Every so often, Italian sportscar-maker Ferrari releases a colossally-important, paradigm-shifting production model that quickly becomes the stuff of legend. The most recent of these was the Ferrari LaFerrari – the marque’s first production hybrid, which produces an earth-shaking 950 combined brake-horsepower through the lethal combination of a 789-bhp, 6.3L petrol V12 and a 161-bhp electric drive motor.
But before the LaFerrari, there was the Enzo – a carbon-fiber instrument bred for dissecting racetracks with uncanny precision and tremendous brawn, thanks to a 651-bhp, 6.0L V12. Before that? The F50 – the hotly-anticipated follow-up to the mind-bending F40, which built on its predecessor’s monumental performance with more power, more carbon fiber, and significantly less mass.
Now, the first Ferrari F50 ever built, with Serial No. ending “99999”, is up for sale through Autosport Designs Inc. near New York City. The car is notable for being the last Ferrari with a five-digit Serial No., and the first example unveiled to the public at the 1994 Geneva Motor Show. But even before the expo, Ferrari F50 No. 99999 modeled for factory posters and glamor photos; served as the basis for scale-model kits from Maisto, Revell, and others; and racked up hundreds of miles both on and off the track, in the hands of notable test drivers including Dario Benuzzi, Niki Lauda, Gerhard Berger, and Jean Alesi.
After serving as Ferrari’s test car and being featured in scores of magazines, posters, and other media, Ferrari F50 No. 99999 was given to Jacques Swaters – a token of Ferrari’s appreciation to Swaters for his more-than-forty years of loyalty to Ferrari as a racer, dealer, and brand ambassador. The car had been promised to Swaters by Enzo Ferrari himself back in the 1980s, years before the Ferrari F50 would go into production.
We don’t know how much Autosport Designs is asking for Ferrari F50 No. 99999 – the first of just 349 examples produced. But as usual, if you have to ask, you probably can’t afford it; according to Hagerty, the average going rate for a 1995 Ferrari F50 is more than $1.8 million.