 offered much easier access to its roomy cabin than the F512.

The V12 engine propelled the 550 from 0-62mph in 4.4 seconds, topped out at 200mph and was powerful enough to help this Ferrari record two new production car speed records in 1998. On a track at Marysville, Ohio in the USA, the 550 covered 62 miles at an average speed of 188.88mph, while in one hour the same car covered 183.955 miles.

A total of 3,083 Ferrari 550 coupes were made between 1996 and 2001, with 457 right-hand drive models produced. There were also 457 550 Barchetta Pininfarina open-tops built in 2001, with 10 pre-production models included in this figure. Of this number 48 were sold in the UK with right-hand drive. Top speed of the Barchetta was 186mph due to its aerodynamics not being quite as slippery as the coupe's 0.33Cd figure.

Despite extra strengthening to make the Barchetta free from scuttle shake, Ferrari kept the weight down to 1,690kg, identical to that of the coupe. A manually operated soft-top helped here, though this roof was only every intended as an emergency option rather than a proper year-round hood.

If you find a Barchetta for sale, expect to pay upwards of £100,000, while the best 550 coupes will set you back as much as £80,000 in today's market. Higher mileage but still cared for 550 coupes can be found from around £35,000, but most sit in the £45,000 to £55,000 bracket from Ferrari specialists and franchised dealers.


Photos by Malcolm Griffiths and from Classic & Sports Car - for the in-depth feature on this car and more pictures see the December issue, out now! Additional photography from Ferrari.


PHer quote:
"The only way to buy these cars is with a proper inspection from a Ferrari specialist and on quality - the cabin is fairly fragile and if the cabin looks more worn that it should be for a 20K mileage car then walk away. In addition, I think it is crucial to drive at least two cars as some may be very shiny with low miles but actually drive dreadfully."
Kickstart


Buying guide contents:
Introduction
Powertrain
Rolling Chassis
Body
Interior
Search Ferrari 550s in the PH classifieds

alisdairsuttie
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Author Discussion

Luca Brasi

Original Poster:

842 posts

61 months

[news] 
Friday 2nd November 2012 quote quote all
One of my all time favorite Ferraris, although I like the 575 even better. A GTC in TdF blue with tan leather, yes please cloud9

Arun_D

1,945 posts

82 months

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Friday 2nd November 2012 quote quote all
The side-on shot on the rolling chassis section of the guide is just great. What a beauty!

Dave Hedgehog

7,331 posts

91 months

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Friday 2nd November 2012 quote quote all
passionately dislike the bonnet scoop

im sure it will be very cheap to run doing 12-15k miles a year, especially with its hard wearing interior and all encompassing factory warranty wink

Adz The Rat

7,634 posts

96 months

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Friday 2nd November 2012 quote quote all
I love the 550, looks amazing in TDF Blue.

Krikkit

5,189 posts

68 months

[news] 
Friday 2nd November 2012 quote quote all
Wibble. Always liked the 550/575, a lottery win and I'd have a SuperAmerica! biggrin
[ETA] One look in the classifieds and I want this one. Rosso Corsa and Cuoio leather. cloud9


One thing that always surprises me with these buying guides is how often massively expensive cars suffer from stupid problems. e.g. Dodgy water hoses... Can't be that hard to make them right, can it?

Edited by Krikkit on Friday 2nd November 13:48

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tomoleeds

649 posts

73 months

[news] 
Friday 2nd November 2012 quote quote all
it covered 183,000 in a hour?

Trevor M

57 posts

32 months

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Friday 2nd November 2012 quote quote all
A less than inspiring looking car. As a result of the gaudy and tasteless Miami Vice Testarossa and ugly 348, Ferrari and Pininfarina went too far in the opposite direction with their first couple of new era front engine V12 cars, and ended up without any styling personality. You see these at a big gathering of Ferraris and they fade into nothing. I guess it's the perfect Ferrari for people who don't want anybody to know they're driving a Ferrari. Maybe that's an appeal in itself for some people. Not for me. Not at those keep-it-running prices and potential headaches. That's why they're so cheap.

MJK 24

4,344 posts

123 months

[news] 
Friday 2nd November 2012 quote quote all
tomoleeds said:
it covered 183,000 in a hour?
No, 183.955 miles!

Krikkit

5,189 posts

68 months

[news] 
Friday 2nd November 2012 quote quote all
Trevor M said:
*snip*
I disagree - the styling was back to something far more elegant and understated than the lairy monstrosities of the 80's, and harked back to the elegant curves of earlier cars which, to my eyes, looks lovely. Unmistakeably a Ferrari with those rear lights and that grille, but not too shouty. A great GT design.

JREwing

4,339 posts

66 months

[news] 
Friday 2nd November 2012 quote quote all
Krikkit said:
I disagree - the styling was back to something far more elegant and understated than the lairy monstrosities of the 80's, and harked back to the elegant curves of earlier cars which, to my eyes, looks lovely. Unmistakeably a Ferrari with those rear lights and that grille, but not too shouty. A great GT design.
I remember seeing them when new and thinking the styling was dull, but now it looks stunning to me and so much better than the 612. I even prefer it to the 456 now. I personally think it has aged terrifically.

ParanoidAndroid

1,104 posts

170 months

[news] 
Friday 2nd November 2012 quote quote all
JREwing said:
Krikkit said:
I disagree - the styling was back to something far more elegant and understated than the lairy monstrosities of the 80's, and harked back to the elegant curves of earlier cars which, to my eyes, looks lovely. Unmistakeably a Ferrari with those rear lights and that grille, but not too shouty. A great GT design.
I remember seeing them when new and thinking the styling was dull, but now it looks stunning to me and so much better than the 612. I even prefer it to the 456 now. I personally think it has aged terrifically.
Agree, didn't like it at all when it first came out but now I love it, especially in TDF. The have such class and presence on the road.

carinaman

8,427 posts

59 months

mr2j

444 posts

45 months

[news] 
Friday 2nd November 2012 quote quote all
Reminds me of how much I want a 2JZ-GTE Supra



lol

Jagmanv12

855 posts

51 months

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Friday 2nd November 2012 quote quote all
In the interior section they write that you should check for the tyre inflator as the 550 doesn't come with a spare wheel. That's true but a space saver is available. It the Ferrari space saver is too costly for you get a Volvo one.

possibletowel

65 posts

34 months

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Friday 2nd November 2012 quote quote all
one of my favourite ferraris! silver with nero leather and you're on for a winner! a tubi exhaust wouldnt go a miss either :L

tommy vercetti

8,230 posts

50 months

[news] 
Friday 2nd November 2012 quote quote all
ParanoidAndroid said:
JREwing said:
Krikkit said:
I disagree - the styling was back to something far more elegant and understated than the lairy monstrosities of the 80's, and harked back to the elegant curves of earlier cars which, to my eyes, looks lovely. Unmistakeably a Ferrari with those rear lights and that grille, but not too shouty. A great GT design.
I remember seeing them when new and thinking the styling was dull, but now it looks stunning to me and so much better than the 612. I even prefer it to the 456 now. I personally think it has aged terrifically.
Agree, didn't like it at all when it first came out but now I love it, especially in TDF. The have such class and presence on the road.
+1. I think its aged quite nicely and really does looks like a nice smooth, classy car

80085

160 posts

31 months

[news] 
Friday 2nd November 2012 quote quote all
Trevor M said:
A less than inspiring looking car. As a result of the gaudy and tasteless Miami Vice Testarossa and ugly 348, Ferrari and Pininfarina went too far in the opposite direction with their first couple of new era front engine V12 cars, and ended up without any styling personality. You see these at a big gathering of Ferraris and they fade into nothing. I guess it's the perfect Ferrari for people who don't want anybody to know they're driving a Ferrari. Maybe that's an appeal in itself for some people. Not for me. Not at those keep-it-running prices and potential headaches. That's why they're so cheap.
Its unmistakably a ferrari, silly comment, harks back to the old designs, I'll have it in gun metal grey, love it, a very classy car imo. Name a ferrari that doesn't have potential to ruin if not looked after properly!

80085

160 posts

31 months

[news] 
Friday 2nd November 2012 quote quote all
Dave Hedgehog said:
passionately dislike the bonnet scoop

im sure it will be very cheap to run doing 12-15k miles a year, especially with its hard wearing interior and all encompassing factory warranty wink
You prefer 4wd 2ltr mercs, we know, boring!

80085

160 posts

31 months

[news] 
Friday 2nd November 2012 quote quote all
Trevor M said:
A less than inspiring looking car. As a result of the gaudy and tasteless Miami Vice Testarossa and ugly 348, Ferrari and Pininfarina went too far in the opposite direction with their first couple of new era front engine V12 cars, and ended up without any styling personality. You see these at a big gathering of Ferraris and they fade into nothing. I guess it's the perfect Ferrari for people who don't want anybody to know they're driving a Ferrari. Maybe that's an appeal in itself for some people. Not for me. Not at those keep-it-running prices and potential headaches. That's why they're so cheap.

80085

160 posts

31 months

[news] 
Friday 2nd November 2012 quote quote all
No styling personality whatsoever? People won't recognise its a ferarri, they will think hey there's some chav in a supra(personally I also love supras) honestly some people!

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