“Old school”, owner Philip Airey said. Nodding in agreement, I looked at him and repeated the words, “old school”.
There was a time a while back that you walked into a bar and ordered a beer, without reading through a foot long list of hand crafted brews, and the same was true of Ferraris… buy something from Maranello and you knew you’d be getting 12 cylinders, up front, powering the back two wheels.
But like beer, fashions changed, and the V12 became a flat 12 and Ferrari swapped ends with the motor and gave us the Testarossa… until 1996.
ThIs series started life as the 550 then, through a host of improvements, morphed into the 575M, both cars harkening back 25 years earlier to the Daytona and a less complicated (but oh so rewarding) period of motoring… a time when real driver engagement was still needed to go quickly, and cornering was done by feel, not F1 magic.
Philip and I have been friends for years, constantly discussing this or that, so it was great fun for us both to closely examine his machine, him pointing out a duct here and a scoop there, placed by engineers to service mechanicals beautifully hidden from view. By the fifth or sixth lap around the car, I just couldn’t wait to drive.
Power seats on both sides are sporty and luxurious, with lots of travel for easy access to one sexy luggage rack that could even make my gym bag look cool…put there for a purpose, this Ferrari clearly was designed to carry a couple of folks down the road in comfort and at speed.
Plenty of glass lends a feeling of openness, and visibility means no surprises when admirers pull up for a peek in that blind spot on the right side.
A quick adjustment to the power seats and we’re off. Launch control? Please! Just step on the gas. An effortless clutch hooks up the rear wheels instantly. Bags of torque. Not the tire-shredding experience of a modern super car, but a really serious shove in the back…
An aluminum body helps, but overcoming 3800 pounds is easily accomplished with 5.7 liters and 515 HP. Bang, gone, and the tach shoots up like Ferrari tachs always do.
Wonderfully, Philip’s 575 has the 6 speed gated shifter, and though a 6 speed auto was available (1st of its kind in a front engine V12 Ferrari), there’s just nothing like a manual transmission.
Every Ferrari enthusiast on the planet (me included) has watched the staggering price increases on the early 250, 275, 3XX series. There will shortly come a time when these same enthusiasts (again, me included) will remember when the 575M was only $100K.
Modern day performance with a good bit of nostalgia, the Ferrari 575M has it all.
- 515 HP
- 0-60 4.1
- 200 MPH TOP SPEED
- PRODUCTION: 2,100