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Ferrari 550M

Ferrari 550M Published: 12th Jan 2016 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Ferrari 550M
Ferrari 550M
Ferrari 550M
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Ferrari 550M

Another front-engined V12 Ferrari like the 456 but this time a two-seater with the transmission rear mounted. Tilting at past glories, the 550 Maranello take some style cues from the old Daytona and, appropriately, is regarded by some as the last of the old school Prancing Horses. Costing almost £145,000 at its1996 launch, values fell accordingly but have risen steadily over the past few years where top cars can touch £100k. Clearly a valued modern Ferrari.

DRIVING

Few will have nothing but praise for this Ferrari which while it’s not dissimilar to the earlier 456, it’s in another league to drive – and that’s saying something! Ferrari made the 485bhp 550 a real drivers’ car and didn’t burden the engineering with driver aids apart from a basic traction control although it’s equally well suited to fast but comfortable touring. It’s ideal for an enthusiast who doesn’t need the 456’s rear seats, one specialist remarked to us.

BEST MODELS

Condition counts for most because these cars can be horrendously expensive to service properly, let alone repair. Although there is a Spider version, the vast majority are manuals because the convertible Barchetta is a strange beast with a hood that Ferrari don’t advise exceeding our legal limit with. There is a WSR (World Speed Record) coupe that’s shorn of certain equipment to save weight along with a stiffer suspension. As it’s a matter of taste, the price premium is nominal. The later 575M is said to be even better in all areas apart from its F1 paddle gear shift option.

VALUES

As Daytona prices have soared, it’s no doubt helped drag values of this modern interpretation up with it and 100k is by no means uncommon for a top 550 and, say, two-thirds this for nice examples. Your only chance of finding a 50 grand (or less) car is to look at left-hand drive versions and import from abroad.

BUYING ADVICE

A service history is essential on any Ferrari but particularly so on the complex 550 as even minor service items can prove pretty eye-watering; think £620 for a new hose kit (they are prone to failure due to high underbonnet temperatures) and the thick end of a grand just for a set of new HT ignition leads! As with other 1980’s and 90’s Ferraris, rads commonly let go let go and not far short of £2000 fitted.

Engines are prone to leaking oil as are the power steering systems while new adjustable dampers cost almost £850 a corner, and new actuating electrical solenoids half this amount. Even the snazzy sporty fly-off handbrake can be troublesome – to the tune of well over £1000 to fix!

Hard driving is a way of Ferrari life but if the transmission is now suffering, a clutch is the least of your worries at around £2500 as a new gearbox is at four times this…

The inviting interior may not be so seductive as the leather top dashboard deteriorates and to make the dash look like new again can either cost a reasonable £600 for just the instrument shroud or almost six times this if a new dashboard is required.



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