Here's a confession: the current Ferrari range doesn't personally appeal very much. I'm certain they would given an empty track and
five sets of tyres
but at the moment I don't yearn to own a Ferrari, which is rather sad. They used to be prettier, the speed sounds a bit bonkers for use on the road and that single-minded focus on squeezing every tenth has made them a lot less cool. This is all personal opinion, don't forget; perhaps a Tell Me I'm Wrong with a little more thought...
Anyway, this 550 is a celebration of what I consider a purple patch for Ferrari. Everyone will have their favourite period, and I adore some of the older stuff, but as a (very) young lad in the mid-90s there was something intensely exciting about contemporary Ferraris. Still is, actually.
Of course being young and impressionable would have helped, but think about it. Cars like the 355 and 456 were stunningly beautiful, to a point that none of their replacements have come close to matching. The 550 wasn't quite so lovely but it's prettier to these eyes than a 599. Manual transmissions were predominant and though they obviously weren't slow, there wasn't this unrelenting focus on damper response time, shift speed, Fiorano laps and so on. Simpler and cooler times. No doubt this could then be said tracing back to the 80s, 70s, 60s...
Even better excuse for a road trip, right?
It's taken a little while for the market to appreciate the 550 - see our 2012
proudly stating well used Maranellos "can be found from around £35,000", with most around £45-£55K. Not any more sunshine! Today the
on PH is £65,950 with 94,000 miles, rising to a quarter of a million (!) for
has been selected for no other reason than the colour scheme; TdF Blue with Crema leather must be up there with Grigio Titanio and Bordeaux as the best 550 colour scheme. Again it's a personal thing, but front-engined V12s always look best in colours other than red.
Annoyingly this car is left-hand drive, meaning a similar spec RHD car can't be far off £100K now. Crikey. But I don't care about current values, or future values or anything. I want a 550 Maranello, to drive and enjoy and love. Someone please say this isn't a hopelessly rose-tinted dream?
FERRARI 550 MARANELLO
Engine: 5,474cc V12
Transmission: 6-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 485@7,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 420@5,000rpm
CO2: 530g/km (!)
First registered: 1997
Recorded mileage: 18,020
Price new: £121,300
Yours for: £79,950
View original advert here.