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The tale of Prodrive’s Ferrari 550

1 month ago

not bookmarked

Writer:

Andrew Frankel | Ti co-founder

Date:

9 November 2023

We don’t often do book reviews on Ti. It’s not because there aren’t enough to warrant them, but there are rather too many, and very few deserving of space on this site. But once in a while, one comes along that fair takes our breath away, a true passion project, immaculately researched, fluently written and impeccably presented. And Ferrari 550 Maranello Prodrive – The Last V12 Ferrari To Win At Le Mans is just such a book.

The tale of Prodrive’s Ferrari 550

Written by well-known Ferrari author Keith Bluemel, and commissioned by our friends at Girardo & Co, in association with DK Engineering, it spreads the story of how Prodrive turned Ferrari’s then-flagship road car into the most successful race car of its kind over two volumes – one for the car, the other its racing exploits – and 592 pages complete with no fewer than 832 illustrations, the majority of them previously unseen.

The tale of Prodrive’s Ferrari 550

It’s a hefty work, but it could so easily have been turned into one of those tomes that needs its own stand, would break your foot if you dropped it and exists so it may be seen, not read. It is none of the above: it is the definitive reference work, there to provide those interested in these wonderful racing cars with everything from the broadest overview to the minutest detail, complete with interviews with just about every important person alive connected to the project.

The tale of Prodrive’s Ferrari 550

Like many of you, I was there at Le Mans in 2003 when the car of Jamie Davies, Tomas Enge and Peter Kox destroyed the opposition in the GTS class, coming home fully ten laps ahead of the second placed Corvette, but I did not appreciate just how successful this car was across the eight seasons in which it was competitive. Although just ten chassis were built, between them they did 343 races, winning 69 of them, with 60 poles and 151 podium finishes.

The tale of Prodrive’s Ferrari 550

There are very few books of this calibre dedicated to a single subject and, of them all, it is closest in concept and execution to Driving Ambition, the full story of the McLaren F1. And those familiar with that work will know what praise this is. But it is fully deserved. The only drawback is the price: it costs £550 and just 550 will be sold.

If your pockets are deep enough, it is available exclusively from RacingWebShop. But if you love these cars, you will without question love this book.

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