Inthe automotive world, the term ‘special ‘ often exists in the eye of the beholder. Every car has its own personality, and a story behind it, driven across the ether for hundreds, and thousands of miles. What might seem like a rusty jalopy to one person, is a loyal, lifelong, loving companion to another. I’ve learned that it’s not as simple as judging a book by its cover, and to not judge a car based only on the sums of its earthly parts. I yearn to try and understand more of what it means to others.
There are however, certain exceptions to this rule. Some cars are simply just special, regardless of who’s talking. It’s the sort of book who’s cover isn’t just magnificently attractive, that it makes you want to pick it up and never let go, but it also carries the name of a legendary author. At that point, you just know that it’s a book which, even without flipping a single page open, is going to be a great read. In the land of engines, and four-wheels, one such book would have a prancing horse on the cover, and a storied signature, Ferrari.
A Gem, Among Gems.
Ifyou’re looking for commonality, find yourself a Fabergé egg, a 100-carat pink diamond, or a Rembrandt, because this particular Ferrari is the only one of its kind. It makes this lineage of purebred racing ponies a rarity even amongst an already exclusive breed. But unlike a jewelled egg, a shiny rock, or a painting, one could guarantee that this hidden gem is at least something that one could not only fit their weekend luggage in, but also enjoy in endless quantities.
It infuses petrol into your veins, as it seeps slowly into your bloodstream, just as the sound of twelve pistons exploding up and down gives you the best aural orgasms since listening to Bohemian Rhapsody live on stage. Inspired by the pages of Ferrari’s illustrious history, this is the tenth one-off based on a V12 platform, and it took two years of painstaking, hand-crafted work to get off the ground. It’s called the Omologata, which in neo-Latin means ‘approved’, or in modern Anglo-Saxon it simply means, ‘homologated’.
It’s ethos is built around the concept of restrained madness, which is to say the rules surrounding homologation requirements in motorsports. This is a rule where carmakers are obliged to make road-going examples of a particular race-car, to ensure that they hadn’t created an undefeatable monster. Unsurprisingly, this 812 Superfast-based specialty is conceived to pay tributes to perhaps the most famous, or perhaps infamous homologated racer of all, the Ferrari 250 GTO; the abbreviation standing for Gran Turismo Omologata.
The connection between the early-1960s and the late-2010s is starting to become clearer. That said, with the values of the rare 250 GTO reaching into the stratosphere of over $70-million, I imagine this one-off creation by its discerned client is at least a comparative bargain, maybe in the low single-digit millions. With such a priceless machine then, what better way to baptise the Omologata than giving it a proper shakedown at Fiorano circuit, where every Ferrari gets its first taste of sun-kissed Italian tarmac.
I can imagine it’s just as smile-inducing, and beastly to tame as the 812 that lies underneath it all. It’s V12 produces an eye-watering 800 horsepower, and 530 pound-feet of torque, singing its way to 8,500RPM. All of those are top-trumps worthy figures for any supercar, though thankfully there are a myriad of electronic wizardry that’ll prevent you from melting the rear-tyres, as you rocket your way to the horizon. But as far as the driving experience goes, there’s not been a single peep from the press release.
It’s simply because that’s not the point of the Omologata, since the heart, muscles, and skeletal structure are no different to a standard 812 that you can get on finance. It’s the flesh that matters, and the craftspeople over at Ferrari clearly have many reasons to be smug about it. That gorgeous bodywork is reminiscent of a bygone era of la dolce vita, along with lady and gentlemen drivers strapping their leather driving gloves, grasping at a wooden steering wheel. It eschews the typical aggression that Ferrari likes to show off.
The only pieces taken from the 812 are the headlights, and windscreen. Other than that, every single panel is designed, and made from scratch just for the Omologata, using hand-rolled aluminium for each one. There’s quite a distinction from every angle, such as the vents along the front-fascia, or the lack of the 812’s iconic air-bridge on the fenders to aid with channelling aero. The rear-end is even more radical, not only having removed two of the taillight clusters, but replacing the rear-glass panel with horizontal slats.
I’m sure this’ll rob rearward visibility by quite a bit, but it looks good, so we can forgive it. Seeing the before and after transformation is breath-taking. The Omologata’s bodywork is much more classically curvaceous, and pleasing to the eyes. It’s as if the 812’s seemingly excessive sculpture, with its sharp cheekbones and jawline, has been rounded-off just that bit more. It’s made even more awe-inspiring having coated it with not one, or two, but three layers of Rosso Magma — originally a Maserati colour — to give off a fiery, rich paintwork.
Why three layers, you might ask? Well, it gives it a sense of depth, and it’s especially visible in the glistening sunlight; perfect for driving along the coast. It’s complemented with a set of hand-painted Scuderia shields, bright as the Giallo might be, and a subtle racing livery all around. It comprises a stripe going horizontally across the bonnet, and some roundels, all finished in a darker shade of red that was specially made. When you’re paying this much money, it’s the little touches that count, adding theatre and drama with each glance.
Beauty Is Never-Ending.
But don’t just think that every penny went to the exterior, as its insides has equally intricate amount of attention to detail. Taking cues from Ferrari’s racers of yesteryear, the bright Electric Blue seats stand apart vividly in the blackened interior, finished in a mix of leather and suede-like Jeans Aunde. But that’s not the only retro design, as metal parts on the dashboard and steering wheel are finished in a luscious crackled paint, also a reminder of the finishing around the engine’s cam-covers. The transmission bridge, along with the door panels meanwhile are painted with a hammered finish, another tribute to the GTO.
As the title suggests, this is a car that defies superlatives. I’ve always loved Ferrari’s big, front-engine’d V12s, perhaps more so than its mid-ship siblings. The Omologata is an overload, with what love I have for the 812 having been cranked all the way up past eleven, and no dictionary could ever have enough adjectives to describe this. Sure, it’s rarer than a unicorn, and I’m likely to never see one in person. Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate its existence, and the ideas that brought it to life. To Ferrari, and its owner, I tip my hat off to you.