Ferrari’s line of limited-run halo cars began with the 288 GTO, which was originally developed as a homologation special to allow the automaker to enter Group B racing. After the cancellation of the Group B class, Ferrari had no need to build such a car, but preorders came in so fast that the company decided to go ahead and produce the road-going version anyway. A few years later, the next entry in the halo line would emerge: the F40, celebrating the brand’s 40th anniversary and famously becoming the last car Enzo Ferrari would personally oversee before his death.
Then came the F50, which, despite selling out its 349-unit run, was seen as a bit of a misstep in the eyes of many. It took its racing influences from Formula 1 rather than rallying as the F40 and GTO did, and it was a bare-bones, difficult car to drive. It also debuted around the same time as the McLaren F1, which is still considered by many to be the best road car ever made. In recent years, the F50 has seen a revival in its fortunes, and prices have increased accordingly, but at the time of the Enzo’s development, it was still seen as a slight disappointment. Not only did Ferrari have to create a car worthy of bearing its founder’s name, but it also had to prove it was at the bleeding edge of road car development alongside McLaren and Porsche.