This prancing horse is so rare it should be called a unicorn. Ferrari officially debuted the Special Projects division's P540 Superfast Aperta at the Cavallino Classic. We got our first taste of this one-off Ferrari back in December, and now owner Edward Walson brought the car to the Breakers resort in Palm Beach, Florida for its first official viewing.
There is more to the P540 than just a minor reskin of a 599 GTB. The 599 donor car is obvious in areas like the headlights and interior, but much of the bodywork is bespoke. The hoodline, targa top, and flat rear deck give the car a presence all to its own. Where the 599’s lines seem to want to push outward, the P540 is sculpted to draw inward. While no one is willing to talk price, it is well-known that it takes more than just ticking an option box on the Ferrari order form to get a car like the P540 built.
One of the largest concerns when the first pictures for the P540 hit the web was the color. For a company that made its name in red, gold seemed like an odd choice. But seeing it in person proves the pictures don’t do the car the correct justice. It’s a luminescent gold that provides a good base color for the black and carbon fiber accent elements. The paint was also not up for debate considering the gold Fantuzzi-bodied Ferrari
featured in Roberto Fellini’s 1968 short film “Toby Dammit” inspirited this car.
The name of the P540 Superfast Aperta is a mixture of fact and history. “540” comes from the engine’s .5 liters per cylinder displacement (620 hp 6.0-liter V12), and 40 years since the Fellini film was released (the car was first commissioned in 2008.) “Superfast” is a name Ferrari last used on an ultra exclusive speciality model in the mid-60s. Finally, “Aperta” means “open”/"window" in Italian -- referring to the targa top.
The P540 does not have the inconsistent quality of a concept car. It’s a street-legal vehicle that runs on its own power. We confirmed this while watching the car being driven off the Breakers’ croquet lawn and into the adjacent parking lot. It wasn’t likely that Walson took the car much further. Although he has a home down the road in Boca Raton, the P540 Superfast Aperta hasn’t finished its tour yet.
Ferrari P540 Superfast Aperta premiere Cavallino