It was kind of assumed that the Maserati MC20 Cielo was going to be good, but it feels like something special in a niche crammed full of sensational cars. And it’s achieved that not through some great technological advancement, but through doing the important stuff really well: it looks a million dollars, makes more than 600hp from an unforgettable engine, is enormously exciting to drive and can riff off Italian sports car heritage without being wedded to it. Great minds think alike, eh…
As with the coupe equivalent, there had been a hardcore Ferrari V8 Spider before the Aperta (the Scuderia 16M), and there have been many more after, although it would be easy to argue for the 458 being the best of the breed. It got the dual-clutch transmission denied to the earlier car, while keeping the thrill of a naturally aspirated V8 that everything after it gave up. Turbocharged Ferraris are some of the best forced induction supercars out there, but the appeal of a 9,000rpm, flat-plane-crank, atmospheric V8 remains undeniable. And if ever 605hp could feel like just the right amount of power, it was in a Speciale; the later turbo cars could be just terrifyingly rapid.
The Speciale’s classic status was recognised almost the moment it was revealed, trimming weight and adding attitude to the 458 Italia, aka the best Ferrari V8 berlinetta of the 21st century. So the same honour was extended to the Aperta on its arrival. The world knew that the mid-engined cars would never scream like this again or, arguably, look this good again, and the global 499-unit allocation was spoken for before you could say Slide Slip Control.
Almost a decade after its reveal, that a Speciale will still cost more than £300,000 says much about the regard it's held in. As the less focused but undoubtedly far more collectible open version, it’s hard to remember Apertas ever being less than £500,000. If you’ll excuse the pun, they’re undoubtedly very special Ferraris. But some examples raise the bar a little further.
This Aperta, for example, is notable as a right-hand-drive car, believed to be one of just 49 such cars globally. It has covered just 87 miles, moreover, which is low even for cars usually kept for collections. Presumably, it’s never actually gone anywhere; sad given how sensationally it’s going to drive - and how good it looks with £16,000 of optional Bianco Fuji paint - but some opportunity for the next lucky owner. Oh yes, and this 458 has been signed as well. The autographs of both Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel are scribbled on the Aperta, which is nothing if not a talking point. Given this Ferrari was registered in 2015, you would assume it was from their first season together as Scuderia teammates. A little cherry on top of a modern Ferrari masterpiece.
The price is only on application, but bear in mind another Aperta is for sale with a positively leggy 569 miles at £700k and you can make an educated guess. It’s going to be more than two MC20’s worth of Ferrari, put it that way. But nobody needs reminding of just how desirable the very best drop-top Ferraris remain. When the time comes that new ones are even more advanced and people will talk in reverential tones about the days of Raikkonen and Vettel, the Speciale A is still going to be one of Ferrari’s finest. And cars don’t really come much better.
1 / 3