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Ferrari unveiled in September 2000 a highly exclusive limited edition 550. The "550 Barchetta" was to be built to celebrate Pininfarina's 70th Anniversary. Just 448 units were produced, up from the initially planned 444, to appease superstitions around the number 4 to the Japanese market. All were pre-sold to VIP Ferrari preferred clients. Apart from some supplementary bracing, the Barchetta's high tensile welded tubular steel chassis was much the same as the Berlinetta. Weight was practically unchanged too and meant performance would be on a par with the closed car, a 0-60 remaining at just 4.3 seconds.
It was the bodywork that inevitably saw the most radical alterations in the transition to Barchetta configuration, Pininfarina removing all evidence of the roofline and cutting the windscreen down by 100mm to give a roadster-like appearance. A muscular tail, flat deck and roll hoops behind each headrest further transformed the restrained Berlinetta into a racey extrovert. New five-spoke, riveted alloy Speedline wheels were used and soon after became optionally available on the Maranello. The 550 Barchetta also marks the final days of the open gated manual.
Of the 448 produced, only 42 550 Barchettas were produced in RHD configuration for the U.K. market, accounting for less than 10% of total production. This particular example was built for a D. Aspin residing in East Sussex. Eschewing a more traditional colour scheme, Mr. Aspin opted for Extra-Campionario paintwork of dual-layer Blu Sebring borrowed from Maserati's colour palette, contrasted by a Charcoal (4304) leather interior coupled with blue carpets and Giallo (0113) stitching.
Delivered to him on August 30, 2001 via Maranello Concessionaires, the 550 Barchetta remained with Aspin until March of 2003, when it was sold to Chris Palmer of Northampton, again via Maranello Concessionaires. By 2008, the car had been purchased by Richard Ingleby of Somerset. He chose to purchase a Michalak soft top for the car, a popular aftermarket soft top slightly easier to use than the standard unit, that same year. Ingleby continued to drive and enjoy the car during his ownership, and the majority of the car’s mileage was accrued by him.
Passing through the ownership of a fashion-guru, the 550 Barchetta was sold to Michael Ward of London in November 2012, by which point it had been driven 5,919 miles. Ward kept the car for the following three years and it was subsequently purchased by Peter Ligertwood of Coventry via Graypaul Ferrari of Nottingham.
This 550 Barchetta’s history file has a wealth of service invoices from throughout its life, including the last timing belt replacement carried out in March of 2019 at 6,343 miles and the last annual service carried out in February 2020 at 6,372 miles, with both services carried out by Ferrari Birmingham. Importantly, the car will be serviced by DK Engineering as part of the sale. In addition to the aforementioned invoices, the car is accompanied by its original manuals, tools, factory soft top, and additionally, a Michalak high-speed roof.
Offering the perfect blend of modern performance and analogue driving feel, a 550 Barchetta is a truly brilliant Ferrari. The spiritual successor to the 365 GTB/4 Daytona Spider, it remains just as desirable today as it was the day it was launched. With only 42 RHD examples delivered to the U.K. and presented in a fantastic colour scheme, this example is not to be missed. It is available for inspection at our facilities just outside of London immediately.