One the most understated–and quite frankly kick ass–Ferrari’s around is the 550 Maranello. It’s cheaper than a 360 with generally the same, or better, performance of a F430 (in a straight line of course). This is a super comfortable tourer, and for the most part just a solid Italian instrument of speed and mayhem (in the best sense of the word). Looking at it, it’s hard to believe that this IS a 200 MPH super car, but due to the low-key look of the stock wheels and its gentleman-like exterior design you wouldn’t know it. You can always choose to keep it the classic GT Ferrari sleeper that can still kill most ordinary vehicles before you can say mamma mia!
Let me share a quick story of what made me fall in love with the Maranello in the first place. About 7 or 8 years a friend of mine asked me to drive his new Ferrari. He thought it was such a great car, and that I had to drive it. My first impression was that this was a just another 456-ish car–fun, but nothing too exciting.
I was, absolutely, 100% wrong.
First, I started driving it easy, just to get the feel of the new transmission– very smooth, with that classic positive engagement in the gate. After a few miles, I decided to hit a curvy road and “open her up”, but in my ignorance I had to take off the baby-sitting traction control. This is where the fun began. Before I knew it, I was building speed–fast–but I still wasn’t convinced of any real super car performance. A tight S curve came up that I knew so well. Hit the brakes downshift to 2nd, slam the gas pedal. All I heard was the hissing of spinning tires and I knew right then I severely underestimated this Italian assassin!
As I careened around the corner first spinning left towards traffic and then spinning back towards an angry mountainside, I was able to stop the car with out killing me, this beautiful car, or anyone else. As if by some miracle, the gods had decided to spare me, so that I could spread the message of truth. So this is me paying homage to a super car that I will never again underestimate, and one I don’t think anyone else should either.
In conclusion, this why I love the 550 Maranello so much. Any car that brings you that close to eminent destruction, and then pulls you back, all while putting a smile on your adrenaline-induced knee-shaking face, has got to be great.
This article was written by Damian