Auctions and Brokerage
Coachwork by Pininfarina
5,000-Mile, US-Specification ExampleDr. Thomas E. Murphy, Wilmette, Illinois (acquired new in March 1996)Private Collection, Utah (acquired circa 2001)Private Collection, Georgia (acquired from the above in 2002)Current Owner (acquired via Ferrari of Ft. Lauderdale)
Perhaps the biggest challenge facing Ferrari after production of the highly successful F40 concluded in 1992 was how to surpass the outgoing supercar with the upcoming 50th anniversary model. As this beautifully maintained and minimally used example attests, the resulting F50 that debuted in late 1995 accomplished the task in every respect.
While the F40 had been an evolution of the competition-intended 288 GTO, the F50 was conceived as a road car from the beginning, even though it utilized considerable technology from the manufacturer’s F1 program. The new model was built around a lightweight carbon fiber tub mounted with a Pininfarina-designed clamshell body of carbon fiber, Kevlar, and Nomex honeycomb that featured a considerably curvier design than its predecessor.
With only 350 examples initially planned for production, and a two-year lease program intended to scare away speculators, the F50 was extremely rare and difficult to access, as the motoring press discovered to their great frustration. When Car and Driver magazine finally found an owner willing to lend his car for a track evaluation, the wait proved to be worthwhile.
As John Philips wrote in the magazine’s January 1997 issue, “The sound comes as close to raising goose-flesh as anything since the V-12 Matras lit up the Mulsanne.” The F50 has since grown to be one of the most cherished Maranello supercars of recent decades, and the only open-top model in the evolution stretching from the 288 GTO to today’s LaFerrari.
Chassis no. 104021 is approximately the 59th F50 constructed, and one of just 55 examples that were specified for the US market. Completed in November 1995, the Ferrari was finished in Rosso Corsa paint and upholstered in the definitive black and red trim. The car was then retailed by Lake Forest Sports Cars of Lake Forest, Illinois, and purchased in March 1996 by Dr. Thomas Murphy of Wilmette, Illinois, as reflected by the original warranty booklet.
Dr. Murphy was a cardiac surgeon and a well-known marque enthusiast who owned an impressive array of modern Ferraris that he regularly used in competition events, including a Formula 1 car from Ferrari’s 1991 season. The F50 experienced only modest use during Dr. Murphy’s ownership and, by 1999, it was acquired by a Southern California dealer; from there it passed through two private collections during the early 2000s.
In 2014, the F50, then showing 5,245 miles, was sold to Ferrari of New England in Norwood, Massachusetts. Under the dealership’s care the F50 received a major service, as reflected by invoices on file. This work included the fitting of new axle boots, refinishing the valve covers and oil cooler, rebuilding the oil and water cooler with new O-rings and seals, and installing a fresh fuel bladder and fuel filters.
In March 2015, Ferrari Classiche issued its Red Book certification for the F50, confirming that the car has retained its original matching-numbers mechanical components, including the original type F130 B V-12 engine. The Ferrari currently presents in pristine condition, and it is accompanied by numerous original accessories, including manuals in the proper leather pouch, the underhood tool kit, the bulb and fuse kit, a tire inflator with case, wheel socket with case, and extra keys. Displaying approximately 5,300 miles, the minimally driven car also includes the desirable removable hardtop, complete with its factory-correct storage case.
As one of only 55 examples imported to the US, this F50 is exceedingly rare, and future ownership can look forward to a warm welcome at FCA events, regional concours, and supercar gatherings. It is sure to appeal to aficionados of modern hypercars and is often the missing link in many otherwise-complete Ferrari supercar collections. Bolstered by the Ferrari Classiche certification, it is an instant collectible of no small import that attests to the dynamic combination of racing technology and aesthetic design taking place in Maranello during the 1990s.