2003 Ferrari Enzo
Taijiro Nakamura, Fukuoka, Japan (acquired by February 2005)
Current Owner (acquired from the above)
In addition to its regular stable of exquisite berlinettas and spiders, Ferrari has long been known for crafting limited-production cars of superior quality and specifications for their top-shelf clientele. While such models in prior decades generally took the form of luxurious grand touring machines such as the 410 Superamerica or the 365 California Spider, the character of these premium examples in the mid-1980s pivoted with the newfound interest in sports car racing. Over the next 15 years, Maranello introduced a small number of commemorative performance cars that redefined the limits of a production automobile, culminating with the brilliant Enzo.
The modern Ferrari hypercar lineage began with the 288 GTO, which was originally envisioned as a factory race car before that model’s series was canceled. Once Maranello witnessed the appeal that the limited-production turbocharged model generated, the 288 was further developed into a 40th anniversary model, which ultimately became the acclaimed F40 of 1987. With the marketing and build formula established, Ferrari was able to devise an all-new car for its 50th anniversary, building a fresh platform and V-12 for the F50 introduced in 1997. With the concept of heritage marketing advancing, Ferrari, in the late-1990s, named its front-engine V-12 grand touring model after the company’s headquarters in Maranello, and the latest mid-engine eight-cylinder berlinetta was named after the company’s spiritual founding place of Modena.
Similar factors contributed to the arrival of a new top-shelf hypercar in 2002, when Luca di Montezemolo – the Italian automaker’s then president – explained that the impressive V-12-powered machine would be named after the company’s founder, Enzo Ferrari. Citing the triumphs of the Scuderia’s Formula 1 driving champion Michael Schumacher, the CEO summarized, “In 1999 we won the manufacturers’ championship; in 2000 we added the drivers’ championship for the first time in 21 years. We won the last championship of the 20th century, and the first of the 21st century. I wanted to celebrate this with a car very much like Formula 1. After honoring Modena and Maranello, we felt this was the right car to honor the name of our founder.”
The reference to Schumacher was no flight of fancy, as the Enzo was clearly far more rooted in Formula 1 technology than any of the prior Ferrari supercars. The chassis was centered on a lightweight cockpit tub fashioned from carbon fiber and aluminum honeycomb, weighing just 200 lbs. Aluminum subframes connected to the tub were then mounted with body panels made of carbon fiber and Kevlar.
The coachwork was the source of much discussion, and after several alternatives were evaluated, Pininfarina designer Ken Okuyama sketched an angular machine that appeared to be a Formula 1 car with a skin stretched over it to cover the wheels and cockpit. Eventually approved by Montezemolo, the design was massaged with testing in the coachbuilder’s wind tunnel to ensure maximum aerodynamic efficiency. The purposeful styling was further emphasized with vertically rising scissor doors and 19" alloy wheels.
Mechanically, the decision was made to again employ a V-12 – rather than the turbocharged V-8s used in the 288 GTO and F40 – though the F50’s engine was eschewed in favor of a brand new 65° motor. The Type F140B engine displaced six liters and was built with high-tech competition components such as Nikasil cylinder liners, titanium connecting rods, and a telescoping intake manifold that provided torque boost. The motor was the largest that Ferrari had built since the 712 Can Am racing car of the 1970s, and was mated to a paddle-actuated six-speed transaxle with lightning-quick shifts.
Performance was nothing less than extraordinary, with the V-12 developing 651 hp and 485 lbs./ft. of torque, good for 3.3-second blastoffs to 60 mph from standstill and an incredible top speed of 218 mph. Brembo carbon ceramic brakes with 15" rotors were equipped for optimal stopping power.
Introduced at the 2002 Paris Motor Show, the Ferrari Enzo was built in a scant batch of 400 cars that quickly sold out. Press cars were nearly unheard of for a model of this status, so magazine editors struggled to find examples to test, often coaxing willing owners to lend a car for review. When writer Aaron Robinson finally got his turn behind the wheel, he raved about the V-12’s exhaust note, comparing it to “a P-51 Mustang on a full-throttle pass” and “a Stradivarius in the hands of Heifetz” in his review for Car and Driver. Robinson also noted the Enzo’s impressive versatility, describing it as “a passive pussycat” around town, “lapping up city streets with a compliant suspension, fingertip steering, light and easily modulated power brakes, and slushy gearchanges from the finger-shifted F1-style transmission.” But on the racetrack, he observed the Enzo “reserves its best behavior for the talented and attentive” and “offers easy, high-volume adrenaline.”
Even by the standards of the Enzo model, most examples of which are stored by collectors and scantly used, this car is distinguished by remarkably low mileage. Chassis 133495 is believed by the consignor to have been originally sold new in Italy. Records on file show that the Enzo was first registered in Fukuoka, Japan, in February 2005 by its first known owner, Taijiro Nakamura, a precious stone and jewelry retailer. The Ferrari was purchased by the consignor from Mr. Nakamura in 2017 and immediately imported into the US, as documented by the Japanese export certificate on file, which lists the mileage at the time as 2,400 km (1,491 miles). JK Technologies of Baltimore was hired to federalize the car; and the firm, respected as the preeminent resource for federalization of non-conforming vehicles in the country, converted the Enzo to US specifications. As shown by detailed invoices on file totaling over $180,000, the work entailed revisions to the lighting, safety, and emissions control systems of the car in addition to a new instrument cluster that was commensurately converted to miles from kilometers. Significantly, the work done by JK Technologies is under warranty; the documents are in the car’s history file.
Once delivered to its new US owner, the Enzo received additional attention to the front-end lift and cooling systems, as well as receiving an oil service and recharge of the air-conditioning.
Particularly elegant with the less common red leather seats, this striking Enzo, which is being sold without reserve, displayed just over 1,600 miles at the time of cataloguing. It would make an ideal acquisition for the consummate Ferrari collector seeking to assemble showroom-quality examples of Maranello’s elite hypercars. Equally enjoyable for its blistering performance, either on the confines of a racetrack or out on one’s favorite highways and byways, the Enzo displays its raw, emotional disposition in any setting. Ferrari enthusiasts can look forward to ownership of the marque’s crowning millennial achievement, a model so dynamic in performance and character that it could only be named after il Commendatore himself.