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 rare right-hand drive example was delivered new to South Africa in UK specification and has covered only some 7,000 kilometres (approximately 4,300 miles) since it left the factory. It is one of around 50 RHD examples built from the total 448 production cars. Delivered by Rosso Sport Auto, the then official Ferrari dealership in Johannesburg, the car has had two previous owners and was brought to the UK by the current owner when he emigrated.
From delivery to 2013, the Barchetta was maintained fastidiously by the late Piero Giovanelli of Rosso Sport Auto. From 2013 to 2018, servicing was carried out by Scuderia South Africa (formerly Viglietti Motors), the official Ferrari dealer in South Africa. Since its arrival in the UK in April 2018, this Barchetta has been serviced and stored by DK Engineering.
Finished in Rosso Corsa with light tan interior, this Barchetta comes with all books and tools; Certificate of Origin; import documentation; Ferrari warranty card; Republic of South Africa Certificate of Registration; the two originally supplied helmets and their bags; a V5C registration document; and current MoT. This superb example is located in our showrooms just outside London and is available to view immediately.
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