1989 Ferrari 328 Conciso one-off to be sold without reserve at Bonhams Chantilly auction

1989 Ferrari 328 Conciso one-off to be sold without reserve at Bonhams Chantilly auction

THE CHANTILLY SALE - 10 Sep 2017, 11:00 CEST

Frankfurt 1993 and Geneva 1994 Motor Show car
1989 Ferrari 328 Conciso Concept Car
Coachwork by Michalak
Chassis no. ZFF WA20B000080962

•Unique hand-built concept car of extraordinary design
•Believed genuine circa 9,700 kilometres from new
•Outstandingly original condition
•Well documented with original publicity material
•Useable and road legal (EU registered)

There can be few - if any - Italian coachbuilders of note who have not, at some time in the course of the past 70 years, run a tape measure over a Ferrari chassis intent on creating something spectacular. This fascination with the Maranello marque has resulted in some sublime successes, and a few notable failures, but none of the multitude of home-produced efforts can match the Conciso for sheer audacity and imagination.

Constructed in 1993 using a 'low-mileage' 1989 Ferrari 328 GTS as the basis, the Conciso (in Italian the word means 'concise, to the point') is the work of the Bernd Michalak Design Studio of Mainz, a company long-established in the field of prototype development, chiefly for the German automobile industry. According to Michalak, function and enthusiasm are combined more perfectly in the sports car than any other automobile; function being defined as 'aerodynamics, light weight, balance, and power' and enthusiasm as 'styling, performance, and creative imagination'.

In the Michalak design philosophy, a sports car should be 'athletic, not an extra ounce', and there's no denying that this is exemplified brilliantly by the minimalist Conciso. Crafted in lightweight aluminium alloy, the car's striking, wedge-shaped, open-topped coachwork puts function first, yet manages to be supremely stylish nonetheless. Almost a 'two-seater Grand Prix car', the mid-engined Conciso dispenses with such luxuries as doors - the occupants step in over the sides - and there's no weather or roll-over protection either. Instead, the driver and passenger are expected to wear crash helmets, and these are kept stowed in fitted bins on either side of the car.

The standard Ferrari 3.2-litre, 270bhp, V8 engine and five-speed transaxle are retained, and the running gear too remains unaltered; though with weight pruned by over 30%, performance is greatly enhanced: 0-100km/h in around five seconds and a top speed of 278km/h being claimed.

When finished, the Conciso was registered in Michalak's name and presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1993 and at the Geneva Motor Show in 1994. Michalak has said that his idea was that the Conciso would serve as a 'three dimensional business card for the company'. He sold the Ferrari soon after its second outing in Geneva, and the car went to North America with a prominent private collector.

In March 1998, the Conciso was sold by Brooks at its Geneva auction (Lot 296) with some 9,000 kilometres recorded. The current owner was able to buy the Ferrari after the auction, in July 1999, and thus this dramatic show car found its way to Belgium. The owner was captivated by the Conciso's style and, being a real enthusiast, has kept it in excellent original condition; the car has been driven only rarely, and has been proudly displayed in his living room for many years.

In 2014, the Ferrari was taken out solely for the purpose of obtaining road-registration on the personalised numberplate 'CONCISO' (not included in the sale). At the same time the cam belts were changed, tyres renewed, and a major service carried out.

The owner has been invited to show the Conciso at numerous events, but only on very few occasions has it left home. However, a few months ago the Conciso was kindly invited to the Ferrari 70th Anniversary celebrations in the famous Brussels Autoworld Museum, where it has been on temporary display for two months.

Accompanying documentation consists of Michalak's original brochure, period photographs, and original drawings of the design; a copy of the 1993 Fahrzeugbrief in Michalak's name; the 1998 Brooks catalogue; email correspondence with Bernd Michalak; and Belgian registration papers (2014). The car also comes with a tonneau cover and two original helmets.

A possibly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own a unique piece of the 'Prancing Horse' story.