Loving the 550 (Silver Bullet) - Ferrari Life
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post #1 of 44 Old 04-02-2014, 05:24 AM Thread Starter
 
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Loving the 550 (Silver Bullet)

Hello to everyone

I thought I would share my ownership on the 550 so far.....

The car has been fantastic to drive, as a DD or on longer drives. I purchased mine in August of 2013 with 26k miles. I sent her in for a major service, along with having some other work done to her (Mentioned in another thread). I got the car back on 18th December, just before I left for my Christmas vacation. I arrived back in South Africa in mid January ready to put some time in behind the wheel.

I am happy to report that so far, I am up to 37000 Miles, with no real issues. I am OCD, so I do run into the odd problem that makes me twitch, but nothing that has been expensive or easy to do myself.

My driving impression is good. It is not the best car I have ever driven, but and a big but, for what it is, it is an amazing vehicle. The power is there along with the comfort, and the look is timeless IMO. The drive is so engaging with the gated shifter.

I am a big Ferrari fan, and often find myself following a Mondial or 328 that I have spotted, simply to hear the engine. All ferrari's turn my head. I get so excited when I spot one on the road. Not as excited when I see the reflection of my silver bullet in a shopfront window, while driving. The 550 has created many magical moments for me. I am sure this is true for most Ferrari owners.

I am having a few small items seen to at my trusted mechanic.

Disks & Pads all round
New upper bushes
Slight scratch on the dash repaired

I am also taking off all of the plastics underneath the car to see how it will look if I carbon wrap them. I know its silly, but I want to see what it will look like.

I dropped the car off yesterday and miss it already.

Thank you to those of you that assisted me in getting into this car. The kind words and advice are very much appreciated.

Current - 2001 550 Maranello
1990 Testarossa
1983 400i
2010 VW Polo
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post #2 of 44 Old 04-02-2014, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Jay Kay View Post
Hello to everyone. I thought I would share my ownership on the 550 so far..... My driving impression is good. It is not the best car I have ever driven, but and a big but, for what it is, it is an amazing vehicle. The power is there along with the comfort, and the look is timeless IMO. The drive is so engaging with the gated shifter.

really quite curious as to which better car(s) you've driven.

Seth
575M F1, Maserati Spyder, Cadillac STS-V & CTS
past: 330/365GTC speciale, F355b, 412GT, 400iA, 308GT4 2+2, 330GT 2+2, Porsche 356b Super 90, BMW 1800ti

what do I know? I drive blue Ferraris
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post #3 of 44 Old 04-02-2014, 06:16 AM
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Short of the over-assisted power steering, I can't think of anything I dislike about the 550. If I look at all that the car offers, it's got to be in my top 3 of best of the best. FWIW, I've driven just about everything Ferrari has ever built from the late 60's onward....

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post #4 of 44 Old 04-02-2014, 06:21 AM Thread Starter
 
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really quite curious as to which better car(s) you've driven.
I have been lucky enough to get behind the wheel of a 599 GTO and an F12. I loved the GTO. I do understand that it is not fair to compare to the 550. What I am trying to say is that the 550, for its age, is a masterpeice.

Current - 2001 550 Maranello
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post #5 of 44 Old 04-02-2014, 06:55 AM
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High Clinton...great to hear from you again. The 550/575 are great cars, no doubt. Glad you like yours so much. Great car for SA, I'm sure.
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post #6 of 44 Old 04-02-2014, 08:51 AM
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I have been lucky enough to get behind the wheel of a 599 GTO and an F12. I loved the GTO. I do understand that it is not fair to compare to the 550. What I am trying to say is that the 550, for its age, is a masterpeice.

Hi Clynton,

I had 550 for 6 years and now i have 575, are great cars, not compare to Scud or F12 but they make big satisfactions and have a classic ever green design ....

I not like very much the 599 design but, one 599 GTO I would like to have in my garage ........ F12 ? before I have to get used to the twin clutch .........

Fabio

PRESENT: 575 F1 HGTC ROSSO CORSA 2004' - MB CLS 350 CGI 2007'
PAST: 550 ROSSO CORSA 1998' - MB CLK 240 2002'
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post #7 of 44 Old 04-02-2014, 08:52 AM
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David- That steering is easily fixed with an FHP Hydraulic Steering ECU. The Maranello Skunkworks can supply them for much less than the ~$1K for a new OEM unit.

Taz
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post #8 of 44 Old 04-02-2014, 09:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David @ FluentInFerrari View Post
Short of the over-assisted power steering, I can't think of anything I dislike about the 550. If I look at all that the car offers, it's got to be in my top 3 of best of the best. FWIW, I've driven just about everything Ferrari has ever built from the late 60's onward....
Have you installed our switchable kit yet?

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post #9 of 44 Old 04-02-2014, 09:40 AM
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I'm a slacker...I've got the "kit" but haven't had the time to get it installed.

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post #10 of 44 Old 04-02-2014, 10:32 AM
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Clynton
Good to hear you are enjoying the stallion. Only thing missing from your report is some pics....

Ferrari's: 360 Modena, 550 Maranello
Ex's: Dino 308 GT4, 612 Scaglietti
The Rest: Rolls Royce Silver Shadow, Porsche 911 2.7s, Porsche 911 3.2 Carerra, Ducati 916... and the Land Rovers
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post #11 of 44 Old 04-02-2014, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
 
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High Clinton...great to hear from you again. The 550/575 are great cars, no doubt. Glad you like yours so much. Great car for SA, I'm sure.
Hi 212

Thank you. I am sue you are smitten with that Scud. Well done!

Current - 2001 550 Maranello
1990 Testarossa
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post #12 of 44 Old 04-02-2014, 11:03 AM Thread Starter
 
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Clynton
Good to hear you are enjoying the stallion. Only thing missing from your report is some pics....
Hey Barry

I will get some pics up here when I get a chance. :-). Congrats on your 612. Looks stunning. Must be a dream to drive.

Current - 2001 550 Maranello
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post #13 of 44 Old 04-02-2014, 09:37 PM
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David and Dave- Well that explains where another of the 10 (?) switchable kits went.

Taz
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Present: 575M 135171
Past: Dino 246 GT 02984, 365 GTB/4 14009, 308 GTS 25125

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post #14 of 44 Old 04-03-2014, 04:33 AM
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Originally Posted by 550_Maranello View Post
Hi Clynton, I had 550 for 6 years and now i have 575, are great cars, not compare to Scud or F12 but they make big satisfactions and have a classic ever green design


Fabio, I believe you have put your finger on it right here - the Maranellos are "evergreen" in the sense of always retaining a fresh and classic look that will never appear to be "dated". Putting aside the sports racers that are in a different category, I think it is the same for the 330/365GTCs, the Daytona's and even the 365/400/412 series. I do not believe the same can be said nor will ever be said about the design of the 599 or even the F12.

Seth
575M F1, Maserati Spyder, Cadillac STS-V & CTS
past: 330/365GTC speciale, F355b, 412GT, 400iA, 308GT4 2+2, 330GT 2+2, Porsche 356b Super 90, BMW 1800ti

what do I know? I drive blue Ferraris
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post #15 of 44 Old 04-04-2014, 09:16 AM
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Phil Hill rated the 550 Maranello in his list of top ten Ferraris and put it at the top of the list of roadgoing tipos. His line of reasoning was that to make the list, the Ferrari concerned should be fast with the minimum amount of effort/hassle, or something to that effect. After a few serious mountain passes in mine, I am amazed at the speed yet lack of aching in my arms from all the twirling of the tillar of this big and heavy Ferrari. Yes it is effortless yet a huge thrill at the same time!

Comparisons are odious. If you want sheer speed, the newer the better, can't beat technology. If you want romance, old school thrills and so on, then the older would be the way. The Maranello magically combines speed and usability of a more modern car with old school thrills and romance of an older car. In this regard I think sportscars from the 1990s offer outstanding value with just enough technology to make them quick by any standard yet with roots clearly connected to their older bretheren in style and driving feel. Yet for far less money than their older bretheren. I am thinking F40, F50, 550, 355, 348, 512TR/M, Diablo, 993, 964 etc

David

Current: 365BB, 550 bluebird and a few 911's
Past: 246gt, 512BB, 308 GTB "Michalone" and a few 911's
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post #16 of 44 Old 04-05-2014, 12:16 AM
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If you want sheer speed, the newer the better, can't beat technology. If you want romance, old school thrills and so on, then the older would be the way. The Maranello magically combines speed and usability of a more modern car with old school thrills and romance of an older car. In this regard I think sportscars from the 1990s offer outstanding value with just enough technology to make them quick by any standard yet with roots clearly connected to their older bretheren in style and driving feel.
Spot on! 12 years ago, I chose my 964 because it was told enough to look like the original 911, but was young enough to have the technology, corrosion resistance and reliability to make it a practical daily driver; and it had got pretty close to the bottom of its depreciation curve. The fact that I still have it and still enjoy using it on a regular basis (I have now covered over 60,000 miles in it, in all weathers and on all occasions, not just for "high days and holidays"), is testimony to the rightness of that decision. 2 years ago, when I decided to buy a Ferrari, the 550 fitted much the same criteria and I anticipate having mine in another 12 years' time.

I guess the decision process is also heavily influenced by one's age, i.e. the period in which one's visions of cars were formed. For me it was the '60s (when I consumed car mags and brochures with insatiable voracity) and '70s (when I finally got behind the wheel of a car), so Ferraris like the 275GTB, Superfast, 330GTC and Daytona, DB Astons and E-type Jaguar, Lambo 350/400GT and Miura, Ford GT40 etc., were the cars which excited myimagination (my interest in 911s came later). It is not entirely coincidental that front engines, 2 seats and V12s, figure quite high both in that list, and in a Maranello. And that in the '60 and '70s, automatics were considered to be the antithesis of sporting pedigree.

Best wishes, John
Ferrari: 550 Maranello S/N 110995, Dino 246 GT S/N 6934
Other: 1990 Bentley Turbo R, 1989 Porsche 911 C2, 2004 Mercedes 500CLK, 2011 Mercedes E350 CDI, 1972 VW T2 Camper, 2014 Fiat 500C, 1963 Jaguar E-type 3.8 FHC, 2015 Maserati Granturismo Sport
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post #17 of 44 Old 04-05-2014, 02:27 PM
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Spot on! 12 years ago, I chose my 964 because it was told enough to look like the original 911, but was young enough to have the technology, corrosion resistance and reliability to make it a practical daily driver; and it had got pretty close to the bottom of its depreciation curve. The fact that I still have it and still enjoy using it on a regular basis (I have now covered over 60,000 miles in it, in all weathers and on all occasions, not just for "high days and holidays"), is testimony to the rightness of that decision. 2 years ago, when I decided to buy a Ferrari, the 550 fitted much the same criteria and I anticipate having mine in another 12 years' time.

I guess the decision process is also heavily influenced by one's age, i.e. the period in which one's visions of cars were formed. For me it was the '60s (when I consumed car mags and brochures with insatiable voracity) and '70s (when I finally got behind the wheel of a car), so Ferraris like the 275GTB, Superfast, 330GTC and Daytona, DB Astons and E-type Jaguar, Lambo 350/400GT and Miura, Ford GT40 etc., were the cars which excited myimagination (my interest in 911s came later). It is not entirely coincidental that front engines, 2 seats and V12s, figure quite high both in that list, and in a Maranello. And that in the '60 and '70s, automatics were considered to be the antithesis of sporting pedigree.
Snap, I also have a 550 and 964. Love them both!
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post #18 of 44 Old 04-05-2014, 08:44 PM
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I guess the decision process is also heavily influenced by one's age, i.e. the period in which one's visions of cars were formed. For me it was the '60s (when I consumed car mags and brochures with insatiable voracity) and '70s (when I finally got behind the wheel of a car), so Ferraris like the 275GTB, Superfast, 330GTC and Daytona, DB Astons and E-type Jaguar, Lambo 350/400GT and Miura, Ford GT40 etc., were the cars which excited myimagination (my interest in 911s came later). It is not entirely coincidental that front engines, 2 seats and V12s, figure quite high both in that list, and in a Maranello. And that in the '60 and '70s, automatics were considered to be the antithesis of sporting pedigree.
Can't speak for everyone, but in my case I got my license in the '90ies and I grew up in the '80ies. Nevertheless the '60ies cars have always had great appeal to me. I wasn't yet born when the 275GTB/330GTC were in production. So I don't think it's age alone. I also love pre-war Bugatti's and other old machinery, even though I've never driven them.

I think you just need to have affinity with analog technology. Digital technology is great, and I love my 458, but the reason I love it is because it feels analog and alive when you drive it close to the limit. It has a real driver's chassis, and you can find it if you try without needing to have Alonso's skills.

I've driven most of the latest Ferraris, and the 458 for around 20,000kms (also on various famous tracks), and in my opinion they are not better than a 550. Not when it comes to the driving experience. Because the true enjoyment of driving is being challenged to do something well, to feel the car, to test it, and to improve your skills. Any good car from any age will take up that challenge and reward you in kind. That is what I look for and the 550 has it in spades. She is still my favourite for that unique blend between '60s philosophy with '00ies performance, true GT character with surprising sportscar abilities, classic yet modern looks, assertiveness without aggressiveness.


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Future: No idea
Present: 458 Italia, 550 Maranello
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post #19 of 44 Old 04-06-2014, 05:02 AM
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Snap, I also have a 550 and 964. Love them both!
Clearly a man of exeptional good taste and infinte wisdom

Best wishes, John
Ferrari: 550 Maranello S/N 110995, Dino 246 GT S/N 6934
Other: 1990 Bentley Turbo R, 1989 Porsche 911 C2, 2004 Mercedes 500CLK, 2011 Mercedes E350 CDI, 1972 VW T2 Camper, 2014 Fiat 500C, 1963 Jaguar E-type 3.8 FHC, 2015 Maserati Granturismo Sport
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post #20 of 44 Old 04-06-2014, 01:37 PM
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Clearly a man of exeptional good taste and infinte wisdom
Snap 2: Great choice, gents, I have a 456M (Skunkworks ECU ready to be installed) and a 911 3.2....but am also drawn to the Maranellos, getting worse every day, and this forum doesn't help! haha.
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