2001 Ferrari 550 Maranello
The first post-Enzo front engine 12 cylinder Ferrari and, at the same time, the last one to to actually drive like one. This car will deliver all the exhilarating emotions you would expect from the legendary prancing horse, yet with the reliability and affordability of a modern car. Accidentally, it also turns out to be the most affordable 12 cylinder Ferrari money can buy. If you don’t want to go too crazy but have decided that you need to have at least one Ferrari in your life, a 550 Maranello is probably the car you are looking for.
Ferrari 550 Maranello
When I was finally ready to own my first Ferrari, the market was already beyond my possibilities as far as the models I had been looking at were concerned. So I widened my research, and realized that the 550/575 family offered what most resembled my ideal Ferrari, outside of the models made between the early 60s and 70s I had dreamed about for years. Powerful front 12 cylinder engine, rear wheel drive, long nose and short back. And they were affordable! After studying the production’s history, I concluded that the 575M stick shift, manual six-speed was the model that best embodied the essence of this vehicle. Unfortunately I wasn’t the only observer on the market, and prices started skyrocketing. I bought this car as a first of a future number of steps, and it was only a couple of years later, when I finally found my manual transmission 575M, that I really started to appreciate my 550 Maranello. Although much less refined than her successor in terms of details and comfort, the 550 delivered a raw, true Italian sports car experience. This one is one heck of a fun car to drive, both on the track and on the road and don’t take my word for it, but go try yourself. I noticed that latest examples made tend to come with more optional accessories, like the modular wheels I found on mine: happy hunting!