Posts

Driving my first Ferrari: does it live up to the legend?

Ferrari Portofino road trip

Ask anyone who likes cars – hell, ask anyone. What is the ultimate car brand? The car everyone knows and most people want? Love them or lump them, there is only one answer: Ferrari.

I’m not a Ferrari fan in particular. I’ve always loved the more subtle four-seat GTs (330 GT, 456 GT, 612 Scaglietti), but a Ferrari has never been my dream car. Yet it’s the marque that has always resonated as the cultural archetype for racing, luxury, success and excess. The embodiment of Italian bravado and style.

Ferrari Portofino road trip

I grew up watching the Scuderia dominate Formula One racing, in between reading gushing reviews of red road cars that seemed to have no equal. Sure, Aston Martin and Porsche occasionally had a good pop, but journalists always came running back, arms and eyes open wide, to the contemporary Ferrari.

Fast-forward some 15 years and I find myself with a Ferrari and a weekend to go and play. Now, I thought, was the watershed moment: a rite of passage. Would the real thing live up to the legend?

A fair prediction would have been ‘no’. For it wasn’t a snarling 812 Superfast or side-slip-equipped 488 Pista sat outside the office awaiting a coat of wintry grime: it was a Portofino.

The Portofino is the successor to the California, a car occasionally dismissed as ‘not a proper Ferrari’. Granted, very few buyers of these front-mid-mounted V8 cars are Ferrari veterans. It’s not got the same multi-way traction control as the mid-engined models, or indeed a blood-curdling, free-breathing V12 like the flagship GTs.

Ferrari Portofino video review

This is the drop-top, diet Ferrari that belongs on the Pacific Coast Highway, or so those drift-happy journos will tell you.

I’m no wannabe Park Lane poser, though – I wanted to actually drive the thing. So, with friends living on the Scottish border, the obvious thing was to head up north…

Getting in my first Ferrari

Friday afternoon comes and a red fob slides onto my desk. “It goes without saying… be careful,” I’m warned. No arguments there. I walk outside and, while excited, I can’t get away from the feeling that Ferraris used to be prettier. And smaller.

This so-called ‘entry-level’ car has some size and presence about it, but not the delicacy and elegance of the marque’s older models. It’s much better looking than 2009’s California, mind.

Clambering inside, being careful to avoid dinging the door and the five-figure satin paint, there’s no indication that this isn’t a ‘proper’ Ferrari. The cabin is beautifully appointed.

The lack of bucket seats (thank God) juxtaposes with lashings of carbon fibre and shift lights on the steering wheel. I’d save some pennies and take the classier standard alloy finish. It’s true what they say, modern Ferraris are an ergonomic nightmare, at least at first.

Engine: Start | Stop

Ferrari Portofino road trip

Foot on brake, press the bright red button on the wheel marked ‘Engine Start | Stop’ and the dash and wheel lights flutter into life. It’s an event, and that’s before the V8 catches with a bark and a woofle. Immediately, folks working in the same building wander over – “Superfast, right”? This was the first indication that, to anyone other than seasoned anoraks, the horse commands attention regardless of the snout atop which it prances.

The first challenge is getting out of the office car park. Obviously, it’s parked facing away from the exit, which itself is a bit of a climb. A trial by fire in terms of getting used to the dimensions and learning the control weights, then. The dual-clutch box, while whip-crack on a run, feels somewhat sluggish when crawling. One to get used to.

Ferrari Portofino road trip

Once you’re up and running, another Ferrari cliche becomes abundantly clear. The steering really is lightning-quick when you’re fresh from other cars. Otherwise, the gearbox is superb and the now-standard carbon-ceramic brakes aren’t nearly as grabby as earlier systems were purported to be. All in all, without a heavy clutch, worrying cabin heat or strong-arm steering, the Portofino seems decidedly un-Ferrari-like, at least in the classic sense.

I get on the road properly and, to my delight and relief, the Portofino lets another surprise out of the bag. It rides really quite nicely. First stop: home to show mum and dad – you would, wouldn’t you? Up the A1 and A505 I fly, in superb comfort and with consummate effortlessness – the Portofino giving a taste of its GT credentials.

I pick up a friend and make a beeline for my childhood home. Yet again, the car gets the attention befitting the badge. Local lads run up the high street to catch it. This is a front-engined silver cabriolet – a far cry from a mid-engined red supercar. Still, a Ferrari has that kind of magnetism, not to mention the noise.

The long run up to the Scottish borders

Ferrari Portofino road trip

By the time we get underway, it’s nearly 9pm and we’ve got the better part of a five-hour drive ahead. This was to be a real test of the Ferrari’s GT credentials.

Set cruise, wiggle your backside into a long-term position and watch the miles disappear. This is the side of the Portofino’s personality that I became most grateful for as I spent 16 of the next 48 hours driving. It settles down beautifully on compliant suspension and there’s no drone from the engine.

It’s not perfect, mind. Be sure to leave it a while after you’ve put the roof up. A whistle or two can be heard from the roof if the rubbers haven’t settled. That quick steering requires a bit of micro-management at speed, too.

Hours go by and you often forget you’re in a Ferrari – in my case, my first. Is that a bad thing? It took us all weekend to decide. A quick coffee stop revealed it has the car park presence. You can’t help but smile as you walk back out to it. Before we knew it, we were snaking our way up the A66 and across onto the M6.

Ferrari Portofino road trip

The final word on the Ferrari’s grand touring prowess was that, even with 250 miles behind us and a weekend’s driving ahead, we were sad this journey was ending. A new Bentley Continental GT might have done a better job still, but the Portofino is a superb long-distance tourer.

For your own mental maths, we burned through just under £60 of high-octane – a wedge over half a tank on the run up. You could do 400 miles on a tank without worrying, I reckon. The final practical test was a very steep, very tight driveway entrance. It was a nail-biting experience, but the baby Ferrari was just slim enough to get through without a graze.

Portofino in the Lake District

Ferrari Portofino road trip

It’s a foggy Saturday morning in Cotehill as we head down for breakfast in Keswick. We needed to fill up for the long day of testing, filming and photography ahead deep in the Lake District.

Our chosen arena would be a challenge for any pretender to supercar status. The Buttermere to Honister pass is tight, twisty and the surface quality is comparable to an adolescent’s face. You’ve got to watch your extremities, mitigate throttle, be exact with steering and not overstep your braking zones.

Ferrari Portofino road trip

The Portofino, where hot hatches would ordinarily thrive, gobbled it up. Superb body control with the ‘bumpy road’ button pressed gives you the confidence to push on. The traction control system when in ‘Sport’ on the Manettino is watchful but lenient – you can feel the power moving the car around its axis via the electronic e-diff, without the sense that technology is killing the fun.

The way the car limits torque through first and second gears delivers the feeling of a nitrous hit when you reach third wide open. If you flat-foot it in third from low revs, the boost really encourages the car to get away from you, even with the traction on. The brakes, handily, arrest momentum without breaking a bead.

Ferrari Portofino road trip

With getting on for 600hp, you’d imagine the Portofino to feel like a pike in a paddling pool on the B5289. On the contrary, the performance is exciting, but not overwhelming, the chassis poised, balanced and exploitable. The quick steering begins to make sense when you can only see as far as the next switchback.

When you rip it up and down the revs via the dual-clutch transmission, you come to realise there really is a 488 hiding under the bonnet, ready to be called upon. It’s the deftest of Dr Jekyll GT cars with a Hyde-flavoured supercar available on request. That’s something few other rivals can offer.

It also accrues speed like nothing from even 15 years ago. It’s at the extremes of performance you can really use and enjoy on the road.

Does it sound like a Ferrari should?

Ferrari Portofino road trip

The Portofino doesn’t quite have the vocal intricacy and rev-range of the old naturally aspirated Ferrari V8s. It is a close relation, though, as if you’re hearing an F430 through a pillow.

The soundtrack is by no means without drama of its own. High-rev gearshifts are accompanied by pops and crackles, and there’s that quintessential Ferrari bark as the valves open around 3,000rpm.

When you pile on the loud pedal, there aren’t turbo noises in the classic whoosh and chirp sense. This isn’t an Audi Quattro, or indeed an F40. The exhaust noise could only be Ferrari, if a little dulled by the turbos. Interestingly, there’s no ‘loud exhaust’ button.

Heading home: M6 and the Yorkshire Dales

Ferrari Portofino road trip

For the drive home, we wanted a back-to-back re-run of the two opposing sides to the Portofino’s character. So we traded the A66 for a few more miles of M6, before getting off at Kendall for a B-Road thrash across the Yorkshire Dales to the A1.

Much of the Dales is a bit more open than our Lake District routes so we got to open the Ferrari up a bit more. We wouldn’t be doing the Portofino a disservice to say that a ‘proper’ supercar would do really fast stuff with a bit more drama. You always get the sense that you’re munching miles rather than attacking a road, as it might feel in a 488.

Ferrari Portofino road trip

Still, added drama is a frequent bedfellow with poor refinement. We were happy with seven-tenths of the supercar experience without any of the irritants: a feeling that became abundantly clear as the final dark hours of our weekend road trip eroded away.

For the last blast back home to bed, the fact that the Portofino is capable of really settling down was invaluable to a driver who’d, by now, had his fill.

Verdict: prancing horse or phoney pony?

Ferrari Portofino road trip

The Portofino isn’t the most spine-tingling of sports cars. It will, however, put a smile on your face if you take the scenic route and let that muzzled 488 lump off its lead.

Before and after. Looks better dirty, imo… Cosetting svelte GT when you want it to be, with deployable and exploitable supercar character (and performance) there on demand. pic.twitter.com/ZCB4pvj9Fa

— Ethan Jupp (@EthanIsSaying) January 7, 2019

The rest of the time, it really is a car for all seasons: a well-judged entrance into Ferrari ownership and a supremely accomplished GT.

The smallest horse in the stable is still a prize steed, by my reckoning, a worthy introduction to this most prestigious of automotive marques.

Ferrari is now the strongest brand in the world

Ferrari fans with the Scuderia logo

The Global 500 – the annual report on the world’s most valuable brands – has been revealed for 2019 by Brand Finance. Who holds the top spot, then? Apple? Google? Wrong. It’s a brand from the automotive industry: Ferrari.

That’s right, Ferrari is officially as the world’s strongest brand, period. It scored a 94.8 out of 100, with an AAA+ rating. That’s an increase of 3.3 points from 91.5 last year, allowing it to overtake McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Lego and Disney.  It previously held first place in 2014.

How do you work out the strength of a brand?

A multitude of factors play into the strength of a brand. Brand Finance looked at marketing investment, stakeholder equity and business performance. By these measures, Ferrari joins just 14 other brands in this year’s Global 500 that receive an AAA+ rating.

It’s not just Ferrari’s cars that reinforce its status. A global brand of merchandise, theme parks and a hotel fortify the marque’s presence and public awareness of it, without damaging its appeal as a luxury motor manufacturer.

Ferrari’s brand strength has strengthened its value, too. This year, the company is 27 percent up, with an $8.3 billion valuation.

Ferrari Portofino road trip

“As the world’s foremost luxury carmaker, Ferrari has an unparalleled level of brand recognition, upholding excellence for design and innovation,” said David Haigh CEO, Brand Finance.

“The prancing horse logo is a perfect symbol of the brand’s strength and vitality as it plans new models and reaches outside the auto industry.”

Other luxury automotive brands also carry major consumer appeal. Both BMW and Porsche get AAA brand strength ratings.

These are the most expensive cars sold at auction in 2018

Most expensive cars sold at auction in 2018

Last year was absolutely huge for record-breaking classics, including the most valuable car ever sold at auction.

That – plot spoiler – was a Ferrari, but it wasn’t all about Prancing Horses of the Swinging Sixties. Indeed, the top 12 sales of 2018 weren’t short on diversity…

1958 Porsche 550A – £4.03 million

Most expensive cars sold at auction in 2018

We kick off with a very appropriate sale for 2018. In Porsche’s 70th-anniversary year, this 1958 550A made a cool $5.17 million (£4.03 million) at the Bonhams Scottsdale sale.

It was a factory-backed car in period and, unsurprisingly, has quite a provenance and race history. How does second-in-class (fifth overall) at Le Mans and a class win in the Nürburgring 1,000km in 1958 sound? Few cars are as important to the genesis of Porsche as the 550.

1955 Maserati A6GCS/53 Spider – £4.03 million

Most expensive cars sold at auction in 2018

Last year was big for Maseratis, as we crown the new most expensive car to wear the trident ever sold at auction.

This one-of-three Frua-bodied 1955 A6GCS/53 Spider is a former concours winner and deserving record-holder, achieving the same $5.17 million (£4.03 million) at Pebble Beach as the Porsche. Interestingly, that was a few hundred thousand dollars short of the estimate.

1932 Alfa Romeo Tipo B Grand Prix Monoposto – £4.5 million

Most expensive cars sold at auction in 2018

This Alfa Romeo Tipo B earns its place thanks, principally, to its significance as the winner of the inaugural Donington Grand Prix in 1935, plus its status as the first successful central single-seat Grand Prix car.

It’s also a veteran of Scuderia Ferrari’s formative years – that is, as a team rather than a manufacturer. What price for this unique piece of racing history? Try $5.83 million (£4.5 million) for size.

1985 Porsche 959 Paris-Dakar – £4.6million

Most expensive cars sold at auction in 2018

Perhaps the biggest surprise of this list is this comparatively modern legend: a 1985 Porsche 959 Dakar. It sold at RM Sotheby’s Porsche anniversary sale for $5.95 million (£4.6 million).

Resplendent in its Rothmans livery, this unique rally-fettled supercar campaigned at the 1985 Paris-Dakar, is an Amelia Island concours winner and has seen action at the Goodwood Festival of Speed with Jacky Ickx at the wheel.

Interestingly, unlike the road-going 959, it does without turbochargers. Perhaps natural aspiration is more reliable when charging through hot desert sands? It’s one of just seven developmental examples built, of which four remain in Porsche’s care.

1958 Ferrari 250 GT TdF Berlinetta – £5.2 million

Most expensive cars sold at auction in 2018

The Tour de France name was recently applied to the fastest, most extreme version of the Ferrari F12, but its origins date back to the 1950s. The 250 GT TdF Berlinetta comes from an era when road-going GTs also competed in endurance events. The car seen here raced in both the 1958 Targa Florio and Trieste-Opicina hillclimb.

With coachwork by Scaglietti and a V12 beneath its long, voluptuous bonnet, this TdF pushed bidders up and up and it sold for $6.6 million (£5.2 million) at Pebble Beach last year. It was previously owned by a renowned Ferrari collector for 52 years.

1965 Ferrari 275 GTB Speciale – £6.4 million

Most expensive cars sold at auction in 2018

Now, this is something a bit, um… ‘speciale’: the only 275 GTB built by Pininfarina and the personal car of company boss Battista Pininfarina. The Ferrari has numerous bespoke design details and was displayed at many motor shows in-period, including Frankfurt, Paris and Turin.

Its V12 engine has the desirable six-carb specification but hasn’t been started in many years. As such, vendor Gooding and Company advised it ‘will require mechanical attention prior to road use’. The car sold for $8.09 million (£6.4 million) at Scottsdale in January.

1966 Ford GT40 Mk II – £7.7 million

Most expensive cars sold at auction in 2018

This is one of the three 1966 Le Mans GT40s that cemented this Ferrari-beating blue-collar legend into history. As racing provenance goes, it doesn’t get much better than that – which is why this third-placed GT40 sold for $9.8 million (£7.7 million) at RM Sotheby’s Monterey sale.

Since that famous finish at Le Mans in 1966, it’s been wheeled out at numerous historic motorsport events, including appearances at Goodwood (both for the Festival of Speed and Revival), and indeed Monterey. It received the people’s choice award at 2003’s Pebble Beach concours.

1961 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato 2 VEV – £10.08 million

Most expensive cars sold at auction in 2018

One of the most famous Aston Martin racing cars ever made is a coach-built victim of a prang at Goodwood. With F1 legend Jim Clark at the wheel, driving his – and the car’s – second Goodwood TT, it spun into the path of John Surtees’ Ferrari 250 GTO at Madgwick. The result was two bent super-GTs and one of the most famous crashes in Goodwood history.

Fitting, then, that this one-of-three super lightweight Zagato was up for grabs at the 2018 Festival of Speed. It eventually crossed the block for £10.08 million. Prior to the sale, the car had been in the same family for 47 years. In 1993, a previous keeper was involved in another prang in ‘2 VEV’ on the Isle of Man. Since then, after a painstaking restoration, the car has led a somewhat more static concours-winning existence.

1963 Aston Martin DP215 – £16.9 million

Most expensive cars sold at auction in 2018

A Le Mans racer that reached 198.6mph on the Mulsanne Straight in 1963, this aero-enhanced Aston Martin sold for $21.5 million (£16.9 million) at RM Sotheby’s Monterey sale. That makes it almost the most valuable British car sold at auction – beaten only by a $22.5 million (£17.7 million) Aston Martin DBR 1 in 2017.

DP215 is a true one-off and the final racing Aston of the David Brown era. It was restored with help with designer Ted Cutting, who was originally tasked with building the car in just two months – with a budget of £1,500. Sadly, although DP215 led Le Mans for two hours, it would retire with gearbox problems.

1935 Duesenberg SSJ – £17.3 million

Most expensive cars sold at auction in 2018

This high-class hot rod became the most expensive American car ever sold at auction when it appeared at Pebble Beach. Dripping with raffish, jazz-age glamour, it’s one of only two SSJs built, combining a short-wheelbase chassis with a 400hp supercharged in-line 8-cylinder engine.  

Duesenberg had factories in Minnesota, New Jersey and Indiana, and rivalled Cadillac, Rolls-Royce and Bugatti in its day. Production lasted from 1913 until shortly before World War II.

This particular car was delivered new to Hollywood actor Gary Cooper, then later owned by racing driver Briggs Cunningham.

1956 Ferrari 290 MM – £17.3 million

Most expensive cars sold at auction in 2018

Racing pedigree always boosts the values of classic cars – and this $22.005 million (£17.3 million) 290 MM has a suitably star-studded competition CV. It was a Scuderia Ferrari works car for the 1956 and 1957 seasons, driven by Juan Manuel Fangio, Peter Collins and Stirling Moss.

One of just three surviving 290 MMs, the car retains its original Scaglietti bodywork. It was restored by Ferrari’s in-house Classiche department in 2015, including a respray in 1957 ‘12 Hours of Sebring’ livery.

1962 Ferrari 250 GTO – £38.1 million

Most expensive cars sold at auction in 2018

In first place on our list, somewhat predictably, is a Ferrari 250 GTO. This 1962 example enters the record books as the most expensive car ever sold at auction – with a hammer price of $48.4 million (£38.1 million) at Monterey in August.

The 250 GTO is the third of 36 examples built and won its class in the 1963 and 1964 Targa Florio. It still has its original engine, gearbox and rear axle, while factory Series II bodywork was added in period by Scaglietti. Will its record be beaten in 2019? If so, only another 250 GTO seems likely to top it…

Read more:

Classic Ferrari with a famous past sells for £17.5 million

Ferrari racing car sells for $22 million RM Sotheby's

A one-of-four 1956 Ferrari 290MM racing car, as driven by Sir Stirling Moss and Juan Manuel Fangio, has just sold for $22 million (£17.5 million) with RM Sotheby’s.

In terms of provenance, it has to be one of the best Ferraris available. It was a strong competition racer: fourth at the Targa Florio and second at the San Bernardo Hillclimb in just its first year of racing.

Ferrari racing car sells for $22 million RM Sotheby's

The car was then converted from 860 Monza specification to a 290MM, courtesy of a 3.5 V12 engine swap. It moved on to race at Sebring, Buenos Aires and the 1957 Bahamas Speed Weeks. The latter saw Sir Stirling Moss claim two race victories.

Over the following years, the car would pass through the hands of racer Luigi Chinetti to multiple clients. It then came back into his ownership in 1968 and remained in his family for 30 years until 1998. It was then purchased by Microsoft executive Jon Shirley. He had the car restored and ran it at various events in the United States.

Ferrari racing car sells for $22 million RM Sotheby's

With its previous owner, the car took part in a parade tribute to Fangio at 2011’s Goodwood Revival. Not long after, it underwent the ultimate restoration at the hands of Ferrari Classiche and was returned to 1957 Sebring 12-hour specification – the last race in which it competed for the factory team.

It’s since appeared at the 2016 and 2017 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance events – and been on display at the Ferrari Museums in Modena and Maranello.

Ferrari racing car sells for $22 million RM Sotheby's

It’s no surprise, then, that this Scaglietti-bodied 290MM joins an elite group: it’s one of the most valuable cars ever sold at auction.

RM’s description of it as ‘one of the rarest and most significant Ferrari sports racing cars from the Scuderia’s heyday’ says it all.

Read more:

Ferrari SP3JC one-off V12

The SP3JC is the latest one-off Ferrari you can’t have

The latest Ferrari special project is a pop-art roadster based on the savage F12 TDF supercar

Breadvan

The company that built the Tesla Estate is building a new Ferrari Breadvan

Breadvan

Niels van Roij Design, the company that brought us the coach-built Tesla Model S Shooting Brake, is working on a homage to the iconic Ferrari 250 Breadvan.

A distinguished customer approached the coach-builder with his desire to pay tribute to the Breadvan.

The build process is yet to begin, with consultation between the coach-builder and the client ongoing. The company stated it would post weekly updates on the progress of the project starting on October 19th.

The Giotto Bizzarrini-designed machine was originally a response to the then-new factory GTO based on the ageing 250 Short Wheel Base. In latter-day historic racing, the unique Breadvan has become something of an icon, putting in plenty of winning appearances at Goodwood, Silverstone and beyond.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

There’s no word on what car the build will be based on. Logically, a modern Ferrari V12 fits the bill. The FF and GTC4 certainly have the shape for it. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume one of these will be hitting the operating table at Niels van Roij Design over the coming months.

“We see it as a great privilege that we can honour the Breadvan through this homage commission,” says Van Roij.

“It is a complex task to translate the essence of the legendary original into a contemporary design. We intend to be inspired by the original, but will ensure we are not limited by it in our creativity.”

Read more:

Ferrari 488 Pista Spider in Paris

Taking the Pista: new Ferrari takes its top off in Paris

Ferrari 488 Pista Spider in Paris

Just over a month after the Ferrari 488 Pista Spider made its debut at the 2018 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the company’s 50th factory-built drop-top has been unveiled in Paris.

Not much has changed since Pebble Beach: the days have got a little shorter, the temperature has dropped, and we’re a few weeks closer to leaving the EU. But it’s a good opportunity for Ferrari to generate a little extra publicity for its latest Spider.

It shares the same 720hp twin-turbocharged V8 engine a the 488 Pista coupe, making it the most powerful production Spider in Ferrari’s history. The performance figures are compelling: 0-62mph in 2.85 seconds, 0-124mph in 8.0 seconds, and a top speed of 211mph.

Ferrari hasn’t supplied any fuel consumption or CO2 figures, but we suspect you don’t really care. Let’s just say that it’ll consume some petrol.

Not that the conversion from tin-top to drop-top has added a huge amount of weight. At 1,380kg, it is 100kg heavier than the Pista coupe, but it’s also 50kg lighter than the 488 GTB. Ferrari achieved this by using magic and some of its F1 knowhow, with 18kg shaved off the weight of the engine alone.

‘The greatest technological transfer from the track’

Ferrari 488 Pista Spider European debut

According to Ferrari, the 488 Pista Spider “benefits from the greatest technological transfer from the track of any road-legal open-top car”, thanks in part to the Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer (FDE).

In short, the system manages the brake pressure at the calipers more accurately, so it’s easier to control the car when drifting sideways. Perfect for capturing those ‘driving God’ moments on the GoPro and uploading them to YouTube.

The 488 Pista Spider will lap the Fiorano test track in 1min 21.5secs, in case you were wondering.

We still don’t know how much it’ll cost – another opportunity for a press release, no doubt – but you should expect to pay a premium for removing the top. Bank on spending the best part of £275,000 if you fancy a place in the queue.

Read more:

Fabulous Ferraris set to sell for millions

Fabulous Ferraris set to sell for millions

Fabulous Ferraris set to sell for millions

It’s billed as RM Sotheby’s “most historic Monterey lineup to date”, with ultra-rare and super-expensive Ferraris going under the hammer. “The 29 Ferraris set for Monterey span key moments in the marque’s history, from 1950s sports racing through to the most advanced supercars of today,” said Gord Duff, head of auctions. The F40 needs no introduction, but it’s not the most desirable Ferrari at the Monterey sale.

1962 Ferrari 250 GTO

Fabulous Ferraris set to sell for millions

In truth, this is the headline act. We featured the Ferrari 250 GTO back in June, as it’s expected to be the most valuable car ever sold at auction. This is the third of only 36 GTOs built, and one of four re-bodied in period by Scaglietti with Series II GTO/64 coachwork. With its original engine, gearbox and bodywork, not to mention genuine race pedigree, the 250 GTO has a pre-auction estimate of $45 million (£34 million).

2017 Ferrari California T 70th Anniversary

Fabulous Ferraris set to sell for millions

If a quick rummage down the back of the sofa hasn’t revealed enough coins for the 250 GTO, this Ferrari California T 70th Anniversary is likely to be significantly cheaper. Built to mark Ferrari’s 70th anniversary, this is livery number 20 – The Redhead – inspired by the 250 Testa Rossa prototype. Offered with delivery mileage, the California T is, predictably, in showroom condition.

2014 Ferrari LaFerrari

Fabulous Ferraris set to sell for millions

This LaFerrari is being offered with no reserve, with the proceeds benefiting the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. The LaFerrari is one of the so-called ‘Holy Trinity’ – the others being the McLaren P1 and Porsche 918 Spyder – with this particular example delivered new to New Jersey. From there, it went straight into a private collection and has been used sparingly – the odometer is showing 150 miles.

2011 Ferrari 599 GTO

Fabulous Ferraris set to sell for millions

Built as a road-going version of the 599 XX, the 599 GTO was powered by a 5,999cc V12 engine developing 670hp at 8,250rpm. Just 599 were built, each one aimed at the firm’s most exclusive clientele, with 125 destined for the US. This example was delivered new to California, where it accumulated a mere 5,100 miles. The current mileage is 6,400 miles.

2005 Ferrari 575 Superamerica

Fabulous Ferraris set to sell for millions

Another low mileage Ferrari, with this 575 Superamerica accumulating just 4,400 miles in the past 13 years. Based on the 575M Maranello, the Superamerica’s ‘Revocromico’ folding roof can adjust between its lightest and darkest setting in less than a minute, as well as converting the car from closed to open roadster in just 10 seconds.

1995 Ferrari F512 M

Fabulous Ferraris set to sell for millions

In 1994, Ferrari launched the third and final iteration of the Testarossa, a decade after the star of a million bedroom walls was unveiled in Paris. Unlike the original, the F512 M features exposed headlights, while the ‘grilled’ rear lights were replaced by two pairs of circular units. The iconic slatted side intakes remained and were flanked by alloy wheels inspired by Pininfarina’s Mythos concept of 1989. This 1995 example is one of 75 produced for the US and has had the same owner since new.

1989 Ferrari Testarossa

Fabulous Ferraris set to sell for millions

Launching the Testarossa at the Paris Lido on the eve of the 1984 Paris motor show was a stroke of genius, as it set the tone for one of the most iconic and glamorous cars of the 80s. Adults aspired to it, children dreamt about it, but everyone recognised the Pininfarina design. This is a 1989 example complete with factory Schedoni fitted luggage and 14,000 miles on the clock.

1988 Ferrari Testarossa

Fabulous Ferraris set to sell for millions

If a red Ferrari is a tad predictable for you, this 1988 Testarossa is finished in Oro Chiaro Metallizzato. We suspect it will be a ‘Marmite’ colour, but having spent too many minutes ogling the photos on the RM Sotheby’s website, we’re firmly in the ‘love’ camp. It shows off the Testarossa’s many fine details, although it helps that this car is in pristine condition. Another low-mileage example – 4,300 miles – we wonder if any of the cars in the Monterey sale are destined to spend time on the road.

1984 Ferrari 288 GTO

Fabulous Ferraris set to sell for millions

With 13,200km on the clock, this Ferrari 288 GTO has some miles under its belt, many of which were completed in Japan. Indeed, it was the first GTO to be exported to Japan, where it was enjoyed on the roads around owner Yoshiho Matsuda’s home. By the time it left Japan, bound for the US, the GTO had accumulated 9,500km. According to RM Sotheby’s, it’s one of the finest GTOs available.

1984 Ferrari 512 BBi

Fabulous Ferraris set to sell for millions

When the Ferrari 512 BB was given Bosch fuel injection in 1981 it became the 512 BBi, widely considered to be the most civilised of the Berlinetta Boxers. This left-hand-drive example was delivered new in Europe but subsequently federalised for American roads and sold to the original owner in Miami. The Grigio Scuro paint over Rosso Bordeaux seats is a rare combination.

1976 Ferrari 308 GTB

Fabulous Ferraris set to sell for millions

Launched in 1975, the Pininfarina-designed Ferrari 308 remained in production until 1985, by which time a GTS version had joined the fold. They were hugely successful, combining to deliver total sales of 12,000 – far exceeding Ferrari’s forecast. This Giallo Fly example has covered 14,000 miles and is offered without reserve.

1974 Dino 246 GTS

Fabulous Ferraris set to sell for millions

Built exclusively for the American market, the Dino 246 GTS went on sale in 1972 and, like the 246 GT, remained in production until 1974. Which makes this 1974 GTS one of the last to roll out of Maranello, as well as being one of the lowest mileage examples in the world. It was acquired by its current owner in 1989 and there are just 8,300 miles on the clock. In 2016, it was treated to $55,000 worth of mechanical maintenance.

1973 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona

Fabulous Ferraris set to sell for millions

You have a choice of two Ferrari 365 GTB/4s at the Monterey sale, both dating from 1973. Dubbed ‘Daytona’ in honour of Ferrari’s 1-2-3 finish at the Florida circuit in 1967, the 365 GTB/4 was one of the finest grand tourers of a generation. One of only 30 examples finished in Nero, the car was restored to its original specification and has covered 15,594 miles.

1973 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona

Fabulous Ferraris set to sell for millions

Finished in Argento Metallizzato over a Nero Connolly leather interior, this Daytona was delivered new in 1973 and fitted with air conditioning and electric windows. Today, the car has covered just under 44,000 miles, which just goes to prove that it is possible to buy and enjoy driving a Ferrari.

1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Spider Competizione

Fabulous Ferraris set to sell for millions

If there was a prize for the greatest journey to Monterey, this 365 GTB/4 Spider Competizione would be in with a shout. Having been converted to compete in the 1975 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Ferrari was showcased on the Michelotti stand that same year, before competing at Le Mans and Daytona. It was fully rebuilt in 2002 to its original Le Mans specification and was entered in the 2018 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, celebrating both 50 years of the Daytona and 60 years of NART (North American Racing Team).

1969 Ferrari 365 GT 2+2

Fabulous Ferraris set to sell for millions

Back in 1967, when the Ferrari 365 GT 2+2 was unveiled at the Paris motor show, it was probably the greatest grand tourer… in the world. The styling was unmistakably the work of Pininfarina, while power was sourced from a 4,390cc V12 developing 320hp. This 1969 example was delivered new to a customer in Salt Lake City and was the 25th US car of its kind.

1968 Dino 206 GT

Fabulous Ferraris set to sell for millions

Pininfarina built six different prototypes between the 1965 Paris motor show and the 1967 Frankfurt show, before settling on the final design for the Dino 206 GT. Unveiled in Turin, the 206 GT was built by Scaglietti in Modena, and just 152 were produced. This is number 30, completed in 1968 and sold the following January to a dealer in Milan.

1968 Ferrari 365 GT 2+2

Fabulous Ferraris set to sell for millions

Another Ferrari 365 GT 2+2, with this one looking resplendent in its fresh Giallo Fly paint. Indeed, this 1968 example was the subject of a recent extensive restoration, including refinishing the Borrani wire wheels, rebuilding the engine, drivetrain, brakes and suspension, and complete rechroming.

1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Series II

Fabulous Ferraris set to sell for millions

Introduced in 1964, the 330 GT 2+2 was Ferrari’s second production four-seat grand touring car, and more than a thousand were built. The original cars featured a controversial twin-headlight design, but they were replaced by more traditional single lights in 1965. This is one of just 455 Series II examples built and it was fully restored in 2015.

1966 Ferrari 500 Superfast Series II

Fabulous Ferraris set to sell for millions

When the 400 Superfast went out of production in 1963, Ferrari was in need of a new flagship for its most exclusive clientele. That car was the 500 Superfast – the last generation of the original Ferrari super-coupes. Pininfarina built one with a 330 GT engine, while the others were powered by a 5.0-litre V12 developing 400hp. Clients included Prince Sadruddin, Aga Khan, Barbara Hutton and John von Neumann. This is one of just 12 Series II Superfasts built.

1963 Ferrari 250 GT/L Berlinetta Lusso

Fabulous Ferraris set to sell for millions

In 1962, Ferrari unveiled one of the most beautiful cars ever to wear the Prancing Horse, making it one of Pininfarina’s greatest hits. This is believed to be number 21 of 350 built, originally finished in Amaranto Italver and trimmed with a beige interior. In 1970, the car was repainted silver-grey metallic and reupholstered in black. It has changed hands numerous times, including a spell under the ownership of Wayne Carini of Chasing Classic Cars fame.

1961 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series II

Fabulous Ferraris set to sell for millions

Only 200 examples of the 250 GT Cabriolet Series II were built, and this is one of just seven delivered in Grigio Fumo over Beige Pelle interior. This is number 131, completed in July 1961, and a direct sale to a Frenchman living in California. It was painted red in the late 80s, before being restored to its former glory under its current ownership.

1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB

Fabulous Ferraris set to sell for millions

Unveiled in 1959, the 250 GT SWB featured a shortened wheelbase, Dunlop disc brakes and Ferrari’s Tipo 168 engine. Configurable to the client’s request, the cars were available in street or competition spec, with the latter receiving all-aluminium coachwork, competition carburettors and revised camshaft profiles.

1960 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series II

Fabulous Ferraris set to sell for millions

Formerly owned the CEO of Coca-Cola, this 250 GT Cabriolet Series II is expected to put the fizz into the Monterey sale. Lame puns aside, the Series II was unveiled at the 1959 Paris motor show and it showcased a raft of changes, including open headlights, a slightly more rounded nose and new rear lights. This is the 53rd second series cabriolet produced and is said to present “only minor patina” to its restoration.

1959 Ferrari 250 GT Coupe

Fabulous Ferraris set to sell for millions

By now, you’ve probably had your fill of Ferraris, but we’ll continue with the final four. Different sources claim different numbers, so this is either the 120th of 335 or the 120th of 355, delivered new a year after the car made its debut at the 1958 Paris motor show. It’s one of three delivered new in the stunning shade of Blu Genziana.

1958 Ferrari 250 GT Coupe

Fabulous Ferraris set to sell for millions

The first series of 250 GTs included 82 cars coachbuilt by Carrozzeria Boano, with a further 50 completed after the company changed its name to Carrozzeria Ellena. This is car number 23, delivered new through the Ferrari representative in Hollywood to Beverly Hills resident Cy Yedor.

1954 Ferrari 375 America Coupe

Fabulous Ferraris set to sell for millions

This is the actual car of the 1954 Geneva motor show and is one of just 12 375 Americas produced. In the words of RM Sotheby’s: “Each Vignale body was as tailored to its original purchaser as a fine suit, and unique as a snowflake.” This example features curving, torpedo-like flanks and a light, airy greenhouse with a wrap-around rear window. In addition to the Geneva show, it was also shown at the New York World Motor Sports Show at Madison Square Garden.

1953 Ferrari 250 MM Berlinetta

Fabulous Ferraris set to sell for millions

The final car, and also the oldest car in the Ferrari sale, this is a 1953 250 MM Berlinetta. Number 15 of 18 built, this car was displayed at the 1954 Swedish motor show and finished third in class at the Helsinki Grand Prix that same year. Remember, the RM Sotheby’s sale is part of Monterey Car Week and takes place on the 24 and 25 August 2018.

Read more:

Ferrari Dino

Dino at 50: the original baby Berlinettas gather in Maranello

Ferrari Dino

The list of Ferrari models named after members of the family is not a long one. In fact, can you count two cars a list? Enzo and Dino are icons to two different generations of Ferrari enthusiast and are both in the uppermost in the list of significant cars from Ferrari’s back catalogue.

While the top-flight Enzo was named after il Commendatore for its mind-blowing performance and driving experience, the Dino sat rather lower in the hierarchy at the time of release. Yet it remains perhaps even more significant than the Enzo, due to its place in Ferrari’s history.

Named after Enzo’s son Dino (who designed its V6 engine), it took Ferrari into the mainstream as the marque’s most popular model during the original’s time on sale between 1968 and 1974.

Perhaps more significantly than the name, for the company at least, is that it’s the genesis moment for what has to be Ferrari’s most significant line of cars – the mid-engined Berlinettas, as headed today by 488 Pista. It was a stunning start to the bloodline, too, being a car that enthusiasts almost unanimously agree is one of Maranello’s most beautiful.

Ferrari Dino 50

Happy 50th, Dino

2018 marks 50 years since the first production Dino turned a wheel on the road, which is a landmark that has to be celebrated. What better way to do so than a gathering of more than 150 of them – including subsequent 308 Dinos – back at their home?

The cars gathered at the Maranello Museum on Saturday, June 30th, before heading to Fiorano for a parade around the infamous Prancing Horse proving ground. They then filed into the factory for a tour, before ending the day with a drive under the historical archway entrance, Via Abetone Inferiore.

Just one iconic Ferrari trundling around the streets of rural Italy is enough to cause a stir and yield a wave or two. Can you imagine the reaction to over 150 of the original Ferrari smash hit?

Read more:

1962 Ferrari 250 GTO

Ferrari 250 GTO: meet the most valuable car in the world

1962 Ferrari 250 GTO

Buy this 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, and you’ll gain access to one of the world’s most exclusive clubs. However, it doesn’t come cheap, with RM Sotheby’s slapping a $45 million (£34 million in the UK) pre-auction estimate on what is described as the “holy grail” of classic and collector cars.

What makes it so valuable? Aside from its jaw-dropping beauty, the 250 GTO was effectively the final evolution of the 250 model, which debuted in 1953 and ended with the last GTO in 1964. Just 36 GTOs were ever built, all of which survive today.

This is car number three – chassis no. 3413 GT – which began life as a factory car and was driven by Phil Hill in the 1962 Targa Florio. Its first owner was one of Ferrari’s favorite customers, Edoardo Lualdi-Gabardi, who entered the GTO in 10 races in 1962, winning all but one.

In 1963, Lualdi-Gabardi sold the GTO to fellow racing driver Gianni Bulgari, the former chairman and CEO of the Bulgari jewellery company. Under his ownership, the car competed in and finished a further 20 races, avoiding any accidents in the process.

Ferrari 250 GTO most expensive car

Microsoft, excelled

Today, it retains its original engine, gearbox and rear axle, as well as its factory Series II body. With such originality and provenance, you can see the pieces of the jigsaw contributing to the eye-opening pre-auction estimate.

Having passed through an unbroken chain of ownership in the hands of the world’s preeminent Ferrari collectors, ‘3413’ ended up in the care of Dr Greg Whitten, chairman of Numerix and former chief software architect at Microsoft.

In Dr Whitten’s custody, the GTO has competed in events around the world as well as four of the fabled GTO anniversary tours. These gatherings, which take place every five years, are a celebration of the GTO and involve driving on some of the world’s best roads and dining in the finest establishments. As you’d expect, entry is restricted to GTO ownership. If your name’s not down…

Ferrari 250 GTO interior

Access to the club can be bought. The price: whatever the Ferrari 250 GTO sells for at the RM Sotheby’s Monterey sale in August. You have two months to find the necessary $45 million. May we suggest starting with the back of the sofa and going from there?

Shelby Myers, car specialist at RM Sotheby’s is understandably thrilled at the prospect of the GTO going under the hammer, saying: “Due to the evolution of technology and safety regulations that followed, the GTO was essentially the final true road racer, marking the end of an era when drivers really got their hands dirty. This was the last car that you could park in your garage, drive to the track, win the race, and then drive home.”

“This marks just the third time that a GTO has been offered for public sale in the new millennium. I can think of no better place than our flagship Monterey event, an auction that has borne witness to the record-smashing sale of some of the most important cars in history, for the presentation of such an exceptional example of Ferrari’s most successful racer and the world’s most sought-after collector car, full-stop.

1962 Ferrari 250 GTO engine

“The fact that the GTO exists as it did in period, along with Dr Whitten’s long-term, enthusiastic ownership, only adds to the car’s impeccable pedigree.”

The RM Sotheby’s Monterey sale is held during the world-famous Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance motoring week in August, with the auction taking place on the 24 and 25 August 2018. Time to cash in your Premium Bonds?

Read more: