• Oct 29th 2009 at 7:26PM
  • 14

Ferrari 550 GTZ – Click above for high-res image gallery

When Ferrari took the wraps off the 550 Maranello in 1996, it represented an important step in the company's evolution. Replacing the aging F512M (nee Testarossa), the 550 Maranello marked a shift back to front-engine V12 GTs for Ferrari – the niche market for which the company became known. But if the 550 Maranello was a pivotal product for Ferrari, the 550 Barachetta Pininfarina was even more desirable.

Characterized by its open-top format with rear cowling and leather-trimmed roll hoops, Ferrari only made 448 examples of the open-top 550 before the model line was replaced by the 575M. Another 559 drop-top Superamericas were built on the 575M's basis, but the rarest example was the solitary 575 GTZ built by Zagato for one Yoshiyuki Hayashi, an avid Ferrari collector in Japan.

For better or worse, the window of opportunity that, for a time, allowed coachbuilders like Zagato to create specials like the 575 GTZ is now closing, with Ferrari's own customization program bringing the carrozzeria tradition back to the Maranello gates – to the exclusion of others. But not before the Milanese design house gets in one last hoorah, celebrating the 90th anniversary of the first such collaboration between the two Italian houses of rolling style.

Taking five pristine examples of the aforementioned 550 Barachetta as their basis, the 550 GTZ borrows the shape from Hayashi's 575-based coupe and gives it a roadster body style. There's no word on whether any modifications have been carried out on the coupe's mechanicals, but the rolling stock appears to have carried over unchanged if that's any indication. All five examples have reportedly been spoken for at a price of £1 million ($1.6 million) apiece, which may seem like a lot for a car long since replaced, twice, but hardly too much to ask for historic artifacts of automotive Italiana.

[Source: CarsUK]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Go, Speed Racer, go!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I love Zagato's quirky designs but this one is disappointing even more so as it's the last one... The rear however is really nice.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Congratulations Zagato, your effort to rebody 5 beautiful 550 Barchettas turns out a design with all the grace of a second-tier rebodied Corvette whose true cachet is roughly 2% of the ridiculous purchase price...on a good day. Bravo! Gold chains FTW.

      To add to the hilarity, the watermark on the photos is perfect irony.
      • 5 Years Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      lose the original rims and abandon that soft top. come on, zagato, you're better than that.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Horrible as usual
      • 5 Years Ago
      Love the look of this. Still out of my price range!

      • 5 Years Ago
      I have never liked any of Zagato's cars more than the original models.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Zagato has never been a real favorite of mine, but they have had their moments of brilliance.

        They made one of the world's most timeless/beautiful designs, the Aston Martin DB4 Zagato.


        To see the company going down with this hideous Barchetta is a travesty.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The standard open 550 looks way better in every respect.
        • 5 Years Ago

        The 550 (and 575) are amongst my favorite Ferrari designs of the past 20-30yrs. To me, they are just beautiful cars, I cherish anytime I see one moreso than when I see just about any other model.

        This one, not so much.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Are you serious? U G L Y.
      This is for people with no taste and to much money.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Looks a bit like the old Panoz Esperante.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's like a kitcar in reverse...

      They've taken a Ferrari and made it look like a cross between a Corvette and a Panoz Esperante.

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