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.
This example is one of just 42 right hand drive cars built for the UK and is one of the last Ferraris to achieve an individual build number; 006 of 448 cars built. Presented today in its original and tasteful combination of Blu Nart over Tan Hide carbon-backed sports seats with embossed Cavallinos on each headrest. The Bordeaux carpets add warmth to the lower half of the cabin. The exterior benefits from Scuderia wing shields and Rosso brake calipers behind the original Speedline split alloys.
It was first delivered to its first Rockstar owner and serial Ferrari collector Eric Clapton by H.R. Owen London on 26th June 2001, who would use the car sparingly. Later it would find its way to its second Rockstar owner, Pete Townshend, lead guitarist and songwriter for The Who. Townshend himself had a passion for the prancing horse, having previously owned a 550 Maranello in the same stunning Blu Nart and more recently a Daytona Spider in a similar hue.
Today having covered just 13,700 miles, this elegantly optioned example presents a fantastic opportunity to acquire a 550 Barchetta with fantastic provenance. Together with its factory roof, tools and books including documentation to evidence both Rockstar owners, this example also benefits from the additional, desirable ‘high-speed’ fabric roof made available for the Barchetta allowing for up to 130mph up from 55mph with the standard factory roof. It has recently received a major service and new tyres all round in our very own workshops.
This fantastic Ferrari 550 Barchetta is available to view at our showrooms just outside London immediately.