One of only six Ferrari 599 GTZ S Nibbio Spiders coach-built by Zagato at a cost in excess of 925,000 euros
The only Nibbio Spider built on the underpinnings of a manual-gearbox 599 GTB Fiorano – one of only 30 such examples ever built
The final manual-gearbox twelve-cylinder Ferrari to be rebodied by a history-steeped Italian carrozzeria
A striking and dramatic bespoke design, with prominent echoes of the great Zagato-bodied Ferraris of yesteryear
Resplendent in a unique shade of blue over an aubergine-coloured leather interior
Just one owner since leaving Zagato in July 2019
Chassis no. ZFFFC60A980159626
Engine no. 130292
Did you know that the black horse on the legendary Ferrari shield had a name? He was reportedly christened Nibbio – a decidedly noble name for a decidedly noble animal. It’s also the moniker the history-steeped Milanese design studio Zagato felt would perfectly suit its bespoke twelve-cylinder Ferrari supercar based on the underpinnings of the 599 GTB Fiorano.
From the 250 GT Berlinetta of the 1960s and the positively 1990s Testarossa FZ93 to the 550 GTZ of the New Millennium, Zagato has enjoyed a long history of building one-off and small-production special-bodied Ferraris for its most well-heeled and discerning clients. Because when ‘off the shelf’ simply won’t do, where else are you going to turn to personalise your Prancing Horse?
The 599 GTB Fiorano was the first flagship twelve-cylinder Ferrari to properly harness the marque’s Formula 1-derived digital technology – features such as adjustable traction and stability control systems and carbon-ceramic brakes. It was a fantastic mechanical basis for the Nibbio GTZ – a car which, in true 21st-century coachbuilding fashion, was retrospectively dressed with an elegant and avant-garde high-waisted body inspired by Zagato’s creations of yore.
Clients had the choice of closed-coupé or open spider configuration – nine of the former were built, while a mere six . The GTZ S Spider was exhaustively re-engineered as well, Zagato employing the same chassis-strengthening as Ferrari itself used for the 599 SA Aperta. It even properly engineered a folding soft-top, which passed European homologation standards and, while in place, could withstand the 599’s 200mph top speed.
Unsurprisingly, owing to the exacting demands of the owners and the near-limitless personalisation possibilities presented by Zagato, no two Nibbio GTZs are alike.
Amazingly, even in this rarefied sphere, there are cars which elevate themselves. Chassis number 159626 is one such example. You see, of the six Nibbio GTZ Spiders built by Zagato, this is the only example which uses the underpinnings of a manual-gearbox 599 GTB. In spite of the model’s cutting-edge technology, Ferrari did offer a six-speed option. Allegedly, only 30 customers around the world ticked the box, making it an über-rare – and ultra-desirable – proposition to collectors today.
A 2008 model with an extensive Ferrari service history and the all-important (and dealer-fitted) HGTE performance upgrades, chassis number 159626 underwent its Zagato transformation in 2017 – a fastidious process which took over 18 months to complete and cost in excess of 925,000 euros. Its specification is, for the want of a better word, is exquisite. The deep yet vibrant shade of blue is one devised by the client together with Zagato and works beautifully with the Nibbio’s dramatic, swooping lines.
If you can look past the glorious gated gear lever standing proud in the middle of the cabin, you’ll comprehend the swathe of gorgeous aubergine-coloured leather hide – a very distinguished choice, which contrasts wonderfully with the exterior hue. We especially like the blue stitching and diamond quilting – nods to artisanal skills we too often take for granted in today’s world.
While registered in the United Kingdom, this Nibbio GTZ S Spider was delivered to its owner’s French residence and has remained in France since. The car received a major service from Charles Pozzi Ferrari in January of 2018, at which point the mileage was noted at 34,870km. It has been enjoyed infrequently since.
Today, this bespoke coach-built Ferrari is special for myriad reasons, not least because of its stunning avant-garde body, shaped by one of automotive history’s greatest engineers of avant-garde elegance. What’s more, chassis number 159626 is among the final twelve-cylinder Ferraris with a manual gearbox – and almost certainly the last such example to have been rebodied by a history-steeped Italian carrozzeria.
This car is a wonderfully rare and incredibly special nod to the past, while remaining rooted in the present. In its exceptional specification, this is a Ferrari for the most discerning of today’s collectors.
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