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1998 FERRARI 550 MARANELLO - EX-HAMMOND / METCALFE

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£60,000

This Ferrari 550 Maranello is possibly the most well-known example existent, having been owned by not only former Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond, but also by Harry Metcalfe, when it featured in numerous Evo magazine articles. Under the bonnet is a 5.5-litre ‘Tipo F133A’ V12 engine, producing 478bhp, driven through a six-speed manual transmission. The odometer shows 58,300 miles.

The car – more familiar on its previous registration of ‘S858 XAN’ – was first registered in November 1998, and it has had just six previous keepers in 22 years on the road. Fans of Evo magazine may remember that the car arrived in Metcalfe’s ownership in late 2004, and was sold on in the summer of 2006. In just 18 months, he covered some 30,420 miles on the road – making wonderful use of this tremendous GT car.

It is understood that this 550 Maranello was more recently owned by Richard Hammond. During the special ‘Evening with Top Gear’ live stream broadcast in January 2015, the trio of presenters were all asked which car they regretted selling, and Hammond’s answer was the very Ferrari offered here, adding: “I should have held onto that”. It was acquired by the current owner eight years ago.

The classic Rosso Corsa paintwork is reported as being in generally very good condition. A few minor chips and imperfections are visible in the finish in the photos below, including some touched-in marks. Some bubbling is also present on both door handles, and there is a chip that has exposed the metal on the lower corner of the passenger door. Overall, this is an eminently usable car that can continue to be driven and enjoyed without worrying about the odd blemish. It rides on the original 18-inch five-spoke alloy wheels, which have only a few minor kerb marks.

The interior is in very good condition, with a largely unblemished finish across the black leather trim. The most noticeable wear is on the driver’s outer bolster, but this could easily be improved with some re-connolising. Sticky switches are often an issue in this age of Ferrari, but the current owner has invested in rectify this, having all of the buttons and knobs removed, cleaned and either refinished or replaced with genuine Ferrari parts. The Kenwood radio is not an original feature, but the original head unit is supplied alongside that aftermarket addition. There are no warning lights on the dashboard, and no known faults.

Over the last eight years, the seller has invested a significant amount in improving the car to ensure it runs and drives well. In March 2018, at 57,508 miles, the car was given a significant overhaul by AE Performance Engineering. This included a thorough service, with air, fuel and oil filters all replaced, as well as repairs to the air-conditioning with a refurbished compressor. The cam belts and auxiliary belts were replaced, along with the spark plugs, brake fluid and gearbox oil.

AE Performance Engineering also fitted a new clutch bearing, clutch assembly and spigot shaft bearing, and both engine mounts were replaced with upgraded items. The exhaust silencer and cat-to-manifold section mounts were also renewed. A replacement alternator was fitted, along with a new crankshaft damper, all 12 inlet manifold trumpets, main coolant hose and NTC sensors, and the clutch unions. The headlamp seals were replaced, and new bonnet struts were installed.

Prior to this, the car was also serviced at AE Performance in 2014 and 2013. In the current ownership, the car has also been fitted with a new fuel tank during the 2013 visit, as the previous unit had a pinhole leak. The seller states that all the parts used for this were genuine Ferrari components.

The most recent MOT test was on 21 May 2019, which resulted in a pass with advisories for the rear tyres, which had worn close to the legal limit. This was remedied with the fitment of four new tyres, which have since covered fewer than 500 miles. The MOT is valid until 10 November 2020, due to the six-month Covid-19 extension.

Accompanying the car is a good record of the service history over the last 16 years. However, there is no paperwork in the file for maintenance prior to September 2004 – apart from a courtesy check at 600 miles. When the car first appeared in the pages of Evo magazine, it was said to have arrived with a full service history, so it is assumed that there are records that have been misplaced by a previous owner. The original tool kit is still present and stored in the boot, along with the tyre inflator kit.

This Ferrari 550 Maranello is among the most desirable models of the past 25 years, combining supremely elegant styling with a sonorous V12 and a rewarding manual gearbox – all in the classic Ferrari tradition. It is a fine long-distance companion, with a well-appointed and comfortable cabin that makes road trips a pleasure. With wonderful provenance, and presented in the iconic colour combination of Rosso Corsa over black, this is a V12 flagship that is ready to be cherished and enjoyed by another enthusiast next owner.

Summary of service history:

  • 11/01/1999 – 600 miles (courtesy check), Maranello Egham
  • 16/09/2004 – 15,090 miles, Maranello Egham
  • 15/01/2005 – 17,477 miles, Dick Lovett
  • 20/04/2005 – 23,865 miles, Dick Lovett
  • 30/06/2005 – 28,199 miles, Dick Lovett
  • 27/02/2006 – 39,306 miles, Dick Lovett
  • 19/04/2007 – 47,620 miles, Dick Lovett
  • 30/06/2009 – 50,419 miles, Peter Chambers Automotive
  • 12/09/2012 – 53,438 miles, Peter Chambers Automotive
  • 30/04/2013 – 54,257 miles, AE Performance Engineering
  • 08/12/2014 – 56,326 miles, AE Performance Engineering
  • 30/03/2018 – 57,508 miles, AE Performance Engineering

All UK-registered cars and motorbikes on Collecting Cars are run through an online HPI check. This vehicle shows no insurance database markers for damage or theft, and has no finance owing.

Please note: the cherished plate shown on the car is not included in the sale. It will be switched back to an age-related registration plate in the event of a successful auction.

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