Auctions and Brokerage
Coachwork by Pininfarina
From Ferrari’s earliest days, the production of premium specialty models has been a longstanding practice, not only attracting the most elite clientele, but also allowing the brand to produce a distilled essence of itself in limited batches. With such cars like the 342 America, 410 Superamerica, 365 California Spider, 575 Superamerica, and 599 GTO, Maranello has long embraced the idea of building specialty models in limited quantities, all to bolster the desirability of the ultimate collectable Ferrari. This 550 Barchetta is just such a car, being the 322nd of only 448 limited-edition examples built as clarified by a factory-affixed placard in the car.
In October 2000, Ferrari unveiled a new premium subdivision of its front-engine 12-cylinder line. The 550 Barchetta was a boutique roadster to be built in commemoration of longtime partner Pininfarina’s 70th anniversary, and was intended to evoke the spirit of the marque’s great sports-racing Barchettas of the 1950s.
The model’s designers started with the flagship 550 Maranello coupe, removing the top and reinforcing the cowl with the use of a new, more-raked windscreen. Individual roll bars were added for a sporty appearance and functional safety. By utilizing an emergency accessory soft top rather than a complex retractable hardtop, the Barchetta weighed precisely the same as the original coupe, preserving the 550 Maranello’s extreme performance capabilities. Hitting 60 mph from a standstill in just 4.4 seconds and capable of a top speed of 187 mph, the Barchetta was just one-tenth of a second slower than the standard 550 coupe. Each Barchetta was finished with an interior plaque inscribed with the car’s numerical order in the production sequence of 448 and bearing the signature of Sergio Pininfarina.
Finished in the rarely seen combination of silver with black upholstery, this 550 Barchetta was purchased new by an Ohio-based enthusiast. The owner barely used the car; and when serviced by the well-known Symbolic Motorcars in September 2004, the odometer still displayed only 90 miles. Acquired by its second owner in July 2005, the 550 Barchetta remained well-maintained and sparingly used. Since being acquired by the consignor, this highly collectable Ferrari has continued to live a pampered life of ideal storage and minimal use. At the time of cataloging, this rare Ferrari displayed just 150 original miles and, as would be expected, presents as a new car.
With its unique open-top styling and extreme rarity, this minimally driven 550 Barchetta has all the makings of a great collectible as one of Maranello’s rare limited-production supercars. Recently serviced, the car is also primed for the owner who wishes to indulge in the glory of open V-12 motoring, just like the drivers of Ferrari’s earliest Barchettas.