Ferraris Ride Unusual Tides

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 on offer and two no-sales for a 60% close rate and $710,000 in sales.

The wild world of Dinos and Daytonas

It did seem strange when a late non-“chairs and flares” 246 GTS, s/n 7914, sold for $252,500, while a chairs and flares 246 GTS, s/n 7908, sold for $467,500.

An Evil, Clever 599 Sting

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 Read More

High-End Ferraris Booming

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.

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Ferrari’s Perpetual Parts Problem

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 hoard of Digitek computers and ECUs that talk to the Bosch computers while controlling a/c, heat, door locks, windows, power tops, dash modules, seat controls and so on.

On the emissions front, every manufacturer is required to supply engine and emission system diagnostic computers “at a reasonable cost” to independent shops.

A plug-in computer for a GM or Japanese car starts at $250 and goes to $5,000 for the best model, but the SD2 or SD3 box for the 10-years-or-older Ferrari is out of production.

A used SD2 or SD3 will cost $20k plus — if you can find one. A more modern Leonardo unit is available, but even at $25k, it doesn’t like to communicate with the earlier cars. Want to use a non-Ferrari diagnostic computer? Sorry, Ferrari uses non-standard codes that don’t translate to standard OBD2 boxes. Simply knowing what to repair or replace can be a nightmare.

Just Used Cars

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 Read More

Avoid Conflicts with Pre-Sale Inspections

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 Read More

When is Fast too Fast?

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.

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Ferraris and Bidding Wars in the Desert

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 Read More

A Princely Collection of Rotting Cars

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 Read More

A Ferrari 328 with Needs is a Friend’s Bad Deed

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 Read More