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Saturday, May 21, 2016

This Ferrari 550 Maranello is Supremely Classy


Copyright © 2016 Bold Ride LLC.

When it comes to Ferraris manufactured after 1975, I could really care less—with the exception of the 288 GTO, and F40, of course. Other than that, there’s really nothing that stirs my soul the way a 250 GTO or 275 GTS does. Nothing other than the Maranello series, that is.
You can keep your goofy looking F50, gauche Testarossa, and thirsty 360 Modena, I’ll take a Maranello all damn day. When it debuted in 1996, the 550 Maranello marked the return of a front engine, rear-wheel-drive two seater with a 12 cylinder motor.

 When production of the 575 Maranello ended in 2006, it was clear that a front engine, manual gearbox Ferrari was not long for this world. The 599 GTB Fiorano soldiered on with a gated 6-speed until it was replaced by the F12 in 2013, and during that seven year span, only 30 were optioned with three pedals.

So, taking into consideration that a) you cannot get a new Ferrari with a manual transmission, b) the last ones available with a manual transmission are insanely rare, and c) it’s a freaking V12 Ferrari, the value of the 550 Maranello begins to make a whole lot of sense.
 When it goes to auction next month during The Elegance at Hershey, the estimated selling price of this example is anywhere from $210,000 to $225,000. What a bargain right? The Ferrari market isn’t going anywhere but up.

But forget about looking at this car as an investment, what about as daily driver? The 550 Maranello is, after all, a sizable GT car. Imagine cruising around town in those sumptuous leather seats, or tossing a duffel in the trunk and taking off for a long weekend to…wherever people who drive Ferraris take off to. No infotainment system begging for attention in the center stack, or passive safety features that encourage you to zone out, just a 6-speed gated manual, and a 478-horsepower V12.

The Maranello series is the last to offer what made Ferrari, Ferrari in the first place. Spine-tinging performance in a beautiful package. Nart Blue over Cuoio leather—c’mon, it doesn’t get any better than that. Red might be the official color of the brand, but when your vehicle is already insanely loud, both literally and figuratively, a more subdued exterior color goes a long way to make the car a classy affair.

 I truly hope this example finds a good home with someone who will drive it constantly, so that when I’m ready to add one to my collection, I’ll know where I can find one for marginally better price. Rack up those miles, drive that value down!