If you follow the world of collectible Ferrari models, you’ll know that examples with a manual transmission — which were rare from the factory, near the end — are commanding a massive premium over cars equipped with the "F1" automatic transmission. Indeed, people have done some crazy things for stick-shift Ferrari models, including pay twice the going rate for one — or, in this case, swap over a manual into an automatic car.
The vehicle you see here is a 2007 Ferrari 599 GTB that’s relatively similar to other 2007 Ferrari 599 GTB models, except that it started life as an automatic, and it now has a manual. This is actually doable with the right skill set and parts: Back then, Ferrari automatic transmissions were sequential manual units, meaning they were just stick-shift models with an automated clutch. Conversion is a challenge, but not an impossibility, as it would be on dual-clutch vehicles of today.
Better yet, conversion can happen using entirely factory parts, since Ferrari made some (albeit, very few) manual-equipped 599 models. As a result, a skillful worker can remove the shift paddles, stick in a manual transmission lever, install a clutch pedal in the driver footwell, solve all the problems under the hood, and have precisely the transmission that’s been so desirable in the last few years.
The question, of course, is: What price is the market willing to pay for a non-factory manual? This particular 599 GTB is listed with 4,400 miles by Boardwalk Ferrari in the Dallas area for $449,000, which is well outside the range of a regular 599 — but it’s hardly a regular 599. Just how special someone thinks it is — and thus how much they’re willing to pay — remains to be seen.
Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.