Iconoclast

The one-off P4/5 Competizione reinvents the dual-purpose Ferrari.

July 2, 2011
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This may just be the coolest Ferrari the factory never built. It’s both a road car and a race car, which is appropriate since it’s an amalgam of a road-going Ferrari and a track-only Ferrari. There’s a third Prancing Horse mixed in, as well, this one a special project built by Pininfarina. All of this Maranello madness comes together under a new name: the P4/5 Competizione.

The P4/5C is the brainchild of New Yorker Jim Glickenhaus, who in 2005 commissioned its predecessor, the Ferrari P4/5 by Pininfarina. That car was, essentially, an Enzo rebodied by Pininfarina as a modern-day 330 P3/4, Ferrari’s famous 1960s sports racer. Designed by Jason Castriota, then the company’s head of design, and developed by special projects director Paolo Garella, the P4/5 appeared at Pebble Beach in ’06 and won an award at Villa d’Este the following year.

Despite its competition inspiration, the P4/5 is strictly a road car. However, Glickenhaus dreamed of seeing it race. “Wouldn’t it be great to take this to Le Mans?” he asked Garella after driving the car in the 2006 Targa Florio Historic road rally. While the question was rhetorical at the time, it later led to the creation of the P4/5C. But the venue would not be Le Mans, the car wouldn’t be based on an Enzo and neither Ferrari nor Pininfarina would be involved in its construction.

THE P4/5C PROJECT BEGAN in June 2009, when Glickenhaus contracted Garella, who had since left Pininfarina, and started looking for a race to enter. He soon decided on the 24 Hours of the Nürburgring, which in 2010 saw 250 cars roaring around a 15.2-mile combination of the infamous Nordschleife and the modern Grand Prix circuit for a full day.

“It is one of the great motor races, run on an incredible course that manufacturers use to measure and define their sports cars, and 250,000 people come to watch,” said Glickenhaus. “The organizers were very excited to find a way to enable me to build a one-off race car, and they even had an experimental class for us: E1-XP2.”

With the venue verified, it was time to construct the car. Glickenhaus initially wanted to start with a 333 SP sports racer, but found that the ’Ring organizers wouldn’t allow a carbon-fiber chassis. He then focused on another Ferrari with a proven race record: the F430 GT2, which, in addition to winning the GT2 class at Le Mans in 2008 and ’09, had finished second overall at the Nürburgring 24-hour race in 2010.

Glickenhaus soon purchased an F430 GT2, which would donate its engine, gearbox and more to the project. However, since the P4/5C was going to be street-legal at some point, a second Ferrari had to be brought into the mix.

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