Convertible Assets Indeed

Throughout the week of March 12-17, the demise of Bear Stearns sent a shudder through the world’s economy. If, like me, you consider The Economist fun reading, and you survived the 1974 and 1979 gas crisis and the 1980-85, 1990-95, and NASDAQ 2000 recessions, it’s been all-too-predictable. The U.S. economy went wrong again. So what, now what?
This mess started about 1998, when real estate, hammered by the 1990-95 recession, looked like a bargain. Wall Street, eager for higher Read More

What Emerging Markets?

The flow of Ferraris to the U.S. began in October 1948 with Tommy Lee’s purchase of 166 MM Barchetta s/n 0002M at the Turin Auto Show, quickly followed by Briggs Cunningham’s purchase of 166 Spyder Corsa s/n 016 that November. For the next 60 years, Ferraris have gone back and forth between Europe and the U.S., moved by currency swings, economic booms and busts, smog laws, and ever-growing racing events. Over the last few years, there has been a slow Read More

Crunching Ferrari’s Global Numbers

Decades ago, when negotiating with bankers for our first seven-figure credit line, I was asked, “What is the annual global Ferrari market, in both dollars and cars?” While I’ve long since forgotten the figures for that period, it was an interesting exercise to calculate then, as it is today.
We start by breaking Ferrari sales into two categories, first the primary or “new car” market, controlled by Ferrari SpA through their allocations to dealers worldwide. For 2007, that number Read More

Where Are Ferrari’s Future Classics?

One of the frequent questions that crosses my desk is “Which current Ferraris will become classics like the Lusso, 275 GTB, or any of the collectible earlier Ferraris?” Sadly, the answer is very few, if any.

Win on Domenica, sell on Lunedi

From the first Ferraris built in 1947, the Ferrari reputation was built on wins at the Mille Miglia, the Targa Florio, the Tour de France, Le Mans, and other races. Almost every early Ferrari was a V12 one-off, Read More

A Dose of Reality in Your Ferrari Dreams

Recently, one early-morning caller wanted an “F1 Ferrari.” That afternoon, another emailed wanting “a race car,” and a later caller wanted either a 246 GTS or a 550. While buying a Ferrari is an inexact science, I start by explaining that all Ferraris are in some way “mission specific.”
To the first-time buyer who wanted a Ferrari F1 car, I simply asked “Why?” and followed with a series of questions:

    • “Have you every driven a Formula car Read More

Death by Storage

The daily drama of selling older Ferraris provides a constant supply of material for this column, as the same set of problems endlessly repeat themselves in slightly varying scenarios. Rather than continually go through the same explanations, it’s often easier simply to tell people, “Stand by, and I’ll email you one of my columns that should answer your questions.”

At 20 years you start over

But here’s a new subject, related tangentially to the topic discussed ad nauseam-deferred maintenance. Part Read More

Opening Pandora’s Black Box

A subscriber recently wrote, worrying about future maintenance costs of late model Ferraris: “My only fear is the outdated computer-controlled systems and the way obsolescence will drive maintenance sky-high for such systems. At least the vintage V12s don’t suffer ECU and “black box” syndrome!” While computer systems will certainly be problematic, our subscriber had merely opened Pandora’s box to the long list of potential problems the future will bring to all late-model exotic-car owners.

Computer problems loom

Modern Ferraris have Read More

Collecting Ferraris for Art’s Sake

To the aficionado, Ferraris have always been industrial art, the pinnacle of technology and styling of their era. Many of my clients have described their Ferraris as user-friendly interactive art. In the last decade, auctioneers and collectors have created a new world of art buyers intertwined with Ferrari buyers.
Most auction houses sell art in the form of paintings or sculptures, so they know how the game is played, and many high-end Ferrari collectors are also art collectors. With Read More

Banking on Ferraris

One doesn’t have to be Fed czar Ben Bernanke’s tennis partner to know the world’s economic markets are volatile, but how does that relate to the present and future Ferrari market?
As aspiring Ferrari-socio-economists, we always look at the past to gaze into the future. Let’s begin with the first fuel crisis of late 1973. As a gallon of gas went from $.33 to $1, exotic cars went from being desirable to just “Who cares?” stupid. Near-new Daytonas, Dinos, Read More

4-Seat Supercars

Most 456 owners go straight to the 30,000-mile service, at a “starting” cost of about $5,000 (Part II: Bring the kids. Contemporary 2+2s)

Modern four-seat Ferraris are user-friendly, entry-level supercars. You might compromise on the number of seats, but not on performance. Last month I reviewed Ferraris with more seats than doors, starting with the 250 GTE and going through the 412. This month, we’ll take you from the 456 to the current 612.

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