'The Maranello needs no excuses: it is right-minded, a return to traditional values, albeit values and standards that tower high above those set by the Daytona when it shuffled off to extinction a quarter of a century ago.' ? Car magazine.
With the introduction of the 550 Maranello in 1997, Ferrari returned to its tradition of building front-engined V12 sports cars, resurrecting a line that had remained dormant since the demise of the 365GTB/4 'Daytona' in 1974. The heart of any Ferrari is its engine, and the 550 Maranello's 48-valve, 5.5-litre V12 developed 485bhp at 7,000rpm, some 100-or-so horsepower more than the Daytona's. Ferrari had discovered long ago that providing optimum balance in a front-engined sports car necessitated the use of a rear transaxle, and the Maranello's came with six speeds. The power train was housed in a tubular steel chassis, to which was attached aluminium coachwork, while the all-independent suspension incorporated dual-mode (normal/sports) damping, switch-selectable by the driver, which was complemented by speed-sensitive power-assisted steering.
Styled by Pininfarina like its illustrious 'Daytona' predecessor, the 550 Maranello was similarly proportioned, adopting the classical combination of long bonnet, small cabin and truncated tail. The body's aerodynamics were developed in the wind tunnel, where hours of testing ensured that the minimum of drag was combined with constant downforce regardless of set up, an important consideration in a 200mph road car. Styling details such as the bonnet air scoop and hot air outlets behind the front wheelarches recalled the great competizione Ferraris of the past, in particular the immortal 250GTO, while the tail incorporated Ferrari's characteristic twin circular lights.
In 2004, Evo magazine published a 'Greatest Driver's Cars' feature that pitted the 550 Maranello against the Porsche 911 GT3, Honda NSX-R and Pagani Zonda C12S. The Ferrari won. 'As with all great cars, there's no one facet that dominates the experience,' declared the respected British motoring journal. 'Yes, the engine is mighty, but the chassis is its equal. There's never been a supercar that's so exploitable and so rounded in its capabilities.'
Supplied new to Sweden, this Ferrari 550 Maranello has covered 38,000 miles (approximately 61,150 kilometres) from new, including being driven recently from Essen, Germany to the UK. Finished in Rosso Corsa with Nero leather interior, the Ferrari has for the last few years resided in Belgium in a prominent private collection where it has seen sparing but regular use. The car comes with its original book pack including the fully stamped service booklet. A service was performed by Verdi at 39,485km and another by DK Engineering in 2004 at 42,434km (last service at 57,439km). A quantity of (Swedish) invoices is present, and the car also comes with its original Ferrari tool kit in a beige pigskin case. This most sought after Ferrari 550 Maranello is overall in superb order and running beautifully.