By Larry Edsall @ news.classiccars.com
Original plans called for Ferrari to produce 499 examples of its hybrid-powered LaFerrari. But late this summer, Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne announced that one more LaFerrari, the 500th and final, would be produced and sold for charity. That charity auction is scheduled for Saturday in Daytona Beach, Florida, as part of the Ferrari Finali Mondiali weekend at Daytona International Speedway. RM Sotheby’s will handle the auction, with proceeds from the sale going to the National Italian American Foundation’s Earthquake Relief Fund to support the recovery and rebuilding effort in the aftermath of earthquakes which struck central Italy this year. The 500th LaFerrari has unique livery and interior, both designed as a tribute to Ferrari’s homeland. “It is an honor for RM Sotheby’s to be entrusted with the sale of this important car and to help raise significant funds for a desperate cause,” Rob Myers, RM Sotheby’s founder and chairman, said in a news release. “The earthquakes which have struck Central Italy this year devastated the lives of thousands of people, and the money raised by the sale of this LaFerrari could not be put to a better use. The auction will be an historic event, and the generosity of Ferrari SpA will change lives in the areas most affected by the natural disaster.” The LaFerrari auction has sparked lots of excitement, according to RM Sotheby’s. “To accommodate widespread interest in this very special charity lot, RM Sotheby’s is offering a variety of remote bidding options, including telephone and absentee bidding, for those unable to attend the event in person,” the auction house announced, adding that this “unexpected opportunity for collectors to acquire a LaFerrari coupé from new… is generating plenty of excitement and widespread interest from around the world.” Originally priced at north of $1.4 million, but selling for as much as $4.7 million at recent collector car auctions, the LaFerrari is the first road-going vehicle powered by Ferrari’s F1-based Hy-Kers hybrid drivetrain, which combines a 161-horsepower electric motor with Ferrari’s most powerful, 6.2-liter, 788-hp V12. Total output is 949 hp with 663 pound-feet of torque. The sale is being held in conjunction with the Ferrari Challenge racing world finals this weekend at Daytona International Speedway, the first time such Ferrari Corse Clienti activities will be contested in the U.S. In addition to the Ferrari Challenge racing events, the Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 team will stage demonstration laps, pit stops and “smoky burnouts” on the Daytona track. Other activities include a Ferrari Classiche concours d’elegance, Ferrari Fan Zone and various vehicle displays. For more information, see the RM Sotheby’s and Finali Mondiali websites.