Limited Edition

The most interesting special versions of Ferrari supercars.

While the whole world is rolling its eyes at the newly introduced Ferrari 458 Speciale, we are not particularly surprised. After all, the word «special» seems to have been born at the same time as the Maranello cars. In addition, the archives of the legendary brand feature «specials» in a square, or even in a cube. Let’s recall the rarest, most unusual and exclusive but always stunning Ferraris.

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Ferrari 166 MM/53 Abarth Smontabile Spider — 1953

The 166th model with a 2-liter 140-hp V12 is like a ticket to life for Maranello. It was this sports car that overnight allowed the young company to catch up with the prestige and status of the luminaries from Alfa-Romeo, Maserati, Cisitalia.

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Stylish bodies of the Ferrari 166 were developed by Touring and Vignale, the most respectable design studious at that time. But the real furor, if not shock, was made by the version from Karl Abart.

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It was like this. One of the wealthy clients was not satisfied with the «stock» body and he asked Carlo Abart for help. The Italian of Austrian origin created a body of rare grace but even more of rare lightness. Elegant aluminum panels were attached to a special supporting frame. Moreover, the body elements were easily dismantled and replaced in the event of an accident. The word ‘smontabile’ in the model name indicates this.

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As a result, Abart’s Ferrari 166 weighed almost 300 kg less than the standard model. And the first serious start in the race ended with a victory. The special version, easily recognizable by the cyclopean headlight located strictly in the center, was the first in the segment at the finish of the «Targa Florio» in 1953.

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Ferrari 410 Superamerica Ghia — 1956

In the middle of the last century, cars, especially expensive and prestigious one, were created differently than now. At the 1955 Paris Auto Show (the one where everyone oohed and aahed from the first shown Citroen DS), Ferrari modestly presented a naked (without a body) chassis of the 410 Superamerica with a 5-liter 12-cylinder engine that gave out 340-hp. And then the best Italian designers began to produce bodywork masterpieces for the engineering miracle.

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The best, by all accounts, was the work of Sergio Pininfarina, and the most, to put it mildly, controversial, and even causing bouts of idiosyncrasy among purists, was the version from Ghia. Today, a «prancing stallion» in the style of «Detroit Baroque» looks sensational. Not like half a century ago...

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It is very symbolic that the 410 Superamerica was the last Ferrari that the guys from Ghia worked on.

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Ferrari 250 GT SWB Bertone – 1962

Some of the Italian designers were developing bodies for Ferrari’s chassis in the hope of snatching an order from wealthy clients, while others were happy to flatter old Enzo's ego, again in the hope of a very possible return of courtesy. However, the famous Nuccio Bertone «drew» a masterpiece body for the short-wheelbase 250 GT for a completely different reason. Maestro really wanted to drive a Ferrari, but he did not like the work of competing «carrocerias».

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Commendatore had a good relationship with Nuccio, so Bertone was the only studio other than Pininfarina that got the go-ahead to create the body of the legendary 250 GT SWB. And it turned out to be a masterpiece. Designed in a more aerodynamic way than Pininfarina’s one, Bertone’s coupe was distinguished by an elegant solution to the rear end and a super-aggressive physiognomy. The radiator grille, for example, vividly resembled Phil Hill's Ferrari 156. Fantastic!

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Ferrari 512S Modulo – 1970

Peeping through the keyhole of tomorrow is a thankless task. Everyone will say it is clear what will be relevant in the future. If you can't guess, they'll throw rags at you. In the early 70s, Pininfarina’s designer Paolo Martin tried to look into the future of sports cars and… did not guess.

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It so happened that the chassis of the 800-hp racing Ferrari 512S was at the disposal of the Turin «carroceria». Maestro Martin took the task of building something stunning out of it and created this…

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Probably, there is no other car that causes such a clear reaction among fans of the brand in the history of Ferrari. Not falling into the charisma and tradition of the brand was absolute! Although if the car had a logo of DeTomaso or Lamborghini, everyone would have discussed the bold project of a talented designer instead of turning up their noses…

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But a Ferrari is also a Ferrari to ask for the strictest account. But today the almost symmetrical Modulo silhouette looks incomparable. A true masterpiece of automotive futurism, never found the features of reality.

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Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Shooting Brake – 1975

Opposites are drawn to each other regardless of distance. What could be further apart than a supercar and a family station wagon? But no. The obsession with «shooting breaks» or, if you like, «hunting station wagons» has been stirring minds for decades. Today, even the company itself backed down: isn't the all-wheel drive FF a variation on the theme of a sports shed? But the love story of Ferrari and the station wagon is even older.

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In the '70s, Luigi Chinetti's Jr. (son of the very Chinetti who won Ferrari's first «24 Hours Le Mans») ventured to offer his interpretation a torpedo based on the already stylistically bold 365GTB/Daytona.

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The sports shed, designed by the masters of Panther Westwind from Surrey, turned out to be: a) beautiful, b) fast and C) expensive. So, each owner of the 350-hp Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Shooting Break subsequently sold it at a profit for their own bank account.

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Ferrari 288 GTO Evoluzione – 1985

Many, just seeing this car and not understanding what's what, already sit down to scribble in the comments: «Hello, dear editorial staff! Your slow-witted author called the famous F40 some kind of „evolution“. Well, that's about it. The truth is that the 288 GTO Evoluzione really looks more like the Ferrari F40 than the 288 itself.

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In fact, the 288 GTO Evoluzione is a Group B Ferrari that never appeared. The project was entering its final stage when the International Automobile Federation (FIA) decided to cancel the Group B as such. After a series of frightening accidents with dozens of victims, the officials had no choice.

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Left at the broken trough, Ferrari’s managers quickly got their bearings. The project lost all rally equipment; its 2.8-liter engine was increased to 2.9 liters and deforced from 650 hp to 470 hp in order to improve reliability. This is how the famous F40 turned out. It returned the crown of the fastest production car on the planet to Maranello. Wizards, what else can you say?

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Ferrari Mythos – 1989

It wasn't even supposed to be sold. Pininfarina in everyday order revealed to the world another masterpiece: the forgotten barchetta body without a roof and side windows (it means “boat" in Italian). Mounted on the chassis of the serial 12-cylinder Testarossa, this body only at first glance was an example of such a relevant in the late 80's concise design. The Mythos was not so simple!

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Quite complex for a passenger car, the mid-engine layout with cooling radiators located behind is elegantly emphasized by the «two-section» volume of the body: the front part of the car seems to flow out of the wider stern. By the way, the body is entirely carbon, and the rear wing is active, rising by 30 centimeters.

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And this is not too much: the Mythos really accelerated to 290 km/h. The Sultan of Brunei was so fascinated by the «boat» that he ordered first one and then the second. So, two-thirds of all existing Ferrari Mythos cars in the world are in the garage of the respected Hassanal Bolkiah. Literally.

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Ferrari FXX – 2005

It's nice that not everything in this world is bought and sold. You may be rich as Abramovich and famous as Brad Pitt, but Ferrari still won't let you roll out in an FXX supercar on public roads.

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The evolution of the legendary Ferrari Enzo was created specifically and exclusively for track days, during which the lucky owners of the 800-hp car also had to listen to boring training monologues from instructors about how to go into a turn correctly and what is the apex.

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But the owners of FXX have every reason to be proud of the fact that exactly the same Ferrari is owned by seven-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher. The German got a hypercar for free – what is called, for years of service. The rest paid about €1.5 million.

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Ferrari SP12 EC – 2012

Only requests from football players and rock musicians are cooler than children's fantasies and youth dreams. What would a reasonable person do in response to a request to give the new Ferrari 458 Italia (V8, 4.5 liters, 562 hp) features of the classic 512 Berlinetta Boxer produced between 1973 and 1984? Yes, yes… I would say to get off!

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But what will you do if it is none other than Eric Clapton (a legendary guitarist, Commander of the Order of the British Empire and just a good man)? In Maranello, they had to work hard for a client like that. The unique car, the keys to which Mr.Clapton was solemnly awarded in 2012, can be called a masterpiece of modern engineering and unworthy of the great glory of Ferrari’s factory tuning (it all depends on the mood). Nevertheless, the project turned out to be interesting.

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Ferrari Sergio – 2013

Today, nothing reminds about the former greatness of the Italian «carrocerias». Touring and Vignale once rattled all over Europe are forgotten or almost forgotten. Bertone is teetering on the edge of financial disaster. Itldesign was bought by VW. Only Pininfarina is still mostly okay but only thanks to non-automotive projects… Moreover, the Italians regularly surprise with four-wheeled masterpieces.

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So, the Sergio, built on a chassis of the 562-hp Ferrari 458 Spider and first presented at the GIMS this spring, immediately knocks out a stingy male tear. Not only because it is named after Sergio Pininfarina, who died a year ago.

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The «barchetta» (so beloved by Italians) turned out to be deliciously beautiful: with no retro-futurism and proportions that are ready to instantly become a classic. It is said that the Italians are already working on the launch of a small-scale batch of the Sergio… Great, let beauty save our world!

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