Rare Rides: The 2009 Ferrari 599 GTZ Nibbio Spyder, by Zagato

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis

Today marks the second time we’ll feature a Ferrari 599 on Rare Rides. While our first example was a standard GTB with a very questionable color palette, today’s 599 was transformed by Italian coachbuilder Zagato into a very different-looking car.

Rare Rides is no stranger to Zagato-bodied vehicles and has featured the company’s designs on older Ferraris, newer Aston Martins, a Lancia, a Nissan, and an Alfa Romeo. Today’s Ferrari marks the first convertible Zagato seen here. The GTZ started out in life as a 599 GTB, Ferrari’s GT offering that was available from model years 2007 through 2012. Designed by Pininfarina, the 599 had a traditional V12 upfront, driven wheels at the rear, and questionable styling in the middle. Time will tell if the 599 becomes a design classic, but those are tall odds.

Zagato has a history of dabbling in Ferrari styling that dates back to the late Forties with the 1100 Panoramica Zagato, though many of its Ferrari designs never made it past the drawing board. Fortunes changed for Zagato more recently, as wealthy collectors once again began to seek out bespoke designs for their high-end sports cars, no longer satisfied with boring and basic factory looks.

And so it was with the 599, as a customer approached Zagato with a request for a retro-look aftermarket edit. The resulting design was the Nibbio and intended to recall coachbuilt sports cars from the Fifties and Sixties. The 599’s creased front end was fully restyled, replaced by smoothness and rounded vintage-style shapes. Those smooth lines concluded in a high, simplified rear deck area, with a double bubble in the roof for coupe versions. That particular detail was moved to the trunk lid on the Spyder, as Zagato would rework either body style of 599. Owners needed only provide their 599 of choice, as well as the requisite funds.

The Nibbio project was very limited in production, and Zagato built six Spyders and nine coupes. Each one was a custom order, so no two were quite the same in their color theme. Today’s example was not finished until January 2020 and was based on a low mileage 2009 GTB from Switzerland. It was auctioned in February 2021 and was expected to bring around $1.9 million.

[Images: YouTube]

Corey Lewis
Corey Lewis

Interested in lots of cars and their various historical contexts. Started writing articles for TTAC in late 2016, when my first posts were QOTDs. From there I started a few new series like Rare Rides, Buy/Drive/Burn, Abandoned History, and most recently Rare Rides Icons. Operating from a home base in Cincinnati, Ohio, a relative auto journalist dead zone. Many of my articles are prompted by something I'll see on social media that sparks my interest and causes me to research. Finding articles and information from the early days of the internet and beyond that covers the little details lost to time: trim packages, color and wheel choices, interior fabrics. Beyond those, I'm fascinated by automotive industry experiments, both failures and successes. Lately I've taken an interest in AI, and generating "what if" type images for car models long dead. Reincarnating a modern Toyota Paseo, Lincoln Mark IX, or Isuzu Trooper through a text prompt is fun. Fun to post them on Twitter too, and watch people overreact. To that end, the social media I use most is Twitter, @CoreyLewis86. I also contribute pieces for Forbes Wheels and Forbes Home.

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3 of 8 comments
  • Lightspeed Lightspeed on Mar 12, 2021

    Zagato is the most hit-and-miss of the Italian carrozzeria, this one is a hit.

  • Salguod Salguod on Mar 13, 2021

    Why did rare rides stop showing pictures of the actual rare ride in question and instead showing pictures of similar vehicles? In this case all the pictures here are a red coupe, the car for sale is a silver convertible.

    • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Mar 13, 2021

      Corey is no longer allowed to use pictures from the seller's listing.

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