Ryno Fourie aka thecarphotographer.co.za , focused on automotive photography after he completed his studies. He loves being behind the camera with a beautiful car in front of the lens. In this piece, titled Especiale For You he delves into the exclusive world of one-off Ferrari creation.
Where it all began…
Have you ever imagined waking up, grabbing an espresso, walking into your garage looking at your Ferrari 488 GTB and thinking “I wish I had something a bit more unique”? Neither have I, but there is an answer for those who are faced with that dilemma, and it’s called the Ferrari Special Projects division.
The first of its kind…
The Ferrari Special Projects division rose to prominence after the unveiling of the SP1 (Special Projects 1) in 2008. Except for interior and exterior design changes the vehicle is based on a standard F430 commissioned by Japanese businessman and former president of the Ferrari Club of Japan, Junichiro Hiramatsu. His special creation was designed by former Pininfarina designer Leonardo Fioravanti.
…or was it?
Even though one-off projects have become more visible on social media and via the internet, Ferrari’s history is filled with one-off cars that can be traced all the way back to 1948, only two years after the official start of the company.
Back in the day, the chassis and the body were two separate components, unlike unibody construction of today. This made it easy for coachbuilders to design and build you a unique body to fit onto your Ferrari chassis and powertrain. The 1948 Ferrari 166 MM Touring Le Mans Berlinetta designed by the Italian design house Zagato was the first but certainly not the last collaboration between the two brands.
In fact, in 1956 Ferrari and Zagato collaborated at the request of successful racing driver Vladimiro Galluzzi. They created the Ferrari 250 GT Zagato or GTZ, not only was it beautiful in its design but also very successful at the races. Fifty years later Ferrari collector Yoshiyuki Hayashi asked Zagato if they could build him a body resembling the 250 GTZ for his 575M, Zagato and Ferrari agreed. In 2006 we saw the Ferrari 575 GTZ. That is not even the end of the story as in 2017, Zagato created the one of one, manual transmission Ferrari 599 GTZ.
These are but a few examples of the Zagato and Ferrari relationship and if you dig a little deeper, you will find more beautiful vehicles created for exclusive clients over the decades.
Ferrari always celebrates its heritage by including design cues from cars in its vibrant history. This is the reason most modern one-off Ferraris are designed by Pininfarina and more recently by the in-house design team.
Pininfarina was Ferrari’s styling house of choice and responsible for almost all Ferraris penned between 1951 and 2017, the F12 Berlinetta being its last design for the company. But Pininfarina didn’t just work on mass-produced models, they were also responsible for a few one-off vehicles.
After Pininfarina approached James Glickenhaus to build a one-off, he agreed and requested a modern version of the iconic (David Piper) P4. In 2006 the Ferrari P4/5 by Pininfarina, based on the Ferrari Enzo, was unveiled to the public. When infamous designer Sergio Pininfarina died in 2012, the company and Ferrari commemorated his death with the design of the Ferrari Sergio unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in 2013.
Pininfarina has been responsible for a few other models including the 2009 Ferrari P540 Superfast Aperta, Eric Clapton’s 2012 Ferrari SP12 EC, the 2015 Ferrari F12 TRS and last but not least the 2016 Ferrari SP275 RW Competizione. After the split with Pininfarina, Ferrari continued with commissions for the Special Projects division and they have not disappointed. If models like the J50, SP38, 458 MM Speciale, SP3JC, Monza SP1 & SP2 and P80 is anything to go by, I am certain even more exciting projects will be seeing the light of day soon.
I’ll take one with everything on it
Not all Ferraris come in red, you may be surprised to learn. When you find yourself in the position of ordering a Ferrari you will, like with most manufacturers, be presented with a range of colour options. Not only for the exterior but also for the brake calipers, rev-counter, stitching and interior leather. You will also be able to choose from a variety of designs of seats and rims and steering wheels.
If the standard selection is not enough, you can also look at the “Tailor Made” programme. This allows you to really start customising your car, with carbon-fibre options for almost every exterior and interior body panel and badge as well as custom colour and livery options for any part with a colour on the inside and out, but hold your horses if you are thinking of pink.
There is a line
Ferrari is a proud brand and even though it offers you the option to customise your car, it will not allow anything that might damage the reputation of the brand, and rightly so. If you stick to the rules and develop a good relationship with your dealer and the brand, you might find your name on the exclusive order list of their limited edition or flagship models like the 488 Pista or LaFerrari.
If you still feel the need to be unique after all this, you can approach Ferrari and ask for a one-off design. Don’t think it is just about the size of your bank account, Ferrari will only consider your proposal if you truly show a passion for the brand and that you embrace the brand and can push their design boundaries.
Click here to read about and see Ferrari’s latest one-off creation.
Owning a Ferrari is already a feat to be proud of, owning multiple Ferraris even more so. Having a one-off Ferrari built to your design and specification, well I just can’t imagine the level of pride you would feel. When you take delivery of yours, please let the Double Apex team know how it feels, and invite us over for a drive – thanks.