Today, Paul Ebeling, our firms Ferrari expert/owner, sat down with John Cannizzo to discuss Ferrari cars Vintage, Classic and Modern.
John is a long time Ferrari lover, he bought his 1st Ferrari in his 20’s. And he has owned several examples. As a former President of the Ferrari Owners Club national office, and a member of the Board of Directors for over 20 years, John has been heavily involved with Ferraris for much of his adult life. A few successful entrepreneurial ventures have allow him to enjoy the cars he loves.
1. John, Vintage and Classic Ferrari’s are the world’s most in demand collector cars. Why?
There are many reasons for this, the 2 Key reasons are:
A. Ferrari’s are very rare. While large car companies make several thousand cars per day, Ferrari makes around 5,000 per year. The rarest models had very small production numbers. For example, the #1 highest priced car sold at auction, the 250 GTO, had two series for a total of just 39 cars. However, Ferrari is a very well-known brand worldwide. Perhaps the most well-known brand in the world, Ferrari has the enviable position of making a very rare product that everyone knows.
B. Investment potential. In the list below we see that 17 of the Top 20, and 9 of the Top 10 highest priced cars sold at public auction are Ferraris. Several years ago, these were considered “old race cars” and could be obtained for a very reasonable price. For example, the #1 car in the list has seen an increase of over 635,000% between its low price and the sales price at auction. That’s a good investment, and it is much more exciting than a painting, gemstone or stock certificate!
Top 20 Highest Priced Cars Ever Sold at Public Auction
20. $12,402,500 – 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa
19. $12,812,800 – 1953 Ferrari 240/375 MM Berlinetta ‘Competizione’
18. $13,200,000 – 1953 Jaguar C-Type Works Lightweight
17. $13,200,000 – 1956 Ferrari 250 GT LWB Berlinetta ‘Tour de France’
16. $13,750,000 – 1998 McLaren F1 ‘LM-Specification’
15. $14,300,000 – 1962 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato
14. $14,300,000 – 1964 Ferrari 250 LM
13. $15,180,000 – 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider
12. $16,390,000 – 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa
11. $16,500,000 – 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Speciale
10. $16,830,000 – 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider
9. $17,600,000 – 1964 Ferrari 250 LM
8. $18,400,177 – 1954 Ferrari 375-Plus Spider Competizione
7. $18,500,000 – 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider
6. $26,400,000 – 1964 Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale
5. $27,500,000 – 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4S NART Spider
4. $28,050,000 – 1956 Ferrari 290 MM
3. $29,600,000 – 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196
2. $35,711,359 – 1957 Ferrari 335 Sport Scaglietti
1. $38,115,000 – 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO
2. For the Ferrari aficionado/fan that cannot afford $1,000,000 for a Ferrari what is there?
Yes, but any old cars, not just Ferraris, are a labor of love. If you do not love Ferraris, do not take-on such a project. Some Ferraris can be purchased in the $20,000 range. Of course, these are not the most popular models or the most popular livery. They might need some work to get them pristine again, and this can be expensive. There are many caveats in purchasing an old Ferrari, but the tops are service history and inspection. Always get an inspection from a real Ferrari expert, dealer or qualified Ferrari mechanic before taking things further. This might cost a few hundred dollars, but could save you tens of thousands. Next is the service history. Ask to inspect all service orders, and look for long gaps in servicing. Delayed servicing can create problems later. Also, on the later models check to see if all Ferrari factory updates have been performed. These were performed for free, so if they were not done, there are lots of other items that were probably missed too. A well maintained Ferrari is a joy to drive, but a poorly maintained car, whether it is a Fiat, Ford, or Ferrari, can cause endless headaches and cost lots of money. Buy smart!
3. What Ferrari’s are still a good value, but expected to appreciate?
The term “value” depends on where the decimal point is in your net worth (before your home). On the high end, any car made while Enzo Ferrari was alive and active in Ferrari is a good bet. There are a few exceptions, and this is an over-simplification. If you are looking in this price range, engage a Ferrari value expert. There are several, and Ferrari can recommend one. If you are not at that $100,000,000 mark yet, late model cars with manual transmissions are showing signs of appreciating rapidly. The last Ferraris available without the “F1” auto-manual were the 599, 612, and California, and these cars with a manual transmission were made in very small numbers. The “F1” transmission was introduced on the F355 and rapidly moved throughout the line. On the track, the F1 is a “must have”, and it’s great on the street too. But some of us just love moving through the gear gate ourselves.
4. What is your “one that got away”?
I’d guess all of us who have been collecting Ferrari’s for a while have a similar story. Years ago, I was buying a Ferrari, a 12 cylinder car that sells for over $3,000,000 today, but back then was under $30,000. It had just been restored, and I was happy with the deal. I was just arranging payment with the seller when he mentioned that he would throw in an “old Ferrari race car” for an additional $6,000. I had no time at that point in my life for an old race car, and I declined the offer. I took delivery of my new/old car and enjoyed it for years. It was a few years later I found out the nature of my mistake by not buying the race car. What was the “old Ferrari race car”?
It was a Ferrari 250 GTO, and sells for over $38,000,000 today. I just hate it when my crystal ball is broken!
5. What is your favorite Ferrari?
I cannot narrow my choice to just one? I like the 250 series race cars, the 275 GTB, the 330 GTS, the 246 GTS “Dino”, the 288 GTO, the 348/355, the 360, the 458, the FF, the F12, and of course the F1 cars. There were Special Editions of several of these cars that made that model more “racy”, and I tend to like that both because of the rarity and the way they drive. I also like the Ferrari that has not been designed yet. I am sure there are several I missed that I really like.
6. What’s the difference between the 8 and 12 cylinder cars?
Since the start of the marque, Ferrari has produced 4, 6, 8, and 12 cylinder cars (and the 10 cylinder F1 cars). Except for some race cars, the six cylinder cars were the 206 and 246 “Dino” series. These were wonderful cars, light and nimble. They are not the fastest Ferrari’s ever produced, but they are fun to drive. Paul, if I remember you had the 1st 206 in the US right. The 8 cylinder cars are more recent additions to the line, and are the bulk of Ferrari sales now. These are wonderful cars to drive, both on the street or on the track. The newer cars are reliable, have warranties like other luxury cars, and can be the daily driver, driven to and from work, the grocery or to the golf course. The older 12 cylinder, front engine cars are the true classic Ferrari, and are loved by all Ferrari aficionados. See the “Top 20” list above Every Ferrari on it is a classic 12 cylinder car. The newer 12 cylinder cars have become more GT than racer, but I do not mean that as criticism. On my favorites list is the current 12 cylinder car, the F12, a powerful, nimble car that is comfortable.
7. Have you owned both?
I have owned 6, 8, and 12 cylinder Ferrari’s, and been fortunate enough to drive the 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 cylinder models.
8. What makes one Ferrari more valuable than the other?
That is complex question, but the 2 Key components on the high end cars are rarity and racing history. For example, all 250 GTOs are rare, but some were very successfully raced, while others have dubious history in Ferrari talk, a Story Cars. The difference can be $10,000,000. For the more attainable cars, a low mileage example in a popular color is the way to go. If you can afford one of the special models, those will be more valuable than the “normal” model in the long run. A 360 Challenge Stradale will be more valuable than a 360 Modena.
9. How do you know the value of a Ferrari?
Take each car as an individual, but you can get a good idea from the Internet. There are ads online that can be a good guideline to what is available, and for what price. The differences are miles and service history as mentioned above. Again, always get an inspection. There are Ferrari market specialists who evaluate this market all day, every day. If in doubt, use a vintage and classic Ferrari specialists. On the high end, well if you’re looking at spending $30,000,000 on a car, you probably have a team of car specialists and lawyers available to you, ask them…
10. What’s the future of Ferrari?
Where is the Crystal Ball ?
I would like to say that I know, but I can only offer a guess. I have never spoken to Mr. Marchionne, as I had with Mr. Felisa and Mr. Montezemolo. However, several friends of mine have spoken directly to Mr. Marchionne. While early reports when Mr. Marchionne took over were a bit uncertain for Ferrari lovers, Mr. Marchionne seems to hold Ferrari in high regard and is committed to maintaining Ferrari’s exclusivity and market leading performance. I understand why the Agnelli controlled Fiat-Chrysler empire needs globalization and cross-platform sharing, and that is smart business. Increasing sales numbers is important for any business, but as Enzo Ferrari used to say, “you should build one less car than the market demands”. Maintaining exclusivity is important to the Ferrari mystique. Ferrari is almost a religion to the Ferrari faithful, aka “congenti clienti” and corporate does not want to upset the faithful. A slight increase in production numbers is inevitable, perhaps by adding an additional model. If I get a vote, a modern “Dino” built on a larger version of the Alfa 4C chassis, powered by the Ferrari created turbo V6 used by Maserati putting out 550+ HP, at a price-point at or below the California. Now that’s a bright future!