1998 Ferrari 550 Maranello - Introduction


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Performance at no compromise

The 550 Maranello is Ferrari's intepretation of the 12-cylinder berlinetta, with a front engine and a pronounced sports personality, for the 21st century.

The brief given to the technicians was particularly demanding: design and build a car able to meet the needs of Ferrari customers looking for driving emotions and exciting performance, who do not want to forego driveability or comfort. Customers attracted by state-of-the-art technical proposals from a company which has always treated design as an aesthetic solution to the demand for performance, and has always built its cars with sophisticated craftmanship.

THE EVENT

by Marc J. Rauch

Ferrari's introduction of it's spectacular new Maranello incorporated three events on Friday and Saturday, April 18th & 19th. The weekend started with a semi formal reception at the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles - which all TACH viewer's will remember was also the site of Hornburg Jaguar's introduction of the XK8. The well attended reception, which was hosted by the LA chapter of the Boy Scouts, kicks off a six month Ferrari exhibition at the "Petersen". On hand were a couple dozen of the most famous Ferrari's ever built, driven, and raced.

At 9am Saturday morning, Ferrari's formal press conference introducing the Marranello took place at Ferrari North America's Beverly Hills headquarters. Ferrari trotted out it's biggest executives and personalities for the launch, including Sr. Pinin Farina. Most notable among the press/spectators, was television's Jerry Seinfeld. Of course, it made me wonder why his auto fanatic buddy Jay Leno wasn't there, but then I seemed to remember that Leno might be performing in Las Vegas this weekend.

The third part of the overall Maranello introduction began with a short parade of Maranellos over to Beverly Hills famed Rodeo Drive, the site of the BH Concours d' Elegance. Many of the best Ferraris from the "Petersen" were transported to the car show for public display. Additional incredible specimens were provided by the local Ferrari Owners Club. Celebrities included film/TV funnyman Kenneth Mars and director Sidney Lumet.



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