One owner from new 1998 Ferrari 550 Maranello Coachwork by Pininfarina Chassis no. ZFFZR49B000110792
"The 550 Maranello will go down as one of the most memorable Ferraris of recent times. Performance as blistering as this, mated to a chassis that is friendlier and better than any Ferrari's since the 246 Dino, means you don't quickly forget a hard drive over a good road in the 550M." Autocar, 27th November 1996.
What was remarkable about the Ferrari 550 Maranello was not that it was a reincarnation of the fabled Daytona, nor that Ferrari positioned it as the flagship of their road car range, but that they decided a front-engined car was the correct replacement for a mid-engined one.
Replacing the F512M with the 550 broke one of the unwritten rules of supercar creation, but as CEO Luca di Montezemolo said at the car's unveiling at the Nürburgring in July 1996, "I was a little disturbed by a car that was too much of a showoff, too difficult to use". It seemed the culture had that had created the Testarossa had changed.
The public remained to be convinced, though. The 550 was felt perhaps too habitable inside, too much of a GT, and derived its 5.5-litre V12 from the 456 GT. It had been worked on, though. The quad cam naturally aspirated unit boasted a variable volume intake manifold, titanium con rods, forged aluminium pistons and four valves per cylinder, resulting in power outputs of 479bhp at 7,000rpm and 419lb ft at 5,000rpm.
With Sergio Pininfarina having spent 4,800 hours in the wind tunnel honing the shape, the 550 was a blisteringly fast car capable of 199mph, with 0-60mph taking just 4.3sec and 0-100mph dealt with in under 10sec.
Other aspects of the 550 were familiar from the 456: all-round independent suspension with double wishbones, coil springs, adjustable dampers and anti-roll bars. The tubular steel and aluminium panel construction was similar, although the wheelbase was four inches shorter.
But on the road the 550 was in a different league to the 456 itself no slouch. To a certain extent every Ferrari is defined by its engine, and this is undoubtedly one of the greats. The sheer torque leaves the greatest impression. Choose any of the six forward gears in the open gate (the lever doesn't like to be rushed, but is so satisfying to use an event in itself) and whatever the revs the Maranello fires forward with gusto, singing its heart out all the way to the 7,700rpm redline.
It's a car of extraordinary talent, melding peerless long distance ability with one of the most interactive, approachable and friendly supercar chassis' ever. Outright grip is awesome, as you'd expect from a car wearing 295/35 ZR18 rear tyres, but it's the big Ferrari's fluidity that's astounding it threads through corners nimbly, steering brimming with feedback, only the heavy control weights hinting at the 1690kg mass involved.
It handles with the delicacy and finesse of the best mid-engined Ferraris of that age, making this a very easy car to gel with despite the bombastic power.
Bought new by Peter Baumberger via main Ferrari agent Symbol Automobile of Matran and first registered on 7th January 1998, this 550 Maranello is finished in classic Rosso Corsa with crema leather upholstery and black carpets. It was priced new at CHF.260,000 with the steering wheel colour coded to the interior, a CHF.500 option. Fastidiously maintained by Symbol throughout Peter's ownership, the car's current mileage stands at just 43,493km.
A classic in the making, the 550 Maranello is sure to be remembered as affectionately as the 365 GTB/4 Daytona in years to come.
The Baumberger Collection 550 Maranello is offered with Swiss registration (cancelled) and owners handbooks in their leather wallet.
Additional items included with this Lot: 2 tyre inflation canisters, car cover & triangle