Dutch coachbuilder Niels van Roij Design immersed itself in an obscure chapter of Ferrari history to turn a 550 Maranello into a one-off shooting brake named Breadvan Homage. Built at the request of a collector, the model is a modern take on the 250 GT-based Breadvan race car built in 1962 and also limited to one example.
Ferrari is more than happy to take requests from wealthy customers, too, but it wanted nothing to do with the original Breadvan, so it's fitting that a third-party coachbuilder was commissioned to bring the design into the 21st century. Company founder Niels van Roij explained that he wanted to revisit the original without copying it.
Stylists completely redesigned the front end, notably by adding a new-look bumper, air vents, and a domed hood, but the 550 Maranello genes aren't completely muted. It's a different story out back, where the roof line remains nearly flat until it abruptly breaks at a near-90-degree angle. Like the original, the modern-day Breadvan wears four individual round taillights, quad exhaust tips that poke well out of the body, and a glass rear window.
"It was quite a complex project altogether. Fitting the essence of the Breadvan aesthetics on top of a vastly different base vehicle, for instance," van Roij told Autoblog. He added that the most difficult part was getting the little details just right. He pointed to the windows, for example, which have fake shut lines to match the original car's. Nailing the proportions while changing the roof was a challenge, too.
Inside, the coachbuilder installed carbon fiber sport seats wrapped by blue upholstery and switches made with milled aluminum. Quilted black leather upholstery and hand-beaten aluminum trim pieces add a touch of 1960s race-inspired flair to the cabin. None of these styling cues would look right without a gated shifter, however. Luckily, the 550 Maranello was one of the last cars that Ferrari offered with a six-speed manual transmission.
Van Roij told us his team made no major mechanical modifications to the donor chassis, meaning power comes from a naturally-aspirated, 5.5-liter V8 that develops 478 horsepower and 419 pound-feet of torque. It exhales through a hand-made exhaust system, and it spins the rear wheels via the aforementioned six-speed manual. Koni designed a unique set of shock absorbers specifically for the Breadvan, so handling should be sharp.
We don't know who commissioned the Breadvan, or what's next. It might spend the rest of its days in a heated garage, tucked well out of the public's view, or it might appear outside of swanky restaurants every now and then. Alternatively, it might have been commissioned by a bakery that plans to use it to deliver bread — who knows?