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Coachwork by Pininfarina
From the Tony Shooshani Collection | The 1995 Geneva Show CarFerrari S.p.A., Maranello, Italy (factory demonstration car built in March 1995)Jacques Swaters, Brussels, Belgium (acquired from the above in January 1998)Belgo Exports, Brussels, Belgium (acquired from the above in 2005)David Walters, Princeville, Hawaii (acquired circa 2007)Andrew Herrala, Ovid, New York (acquired from the estate of the above in January 2011)Tony Shooshani, Beverly Hills, California (acquired from the above in August 2013)
65th Annual Geneva Motor Show, Geneva, Switzerland, March 1995Forza Ferrari Meeting, Suzuka, Japan, April 1995Ferrari Days, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, May 1995Tutte Ferrari in Pista – Ferrari Challenge Finals, Mugello, Italy, October 199531st Tokyo Motor Show, Tokyo, Japan, November 1995Quail Motorsports Gathering, Carmel Valley, California, August 2008FCA Arizona Wheels of Italy, Scottsdale, Arizona, February 2011FCA North American Ferrari Field and Driving Concours, Savannah, Georgia, June 2011Ferrari North America 60th Anniversary Concours d’Elegance, Beverly Hills, California, October 2014Quail Motorsports Gathering, Carmel Valley, California, August 2015
Following the cessation of F40 production in 1992, it was only natural that Ferrari would engineer a successor to its 40th anniversary supercar. By most accounts, the 50th anniversary model the company introduced in 1995 represented an evolution in appearance and sheer performance. This important example of the F50 was not only used as a factory show car and promotional vehicle, but carries significant ownership provenance, Ferrari Classiche certification, and low mileage.
The F50 featured a naturally aspirated V-12, which was a developed version of the 3.5-liter Formula 1 engine that Maranello used in 1990. Also utilized to winning effect in the successful 333 SP sports racing car, the 60-valve engine was enlarged to displace almost five liters, yielding 513 hp and 347 lbs./ft. of torque. Such outrageous power allowed the F50 to sprint to 60 mph from standstill in just 3.6 seconds, with a hair-raising top speed of 202 mph.
Aesthetically, the F40’s purposeful wedge form was softened into a splendidly curved Pininfarina-penned body that paid homage to sports racing prototypes as much as Formula 1 cars. Aerodynamically tested and built from carbon fiber and Kevlar honeycomb, the clamshell body featured deep air vents in the hood to cool a front radiator, and an enormous rear airfoil that stretched across the tail. A removable hardtop was cleverly designed to effect either a barchetta or berlinetta appearance, pleasing any stripe of tifosi.
Outfitted with an F1-style digital LED instrument panel, rubber fuel bladders, and cloth upholstered seats, the performance-oriented F50 still provided creature comforts like air-conditioning, and was equipped with electronically adjustable ride height to clear curbs during street use. Just 349 examples of the F50 were built before it was discontinued in 1998, and the model remains one of the most desirable of the Ferrari hypercars.
Significantly, Ferrari identified this early F50 as number 99999, giving it the distinction of being the final Ferrari to be known by a five-digit number. 99999 features several noteworthy attributes, including a history as a test and development chassis piloted by some of the marque’s greatest drivers, as well as its use in publicity events and as a factory show car.
While there is no official factory documentation to confirm it, this car is believed to have been used as a developmental chassis that was extensively tested on the Fiorano Circuit and registered with tags reading “MO2112.” During this early phase in the car’s life, it was driven by some of the marque’s greatest racing drivers, including Formula 1 veterans Niki Lauda and Jean Alesi. Following the completion of the F50’s engineering and development program, this car was one of the first examples constructed.
As confirmed by the research of Marcel Massini, this F50 was the very car used to introduce the model to the world, debuting on the Ferrari stand at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1995. Following its Geneva dates, the car became a fixture on the show circuit, appearing in April 1995 at the Forza Ferrari meeting at the Suzuka track in Japan. A month later, the F50 made a similar appearance at the Ferrari Days meeting at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.
Demonstrated to clients at Fiorano during September, 99999 was displayed the following month at the “Tutte le Ferrari in Pista” event in Mugello during the Ferrari Challenge Finals. The F50’s factory tour concluded with an appearance on the manufacturer’s stand at the 31st annual Tokyo Motor Show during early November 1995.
Following the various motor shows, this F50 enjoyed further purpose for the factory, becoming the basis for numerous posters and images of the model, including photos by noted automotive photographer Rainer Schlegelmilch. This car was also the model for cutaway drawings by the famed Shin Yoshikawa, and scale models produced by Bburago, Maisto, Tamiya, and Revell.
99999 was then temporarily domiciled until being sold in January 1998 to Jacques Swaters’ well-known distributorship, Garage Francorchamps.
By late 2006, the F50 was offered for sale and soon spotted by Ferrari enthusiast David Walters of Kauai, Hawaii.
Mr. Walters purchased the unique F50 and imported it to the US in June 2007, with federalization procedures undertaken by G&K Auto Conversion to bring the car up to American emissions and safety standards. During his ownership, the F50 was occasionally seen at significant automotive exhibitions, including presentation at the Quail Motorsports Gathering in August 2008.
Following Mr. Walters’ passing in October 2009, the Ferrari was offered by his estate, at which time the odometer displayed only 826 miles. Eventually the F50 was acquired by Andrew Herrala of Ovid, New York, and he presented the car at the FCA desert chapter’s Arizona Wheels of Italy event a month later. Mr. Herrala registered the Ferrari with New York tags reading “F50,” and went on to exhibit the car in June 2011 at the FCA’s North American Ferrari Field and Driving Concours in Savannah, Georgia, where it drew a class award.
In 2013, Tony Shooshani purchased the F50, and it has since been treated to the same high level of care that all of his Ferraris enjoy, experiencing regular but minimal use, as reflected by the odometer reading of 1,090 miles at the time of cataloguing. The car enjoyed another great honor in October 2014, when it was presented at the Ferrari North America 60th Anniversary Concours d’Elegance on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, as the official representative of the F50 model. The Ferrari’s most recent honor was an invitation to the Quail Motorsports Gathering, where in August 2015 it was a featured display in the F50 Celebration Class.
Accompanied by the original factory hardtop, this Ferrari is also offered with books in the proper leather pouch, and the definitive letter of welcome from Luca di Montezemolo that was issued to all original F50 owners. With its Geneva and Tokyo Motor Show provenance, unique chassis numbering, and certification by Ferrari Classiche, this minimally driven F50 is a paragon of the vaunted supercar that would crown any collection. It is a magnificent and highly desirable example of the classic 50th anniversary Ferrari.