It’s been at least six years since I last drove a Ferrari 575M Maranello. The front-engined, V12 grand tourer went out of production in 2006 when it was replaced by the 599 GTB Fiorano, but the 575M and its 550 Maranello predecessor remain right at the top of my personal list of all-time favourite Ferraris (that I’ve driven).

So it’s a real treat to have the chance to climb back behind the wheel of one at Rockingham Motor Speedway and remember what a deeply desirable car the 575M was, and still is.

Our black 05-plate test car is no ‘ordinary’ 575M, either. As part of the Ferrari Approved used car scheme, it has been subjected to an extraordinarily rigorous set of checks and returned to such immaculate condition that it can now be sold with a full, official 12-month Ferrari warranty.

Ferrari Approved in pics

Although it’s getting on for five years old, the 575M’s Nero Daytona paintwork and Crema leather interior look like they belong to a brand new Ferrari – even when you start to look closely. In short, it’s gorgeous – the epitome of an exotic front-engined GT.

Ferrari Approved was introduced in the UK in 2007 but is now being rolled out across Europe, the objective being to provide a consistent standard of used cars for Ferrari buyers and let them enjoy the same experience they would get if they were buying a new car.