Ferrari 550 Barchetta and 575 Superamerica: the first Gran Turismo convertible-the new era

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Ferrari 550 Barchetta Pininfarina limited edition.

For a few years, and until the late nineties, Ferrari didn’t used to get out of the pre-established script of your range regular. This was based on two product lines, on the one hand the berlinettas of 8 cylinders, Grand touring V12 engine and the sporadic hiperdeportivos of limited series that began in 1984 with the 288 GTO. In fact, the only models in which we could find different versions were the supercars of eight cylinders, with the different variants of bodywork coupe and cabrio.

however, at the end of the TWENTIETH century, the Italian company changed its strategy releasing limited editions of some of their existing models, as was the case of the 550 Barchetta Pininfarina, a version roadster limited production of the 550 Maranello, a Grand Tourer engine V12 front that was happening, the family of models Testarossa in 1996. Offering again an alternative open on their GT V12, which was not the case since in 1973 he made the last of the 365 GTS/4, the convertible version of the Daytona.

In the year 2000 the house Pininfarina met 70 years, and for conmemorarlos, the president of Ferrari, then Luca Cordero of Montezemolo, directed Sergio Pininfarina the creation of this model, , specifying that it had the same spirit of the trays classic of the brand. For which, in the workshops of Pininfarina limited to remove the roof completely, so the 550 Barchetta Pininfarina is a vehicle strictly open.

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One of the few images available of the canvas roof of the Barchetta Pininfarina, live is even worse.

For specific times, the model has a canvas, usually of the color black, which serves to seal the compartment, but whose aesthetic is so lousy, you there are hardly any images of this item installed, as you can see it in the picture above.

Technically speaking, the 550 Barchetta Pininfarina is not distinguished from the 550 Maranello from which it is derived, using the same reinforced frame of the GT with the same mechanical plant, a V12 65-degree 5.5-liter capable of delivering 485 horsepower. The transmission was six-speed manual, with the classic grid, almost in disuse, the mark of Modena.

To the untrained eye, the Barchetta Pininfarina does not differ from the 550 Maranello conventional, with the exception of the complete lack of a roof, the limited edition just has a new wheel design, made in magnesium and always have 5 arms, the arches of safety behind the seats and some minor details in the interior, such as the well-known plate numbered identification of the limited edition.

The benefits were very similar to those of the variant closed, with the exception of the roof temporary canvas, as Ferrari had already warned its customers that should not exceed 110 km/h while they had it installed.

In total, were made only 448 units of the 550 Barchetta Pininfarina, in addition to, interestingly, 12 other copies that were created as prototypes and that are not accounted for within these 448 units.

poor production made him one of the current models of the brand, the more scarce, of the F40 they made more than double of units between 1988 and 1992, so that is a model that has not only retained its value, in addition to is called to become a sought-after classic of the signature.

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Ferrari 575 Superamerica limited edition.

Ferrari 575 Superamerica

In the year 2002, the Ferrari 550 Maranello received a restyling, that it was known as 575M Maranello, with the traditional M rifleshare one that employs, for decades, the Italian house. The lightweight exterior re-design was accompanied by a renewed interior, as well as improvements in the mechanics, frame, and own distribution of weights for the sport.

For 2005, Ferrari displayed the replacement of the 550 Barchetta Pininfarina in the form of the 575 Superamerica, a model with similar characteristics who regained a name legendary in the history of the Italian brand, for versions like this, special editions exclusive and in the case of using the Super prefix, making reference also to versions aren.

Using the same format as its predecessor, the 575 Superamerica was a limited edition that served as the alternative open to the 575M, although with a substantial difference, unlike the barchetta, the new model not only if it had a roof, but also was one of the ceiling system most spectacular created until the day of today for a convertible.

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System of ceiling opening Revocromico of the 575 Superamerica.

This was designed by Leonardo Fioravanti, the creator of models that are as famous as the Ferrari Daytona or the Berlinetta Boxer, who had hired him years ago in their concept of Vola. Named for the brand Revocromico, this consisted of elements completely transparent, that made up both the ceiling as the rear window, which spun in a mutually supportive way backwards, coming to rest on the roof on the rear lid of the trunk. But his greatest feature was their ability to darken in color or become transparent at will, with up to 5 levels of dimming. In the highest degree only allowed to pass a 1 percent of sunlight.

on The contrary, the 550 Barchetta Pininfarina, the 575 Superamerica had two transmission systems, manual of six relations or an automatic with camshaft behind the wheel. This was the era that began the decline of the classic levers of change, being replaced by automatic gearboxes that were already faster than the human being, improving performance and fuel consumption.

in Addition, the 575 Superamerica was available in the new package optional GTC Handling package, unveiled in the same year of the arrival of the Superamerica and also available for the 575M closed. This option included improvements to the frame such as the huge brakes carbonocerámicos, provided by Brembo, mounted on new 19-inch alloy wheels, as well as a suspension and exhaust system is improved and aimed at a more sporty.

Another of the differences with respect to the 575M Maranello in regular production was the performance of the engine, if the 575M had 515 HP out of its V12 5.7-liter, in the case of the Superamerica, the power was raised to 540 HP, thanks to modifications in the exhaust system, sufficient to purchase the Super prefix in the name. What is certain is that the special edition was mounted on the engine Type F113 F/65, the same specification engine than the 612 Scaglietti of 2003, while the coupe version was mounted on the Type F113 And/65. Two different specifications of the same engine, with performances that are very similar.

Even so, the benefits were a bit lower than that of the coupe, with 5 km/h less top speed, 320 km/h of the Superamerica were sufficient for that Ferrari came as a convertible faster in the world at that time.

The figures of production of this special edition are not as clear as the 550 Barchetta Pininfarina, which was a numbered edition on the contrary that the new Superamerica, so that as tends to happen with many models of the Italian brand, this announces some figures, but fans and specialists proclaim other. Officially came out of the factory 559 units, however, when trying to find that same data for other channels appear to us to figures that vary slightly with respect to the original.

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Its name is due to the special editions boosted of decades ago.

Regardless of the total numbers real, what is true is that both models were manufactured in very low numbers, which makes it a future collectible and therefore, highly valued. Currently, prices continue in the range of the normal market of used, its price has begun to rise just two years ago, for what is still the ideal time to be done with a piece that has all the prospect of acquiring a value of a millionaire.

Currently, the specimens of the 550 Maranello and 575M that is
are in better shape, in a state of competition, have a value
150,000 and to 157,000 dollars respectively
, after experiencing a
strong rise in the last 12-18 months, however, the 550 Barchetta
and 575 Superamerica at state contest are already hovering around 680.000 and
575.000 dollars
respectively, with values of 453.000 and 437.000
dollars for the copies that are simply in good
state. These last prices were stable until this decade, and
after suffering a steep ascent, now start to level off.