If it wouldn't be for the eye watering maintenance bills and frustrating bits that continuously decide to go wrong on the Maranello (read: peeling interior upholstery) - then the 550 would have top honours on my car ownership bucket list. But just look at this one spotted in Heidelberg with some saucy dished (Novitec?) wheels roughing up the purity and driving home the already lingering through that it may second hand. First hand owners have already had theirs parked in a garage for 10 years, hoping that one day they'll be worth enough money to have justified the first 5 years of running costs. But for once, I actually like aftermarket wheels on an Italian super car. It's like the 550 actually received a second life, since all it needed was more exciting wheels complimenting the already perfect body. Oh man how it must feel to drive that car, on that sunny day, in a country dominated by German steel. Like a giant middle finger to your fellow countryman, common sense, and surely your accountant who time and time again has told you to buy ein grau Porsche 911, just like he did.
The Want is Strong - Maranello Edition.
When I think back on my childhood, what strikes me the most is that he most vivid memories from my involve cars. But more than anything, car sightings. Especially those cars that I'd been ogling in my dad's magazines for days on end. Suddenly having one pop in to sight, in THE REAL WORLD, was nothing short of a miracle for my young pubescent mind. One of those memories, and one of those cars, was a bright yellow 550 Maranello parked in front of our town's poshest restaurant - "De Roosenberg in Waasmunster." If I remember correctly, my dad and I were out for an evening bike ride at summer dusk when we spotted the sleek Italian with the long, seemingly endless, generously styled front bonnet. To date, I still find the Maranello's hood its most striking feature. You'd easily mistake the rear for a F355 or 456 at distance, but the front half is a dead ringer - it must be a 550 Maranello (or 575), there's no doubt. Turns out that the owner of the yellow 550 back in the late 90's also owned two Porsche 996 convertibles and a Bentley Azure. Indirectly, this man was to blame for my good grades in elementary school.