Lot 104

Sotheby's Sealed – Autumn Series

1999 Ferrari 550 Maranello WSR


United Kingdom Flag | Chedburgh, United Kingdom



Chassis No.
Engine No.
Cancelled Swiss Carte Grise
  • The ultimate edition of the 550 Maranello, Ferrari’s last front engine all-manual transmission GT car
  • The rarest of any Ferrari GT special series model produced from the 1980s through the 2000s
  • One of only 33 World Speed Record editions built with Fiorano Handling package, carbon trim and other special features
  • Desirable and rare Rosso Corsa over Nero color combination
  • Last serviced at official Ferrari dealer Kessel Auto Zug in September 2022
  • Odometer reads just under 14,600 kilometers from new
Addendum: Please note that due to U.S. import and federalization laws, this vehicle is not eligible for import until October 2024.

Further to this, please note that this car will be sold with a cancelled Swiss Carte Grise on bond in the U.K. VAT will be applicable for the purchaser of this lot.

Recalling the great grand-touring Ferraris of yesteryear, the 550 Maranello heralded the triumphant return of the two-seater, front-engined, V-12 Ferrari road car. Beautifully styled and with exceptional performance credentials, the 550 was the perfect tool for cross-continental blasts, with ample space for a couple and their luggage and an autobahn-storming top speed approaching 200 mph. Importantly for driving connoisseurs, the 550 Maranello also was the last GT car Ferrari built entirely with a manual transmission.

Looking to affirm the 550 Maranello’s capabilities on the racetrack, Ferrari brought a lightly modified 550 to the Transportation Research Center in Columbus, Ohio in October 1998 to see what it could achieve. The car broke three records for production vehicles: 100 miles at an average speed of 190.2 mph; one hour at an average speed of 184 mph; and 100 kilometers at 188.9 mph.

In celebration of the accomplishment, Ferrari decided to build a handful of limited-edition examples boasting a slew of desirable performance modifications. Dubbed the 550 Maranello World Speed Record (WSR for short), these cars were specified with the desirable Fiorano handling pack, leather-trimmed roll cage, Alcantara-clad steering wheel, and carbon fiber bucket seats with four-point race harnesses. Carbon fiber detailing was also lavished on the gear knob and footrests. Only 33 such cars were built, making the WSR the rarest of any road-going Ferrari GT special series model produced from the 1980s through the 2000s. Aside from the actual record setting car, interestingly all were finished to European specifications and have thus far been extremely rare to see in the United States. As a number of the WSRs were 1999 model years, including this example, these will be the first eligible cars to come into the U.S. when they reach their 25-year-old birthdays in the coming 12-18 months.

While quite a few of these 33 550 Maranello WSRs were finished in either Grigio Titanio or Argento Nurburgring , as was the case with many 550 Maranellos, a handful—such as the example offered here—were finished in other colors, including the timeless combination of Rosso Corsa over Nero.

A letter on file from Ferrari confirms that this particular 550 Maranello was originally built to WSR specifications. Its service book states that the car was delivered in October 1999 to Tommaso Bigoni of Amendola, Italy via Motor S.p.a, the closest authorized Ferrari dealer to the factory, located just a stone’s throw away in Modena. The car was acquired by Beatrice Marie Serpieri of Castel San Pietro Terme, just outside Bologna, in 2004 and she retained ownership until 2013.

At that time, the WSR was sold to a Belgian collector. Prior to leaving Italy for Belgium, the WSR was serviced by Autofficina Sauro of Bologna in October 2013. This major service, carried out at 9,453 kilometers, included replacement of the timing belts. Six years later, while still in the ownership of the aformentioned Belgian collector, the car received another major service, including timing belt replacement, at Francorchamps Motors of Brussels in July 2019. The mileage was recorded as 11,064 kilometers.

This cossetted example was acquired by its current owner in Switzerland in May 2021. Shortly before his purchase, the car received minor recommissioning work at Kuno Berner Motors, which included refreshing the fuel system, and fitting an original exhaust system with catalytic converters (required to attain road registration in Switzerland). The car’s most recent service was undertaken at Kessel Auto in Zug on 5 September 2022, with the odometer reading just 14,430 kilometers at the time of its completion. Today, the car is accompanied by copies of its previous Italian registration, servicing invoices, and a factory toolkit.

As the last all-manual transmission GT model Ferrari built, the 550 Maranello already holds a special place in Ferrari history, but these WSR examples, fitted with all of the most desirable options at the time, represent the perfect combination of rarity and driving performance which will certainly assure their desirability for years to come as the pinnacle of the 550 series. This wonderful Rosso Corsa example would be a fitting addition to any collection of Ferraris or modern performance cars.

Sotheby’s Sealed is a novel online auction platform offering some of the world’s most significant cars to a global audience. The proprietary system has been used to sell Juan Fangio’s personal Mercedes-Benz 300 SL, the fabled white Ferrari Enzo, McLaren F1 chassis no. 059, and now this 550 Maranello WSR.