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The 550 marked Ferrari's return to producing a front-V12 engined two-seat Berlinetta, a type of car they hadn't manufactured since the demise of the 365 GTB/4 Daytona in 1973. The 550 Maranello features a high tensile welded tubular steel chassis, a frame that featured an extremely rigid central cage and advanced underbody aerodynamics. Wider track at the front than rear improves turn-in while a variable damper control system affords the driver Normal and Sport suspension settings. Speed sensitive power steering varies the level of assistance accordingly. Lightweight components were used throughout the construction of an all-new 5.5-litre 65° V12, cast alloy being used for the cylinder block, four-valve heads and sump while there were also forged alloy Mahle pistons and titanium conrods helping produce an enormous output of 485bhp at 7,000rpm, 45bhp up on the outgoing F512 with its five-litre flat-12. All 550 Maranello's used a six-speed manual gearbox and variable back pressure exhausts similar to those previously seen on Ferrari's limited production F50. Weight distribution was split perfectly 50/50 front/rear and greatly contributed to the exceptional handling and balance dynamics.
Performance-wise, 0-60 requires just 4.3 seconds while a top speed of 199mph is attainable given suitable road conditions. The body design by Pininfarina featured a number of acknowledgements to the 550's forebears, not least with its 250 GTO-style fender vents carved out from behind each front wheelarch and a Daytona-inspired cut-off tail with two circular light clusters either side. Other prominent features were a hood-mounted engine scoop that boosted air pressure inside the intake system to gain 20bhp, and a solitary vent on the left-hand side rear wing forcing cool air into a brake radiator.
The 550 was also Ferrari's first all-new model since their 1968 Daytona not to feature retractable headlights, fixed homofocal front clusters enhance the rakish nose with its wide grille opening. The Maranello was replaced in 2002 by Ferrari's 575M, the new car heralding the arrival of Magnetti Marelli's F1 paddle shift transmission for the first time on a V12 GT.
This UK RHD example was first delivered to Graypaul Ferrari in February 1998, supplied in the rare and desirable colour of Blu Pozzi. The interior was specified in a Bordeaux hide with a split dash, Blu on top and Bordeaux lower section, embossed Cavallinos on each headrest and matching Bordeaux carpets. Additional options from new included a carpeted rear parcel shelf, Electric seats, Climate control and Nero Brake Calipers; the result making this a very elegant 550 Maranello Specification indeed.
With no less than 16 services being completed throughout its life all by very well respected main dealers and specialists, this exceptional 550 has been graced with a most complete service record from new. Most recently in December 2016 it received a major service including cambelts by marque specialists. The car has covered a total mileage from new of 32,700 Miles, supported by the aforementioned exceptional service and MOT record supplied with the vehicle. The cars comprehensive file documents just 4 previous owners from new which is very low for a 550.
Today the car presents in a remarkable condition, both the interior and exterior reflect the fastidious nature in which it has been cared for from new. This 550 is accompanied by its spare key and fob, all original books, tools and tyre pump. Located in our showrooms just outside London and available to view immediately this is a wonderful example of Ferraris last purpose built Manual V12 GT.