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Celebrating 10 years of Ferrari One-Off projects

17 dicembre 2018

Richard Aucock

The first Ferrari One-Off was born in 2008. Here are some of the greatest Ferrari One-Offs

In the early days of Ferrari, custom coachbuilding was the norm. Clients would liaise with the factory about a chassis and engine, then choose an Italian styling house to create the bodywork. All the leading carrozzeria wanted to design bodies for Ferrari’s exceptional rolling chassis, and a huge array of early Ferrari one-offs now fascinate collectors. It was to revive the spirit of these coachbuilt cars that Ferrari created the Portfolio Coachbuilding Programme in 2008 Initially, the idea was to allow clients to work with top Italian design houses to create one-off redesigns of Ferrari sports cars in association with the factory specialists.

Soon the focus shifted towards creating entirely new designs, and since the creation of Ferrari’s in-house Design Centre in 2010 most projects have been handled internally by Flavio Manzoni’s team. The first Ferrari one-off created under the new scheme was the 2008 SP1. Many more have followed in the decade that ensued. It therefore seemed a fitting time for us to take a look through some of the amazing creations built by Ferrari. 

The first special Ferrari one-off was commissioned in 2008 by a private client, while the second was built for an American client, Edward Walson. The P540 Superfast Aperta was based on the 599 GTB Fiorano and was reportedly inspired by a one-off Carrozzeria Fantuzzi-designed Ferrari created for Federico Fellini’s 1968 short film, Toby Dammit. The car took 14 months to design and, when he took delivery in late 2009, Walson told Ferrari: “This is the most special Christmas present of my life.” New York collector Peter Kalikow was another longtime enthusiast who commissioned Ferrari to help him celebrate something special: 45 years since becoming a Ferrari client.

This led to the birth of the 2011 Ferrari Superamerica 45. Designed entirely in house by Ferrari Design, the car was painted in exclusive Blu Antille – to match Kalikow’s original 1961 400 Superamerica. It was presented to the public at the 2011 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. There are famous Ferrari clients who have commissioned One-Off models. The ‘EC’ in Ferrari SP12 EC stands for Eric Clapton. In 2012, he commissioned Ferrari and Pininfarina to create a modern-day sports car inspired by the classic 512 BB (Clapton has owned at least three of them over the years). Derived from the 458 Italia, the SP12 EC is a memorable modern classic.

The 2014 Ferrari F12 TRS is another One-Off that pays homage to a past classic. The famous 1957 Testa Rossa racer inspired the Ferrari Design Centre team to create an extreme two-seater open-top barchetta version of the Ferrari F12berlinetta. Naturally, the ‘red heads’ of the V12 were visible through a clear window in the front bonnet. The car took part in the 2014 Ferrari Cavalcade and was also driven at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. For the ultimate race-inspired Ferrari special project, meet the 2016 SP 275 RW Competizione. This blended an F12berlinetta chassis, an F12tdf engine and a custom-designed body created by Pininfarina and the Ferrari Design Centre.

Inspired by the 275 GTB Competizione that won the GT class at the 1965 Le Mans 24 Hours, this One-Off has side vents in the front wings, triple louvres in the rear quarter panels, louvres in the bumper and a milled aluminium fuel filler cap. Even the vivid yellow is a three-layer colour created specifically to reference the 1965 Ecurie Francorchamps racer. Another One-Off car was revealed in 2016, one commissioned by a British client. It was created to be an even sportier and more extreme iteration of the 458 Speciale.

The standout feature of its fully bespoke bodywork is the dramatic visor-effect windscreen, created by painting the A-pillar in black and trimming the upper part of the windscreen, in reference to the famed 1984 Ferrari GTO. And the latest Ferrari One-Off Special Projects car? It was revealed earlier in 2018 – the Ferrari SP38, created for a dedicated customer by the Ferrari Design Centre. The client requested a design that alluded in part to the famous Ferrari F40. The designers delivered, giving the 488 GTB a dramatically new interpretation. Finished in bespoke three-layer metallic red, it was presented at Fiorano – and immediately after the handover, completed some high-speed laps of Ferrari’s home test track as a special treat for the fortunate client.