There is an unwritten rule that states - your first Ferrari shall be Red (Rosso). So first time buyers, beware of this 2011 599 GTO in Bianco Italia, it’s probably not for you. Ah what the hell, all rules are to be broken, and exactly the same applies to the GTO badge heritage. I guarantee you there are a few thoughts going through your minds already. One is why I am bringing up this rather new Ferrari on a vintage themed page, and a second would be the GTO badge on a non-road racing car.
To address your first concern, I use the definition of Vintage as per the great philosopher “Vintage is one man’s gold, and another’s old!” - Iacomus Maysonios 20th century A.C.
James May didn’t word it exactly like that. The point is that Classic cars are always easily recognizable, and are genuinely praised among the common folk. On the contrary, Vintage is perceived as something useless and overall undervalued when it comes to the common population. But there is a certain niche of people that find that Vintage artifact extremely precious and collectible. Until one day when Vintage becomes Classic. I never said anything about age, so hereby a 599 GTO is a vintage car.
Gran Turismo Omologato. A three-word phrase that has disappeared from our vocabularies since 1986. The world was destined to never see another Ferrari to roll of the production line with the three magical letters behind it’s model code. Until 2010. The 599 joined a rather exclusive club of cars – the 1962 250 GTO and the 1984 288 GTO. Unlike the fore mentioned GTOs, the 599 was not designed for homologation in any road racing series. It would have been a pity if they called it the 199 GTO.
From the history books, the GTO were built to compete in the Group B Race series and a minimum of 200 cars were required for homologation. The unfortunate death of Henri Toivonen and Sergio Cresto in 1986 Tour de Corse put the end of the rather vicious Group B. And just like the 288 GTO, that never raced, the 599 GTO was derived from a track preped version - the 599XX*. Arguably, the 288 didn’t resemble much of the 308, the common folk could mistakenly call a 599 GTO – a 599 GTB. That would only be plausible however, if they haven’t read the 2010 Consumer’s Report in the category of play-boy Grand Tourer front engine V12, where it clearly states that the GTO comes with a carbon fiber unpainted roof and many more bells and whistles.
In April 2010, when Ferrari announced the release of this limited-edition model, they added a few spicy bits alongside the GTO badge – fastest road Ferrari ever, almost a second faster than Ferrari Enzo, with an engine producing 661 hp reaching 100 km/h (62mph) under 3.3 seconds and top speed of 335 km/h (208mph). This specific Bianco Italia is one of the 125 cars produced for the United States market, and currently available at Ferrari of Houston. There was a total of 599 cars produced for the entire world. And the badge nomenclature is directly linked to its engine. This time to its size 5999cc – Tipo F140 C 6.0 L. Standing in the same lineage as the Enzo’s beating heart (F140 B). One helluva deal, if you think about it.
A few have complained, of this rather bold move that Ferrari pulled with the GTO badge. But if you look at it from the financial perspective, the original owners have doubled or potentially tripled their investment, as this latest GTO keeps going up in value. As Jeremy Clarkson stayed in his review of the car some 7 years ago – putting the GTO badge, is like “calling your infant son Jesus. You need to be fairly sure he is going to grow up something special, not a burglar.”
In conclusion, we have a white Bianco Italia Ferrari in a limited production numbers, a GTO badge that never raced, kinda like the 288 GTO (here I said it), derived from a track specific version 5599XX and continuously climbing in value. Faster around Fiorano than an Enzo, and less unassuming, if there is such a thing when it comes to a Ferrari. So if you are stealth, upcoming businessman nostalgically-driven racer – this is for you, even if it’s your first Ferrari.
“Molte Grazie, Ferrari"
*Credit to Stephen Frankel (599 GTO owner) who rightfully clarified on ferrarichat.com that the 599GTO was derived from the 599XX.
Videography by : Guillaume Thélot Parthon de Von