Fifty years of racing, fifty years of winning, fifty years of hard work." With these words, Luca Montezemolo, head of Ferrari S.p.A., introduced the F50 at the Auto Museum in Geneva, Switzerland, in conjunction with the 63rd annual International Automobile Show, on March 6, 1995.
Using technology from Ferrari's Formula One V12, the new, normally aspirated 4.7-liter engine featured a crankcase made of nodular cast iron, Nikasil-coated liners and titanium connecting rods. Maximum power was 520 hp at 8,500 rpm. The engine itself was safe to over 10,000 rpm. The weight of the V12 was a mere 436 pounds.
Top speed was given as being 202 mph and 0-60 could be covered in 3.7 seconds. The standing mile could be accomplished in 30.3 seconds. Some commentators described the F50 as a Ferrari Formula One machine with a second seat and a sports car body.
The chassis was made entirely of aerospace carbon fiber and weighed a lithe 225 pounds. For the first time in a Ferrari road car, the engine/gearbox/differential assembly acted as a load-bearing structure within the chassis.
The instrument panel featured the rev-counter and the speedometer as well as gas, oil and water temperatures and oil pressure gauges-all controlled by microcomputer and displayed by LCD.
The body of the F50 was developed in the wind tunnel. Subframes were bolted to the chassis to support the bodywork, which was made of carbon fiber/Kevlar and Nomex honeycomb materials. The F50 was available in just five colors: red, Barchetta Red, yellow, black and Nürburgring Gray.
As a small publicity stunt, Ferrari announced that just 349 cars would be built-one less than the market demanded. The first ten cars went to Europe, while deliveries to the US started in July 1995. It was thought that only 50 cars would be sold to America.
The price of the F50 was $475,000 plus taxes.
This F50 has received the best of care, each service performed fully and on time. It runs flawlessly with no indication of mechanical wear. It has required some paint repairs for stone chips and other road rash. The interior, while no longer perfect, remains in excellent condition.

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1997 Ferrari F50
Years Produced:1995-97
Number Produced:349
Original List Price:$475,000
SCM Valuation:$650,000 - $750,000
Tune Up Cost:$6,000
Distributor Caps:N/A
Chassis Number Location:Chassis plate riveted to the bulkhead in the front compartment
Engine Number Location:Front left side of block
Club Info:Ferrari Owner's Club, 8642 Cleta Street, Downey, CA 90241. 562/861-6992 Ferrari Club of America, PO Box 720597, Atlanta, GA 30358
Alternatives:Ferrari F40, McLaren F1, Bugatti EB 110
Investment Grade:A

This car sold for $528,000, including buyer’s premium, at RM’s Monterey auction, held August 16 to 17, 2002.
The F50 was the evolution of the immensely popular F40. The F40 had demonstrated incredible performance, outrageous styling and everyday-driver reliability. With more than 1,300 cars built, the F40 could boast proven salability with a broad base of parts and service support. The F50 proved itself a worthy successor, albeit with a softer edge.
The relationship of the F40 to the F50 was a little like that of a chainsaw to a surgeon’s scalpel. The brutal power of the F40’s turbocharged 478-hp, 3-liter V8 was replaced with the linear power of a normally aspirated 520-hp 4.7-liter V12. Along with the power, refinement came by upgrading the F40’s race car level of trim to accoutrements practically befitting a GT car. The finished product was more potent and more practical than its predecessor, but lost some of the edginess and excitement that defined the F40.
The Louisiana-based seller of S/N 104799 was a veteran F50 owner and a very serious collector. His prior holdings included a million-dollar F50 GT and a red 1995 F50. This car shared a garage with the Holy Grail of many enthusiasts, a Cobra Daytona coupe. The sale of S/N 104799 cleared a space for the next toy, the $6.5m Ferrari 330 TR/LM that he purchased at the RM auction on Saturday night.
Rather than hoarding his precious treasures in a private museum, the seller regularly exercises his stable. He has been seen driving his cars throughout the bayou country and drove this F50 daily, racking up more than 37,000 miles.
RM and the vendor should be quite pleased with the auction result. While the car was unquestionably valuable, it could have been a most difficult sale. 40,000 miles is more than ten times the mileage on most F50s. While the mileage shouldn’t affect the mechanical performance, it does muddy the perceived value of the car. At the half-a-million mark buyers can be pretty fussy. A guy who can write a $500,000 check can probably just as easily write a $600,000 check. Given the option, many of the buyers would much rather pay top dollar for a premium car than save a few bucks on a lesser example.
A fresh-out-of-the-box F50 is likely a $650,000 car. In May a much lower mileage F50 sold at a Monaco auction for $401,271, a very good buy. At $528,000, RM found the high side of an optimistic $450,000 to $550,000 presale estimate. (It appears the SCM Price Guide of $650,000 to $750,000 probably needs to be adjusted downward.)
While some say that the car brought an above-market price, the buyer was able to score a relatively rare car with an unusual benefit. He might have bought the only F50 on the planet that can really be driven without hurting its value. It might cost $50,000 in resale value to put 10,000 miles on a 5,000-mile F50, but there may be no difference in the value between a 40,000-mile and a 50,000-mile F50. That sweetens this deal, and for an owner/enthusiast who plans on really using his car, makes the price paid seem more reasonable.-Steve Ahlgrim

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