2001 Ferrari 550 Barchetta Prototype
To celebrate the 70th anniversary of legendary designer and coachbuilder Pininfarina, Ferrari and Pininfarina created the 550 Barchetta. Unveiled at the Paris Auto Show in 2000, the car is the only open variant of the 550 Maranello that was produced. With a more steeply raked and lower windscreen, the car was extremely rakish. Twin roll hoops add further to the car’s sporting aesthetic, while a rudimentary emergency top (rated to 70 mph only) provided nominal weather protection on what was clearly intended to be a fair weather car. Aside from those features, the Barchetta featured all of the magnificent underpinnings of the standard Maranello, including naturally-aspirated 485 hp quad-cam V12, manually-shifted transaxle, and double wishbone suspension all around. A limited numbered edition, 448 standard production cars built, plus an additional 12 pre-production units, which were differentiated on their center console-mounted production plaques with P1 through P12 instead of the XXX/448 designation of the standard cars.
This particular example is the sixth of the 12 pre-production cars built, bearing number P6. A US-specification example, it was nonetheless displayed by Ferrari at the Frankfurt International Auto Show (IAA) in September 2001 before being sold to an American buyer on the 8th of October. EE plates (Italian license plates for foreigners) were issued on the 6th of December and then the car was air freighted via CargoLux from Luxembourg to the United States on Christmas Day. The car has led a pampered life mostly in California and has covered fewer than 2,300 miles from new.
This is an exceptional opportunity to acquire a genuinely unrepeatable car. Any 550 Barchetta is extraordinary, but this car, with its extraordinary ex-works history that includes display by the factory at a major auto show, coupled with its stunning color combination and low mileage, is a holy grail example for the collector or enthusiast seeking one of the most desirable examples of one of the most desirable Ferraris produced.