Dutch coachbuilder Niels van Roij Design delved into an obscure chapter in Ferrari history to transform a 550 Maranello into a one-off shooting brake called Breadvan Homage. Built at the request of a collector, the model is a modern version of the 1962 250 GT-based Breadvan race car and also limited to one copy.
Ferrari is also happy to answer requests from wealthy customers, but it wanted nothing to do with the original Breadvan, so it’s fitting that an outside coachbuilder was commissioned to take the design into the 21st century. Founder Niels van Roij explained that he wanted to revisit the original without copying it.
Stylists have completely redesigned the front end, most notably adding a new look bumper, vents and a domed hood, but the 550 Maranello genes haven’t been completely muted. It’s a different story at the rear, where the roofline remains almost flat until it breaks abruptly at an angle of nearly 90 degrees. Like the original, the modern Breadvan carries four separate round tail lights, quad exhaust tips that protrude well from the body and a glass rear window.
“It was quite a complex project altogether. For example, putting the essence of the Breadvan aesthetic on top of a completely different base vehicle,” Van Roij told Autoblog. He added that the hardest part was getting the small details just right. For example, he pointed to the windows, which have fake closing lines that match those of the original car. Nailing the proportions when changing the roof was also a challenge.
Inside, the bodybuilder installed carbon fiber sports seats, wrapped in blue upholstery and milled aluminum switches. Quilted black leather upholstery and hand-hammered aluminum trim add a touch of 1960s racing-inspired flair to the interior. However, none of these styling cues would look good without a gated shifter. Fortunately, the 550 Maranello was one of the last cars Ferrari offered with a six-speed manual transmission.
Van Roij told us his team hasn’t made any major mechanical changes to the donor chassis, meaning the power comes from a naturally aspirated 5.5-liter V8 that develops 478 horsepower and 419 pound-feet of torque. It exhales through a hand-crafted exhaust system and it spins the rear wheels through the aforementioned six-speed manual gearbox. Koni designed a unique set of shock absorbers especially for the Breadvan, so the handling must be sharp.
We don’t know who ordered the Breadvan, or what’s next. It may spend the rest of its days in a heated garage, tucked away from the public’s view, or it may appear outside of fancy restaurants every now and then. It could also have been commissioned by a bakery planning to use it to deliver bread – who knows?