Richard Hammond is a man that lives life on the edge. Former presenter of Top Gear and now host of The Grand Tour alongside Clarkson and May, Hammond’s car history is a rich and varied list, but it turns out there’s one car in particular that he really regrets selling.
As part of a video for DRIVETRIBE, Richard Hammond – along with Harry Metcalfe – was reunited with his old Ferrari 550 Maranello. What was once a dream car for Hammond turned into one of his biggest regrets, as he explained.
Even as the car pulls into the shot, Hammond is already feeling the pain, exclaiming “I don’t want to see it, I don’t want to see it!”
Asked about the first memory that hits him upon seeing the 550 for the first time in years, there was only one answer. “Sadly, I can’t help it… it’s the day I had to get rid of it” said Hammond.
By contrast, Harry (of Harry’s Garage) said his first memory was “the day I bought it” showing the difference between their experiences.
Richard Hammond’s Ferrari 550 Maranello
Hammond reminisces about how he used to park it up, then look back at it and go “is that really mine?” After much discussion about the pros and cons of the 550 as a daily driver, Richard reveals why he had to sell it.
Casting his mind back to Top Gear days, he said after parking up the Ferrari, a colleague pointed out a tiny leak under the car. Unfortunately, since the V12 550 Maranello is so costly to maintain, what ran through his head was “that piece of oil, could signify my utter [financial] ruin!”
Maintenance costs were the least of his issues though, as there were more pressing family matters to attend to. Having moved house from Wales to Buckinghamshire, the Hammond family decided they didn’t like their new home, and moved back to their original Wales house.
Sadly, this meant that Richard owed the landlord of the Buckinghamshire house six months rent, which, in his words, amounted to “what [the 550] was worth… it had to go.”
Revealing he still loves the car, Hammond said “I still love the thing, it has a majesty to it, a might… it’s a beautiful thing!”
Asked if he wants the car left with him instead of going back to auction, his response was “I’m having an extension built at home… do you want to phone my wife? Ugh… I can’t let somebody buy it!”
While it’s unknown if Hammond did buy the car back in the end, he was seemingly conflicted about whether to or not. We imagine if he did end up purchasing the car from the auction, it’s only a matter of time before it’s revealed to the world.