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Classified of the week: a very gentlemanly V12 Ferrari

An exceptionally tasteful V12 Ferrari GT, and it’s not even that expensive. Sort of

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If you only know Pokemon as a smartphone app rather than a cartoon and trading cards, then it’s unlikely you remember a time when Ferraris weren’t paddleshift-only F1-obsessed machines with more computing power with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator (don’t ask). That’s why we like this Ferrari 550 Maranello. In the face of truly terrifying machines like the F12tdf, it seems oh-so friendly.

This one’s a 1997 car, specified not in playboy yellow or resale red, but a rather subtle shade of silver with no contrasting wheels or brake calipers. Inside, the original owner chose a sensible black to cover the top half of the dashboard, but finally came over all juvenile and selected ‘strawberryade’ for the seat and carpet hue. All told, it’s a smartly balanced combination. 

As you’re inside, you’ll have noticed the open-gate six-speed manual gearlever. Now as much of a relic to Ferrari as a carburetor or wooden steering wheel, it means this 550 is likely to go on maturing gracefully, as paddleshift autos feel their age against seamless modern dual-clutchers.

So, a quick stock-take. It’s a manual, 485bhp V12-powered Ferrari, in a tasteful spec, excellent nick, and it’s even right-hand drive. You’re expecting the price to have more digits in it than the Yellow Pages (don’t ask either). But no. Guided at an estimate of £80,000 – £90,000 by Silverstone Auctions at the Salon Prive extravaganza, it’s the same price as a sparsely specced Porsche 911. 

Okay, the catch? The previous owner has had the audacity, the sheer cheek indeed, to actually drive their Ferrari rather than squirrel it away in a hermetically sealed underground bunker. The car’s done 55,600 miles, which is why, despite a complete and convincing service history, Ferraristas will shy away in favour of a less-enjoyed example. Their loss.

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