Richard Hammond's Old Ferrari 550 Maranello Has An Amazing Price

For Sale / 8 Comments

Gated shifter? Check. V12? Oh yeah.

You could go out and buy a Ferrari 812 Superfast, the Italian marque's sole V12-powered front-engined supercar on sale today, and drive away perfectly happy. But it is missing something many enthusiasts and Ferrari owners covet. A gated manual.

Ferrari got out of the manual transmission business years ago. There hasn't been a V12-manual combo since the 599 GTB Fiorano, of which just 30 such examples were made. Those who desire a front-engined V12 Ferrari grand tourer with a stick will have to go further back in time, and this 1998 Ferrari 550 Maranello is a near-perfect example.

We say "near-perfect" because it is a right-hand-drive model for the UK market. That fact alone could deter some overseas buyers. Then again, it might not because this car had a certain famous previous owner.

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Perhaps you've heard of Richard Hammond of 'Top Gear' and 'The Grand Tour' fame? Hammond later admitted he regretted selling this car. Before 'Hamster', the car was owned by Harry Metcalfe, founder of Evo Magazine. In fact, this very 550 Maranello was featured on several occasions in the pages of that magazine. Metcalfe purchased the car in 2004 and sold it in 2006, having driven 30,420 miles of its total 57,785 current miles. It's been with its current owner for eight years.

Like every 550 Maranello, power comes from a naturally aspirated 5.5-liter V12 producing 478 horsepower 419 lb-ft of torque. Power goes to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual.

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The Rossa Corsa exterior paint is generally in good shape, save for a few small chips and other imperfections acquired as a result of joyful grand touring. The auction house, UK-based Collecting Cars, also notes some bubbling on the door handles and a chip that's exposed the metal on the lower corner of the passenger door. The original 18-inch five-spoke alloy wheels also have a few minor scrapes. The interior, however, remains nearly perfect with the main exception being some wear on the driver's-side outer bolster.

The current owner/seller even went as far as having all of the buttons and knobs removed and individually cleaned, refinished, and/or replaced (with Ferrari-made replacements) as a result of sticking, a fairly common issue from Ferraris at the time.

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While the Kenwood radio is not original, the original radio head is included in the sale. Not surprisingly, the owner recently had the car serviced and the sale includes a maintenance history dating back to September 2004.

The price? As of this writing, the highest bid was £45,000, or about $58,000 according to the latest exchange rates. Yes, that's a killer deal but, again, it's a RHD model. Those interested should act fast because the auction will end this Thursday, September 24.

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Source Credits: Collecting Cars

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