Sheehan Speaks (53)

The Monterey auctions have again redefined the auction world’s segment of the collector car market, and, as usual, Ferraris are in the top tier of cars. Gooding offered 13 Ferraris with one no-sale for a 92% close rate and $40,276,500 in sales. RM had 14 Ferraris on offer, with all selling for a 100% close rate and $30,954,000 in sales. Mecum had 18 Ferraris on offer with three no-sales, for a 67% close rate with $2,025,130 in sales. Russo and Steele had 17 Ferraris on offer with seven no-sales for a 50% sold rate and $1,431,100. Bonhams had five Ferraris…
The 2007 Ferrari 599 at the Cavallino Classic concours that year, before it later became the object of an elaborate scam attempt Our story begins with 2007 Ferrari 599 s/n 150098, the 26th U.S. model 599 built, in Grigio Silverstone with Bordeaux leather and heavily optioned with carbon ceramic brakes, luggage, carbon upper and lower interior, steering wheel with carbon and LEDs, electric Recaro seats and more. As one of the first 599s in the United States, this car was shown at the Cavallino Classic Concours d’Elegance, in Palm Beach, FL, in January 2007. The window sticker was a hefty…
We all know that the planet went into recession in 2007 — and fell off the proverbial economic cliff on September 15, 2008, when Lehman Brothers was thrown into bankruptcy. The Dow dropped 500 points on that day — and then even further. Banks and businesses failed, and the gloom set in. Many markets slowed or froze. In the collector car market, both buyers and sellers went into hibernation for the remainder of 2008 and stayed in hibernation through 2009. All markets eventually turn, and in my April 2010 column “250 GTO Sets Ferrari Record at $26m” (April 2010, p.…
We continually have older Ferraris in pre-sale or pre-purchase inspection and stay involved in the follow-up work or additional work requested by clients. There isn’t a day that goes by without hearing of ongoing parts problems from the many shops we deal with. Federal law requires all manufacturers to supply replacement parts for 10 years after production ends, but when those 10 years are up, look out. Long lists of computer and electrical components, injection-molded rubber, and plastic body trim parts have already become unobtainable. Modern Ferraris have Bosch engine management and ABS computers with TRW-built airbags, all cross-managing a…

Just Used Cars

Written by July 2011
I am often asked why I don’t traffic in or write about more Fiat-era cars, such as the 308s, 328s, 348s and the 400s, BBs and TRs. The answer is simple. One of the great realities all Ferrari dealers and brokers know all too well is that the brain-damage factor—from both the buyer and the seller—is inversely proportional to the value of the car. Simply put, there is far more frustration and time killed in selling a $30k Ferrari 308 than in selling a $300k Ferrari Daytona. It also doesn’t take a Harvard MBA to realize there’s a far larger…
1971 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 I’ve been selling Enzo-era cars since there were only Enzo-era cars. It is both interesting and telling that the Enzo-era cars (built from 1947 to 1974) closely parallel my age group—the all-too-rapidly aging Baby-Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964). When it comes to age, much like the Baby-Boomers, almost all of the Enzo-era cars are now on the wrong side of the big “4-0.”The daily morning look in the mirror reminds us of the passage of time, from thinning hair to the morning’s aches and pains. Alas, many owners of older Ferraris choose to be in…
This month’s column focuses on three related points. First, I do a lot of expert-witness work, so I’m consulted on many horrifically wrecked Ferraris, which is very sobering. I also get emails from Ferrari Internet chat groups monitoring  the relatively new trend of punitive traffic fines in Europe and Canada. Finally, because I drive most of the modern Ferraris, I’m all too aware just how staggeringly fast today’s supercars are relative to real-world speeds. Let’s explore each of these topics, with my goals being that I testify fewer times each month, and that we see fewer owners lose their licenses…
If several well-heeled buyers want the same car on the same day, a very high price can be the result For classic car lovers escaping the winter snows, it doesn’t get any better than this year’s Scottsdale auctions, with collectors spending $159.6m to buy about 2,300 cars. As always, Barrett-Jackson was the big player with sales at $68.5m, Gooding sold $35m, while RM was close behind with $31m in sales. Russo and Steele sold a respectable $20m while Silver Auctions sold $3.7m and new kid on the block MotoeXotica sold $1.3m. This year’s total easily beat the $126m in sales…
The air conditioning was off, but the tropical sun was not, so the Ferraris and McLaren F1s sat and cooked Prince Jefri’s 550 Spider at Monaco Imagine seeing hundreds of high-end Ferraris, Lamborghinis and McLarens—many with hardly any miles on the odometer—rotting away in tropical heat and humidity. While much has been written of the Sultan of Brunei’s car collection—and there are no lack of spy photos of the collection on the Internet—the estimated 2,500 cars are actually not the Sultan’s. They were the property of Prince Jefri, the Sultan’s third brother. As the Minister of Finance for Brunei (until…
My column takes a slightly different tack this month, as SCMer Aaron Greenburg sent in this letter asking for some advice on a 1988 Ferrari 328: I’m interested in trying to put a value on a Ferrari 328 that I inspected the other day. The car in question is a 1988 targa, white over black, and I’d describe it as being in “rough driver” condition, which means: I spotted a lot of bodywork, some paint runs, blends, and white paint in some of the wrong spots (as in the underside of the spare tire well lid). The suspension bushings are…
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