Custom Ferraris Take Exclusivity to a Whole Different Level
When it comes to Ferrari, exclusivity matters nearly as much as style and performance. In its early days, the Italian automaker put just a few dozen cars on the road each year. These days, that number’s up to about 7,000, still well short of what it could sell if it valued volume over rarity.
But there are always buyers for whom pretty exclusive isn’t quite enough. Buyers who want something more special, more individual, more theirs alone. That’s where the coachbuilt Ferraris come in.
From the 1940s, Ferrari regularly worked with outside designers to make custom bodies for its cars, generating limited run of one-of-a-kind vehicles. Giovanni Michelotti and Alfredo Vignale built a one-off 340 American that won the 1951 Mille Miglia endurance race. Nuccio Bertone made himself an F1-inspired 1962 250 GT SWB Berlinetta that was just bought at auction for $16.5 million. Milan-based Carrozzeria Zagato created stripped down Ferraris aimed at dominance on the track.
Sergio Scaglietti built a special 375MM for director Roberto Rossellini that won last year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elégance. Ferrari’s most significant coachbuilding relationship was with Battista Pininfarina, whose company gave us cars like the 250 GT Series I Cabriolet and a series of 375 MMs.
Custom coachwork is far less common today than it was at its peak in the 1950s, but design houses like Zagato and Pininfarini are still lending their hand to the occasional Ferrari, for those buyers who just need something different.
To honor the ongoing tradition, the Quail: A Motorsports Gathering, an ultra-fancy car show associated with the Pebble Beach Concours, included a special class for “Coachbuilt Ferraris.” We photographed some of the best on display.
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