July 29th, 2006 – Recently, there has been a ton of commotion surrounding the discovery, by many fans, blogs and magazines, of a specially commissioned Ferrari that was rebodied and rebuilt by Pininfarina. The story has been unfolding on a specific Ferrarichat.com thread where James Glickenhaus revealed his dream his was coming true and a custom tailored Ferrari was being made for himself.
The project began in late 2005 when James purchased Ferrari’s flagship Enzo supercar and immediately sent it to Pininfarina’s design studio. Critical of the original styling, James requested that Pininfarina rebody his car drawing inspiration from Ferrari’s 1960s prototypes of which he owns two magnificent examples. Pininfarina’s team, led by Ken Okuyama, responded by saying that they wanted to stay away from retro design and move towards a more forward thinking supercar. No doubt, the two parties have come up with a clever balance and Jason Castriota’s design is as striking as his work on the the Maserati Birdcage 75th concept car and the Ferrari 599 GTB.
To say that Pininfarnia have simply re-bodied the Enzo is a massive understatement. What James has revealed is that Pininfarina spent considerable time in the wind tunnel and on the road to ensure the excellent dynamics of the Ferrari aren’t lost. Over 200 custom parts were manufactured in the process including a custom interior with complicated hinges for the butterly doors. And, with a 374 lb (270 kg) weight reduction, the P4/5 is now one of the most fastest, stylish and usable cars of our time.
Another important aspect of the project is James’ support of the custom-built Ferrari. Back when Ferrari was an upcoming manufacturer, preferred clients would order a racing chassis and then have any number of design studios hand craft a custom body around it. This art all but disappeared with the widespread use of unit-body construction in the seventies that sent the cost of making such cars through the roof. However, the P4/5, and other, more secret Ferraris developed for the Sultan of Brunei have broke barriers and piqued our interest in modern custom supercars.
The P4/5 was initially released to the public at the 2006 Pebble Beach Concours and it contributed greatly to the best automotive weekend in the world. For anyone wanting to catch a glimpse of the Ferrari P4/5 in person, it will make an international debut at the 2006 Paris Motor Show at the end of September.
More infomation can be found at the lengthy Ferrarichat thread.