Debuting in 1996, the 550 Maranello was the spiritual successor to the Daytona that ceased production 23 years prior. With a 478HP V12, rear wheel drive and proper six speed manual transmission, the 550 is a perfect grand touring car. Only 3,083 550 Maranellos were produced before being succeeded by the 575 in 2002.
With the debut of the 550 Maranello at the Nurburgring in 1996, Ferrari returned to its tradition of building front-engined V12 sports cars, resurrecting a line that had remained dormant since the 365GTB/4 'Daytona' ceased production in 1974. The 550 Maranello's 48-valve, 5.5-litre V12 developed 485bhp at 7,000rpm, some 100-or-so horsepower more than the Daytona's. Ferrari had discovered long ago that providing optimum balance in a front-engined sports car necessitated the use of a rear transaxle, and the Maranellos came with a proper six speed manual transmission. The power train was housed in a tubular steel chassis, to which was attached to aluminium coachwork designed by Pininfarina.
The Maranello series are the second to last front-engine, manual transmission Ferraris to be produced. With Ferrari ceasing production of three-pedal manual cars, the existing late-model versions have increased in value significantly lately. Ferrari will never produce a car like this again, and the 550 presents a value amongst these V12 cars. With only 3,531 produced between 1996 and 2001, they will surely only increase in value.
A quintessential Ferrari, the 550 represents the brand in one of their most complete packages. Extremely powerful, comfortable and beautiful, it is Ferrari’s most elegant tribute to their past.