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The DB-7 was the last car partially designed by Aston's Sir David Brown, who owned the company from 1947-1972. Ford became the company's new owner in 1987.
The DB-7 is wonderful. The cars are comfortable, neat and perfect for the kind of long-range touring that the roads in Wyoming provide ample opportunities to enjoy.
In December, 2003, I was visiting Scottsdale, AZ. And I saw an ad in the paper for a used DB-7 Volante, the convertible version of the car. Although I wanted a hardtop for Wyoming, I went to Scottsdale Ferrari to view the Volante. I figured it would be good experience to see the condition of the convertible at the price being asked; And thus become more familiar with the market and values for DB-7's in general.
The Volante was lovely... dark blue exterior and light blue interior.
Inside the dealership was something breathtaking: A 1997, Ferrari 550 Maranello
This was definately a different kind of cat! 485hp, six speed manual seat-of-your-pants kind of road machine!
And Click here to see and hear my modified exhaust (RM video of Stebro-Canada center pipe and Quicksilver-Britain mufflers!)
A couple of nights before I saw the 550 in the Ferrari showroom, I'd seen another yellow 550, parked on Main St in Scottsdale. That example, lit by streetlights, looked like it was doing 100mph, standing still!
We'd planned to visit Tucson and maybe hook up with musicians Angie Bowie and Steve Roach, but Angie was busy. So, Ken and I stayed in Scottsdale and stopped by Scottsdale Ferrari for fun. No Astons in sight, but the Yellow Maranello was still there! And they were asking much less for it!
I offered them much less than they were asking. They counter-offered and are professionally adding an engine timing belt replacement worth thousands!
This is a great dealership and although I've since seen less expensive 550's on EBay, I'm confident that the price I'm paying for the car in Scottsdale is both reflective of the car's real value and the care that it has received in the service department of Scottsdale Ferrari. They're also going to change the oil before delivery to Wyoming, (double) check the air filters and confirm that the tires were recently installed.
Modena is the heart of Emilia Romagna province in northern Italy. Modena's official color is yellow, hence the background color on the Ferrari "prancing horse" (Cavallino Rampante) shield.
During World War Two, the Italian government forced Enzo to relocate his company, Scuderia Ferrari, to Maranello in order to protect Ferrari's fine machine tools from being destroyed by the allied bombing of Modena.
Following the war, in 1947, the modern Ferrari "Race cars first" legend began at the
Maranello factory. Today, Ferrari Maranello encompasses the company's main manufacturing and testing
facilities; Including the main assembly areas,
the test track, "Circuito Ferrari" (with satellite telemetry capabilities). The Maranello
complex is also home to Ferrari's Research, Development, Test and Evaluation facilities,
including one of Italy's most sophisticated subsonic wind tunnels.
Some 3-4,000 cars a year are produced there.
The Maranello Circuito test track, adjacent to the factory complex, is where all of the factory's manufactured GT cars (like the 550 Maranello) are tested, along with all racing cars, which are also developed and tested at the Maranello factory.
In my reading, I've learned that the 550 Maranello was designed by Pininfarina designer, Elvio D'Aprile. It was introduced to the public as a concept car at Nurburgring, Germany on 21 July 1996. The 550 then went into production in 1997 to mark the 50th anniversary of Ferrari-Marenello. The decision to return to the front-engined Ferrari design was reportedly made by Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo, starting with the 4-seat 456GT model in 1992. The 456GT introduced the basic 5.5 liter fuel-injected engine that was uprated in performance for the 550.
Incidentally, Pininfarina designer D'Aprile is now chief "stylist" for Toyota.
Race-modified 550's have been regularly winning on the GT road race
circuit in Europe, ever since the model was introduced in 1996.
The passenger version of the 550 shares crash-resistant fuel cells with its racing cousins!
The Ferrari 550 Maranello's styling and drive train is based on the evolution of styling cues and drive trains in Ferrari's best GT road cars of the last half century:
The resulting 550 is what a British magazine describes as, "Everything-minus-nothing":
And after seeing a variety of exterior and interior colors, I'm convinced that the yellow exterior on the 550 accentuates the subtle curves of the body's coachwork-- better than any other color. And the black interior is all-business!
The Maranello floats down the road like a mellow, yellow butterfly and
stings like a low radar cross-section, Mach .26 cruise missile!
And "getting stung" is a real possiblity in this class of car!
"Whoops I did it again" is not a song to be played on the stereo!
Thanks for stopping by!
I'd enjoy hearing your comments!
or Call/ Fax: (307) 742-7117
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