2001 Ferrari 550Barchetta
Year of manufacture2001
- The 375th of just 448 examples built
- Finished in the desirable shade of Nero
- US example with 14,681 original miles; clean Carfax report
- Includes aftermarket carbon fiber hardtop; nearly $30,000 when new
- Major service, including timing belts and fuel pumps, performed in 2018
- Complete with owner’s manuals, tool kit, tire inflator, factory tonneau cover, and factory soft-top
- Please note that this lot will need to be collected from Oceanside, CA
Looking to reinvigorate its 12-cylinder offerings and give a nod to its illustrious past, Ferrari introduced the 550 Maranello to great acclaim in 1996. The factory had been without a two-seat, front-engined V-12 coupe since the Daytona, and the 550 Maranello was lauded as a wonderful, if not overdue, successor to that iconic model. This was a return to the company’s golden days of the 1960s, with spectacular performance, a spacious trunk, and a rear parcel shelf that could carry enough luggage for a weekend road trip for two.
Like the Daytona, the 550 Maranello’s success warranted the production of a limited-edition variant. It was decided that this car would be a homage to some of Ferrari’s earliest and most desirable cars. First displayed at the 2000 Paris Motor Show, the 550 Barchetta Pininfarina was a barchetta in the truest sense. With only a rudimentary soft-top for emergency use when caught in the rain, it featured a shorter, more aggressively raked windshield, two-piece alloy wheels, an aluminum fuel-filler cap, racing seats, and a restyled rear deck that led to a trunk that surprisingly, was larger than that of the coupe. Only 448 such barchettas were built, and they have become a “core” model for any Ferrari collection that includes more recent vintages.
The beautiful example presented here is number 375 of just 448 examples built. It was completed at the factory in October 2001 as a US-specification model and finished in Nero (DS 1250), trimmed with a matching black leather interior, black carpets and medium sized carbon fiber racing seats with Alcantara inserts. The build sheet also specified red brake calipers, an interior fire extinguisher, and black leather covers for the roll bar. The first registered owner kept the 550 Barchetta in Florida where is was regularly serviced by Ferrari of Fort Lauderdale. In 2005 it traded hands with 7,810 miles and moved to Greenwich, Connecticut.
Three years later, in 2008, and showing just over 11,000 miles, the Ferrari was sold to a resident of Annapolis, Maryland who entrusted Ferrari of Washington with all servicing needs. During his ownership, 24 pages of service records were generated by their service department and included all recommended mechanical servicing, plus the installation of a new exhaust system with Tubi mufflers, a replacement Becker radio, a new tonneau cover, and interior refurbishment that included repairing the notorious sticky buttons and knobs, warped leather on the airbag covers, and the Alcantara seat inserts were replaced with black leather that was supplied by the factory.
In 2013, now showing 14,511 miles, the 550 was sold to the owner of Foreign Cars Italia, a factory-authorized dealership in Greensboro, North Carolina. While in his collection, the Barchetta Pininfarina was cared after by factory trained technicians and given the best care possible. Highlights include new fuel pumps, new door lock mechanism, belt service, complete gearbox service, cooling system service, and a power steering service in 2018 when mileage was 14,627. In July 2019, the car was sold to a resident of Southern California and has since accrued only an additional 150 miles. In preparation for sale, new Pirelli PZero Rosso tires have been installed and the car was sent to Dugan Enterprises in Oceanside, California for an oil change, inspection, and repair of a few additional sticky bits.
While open top Ferrari ownership can be fantastic, when weather strikes, a usable top is necessary. A unique feature to this car is the inclusion of a rare aftermarket hardtop. Shortly after the release of the Barchetta Pininfarina, several owners found themselves wishing that the cars had something more robust than the spartan soft-top supplied by the factory. No more than an emergency top, it was not deemed safe at highway speeds. To solve the problem, German industrialist, Helmut Nossek set out to design and build one for his car using an inner and outer shell made of several layers of carbon fiber. The area between the two shells was insulated and the top used factory mounting points in the A-pillar and clips to the roll bars in the rear. The fitment appears factory-correct and the roof is considered safe to use up to the top speed. Thanks to the use of carbon fiber, the top weighs just 20 kg (44 lbs). The clever design and use of exotic materials did not come cheap, however, and a US buyer in 2002 would have to shell out nearly $30,000. This car was fitted with one of these ultra-desirable tops and it remains in excellent shape.
This is a rare opportunity to purchase one of just 448 550 Barchetta Pininfarina models and a beautiful one at that. The black paintwork shows very well, and the car has just benefitted from a complete paint correction. The interior carbon fiber trim show very little wear, while the seat inserts have been redone as have the airbag covers that sag and warp over time. The engine is nicely detailed and free of any modifications. After turning the ignition key, the computer checks several systems and comes back with the green “OK” message. On a recent test drive, the clutch and brakes felt good and that lovely V-12 makes great power. The noises that come from the Tubi exhaust and the click-clack of the manual shifter gate were reported to be “wonderful.”
In addition to the hardtop, the factory soft-top remains stored in the trunk in a handy carrying bag. A tonneu cover is included as well and will protect the interior when parked outside briefly. As expected, the factory tools, owner’s manuals, tire inflator, and two sets of keys are included along with a binder of receipts dating to 2008.
Wonderfully usable, yet unique enough to still provide a sense of occasion every time one slides into the driver’s seat, the 550 Barchetta Pininfarina is truly an incredible Ferrari to own and behold, and one that never tires of top-down fun in the sun. This example is of exceptional museum-quality and worthy of the finest Ferrari collections anywhere in the world.To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/0120.