The Ferrari SP51 is a car with stripes on it, an homage to a different Ferrari, 1955's 410 S, one of which Juan Manuel Fangio once drove. The SP51, announced on Wednesday, also has a V12 under its front hood, was built on the 812 GTS platform. The SP51's buyer, identified as a Ferrari collector based in Taiwan, is presumably having a good day.
Another thing to note is that Ferrari says there is simply no roof — this car is to be garaged, obviously, and only driven in good weather, or, depending on the buyer’s preferences, not driven at all. And with that lack of roof came some challenges with the aerodynamics, which Ferrari said it developed with cabin comfort in mind, including the acoustics. This car is not one for the track then, really, it’s more at home in a traffic jam in Monte Carlo.
The red paint, meanwhile, is unique to the car, and so are the wheels, which are more factoids that the buyer can bore his friends by mentioning. Most interesting, though, in Ferrari’s release — subtle per usual — is the particular pleasure it takes in describing the interior. Ferrari would further like to give its client a shoutout for all their work on the car.
That said, the very pinnacle of the meticulous honing process, in which the client was involved every step of the way, has to be the cabin where dizzying new heights of craftsmanship and creativity have been reached. Its personalisation pivoted around two clever ideas: the decision to use the same Rosso Passionale colour custom-created for the exterior as the main colour for the Alcantara® trim, and the effective idea of extending the lengthwise exterior livery into the cabin. Its white and blue stripe, in fact, both appear on the central tunnel and the fascia between the two seats on the firewall, as well as on the steering wheel stitching, creating a sense of seamless continuity between exterior and interior in which the car’s roadster architecture played a vital role.
The Ferrari One-Off, SP51, was designed for a longstanding Taiwan-based client who is also one of our leading collectors. It is a successful roadster take on Maranello’s first front-engined V12 spider in 50 years. Its bold styling captivates at first sight. However, it brilliantly retains the signature elegance of its inspiration, the 812 GTS, whilst pushing the boundaries by offering a whole new way of enjoying en plein air driving.
This is, of course, the privilege of being rich, ordering up a one-off car from Ferrari and being able to tell your friends that not only did you have a hand in the design process but also that Ferrari acknowledges as much, too, and here’s the press release to prove it. I’ve never quite understood it, though, as if I was giving Ferrari hundreds of thousands of dollars for a car and they turned around and asked if I wanted to help design it I would simply reply that that is exactly what I’m paying Ferrari hundreds of thousands of dollars to do.
Ferrari, though, also says that this person is “one of our leading collectors,” so perhaps it’s not surprising that, having acquired multiple Ferraris already, they want to help design their next one. That is what they say, anyway, about a functioning and equitable society, that if we don’t have rich people with enough time and money to buy and help design their own bespoke Ferrari, I’m not sure what we’re doing here. The stripe on the interior is a nice touch, though.