Prodrive 2001 Ferrari 550 GTS Is A Rare, Privateer Racer

Aug 4, 2020 3 min read
Prodrive 2001 Ferrari 550 GTS Is A Rare, Privateer Racer

One of just 10 550-based racecars built by Prodrive.

Ferrari has built some of the most successful racecars of all time, but not all Ferrari GT cars are created equal. In 2001, U.K.-based Prodrive built 10 race-prepped versions of the Ferrari 550 called the 2001 Ferrari 550 GTS, and this one (chassis no. 108418) will be a featured lot at RM Sotheby's upcoming SHIFT/Monterey online-only auction event.

Image Credit: RM Sotheby's

All 10 of these privateer Ferrari racecars were built for Frédéric Dor to compete in GT racing events in Europe and America. These cars left the factory as standard road cars, and Prodrive transformed them into competitive racecars with extensive modifications to the engine and body. The custom bodies were created and allowed for an extra 2.6 inches of overall width, while the 550's factory engine – a 5.5-liter V12 rated at 478 horsepower – was bored to a 60-liter V12 laying down more than 600 horsepower. These cars proved to be very competitive, and one of these Prodrive-built Ferrari 550 GTS racers dominated its class at the 2003 24 Hours of Le Mans beating the second-place car by a full 10 laps!

Looking at the racing history of chassis no. 108418, it performed quite well over its five seasons of racing despite a DNF in its first race at the 2001 Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. The 2002 racing season saw this car start with a sixth place class finish at the 12 Hours of Sebring on its way to five first place finishes that year. In the no. 2 livery you see here, chassis no. 108418 took first place overall (not just the GTS class) at the 2004 Spa 24 Hours with Swiss drivers Bryner and Calderari and Italian drivers Cappellari and Gollin behind the wheel.

Image Credit: RM Sotheby's

While just about any Ferrari will improve the quality of anyone's collection, owning a rare Ferrari racecar with race-winning provenance is an opportunity that doesn't come along very often. This 2001 Ferrari 550 GTS will be up for grabs at RM Sotheby's SHIFT/Monterey online-only auction event that runs August 14-15.

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