A Rare, Special Edition Ferrari
A Toyota dealership in Welland Ontario is not the first place you'd go to find an exceedingly rare limited edition Ferrari. In fact, it’s probably one of the last.
Yet I’m standing in the showroom of Welland Toyota, and not a con-rod’s throw from a humble Yaris is a red wedge of Maranello madness. Sales rep Derek Poirier slips off the fabric cover and there it sits – one of the only forty Ferrari 599 GTB Alonso Edition 60F1 hyperformance coupes to roll from the gates of Ferrari’s Maranello facilities.
This special edition of the front-engine V12 599 GTB was built in late 2011 to commemorate 60 years of Ferrari F1 victories.
On July 14, 1951, Jose Froilan Gonzales scored Scuderia Ferrari’s first victory behind the wheel of a 375 F1 racer at the British Grand Prix. Almost 60 years later to the day, Scuderia Ferrari and the FIA honoured Gonzales by having Ferrari F1 pilot Fernando Alonso drive that winning 1951 Ferrari 375 around Silverstone prior to the British Grand Prix. He then pulled off a historic copy-cat feat by winning the race in his modern Ferrari.
Cause for celebration indeed.
The Alonso Edition 60F1 is based on the hotter HGTE version of the 599 GTB. While the HGTE had no drivetrain modifications, the suspension was heavily massaged for track duty. Not to say this 612 hp, 448 lb-ft 6.0L V12 with its 8,400 rpm redline is wanting. Courtesy of a six-speed automated manual transmission, 100 km/h comes up in 3.7 seconds.
The Alonso Edition was available in three liveries – this one with its white A and B pillars and stripes behind the front wheel wells pays homage to Alonso’s F1 racer. The car also gets the Ferrari shield on the front wings, a satin finished fuel filler door and bespoke forged 20-inch alloys shod with special Pirellis that offer more grip than the already sticky standard tires.
The Alcantara-swathed interior gets special seats trimmed in Ferrari’s grippy Superfabric and on the dash is a plaque engraved with both Gonzales’ and Alonso’s signatures.
A Passion for Exotics
So what the heck is this car doing at Welland Toyota? And why does it only have 68 miles on the odometer?
Credit owner George Farlow for this bit of inspiration. As a former British Leyland mechanic and motorcycle racer who has entered the treacherous Isle of Mann TT several times (and obviously lived), one gets the sense this Irish ex-pat is not your average Toyota shiller. He’s got some high-test running through his veins – and the financial wherewithal to add some spice to his enterprise.
This is not the first exotic that George and his son Neil (also a motorcycle racer) have brought through the doors. Previous delectables include a Lamborghini Murcielago, a 2007 Ferrari 599 GTB, an Aston Martin DBS, a pair of McLaren MP4-12Cs and a Lexus LFA supercar – the latter ending up in Dubai.
“I like to have at least one exotic here. It livens up the showroom. It’s just a bit of fun, really.”
He bought this car from a Ferrari dealer in the US. Asking price is $399,977. Adding to this car’s collectability is the fact that it has never been driven – other than its shakedown by the Ferrari factory driver. The covers are still on the seats.
George notes, “From my point of view as a motorcycle racer, I’d love to drive it. But I can’t.”
He concedes this Ferrari 599 GTB Alonso Edition 60F1 could very well be bought by a collector and kept in its never-driven condition, only to have the owner and his friends “stand around it and have drinks.”
If this Ferrari is bit out of your price range, yet you’re looking for something a bit more unique than the standard Toyota fare, tucked in the corner of the showroom is a mint 1975 Austin Mini that George picked up at the Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale, Arizona.
I asked him if it was for sale.
“Everything is for sale.”