Following in the footsteps of the fabled F40, Ferrari’s F50 was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in 1995. Hugely influenced by Formula 1 design and technology at the time, at the F50 heart was a naturally aspirated V-12 engine derived from Ferrari’s 642 F1 car, campaigned during the 1991 Formula 1 World Championship. With 512 bhp on tap, its Formula 1 origins and 8,000 rpm redline made the engine truly sonorous when driven as its manufacturers intended. Top speed was claimed as being 202 mph and from a standstill, the F50 would sprint to 60 mph from a standstill in 3.8 seconds.
As if its performance wasn’t enough, what truly set the F50 apart from its competitors at the time was its open-top body style, allowing buyers to choose from the closed comfort of a Berlinetta or the thrill of an open-top sports car, and no open-top sports car on sale at the time could match the sheer performance of the F50. Top-down, the driving experience that the F50 provided its lucky driver and passenger was a close as one could get to driving a road-legal Formula 1 car. Only 349 examples would be built, far fewer than the F40 that preceded it.
This example was completed at Ferrari in June of 1995. Built ahead of the 349 individually numbered production cars, this car is 1 of just 19 pre-production examples and was completed prior to final production sign off for customer deliveries. Likely with this in mind, it was made available to Pininfarina who acquired the car as 1 of 6, on behalf of a prominent Royal family ahead of a proposed conversion to right hand drive.
Whilst the car as whole may appear to be very close to production specification, having extensively looked over the car we have identified close to 40 individual differences that sets this example out from the 349 production examples. Notable differences include the rear screen bolted in place, with undermounted perspex vanes, a different carbon fibre finish on all elements, different seat inserts and lack of production plate. The extensive list is a feast for one who enjoys the details of Ferrari's final manual flagship.
The conversion did not take place and whilst the car was delivered to the prominent Royal collection arriving on 31st August 1995. The car would see very limited use forming part of a significant collection along with the five other examples from the Pininfarina order and at least three other examples.
In 1997, this example was purchased by Paul Osborn and it was brought to the UK but remained unregistered. Owner of dealership 'Cars International', Osborn would sell the car in July 1998 to brothers Dick and John Marconi of Newport Beach, California. It would find residence within the Marconi Museum for close to 17 years, on public display alongside close to 100 other significant cars including a second Ferrari F50. This example would cover just over 500 kilometres in the care of the museum and would receive new fuel bladders from Ferrari Technologies California during this time.
In 2015, the F50 was exported once more and found residence in Tony Denny’s Gosford Classic Car Museum in Australia. During its time on display here, it was serviced by Ferrari of Sydney and was inspected, and subsequently granted Ferrari’s red book Classiche certification in March 2018.
This example would be first registered in the UK in 2017 having been purchased by the chairman of the UK’s largest Ferrari dealer group. The car has since received service work through both Joe Macari and H.R. Owen Ferrari and today presents with just 1,900 kilometres with beautiful carbon fibre weave to match.