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Billionaires revved up by one-of-a-kind Ferrari

China’s growing band of status-conscious multimillionaires will get a chance to show off the extent of their wealth when a unique Ferrari comes up for auction in Beijing next week.

But the winning bidder will have to dig deep to claim the bragging rights because the car in question – a 599 GTB Fiorano China Limited Edition – is literally one of a kind.

The Ferrari sports a head-turning, trompe l’œil paint job that draws inspiration from a famous style of porcelain produced during the Song Dynasty (AD960-AD1279).

The hand-painted celadon green-coloured "cracked-glaze" exterior finish is the work of Lu Hao, one of China’s most successful avante-garde artists.

(The inspiration for the Ferrari colour is, by the way, a little more highbrow than one used by Toyota for its new concept sports car unveiled at the Tokyo motor show last week. The carmaker’s chief engineer has admitted that the distinctive watermelon red used on the FT-86 takes its cue from the colour of a Japanese monkey’s bum.)

Lu, who is also a Ferrari owner, has customised another 11 of the 599 China Limited Edition’s cars but only the 12th has the distinctive cracked-glaze exterior finish.

The cars also have a number of exclusive interior features, including a carved jade starter button, a rev-counter inscribed in ancient Chinese characters and a luggage set featuring motifs of the Silk Road.