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Monday, December 19, 2016

Ferrari celebrates 50 years in Japan with Limited Edition J50

I’ve never really been a true fan of the exotic supercar—mostly because I knew I would never, ever own one… so why waste my time mooning over it?

I do moon over automobiles that I have a shot (a very slim shot, mind you) of one day purchasing for myself, like a 1961 Ford Thunderbird Convertible (in Candy Apple Red), or a 1956 Chevrolet Nomad station wagon (in Inca Silver) or a 1970 Mercury Cougar (in deep purple). I have always loved me some cougar.

I’m the kindda guy who when he was a kid, would watch NASCAR, Indy 500, the NHRA dragster and funny car races on television every single chance he got. I even bought some NHRA trading cards.

I also used to buy Matchbox cars—when they actually came in a small matchstick-like box, Lesney’s and Corgi’s too. But what really set my heart a-pumping was the introduction of Hot Wheels… racing cars, hot rods and exotics in the most amazing colors one could imagine… and cars with that very cool thing red stripe along the sidewall of the tires. I still have all my old play cars. Very much played with.

I loved sports cars - rumor has it that I was conceived in the back seat of a Fiat while my parents were honeymooning in Italy. It must be why I love Chef Boyardee

My dad had a ’67 Ford Mustang, metallic navy blue, for our first automobile in Canada. It was awesome. That thing got hit seven times in seven separate accidents—none of them my dad’s fault (apparently). I can recall having just turned seven and in the back seat of the Mustang, stopped at a gas station taking on fuel. My mom and then one-month-old brother were in the back as well, as my dad was outside pumping the gas… when he suddenly screamed “Look out!” as a car that had been parked about 30 feet away came screaming at us in reverse and plowed into the back of our car - shaking everyone up, but otherwise being the final nail in the coffin (accident #7)… my dad believing (with ample dents and damages) to prove the damned thing was cursed.

Anyhow… seeing as how I was likely conceived in Italy, and literally became a man in Japan, it seems appropriate enough that I write about Ferrari celebrating its 50th year in Japan with the very limited edition J50, that unfortunately you are going to have to be a very, very rich  person to own one.  

Based on the 488 GTB Spider, the J50 was recently launched in Tokyo… and is a targa-topped throwback to legendary Ferrari's from the 1970s and 80s. It was designed in Maranello, Italy and built by Ferrari Special Projects – the team responsible for Eric Clapton's SP12 EC (He designed his own effing Ferrari.

Only 10 J50 Ferrari will be built… to celebrate 50 years? Shouldn’t they have built 50?
NO! Of course not… that’s why Ferrari is Ferrari, and I was conceived in the backseat of a FIAT.

For the J50, Ferrari assures me that no two of the 10 cars will be the same because the owners - yes, they are already gobbled up - will work directly with Ferrari to get the little things they want put in the car.

It's not as special as you might think... have you ever bought a car? Did you get to choose what materials are used on the car's interior? Leather, cloth, wood-grain? On the Ferrari, it'll just be some very expensive material. Same with color... you get to choose your color.

This is only impressive if the owner wants to have one in fuchsia, aubergine or chartreuse. Don't judge me because I'm a straight man who knows his colors.

My son, who is now 11, gushed when I showed him photos of the J50, and told me that it looked a lot like the Ferrari 488 GTB Spider.

I laughed at how he knew that. Blows my mind. Kid can't recall what he did in school that day, but knows that this 10 car limited edition J50 looks a lot like a 488 GTB Spider.

The car does look like a Ferrari, so I'm told. I was always a fan of the 308 and 318 - the Magnum PI Ferrari's. There's a black line running around the nose and up to the base of the windows, which Hudson says looks like an F40.

Sure, I said... so I looked it up, and damned if he wasn't correct.

He did not know, however, that the wraparound front window and windows were designed to look like aero windows that were on the 1950s Ferrari racing cars. So I guess I can stop being scared that he's moving to Italy next week to work for the car company. I don't know what aero windows are.

Anyhow, look at the back of the Ferrari... see how you can see the engine? Cool... it has a clear engine cover.

There's also the cool rear spoiler, and diffuser that looks like a jet airplane's afterburners...
This is the F430... but I'm using it to show off the diffuser located directly under the license plate... kindda looks like home plate in baseball... 
Tail lights... similar in style to a Ferrari GTCF Lusso (it looks like an old Mazda RX7), moving away from the 488 GTB's brilliant twin taillight.

The J50 is powered by a specific 690 cv version of the 3.9-litre V8 that won the overall International Engine of the Year Award this year.

 The new Ferrari also boats a new set of unique forges alloy wheels.

The interior is pretty new looking, but it's not as over the top as one might expect. It comes with unique sports seats and a three-tone trim.

All driving controls remain on the steering wheel.

The J50 was introduced and launched in Tokyo on December 13, 2016, and is finished in a special shade of three-layer red with a red-over-black interior trimmed in fine leather and Alcantara.

So... how much does the new Ferrari limited edition J50 cost?

Ferrari hasn't released that information, but never has it been more true that "if you have to ask how much..."

Andrew Joseph

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