London | Lot 136
2001 Ferrari 550 Barchetta Pininfarina
£320,000 - £360,000 GBP
| London, United Kingdom
5 September 2018
- One of just 48 right-hand drive examples
- Striking Bianco Avus over Pelle Verde and Nero leather
- Formerly owned by Chris Evans
- Ferrari Classiche certified
As the spiritual successor to the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona, the 550 Maranello had big shoes—or tyres—to fill. More than two decades had passed since Ferrari replaced the Daytona with the mid-engined, flat-12 powered Berlinetta Boxer models, so the front-engined, V-12 in the 550 was a return to form. The 550 took its inspiration from the 456, but was a more performance-minded machine than a luxurious 2+2 grand-tourer. Accordingly, it was unveiled to the media at Germany’s Nürburgring race circuit in 1996 to critical acclaim, both for its design and for its exceptional, supercar-grade handling.
Four years later, the Ferrari helped Pininfarina celebrate its 70th anniversary at the Paris Motor Show with an open-top version, the 550 Barchetta. Its windshield was more deeply raked than that of the hardtop, and its decklid was stretched to accommodate the car’s revised styling. The Barchetta was fitted with special 19-in. alloy wheels and was delivered with a cloth soft top that Ferrari admitted was not rated for highway use. Just 448 examples of the supercar roadster were made.
About 10 percent of the 550 Barchettas made were right-hand-drive models, including the Bianco Avus white over dramatic Pelle Verde and Nero example offered here. This 2001 550 Barchetta was one of just a handful delivered new to Japan and was the 444th of just 448 built. Aside from a modern Sony radio, the 550 Barchetta is unmodified and retains several bespoke options such as a carbon fiber-rimmed steering wheel and dash trim and Alcantara covering its instrument binnacles.
The 550 Barchetta left Japan in 2012 and arrived in the UK, where it was treated to a free-flow exhaust system, a new timing belt, a handful of interior cosmetic items and Pirelli P-Zero Rosso tires. Its ABS module was also replaced at that time. In the UK, the 550 Barchetta was owned by noted collector and BBC presenter Chris Evans. Certified by Ferrari Classiche in April of 2017, confirming that it retains its original engine and gearbox, this is a 550 Barchetta not to be missed.