Ferrari P540 Superfast Aperta revealed, second from Special Projects program

Ferrari P540 Superfast Aperta – Click above for high-res image gallery

We all remember the hoopla a few years ago when kajillionaire James Glickenhaus revealed he had been working with Ferrari on an updated version of the famous P3/4 race car from the sixties. What resulted was the Ferrari P4/5 one-off. Glickenhaus was $4 million lighter, but that seems like money well spent judging by all the attention he received, not to mention the fact he owns a 1-of-1 Ferrari.

That whole endeavor was part of the Ferrari Special Projects program (turns out that the P4/5 preceded the Ferrari Special Projects program, the first vehicle of which was the SP1), which is fancy Italian talk for "We will build anything you want for the right price." Another kajillionaire was apparently waiting in line behind Glickenhaus, and after 14 months of development, his car is ready too. Called the P540 Superfast Aperta, this entirely unique Ferrari was commissioned and partly developed by Edward Walson, whose claim to fame is that his dad invented cable TV. The new money mogul had reportedly always dreamed of designing cars, and approached Ferrari in 2008 to develop a car based on the gold Ferrari in the 1968 short film Toby Dammit.

If you can't tell, the donor car is a Ferrari 599 and much of the development work went into strengthening the car after the roof was removed. It's pretty, it's road legal and it's the only in existence. Follow the jump for the official word from Ferrari.

  • sp3 in pista fiorano durante la consegna al cliente 10-12-2009 ph.luca toni/lapresse 2009  Ferrari S.p.A.
    • sp3 in pista fiorano durante la consegna al cliente 10-12-2009 ph.luca toni/lapresse 2009  Ferrari S.p.A.
    • sp3 in pista fiorano durante la consegna al cliente 10-12-2009 ph.luca toni/lapresse 2009  Ferrari S.p.A.


Revealed: the new Ferrari P540 Superfast Aperta one-off

The first shake-down has been held at Fiorano of a very special one-off, the P540 Superfast Aperta, built for an American client. The car, the second in a new Special Projects programme created by Ferrari to meet requests from the most discerning clients and collectors to create truly unique models, is based on the 599 GTB Fiorano and was inspired by a Carrozzeria Fantuzzi-designed Ferrari built specifically for the 1968 Fellini film, Toby Dammit, itself inspired by one of the tales of Edgar Allan Poe.

The P540 Superfast Aperta's proud new owner, Edward Walson, son of John Walson, the inventor of cable TV, approached Ferrari in 2008 to produce a modern reinterpretation of the gold-coloured car in the film. "I had always dreamed of designing sports cars," Walson explains, "and when I saw this film the decision came of its own accord: one day I would have 'my' Ferrari."

In accordance with the Special Project's approach to producing such individual one-offs, the P540 Superfast Aperta respects all existing international safety and homologation requirements and is thus road legal. The car was designed by Pininfarina and built in Maranello, and the client was directly involved in each stage of its development. As the 599 GTB Fiorano donor car is a coupé, considerable effort went into strengthening the chassis by using finite element analysis in development and the increase in weight was kept down to just 20 kg by employing carbon-fibre extensively. From the initial sketches to the final, road-legal car took just 14 months.

As the client took delivery of the car at Fiorano his excitement was understandable: "This is the most special Christmas present of my life."

Technical specifications

  • Length 4731 mm
  • Width 1954 mm
  • Height 1300 mm
  • Wheelbase 2750 mm
  • Front track 1690 mm
  • Rear track 1620 mm
  • Engine
  • 65° V12
  • Displacement 5999 cc
  • Maximum power 456 kW (620 CV) at 7600 rpm
  • Maximum torque 608 Nm (62 kgm) at 5600 rpm
  • Transmission
  • F1 6-speed gearbox
  • Tyres
  • Front 245/35 20"
  • Rear 305/35 20"
  • Fuel consumption
  • Combined cycle 17.9 l/100 km
  • CO2 emissions
  • Combined cycle 415 g/km


This special car's colour was inspired by the film "Toby Dammit", one of the three episodes of the film "Histoires Extraordinaires" made in 1968 based on stories by Edgar Allan Poe.

"Toby Dammit", the third of the three episodes, directed by Federico Fellini, with Terence Stamp Salvo Randone and Milena Vukotic, based on the story "Never Bet The Devil Your Head".

The other two episodes, "Metzengerstein" and "William Wilson", were directed by Roger Vadim and Louis Malle.

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