Open Roads, April | Lot 312
1999 Ferrari 550 Maranello
$140,000 USD | Asking
| Blenheim, Ontario
21 - 29 April 2021
- Last of the V-12 powered Ferrari grand tourers available exclusively with a manual transmission
- 40,715 kilometers (25,300 miles) from new at time of cataloguing
- Two-setting electronically variable suspension, ventilated disc brakes, and 18-inch five-spoke wheels
- Grigio Titanio (Titanium Gray) over Blu Scuro (Dark Blue) leather
Named for the displacement of its 5.5-liter engine and its birth place, the 550 Maranello was momentous. It replaced the mid-engine F512R in 1996 and thus marked the return of a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, two-seat grand tourer to the pinnacle of Ferrari’s regular production lineup. Unveiled with much pomp and circumstance at Germany’s famed Nürburgring racetrack in July 1996, the event drew various Ferrari team drivers from over the years. Michael Schumacher and Eddie Irvine, then current F1 drivers, raced each other around the circuit to showcase the 550 Maranello’s impressive performance—0 to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds and a claimed top speed of 199 mph.
The 5.5-liter V-12 was rated to produce 485 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. A manual six-speed was the only transmission offered. With a wheelbase nearly four inches shorter than that of the contemporary 456GT, the 550 Maranello’s chassis featured a two-setting electronically variable suspension, ventilated disc brakes at all four corners, and 18-inch five-spoke wheels. Its uncompromising performance and superior aerodynamics quickly quashed any doubts that a front-engine layout might be a disadvantage relative to mid-engine supercars of the day. Quite the opposite, in fact: The 550 Maranello rewrote the rule book for grand tourers, able to whisk two occupants and their luggage across a continent without fuss, while also being able to leave contemporary supercars in its wake around a racetrack. Indeed, it established three production car speed records in 1998, covering 100 miles at an average speed of 190.2 mph, 100 kilometers at an average speed of 188.9 mph, and driving one hour at an average speed of 184 mph—all of which would stand until 2002.
Pinifarina designed the 550 Maranello’s aluminum body with a refined elegance belying the aerodynamic complexities that enabled it to set speed records. Details recall earlier Ferrari grand tourers: twin exhaust air slots behind the front wheels reminiscent of those on the 250 GTO and 275 GTB of the 1960s; quad taillights that evoke the 365 GTB/4 “Daytona.” The luxurious interior, with Ferrari’s iconic metal gearshift gate as centerpiece, was equally elegant and eminently accommodating, with a generous leather-lined luggage shelf behind the seats.
This 1999 Ferrari 550 Maranello was sold new at Ferrari of Ontario in December of 1998, according to the included warranty book, which also shows regular maintenance performed at the same dealer through 2009. It is finished in Grigio Titanio (Titanium Gray) over Blu Scuro (Dark Blue) leather. The interior features Daytona-style seats, carbon-fiber trim and shift knob, and an AM/FM stereo with cassette player and CD changer. A service in March 2021 included a new battery, new spark plugs, new ignition wires, and a new timing belt. The A/C compressor clutch was replaced in April 2021, sticky buttons repaired in December 2020, and the tires replaced in May 2018, according to service invoices included with the sale.
This Ferrari 550 Maranello has covered 40,715 kilometers (25,300 miles) from new at time of cataloguing. It is accompanied by two keys, two fobs, and one red master fob, an owner’s manual and warranty book with leather pouch, car cover with bag, and service records dating back to 2001. A looked after and accident-free example, this 550 Maranello is ready to be enjoyed by its next caretaker.