A holiday dream come true for well-heeled Ferrari
fan Edward Walson, this uniquely individualized spyder was penned by Pininfarina and constructed at the factory in Maranello. Officially dubbed the P540 Superfast Aperta, its look and color were inspired by another custom Ferrari created by Carrozzeria Fantuzzi for a little-known 1968 Federico Fellini film entitled "Toby Dammit" -- itself inspired by an Edgar Allan Poe short story. Built for the son of the man who invented cable TV, the P540 Superfast Aperta is just the second vehicle to be made under the aegis of Ferrari's Special Projects program. It's based on a standard 599 GTB Fiorano and retains that car's 611-horsepower V12 and F1-style six-speed paddle-shifted dual-clutch transmission. Ferrari says the P540 went from sketch stage to finished product in 14 months, with input from Watson at every key stage of development. Although the transition from closed to open status required a substantial amount of internal reinforcement to the 599's structure, extensive advanced computer modeling and large amounts of carbon fiber ensured that the P540 maintained the proper degree of rigidity and helped keep its weight gain to a mere 45 pounds. To the surprise of no one, Walson proclaimed it to be "the most special Christmas present of my life" when he took delivery of his ultimate automotive creation at Ferrari's legendary Fiorano test track last week.