Ferrari 550 Barchetta Zagato to be auctioned

The Ferrari 550 Barchetta Zagato

Special-bodied Ferrari headlines Bonhams' Mercedes World auction.

Bonhams will be holding their last auction for automobiles for 2010, at Mercedes World at Brooklands in Surrey on Monday 6th December. As you would expect for the venue, there are a number of Mercedes due to go under the hammer (including a rather lovely 300SL Gullwing) but the headline car is an ultra-rare Ferrari 550 Barchetta Zagato.

You might be forgiven for not knowing what a Ferrari 550 Barchetta Zagato is. In fact, I was not even aware that it even existed until Bonhams displayed this particular car at the Chelsea Auto Legends show back in September.

In 2005, Japanese Ferrari collector Yoshiyuki Hayashi commissioned Zagato to produce a coachbuilt redesign of a Ferrari 575 Maranello. The design drew generally positive views when it debuted at the Villa D’Este concours in 2006. Perhaps surprisingly, Ferrari supported the project, although I believe they did request that the car was not displayed at motorshows where the then-new Ferrari 599 was scheduled to appear. Other Ferrari collectors requested additional 575GTZs be produced and a further five were completed. It could be argued that this and Jim Glickenhaus' P4/5 project were the precursors to Ferrari's new Atielier programme of custom designs.

There was also a request for a convertible version from some collectors, and as the earlier 550 Barchetta was considered a more suitable base than the 575 Superamerica, these were used as a donor car.

Three of these 550 Barchetta Zagatos were completed and the one offered by Bonhams is the only one produced in right-hand drive.

The catalogue description indicates that the Zagato has a different hood design to the rather haphazard roof arrangement on the standard Barchetta, although the catalogue does not show any pictures with roof erected to confirm this.

Considering the car’s rarity, Bonhams have not provided an estimate in the online catalogue. A regular Barchetta, itself a pretty rare car, would probably sell for between £100,000 to £150,000 depending on condition, so it's reasonable to assume that this car will fetch somewhat more than that!

I hope to attend the viewing for the auction on Sunday, wintery weather permitting, and I will report if there are any other classics that catch my eye.

The catalogue entry can be found here.