31 of 50 – 2005 Maserati MC12

view-gallery-link

630 bhp, 5,998 cc DOHC 65-degree V-12 engine, six-speed Cambriocorsa paddle-shift transmission, front and rear suspension with double wishbones, steel dampers, and coaxial coils and springs, and four-wheel Brembo cross-drilled and ventilated disc brakes. Wheelbase: 110.2 in.

  • The Italian supercar…perfected!
  • Maserati FIA GT racing pedigree and design…for the road!
  • The 31st of only 50 examples built; unquestionably one of the finest in existence
  • Two owners and less than 770 kilometers from new
  • One of the most stylish designs of the modern era

Can one improve upon the Ferrari Enzo?

This was the question Maserati faced when they decided to produce their own supercar. As Maserati was again coming into its own in the early 2000s, the company looked to make waves in the industry with an incredible, world-beating machine. Like Ferrari, Maserati was owned by Fiat S.p.A., so it only made sense for them to utilize the platform of the incredible 2002 Enzo, the gold standard of supercars, to their advantage. But the question was, how could they improve upon a car that was already so spectacular in all regards?

Beginning with Enzo underpinnings, Frank Stephenson swathed the MC12 in its own unique bodywork. The design shared little of that of the Enzo and offered the car a look and character that were dramatically all its own. Furthermore, the MC12 featured a removable hardtop, allowing its driver to get that much closer to the sound and fury of the car’s incredible engine, which sat just inches behind their fortunate ears. Thanks to its newer proportions and especially large rear spoiler, the MC12 also created more downforce than an Enzo. It was only natural that it would be geared towards racing.

Unlike the Enzo, Maserati campaigned the MC12 in the FIA’s GT and GT1 World Championship series and saw considerable success. The MC12 helped Vitaphone racing secure five consecutive Team Championships and a sixth for the first season of GT1 in 2010. Additionally, Maserati won the Manufacturer’s Cup in 2005 and 2007 and six Drivers’ Championships, four in the FIA GT Championship from 2006 to 2009, one for the 2006 Italian GT Championship, and another within the newly formed FIA GT1 class in 2010.

NUMBER 31 OF 50

As was the case at Ferrari with the Enzo, Maserati essentially hand-selected the MC12’s original owners, limiting them to the most loyal supporters of the factory. Among those was the late Benny Caiola, a well-known New York-based enthusiast and collector of Italian supercars, to whom the MC12 offered here was originally delivered, which he in turn had federalized for use as a street car in the U.S.

The MC12 created a clamor among Maserati enthusiasts to own what was, unequivocally, the greatest road going automobile that the company had ever built, as well as Maserati’s first mid-engined street-legal car. The company had intended for the car to make an impact, and it did so, in true Ferrari fashion, by strictly limiting the number that would be built to only 25 cars. Each vehicle was hand-finished, with exacting attention to detail, and finished in a brilliant two-tone blue and white color scheme. However, apparently the urging of customers proved too much for Maserati to resist. Looking to not only please their demanding customers but also to celebrate the car’s racing success, Maserati eventually produced a second run of 25 cars, for a total of a still very limited 50 examples.

Mr. Caiola was well known for driving his cars on the track and in various events with skill and vigor, including his Ferrari FXX in the company’s Corse Clienti program. He could no doubt handle the car’s 6.0-liter V-12 and 630 horsepower with ease, hence why Maserati selected him for the MC12. However, this MC12 saw little road use and was instead often shown at various concours events, even taking Best in Class honors at the Manhasset Concours d’Elegance in 2007. It was always subject to the best of care while in Mr. Caiola’s ownership, including proper and routine service, ensuring that it would remain “like-new” throughout. Caiola intended his prized example, the 31st of 50, to be preserved exactly as it had come from the factory for future generations to appreciate and enjoy.

Following Mr. Caiola’s unfortunate and untimely passing, the current and only second owner acquired the MC12 through Autosport Designs, of Huntington Station, New York, in 2011. He has continued the process of preservation and regular service that had been started by his predecessor. From the time of purchase, the MC12 has traveled under 40 kilometers, all from transit and the occasional short drive to ensure that everything remains in proper running condition. Most recently, Maserati of Central Florida completed an engine-out service in 2013, which involved replacing the clutch, and the MC12 has accumulated just over 10 kilometers since; as a result, it remains ready to drive at a moment’s notice. The MC12 is accompanied by a complete set of books, its proper car cover, and service records from its current ownership.

The MC12, undoubtedly the most desirable and most exciting car Maserati has produced to date, not only gave Maserati a firm foothold in the supercar arena, but it also reintroduced the Trident to international racing with exceptional results. As a result, it is also one of the most significant modern Italian supercars.

Furthermore, as superb examples of the Ferrari Enzo, of which 400 were produced, have rocketed past the $3-million mark, one should consider that the MC12 is substantially rarer still. The model, with only 50 examples built, is statistically faster around a race track, and very importantly, it offers open-top motoring. This car’s offering, with 767 original kilometers on its odometer, marks an almost unbelievably attractive opportunity, not only for the driving enthusiast but also for the collector in search of rarity and value. Add to all that the distinguished provenance and documented care and service that came from Benny Caiola’s ownership, and the astute motorist is left with a desirable supercar, one with a portfolio that is nothing short of perfect.

Click HERE to view the FULL GALLERY (47 Photos)

Text by RM Sotheby’s

Photos by Patrick Ernzen courtesy of RM Sotheby’s