Modern Classics: Ferrari 612 Scaglietti
Love at second sight
Creating a worthy successor to the much-loved 456 GT was no mean feat for Ferrari – especially as the replacement 612 would also be dedicated to Sergio Scaglietti, who had designed many of the most beautiful Prancing Horses in history. Frank Stephenson (now Design Director at McLaren) oversaw the Pininfarina design team’s efforts: the long bonnet, broad shoulders and large glass area complied with the morphology of a classic GT. The short tail was simple yet muscular. Further inspiration came from the famous one-off 375 MM ‘Bergman Ferrari’ also penned by Pinin Farina. As a result, the 612 was given delicate, leaf-shaped headlights and pronounced side scallops.
The last true gentleman's Ferrari?
This form might have been delightful in theory, but to many the 612 Scaglietti wasn’t quite as proportionally coherent as it should have been. Many have now warmed to the shape, however – and its dynamic abilities were never in question. The aluminium bodywork made it 60kg lighter than the 456 M it replaced, the interior was bristling with fine leather and aluminium trimmings (no Fiat switchgear to be found here), the damping was adaptive, and a hulking great 5.7-litre V12 lurked beneath that never-ending bonnet. An uprated version of that found in the 575 Maranello, it produced 540bhp and was good for almost 200mph.
Much has changed since the 612 Scaglietti was retired. The replacement FF, as with its stablemates, unashamedly boasts an aggressive form language – one demanded by a new generation of customer. In turn, this perhaps makes the 612 all the more desirable as the last elegant Ferrari. And with the marque’s 2+2 cars traditionally not quite as good as their 2-seater counterparts at holding value, the 612 Scagliettis still offer a lot of car for a relatively reasonable outlay.