I'm told that four friends from Switzerland bought the car for $144,000 over the estimated price. What were these guys thinking?

Following the success of privately-entered 550 Maranellos in international GT racing, including an historic class win in the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2003, Ferrari developed its own in-house evolution of the successful 575M Maranello, the 575 GTC Competizione Berlinetta.

Produced specifically for the FIA GT and GrandAm championships, the 575 GTC Competizione incorporated numerous modifications, starting with an increase in the displacement of the quad-cam V12 engine from the production car's 5,748 cc to 5,997 cc by means of a longer stroke. Different camshafts and alterations to the Marelli engine management system saw power increase to 605 hp with the FIA regulation 31.8-mm inlet restrictors fitted.

Transmitting this power to the road was a 6-speed sequential transaxle transmission and triple-plate carbon fiber clutch. Given a long enough straight and with the tallest of the optional final drive ratios installed, a theoretical top speed of 208 mph was attainable.

With such an awesome potential performance, the 575 GTC was subjected to lengthy wind-tunnel testing of its aerodynamics, resulting in the adoption of a flat under-body with rear diffuser to FIA/ACO regulations, combined with an adjustable front spoiler and split rear wing complete with "Gurney" flap.

The 550's basic chassis/body layout was retained-tubular steel spaceframe, composite panels-while front and rear track dimensions were both increased over those of the 550 and the car's dry weight drastically reduced to just over the minimum permitted 2,530 lbs (1,150kg).

The industry-standard all-round double wishbone suspension featured adjustable damping, anti-roll bar, and anti-dive geometry at the front, while Brembo 6-pot calipers (front) and 4-pot (rear) looked after the braking. One of Ferrari's most expensive offerings ever, the 575 GTC cost a staggering $785,000 in 2004.

The car offered here is one of two 575 GTCs campaigned during the FIA GT Championship in 2004 by the Italian team, GPC Giesse Squadra Corse. This car, s/n 2216, was driven by the Austrian/Italian pairing of Peter/Babini for the first five rounds of the season before its regular drivers were joined by ex-Formula 1 ace Mika Salo (Finland) and Vincent Vosse (Belgium) for the Spa 24 Hours, achieving its best result of the season with 2nd place.

There were two further podium finishes for Peter/Babini and s/n 2216 in 2004-at Monza and Donington Park. For the final two rounds Gianni Morbidelli piloted it, and at the season's end Giesse Squadra Corse was rewarded with 2nd place in the Championship, with Babini 4th and Peter 6th in the driver's classification. In the course of the 2004 season, 2216 covered 13,900 kilometers and finished in ten of the Championship's eleven rounds.

During 2005, the car contested the Italian GT Championship, and since the end of that season has not been used. It is here offered fresh from restoration by team RaceAlliance at the Nürburgring, repainted red and fitted with new windows.

SCM Analysis


Number Produced:12
Original List Price:$785,000
SCM Valuation:$524,906
Tune Up Cost:$3,500
Distributor Caps:N/A
Chassis Number Location:Left frame member by steering box.
Engine Number Location:Right rear above motor mount.
Club Info:Ferrari Club of America P. O. Box 720597 Atlanta, GA 30358
Investment Grade:C

This car sold for $524,906 at Bonhams’s Exceptional Ferrari and Maserati Motor Car Auction on December 17, 2006, in Gstaad, Switzerland.

Ferrari witnessed the end of an era in 1973. When the company ceased production of the 365 GTB/4 Daytona, it ended a tradition of front-engine 12-cylinder flagships that extended back to its earliest cars. The 365 GTB/4 Boxer replaced the Daytona and made Ferrari a late entrant to the upper levels of the mid-engine revolution.

The Boxer was followed by a succession of increasingly more civilized mid-engine offerings until 1996, when, surprisingly, Ferrari returned to its roots with the front-engine 550 Maranello. The immense popularity of the 550 confirmed Ferrari’s gamble and fostered the succeeding 575M Maranello and the recently introduced 599 GTB Fiorano.

Continuation of racing history

Ferraris have always been raced, and paralleling the evolution of the 365 GTB/4 to the 599 Fiorano there is also a continuation of Ferrari’s race history. While the 365 GTB/4 enjoyed a rich competition history with special competition versions and some factory support, Ferrari declined to support the Boxer in the same way. The firm recognized the Boxer would not be competitive in racing top levels and chose to avoid being an also-ran by not supporting the model.

The BBLM racing Boxers were all aftermarket conversions built by an outside company for private entrants, and while they did have limited success, overall, the factory was correct about its limited competition potential. The Testarossa was a first-rate grand touring car but was far too heavy to consider racing. There were no credible Testarossa racing efforts.

The 550 Maranello opened a new era in Ferrari GT racing. Rule changes by the international sanctioning bodies eliminated GT-dressed prototypes from competition and returned GT racing to modified production cars. While the factory gave no official nod to the projects, a couple of enterprising privateers decided the 550 might be competitive under the new rules. They were correct, and the 550 eventually became the car to beat in GT Racing.

Noting the success of the competition 550s, Ferrari decided to re-enter the world of GT racing with the introduction of the 575 GTC in 2003. The highly modified 575 M Maranello was a product of Ferrari’s client race department, Corse Clienti. It was developed in-house at Ferrari with construction farmed out to Fiat’s competition partner N-Technology. It was an immediate success with a win in its first outing.

An excellent career

Bonhams’ s575 GTC #2216 was one of two cars raced by GPC Giesse Squadra Corse. It had an excellent career highlighted by outstanding reliability. SCM’s European scribe, Richard Hudson-Evans, inspected #2216 at Gstaad and confirmed that it was refurbished to a high standard. The car has been updated with carbon brakes, aerodynamically improved front bumper, front splitter, rear wing, rear suspension, and Moton shock absorbers, all items from Ferrari’s Evo 2005 update package.

I’m told that four friends from Switzerland bought the car, which means these four plus the underbidder all thought the price was right. The final bid was $144,000 over the estimated price, so what were these guys thinking? Maybe they were thinking that Ferrari numbers its purpose-built racecars with special even serial numbers, and history has shown even-numbered Ferraris to be among the most sought after and valuable of all collector cars.

Maybe they were thinking that as one of only twelve 575 GTCs, their car would be one of the rarest of all Ferrari models, or maybe they weren’t thinking and just wanted an outrageous turn-key racer for track days and events. There won’t be any upside in this car for decades, and considering the holding cost, there probably never will be. This wasn’t an investment purchase; these guys wanted a toy. It’s not where I’d spend my money, but I hope to be around when they take it out to play.

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