Ever since the mid 1990s, I've found vehicle design to be rather uninspiring. From ill-proportioned cars to the controversy surrounding BMW and the designs of Chris Bangle, I've felt like the days of beautiful cars have passed us by. There have been some bright spots though. The revival of the MINI. The Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione. And this car, the Ferrari F550 Maranello. Along with the 456, this car signaled a return to front engined V12 grand turing machines at the famed sports car manufacturer. Introduced in 1996, the F550 was positioned as Ferrari's flagship. With a 5.5 liter V12 pumping out 485 horsepower and plenty of luggage space for two, this was one of the most practical Ferraris to date. Our feature car is a 2001 model with under 20,000 miles on the clock and has the desirable 6 speed manual gearbox.
As a grand tourer, the Ferrari 550 Maranello successfully embodies Ferraris high performance ideologies while presenting a luxurious and spacious interior. The 550s naturally aspirated V12 mated to a 6 speed manual transmission produces an impressive 485 hp and 419 lb-ft of torque that allows the Maranello to speed to 60mph in 4.2 seconds while its rear trunk is still large enough to accommodate a full set of golf clubs. The roomy interior of this silver grand tourer sports grey leather seats and a red trim throughout.
F550 prices have been dropping steadily, with some early examples seeing values in the $50,000 range. This isn't much more than what a new Infiniti G37 Coupe sells for, but the eternal sticking point is the maintenance costs. This particular car is priced quite a bit higher at $83,900, but that is a mere pittance to what these cars cost new. Personally, I would have rather seen this silver color teamed with an all red interior, but there are worse color combinations. If your bank account can handle it and you are seeking a Ferrari that can be used a little more than once in a blue moon, the F550 is a fantastic proposition. I would hasten to say that in twenty to thirty years time, these coupes will have aged just as gracefully as that other legendary Ferrari coupe, the 250GT Lusso.