Market Spotlight

What's in a name? For Enzo Ferrari, quite a lot

by Adam Wilcox
18 February 2021 3 min read
Ferrari Enzo front

Today is Enzo Ferrari’s birthday. To honor the automotive titan, let’s take a look at the supercar that bears his given name, the 2003–2004 Ferrari Enzo, and the power it continues to hold over Ferrari collectors.

From technological marvel to modern classic

The Enzo was a technological marvel of its time. Like the Ferrari F50 that preceded it, the Enzo featured technology developed from Formula 1, including a carbon-fiber tub, push-rod suspension, carbon-ceramic brakes, and Ferrari’s 6-speed “F1” automated manual.

The Enzo’s F140B V12. The push-rod suspension can been seen next to the hood prop.

Ferrari developed an all-new 6.0-liter V-12 for the Enzo, which produced an astonishing 660 horsepower, making it the most powerful naturally-aspirated car in the world. Evolutions of this engine would go on to be used in the 599, F12, 812, FF, and GTC4Lusso. It was also combined with an electric motor for the LaFerrari.

Ferrari officially built 399 Enzos for the public with the 400th and final Enzo donated to Pope John Paul II. A year later, Papa’s Enzo was auctioned off to benefit tsunami victims, somehow selling for only $1.1-million. This same car sold in 2015 at Monterey for over $6-million, sans charity. But Enzos that missed out on a blessing from His Holiness have seen similar increases in value. In fact, although Ferrari officially sold the Enzo at $670,000, values on the collector car market never really dropped below $1,000,000.

Part of the reason for the Enzo’s increase appears to be the rising tide of ultra-expensive supercars elsewhere in the hobby. The Bugatti Veyron, for example, debuted a year after Enzo production ceased and created a market for new million-dollar cars.

The king of modern Ferraris

The Enzo’s dominance over other modern Ferraris is harder to explain. Aside from a moment in 2015 when the 288 GTO was top dog, the Enzo has remained the most valuable of Ferrari’s modern halo cars, excepting LaFerrari. Even that modern hypercar, despite being a decade newer and considerably quicker than the Enzo, maintains only a slight edge in value.

Technology isn’t the answer. True, the Enzo’s racing-derived chassis and suspension was highly advanced for the early 2000s. But every Ferrari halo car has been highly advanced for its time. Others have also arguably represented even bigger leaps. The Ferrari 288 GTO and F40 of the 1980s were raw turbocharged wedges that pushed the speed boundary over 200-mph at a time when turbos were cutting edge and 200 was unheard of in a road car. Later, the LaFerrari brought electric motors and hybrid tech into the hypercar picture.

Conversely, the Enzo can’t claim to be the most analog of modern Ferraris. Of the five halo Ferraris, the F50 and Enzo are the only cars powered solely by a naturally-aspirated V-12, but the F50 was offered with a gated 6-speed manual, a feature that collectors have paid more for on other modern Ferraris. Yet a 1996 Ferrari F50 is only worth three-fourths as much as a 2004 Ferrari Enzo.

Production numbers aren’t at play. In fact, the F50 is rarer, as only 359 were produced. And just like the Enzo, it was sold new only to buyers selected by Ferrari (partly as a curb against the sort of speculators who had pushed F40 values to wild heights in the late 1980s).

Appearance could be a factor. Neither the F50 nor the Enzo were considered beautiful in their day, but the Enzo’s edgy lines have arguably aged better than the F50’s ’90s curves.

Perhaps the Enzo’s appeal comes down to, well, Enzo. The car seems to capture a lot of the man’s mystique, with the engine format that made Ferraris famous and conspicuous ties to Formula 1 dominance (the Enzo’s production coincided with the Scuderia’s most successful run since the 1970s).

Perhaps the best evidence of the power of the name Enzo comes from a Maserati. The 2004-05 Maserati MC12 was based on the Enzo and is significantly rarer, but the Maserati is typically insured for 10 percent less than the Enzo.

Long live Enzo

Whatever the reasons, we’re confident that the Enzo will remain a highly collectible Ferrari for years to come. Using insurance quotes as a sign of buying interest and intent, the Enzo gets lots of attention from younger buyers, particularly Gen–Xers. By contrast, the Ferrari F50 gets attention almost exclusively from Baby Boomers, who provide 85 percent of quotes.

Gen–Xers also account for a very high percentage—42 percent—of the buyer pool for the F40, which is, incidentally, the last car Enzo had personal involvement in developing before passing in 1988. We like to think il Commendatore, who would have turned 123 today, would be pleased (but not surprised) to learn his name still matters for Ferrari owners.

Comments

  • Sandra says:

    Great article. Good insight and information. I loved visiting the Ferrari, Maserati factories in Italy. I have had Ferrari’s since 1984 to present day. My favorite sports car.

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