Do you want a Ferrari? Of course you do. You've got the money? Great. But that doesn't mean you can actually buy one. A very limited supply and an almost unlimited demand immensely complicate the process of buying a new Ferrari. For one thing, that imbalance creates The List. And The List is shrouded in mystery. How do you get on The List? How can you move up The List? Does it take money, connections, or what? To help you in your quest, we talked to buyers, would-be buyers, dealers, and company spokesmen. Here's what they had to say about the murky world of the new-Ferrari purchase:
THE COMPANY LINE
Public Relations Manager
Ferrari North America
We're still quoting a two-year average waiting list for North America. I'm afraid there are no ways around it. There's not a lot that can be done. For the past fourteen years, we have steadily increased the number of cars we import to North America. It's generally about five percent more each year [1635 total in 2006]. If you're a new customer and you want to become part of the Ferrari family, try to buy a pre-owned car. That's the best way to go. Ferrari North America always encourages its dealers and service managers to foster the relationship with owners of pre-owned vehicles, as they could become potential new clients. Ferrari North America has a policy of discouraging dealers from selling cars above list price.
PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE
Pediatric Cardiac Surgeon
Ann Arbor, Michigan
I had Porsches for a long time, but I always had my heart set on buying a Ferrari. Ever since I was a kid I wanted one. [When the 360 Modena came out] I went to Cauley Ferrari [a Detroit-area dealership]. They told me it would take four years to get a 360, so I decided I would look around for a used F355 to have while I waited. I found a used 355 from a Ferrari dealership in Lake Forest, Illinois. That's how I started.
Almost exactly four years later, the 360 arrived. When I bought the 360 coupe, I put my name on the list for the 360 Spyder. It doesn't cost anything to put your name on the waiting list, so I figured, why not?
At the time, I asked, "What happens if the 360 goes out of production while I'm still on the wait list?" And they said, "We'll roll your name over for the 360 replacement." I [bought the 360 Spyder], and what ended up happening is they never took my name off the list, and two years later I got an F430.
Cauley Ferrari has been very good, very honest. They haven't asked me to put down a lot of money. They're very up-front. Since they now know me, it's easier.
The guy at Cauley asked if I wanted to be on the 599GTB wait list, and I said, sure. The 599 is absolutely spectacular, but it's also a little pricey, and I'm sort of a mid-engine guy. More likely than not I won't replace the F430 until its successor comes along.
TO HELL WITH IT
Manhattan Beach, California
I tried to buy a 360 Modena coupe. My friend in Texas had one, and he was friends with a dealer in Texas. I met the dealer at a wedding and talked to him a bit. I ordered the thing, but I didn't hear anything back from him. I wanted to make one or two changes to the color, so I called him repeatedly and left messages, but he never called back. It was pretty irritating. I waited a year before I finally just gave up.
They [Ferrari] are kind of noted for making you buy a used car to get into the game. They are very arrogant. They think they're doing you a favor by selling you a car. It's just the opposite of what a manufacturer/customer relationship should be. That was my experience.
So I bought an Aston Martin Vanquish instead. It's much more exclusive than a Ferrari. You see the V8 Vantage driving around, but you never see a Vanquish.