Everyone loves a mystery, and the mystery here is who commissioned this latest one-off Ferrari based on the 488 GTB and dubbed it the SP38? While it’s unknown who the anonymous buyer is, it’s clear the man has nearly as much taste as money — the SP38 is inspired by past Maranello legends such as the Ferrari F40 and the 308.

Just getting a foot in the door is hard enough — for this unique car to even be green-lit, Ferrari requires you to be a pretty serious hoarder of some of its finest wares and only the most discerning collectors qualify for the attention of the company’s Special Projects department.

Hence the name, SP38… Reportedly this kind of Ferrari exclusivity cost somewhere around $3.5 million (Dh12.8 million), for which the buyer got a $250,000 488 GTB and then $3.25m worth of attention.

That means that mechanically this Ferrari SP38 is identical to the standard 488, powered by a 3.9-litre twin-turbocharged V8 producing 670 horsepower and 760Nm of torque, good for zero to 100kph in three seconds and a top speed of 330kph.

The big highlight is of course the body, designed by the Ferrari Design Centre who was tasked by the mystery buyer to take styling cues from the racing world. The result is the SP38’s one-off body, which looks completely different to the standard 488 and comes with details inspired by some of Ferrari’s finest cars.

The team firstly chose to reference the legendary F40, the last car signed off by company founder Enzo Ferrari before his death. Since that was also a turbocharged V8, the SP38 pays homage to this spiritual predecessor with a full-length boxed rear wing that’s reminiscent of the giant, angular wing on the old F40.

Secondly the designers went with headlights styled to be as thin as technically possible, which meant daytime running lights that were moved to a slim upper bumper lip evocative of the Ferrari 308. And as far as styling mishmashes go, you could do a lot worse than a 308 and
an F40.

Compared to the standard 488 the one-off SP38 also comes with more of a cab-forward wedge-look to it without affecting the aerodynamics or the air flow to the intercoolers down the flanks. Best of all, the louvred engine cover is a fantastic interpretation of that Eighties’ trend of slatted rear windows. Again, you’ll note this design feature made it to the plexiglass of the F40 too.

Sure, at SP38 money you could have three extremely nice F40s and money left over for a 488GTB, but where’s the mystery in that.