Cracking Ferrari’s Enigma Codes

In my October column, I wrote that the factory laptop used to diagnose electrical and mechanical systems of modern Ferraris does not give definitive answers to problems. Instead, the computer merely gives a list of as many as 1,500 options and possibilities.

To understand how this situation came about, let’s begin with a brief history lesson.

While Swedish engineer Jonas Hesselman developed mechanical fuel injection in 1925, nothing inspires industrial progress like a world war. So, fuel injection Read More

Finding a Ferrari for $100k or less

Mondial values are abysmally low and their deferred maintenance issues are long. To quote Monty Python: “Run away, run away”

This month our esteemed editor wanted to move away from the high-end Ferraris to the bottom-end world of affordability for mere mortals—perhaps he is still suffering from million-dollar-Monterey shock. My mission statement was: “Find the best buy in $100k or less for a modern Ferrari” along with the corollary “Would any of these cars sell for Read More

A snowball from hell

The morality tale of one Ferrari 360 Spider’s never-ending problems

Readers of this column know I’m not a fan of online sales or dealer auctions because it’s usually impossible to have a detailed, professional pre-purchase inspection of the car. As for prior ownership and service records, they are usually non-existent. While some clients have had good luck buying without inspections, others have not.

Our tale begins with a 2001 black-on-black 360 Spider purchased at a Read More

High-End Ferrari Buyers Show up at Monterey

Auctions showed a strong market for the highest-quality cars. Prices were market-correct for cars with modest histories, collectibility and condition

In the run-up to this year’s Monterey auctions, there was much concern in the dealer community because so many high-end Ferraris were about to go on the market.

After the disastrous economy of 2009 and this year’s tepid recovery, were there enough buyers to absorb the sheer volume of high-dollar Ferraris to make the Monterey Read More

Greece and the Ferrari Market

How quickly the tides do turn. Only six months ago, in my March SCM column, Dashing Euro Dreams, I wrote, “As the dollar had declined over the last eighteen months, the asking prices of American-based collector cars suddenly look like bargains”

The lead time on my column is thirty to forty-five days, and as I was writing of the weak US dollar, the Greek government was rushing into insolvency.

In March the financial tides began to sink the Eurozone in Read More

Ann Landers on Ferraris

Thanks to well over 17 years of monthly columns for Sports Car Market, I’ve slowly become the Ann Landers or “Dear Abby” of the Ferrari world, and with an average of 200 emails a day, there is never a lack of questions.
This month’s “reply” started with the following email, “I’m a first-time Ferrari buyer. Is there a certain year(s), series or model that you tend to suggest. I have a fondness for carburetors and a proper manual transmission. Read More

An Inexact Science

While selling exotic cars is an inexact science, it is a tenet within the trade that buyers want to pay something “back” of the dealer’s cost, while sellers want to “net” some number based on the highest result at the most successful, recent auction. Buying from a classic car dealer allows personal time for back-and-forth questions-and-answers, negotiation time, a pre-purchase inspection and for the buyer to fly in for an inspection and test drive.
In the auction world, rapid-fire Read More

Classiche Lite

From the beginning of the Ferrari Classiche Program in 2003, there has been no lack of enthusiasts who dismissed it for its rigid limitations. The raison d’etre of the FCP has been to “certify the authenticity” or originality of Ferraris, but not necessarily to certify that a Ferrari is “genuine.” As an example of this study in Italian semantics, a Ferrari could leave the factory as a street or race car and later be modified as a race car through Read More

250 GTO Sets Ferrari Record at $26m

After the doom-and-gloom of late 2008 and a painful 2009, dealers and collectors at events like the Scottsdale auctions, Cavallino, and Rétromobile in Paris are abuzz with the news of record-setting, top-level trades.
There’s a lot of very specific info contained in this column, and you might wonder where it all comes from. In fact, I have been trading in the Ferrari market since 1974, and have been “trainspotting,” i.e. collecting chassis numbers and histories, all that time.

In Read More

Dashing Euro Dreams

One of the side effects of the worst economic downturn in many decades has been a weak U.S. dollar. As the dollar has declined over the last 18 months, the asking prices of American-based collector cars suddenly look like bargains, at least when compared to asking prices in Europe.
There is logic to this perception. For instance, six of RM Auctions’s ten top selling cars of all time were sold at their auctions in England and Italy.

Consequently, we’ve Read More