" Enzo Ferrari has always been an enigma. There's something about those dark shades, the don-ish profile and the effortless eaze with which he held himself that reflects an appropriate mystique. If ever there was a justified cult of personality within "
Enzo Prototipo M3
It’s not very often that the opportunity becomes available to possess a genuine Ferrari one-off – a slice of Modena history that gave birth to a car that is near mythical in its importance.
But in the shadows of the Nürburgring, with Modena Motorsport lies just such a treasure – namely the Enzo prototipo M3. This is the car which trialed the V12 engine that would ultimately power the Enzo Ferrari.
It might not look anything like the deconstructed Maranello machine that bore the Old Man’s moniker – in fact it is of course derived from the shell of a 348 – but with that spectacular motor crammed into its rear end (thanks to a modified rear sub frame) it’s surely a slice of history a lucky collector would cherish.
This is the third in a series of prototypes Ferrari produced in 2002 in the quest to introduce genuine F1 technlogy into their production cars. According to Sotheby’s the auctioneers construction of this particular test mule started on 25th September 2000 and finished on 25th November.
Important parts of the car are unique and hand-made. The doors and a part of the interior are from the 348 model, and the drive train, brakes, and suspension are mainly from the 355 Challenge. The front fenders are made of composite material and the rear ones are removable for quick access to the engine. The engine hood, which hinges on the posterior part of the roof, is removable and has a Lexan screen.
The front is derived from the 348 model, has been modified with an asymmetrical air vent direct to the radiator, and the rear bumper has an air outlet let into it.
In practice prototypes like this are usually either recycled by the factory that produced them or kept well and truly out of the limelight – and Maranello had never offered one for sale prior to its 2005 auction.
We’re not sure what value is ascribed to this one off – now offered for sale in Germany, but prices, we suppose, would be rather constricted because of the fact that being a prototype the car is not guaranteed by Ferrari – no warranty of roadworthiness is implied or given. Ferrari says, even, that it should not be registered for road use.
Shame that such an important piece of Ferrari history should be languishing forever in the shadows…
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