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 gearbox.
This example is one of around 50 right hand drive cars worldwide and is one of the last Ferraris to achieve an individual build number; 238 of 448 cars built. It was first delivered to its only private owner in Hong Kong on the 17th October 2001 via Ferrari dealer Italia Motors Ltd. Testament to its originality, this example retains the original hand-signed letter to the original owner by Luca Di Montezemolo.
Presented today in its original and iconic combination of Rosso Corsa over a Nero Hide carbon-backed sports seats with embossed Cavallinos on each headrest. The exterior benefits from Scuderia wing shields and Rosso brake calipers behind the original Speedline split alloys.
This example features both a rare high speed hardtop and the original Ferrari canvas roof too. In a project initiated by an original 550 Barchetta owner, Helmut Nossek, driven by a desire to use his car all year round, he began the manufacture of a multi-layered Carbon Fibre hardtop. Although aftermarket, the hardtop has full approval to the strict TUV rules, fits the car without any modifications and infinitely improves usability. The hardtop allows for a higher top speed than the 120kp/h of the factory roof and is presented here in matching Rosso Corsa.
Today this stunning Barchetta has now covered 3,300 miles from new and presents exceptionally. Having been thoroughly detailed by our own Master Detailer it is in matching condition both cosmetically and mechanically having just received a major service including cambelts completed by DK prior to being offered for sale. Accompanied by its original books, leather pouch and Ferrari torch, spare fobs, tyre pump, original tool kit and remarkably it still retains some of the factory carpet protection film. This superb example is located in our showrooms just outside London and is available to view immediately.