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Can getting a Ferrari too young mess you up?

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by ryalex, Apr 18, 2004.

  1. ryalex

    ryalex Two Time F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Aug 6, 2003
    22,219
    Las Vegas, NV
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    Ryan Alexander
    Allow me to explain my question. First off, I'm a 24yr-old non-owner here. I would buy one in a heartbeat given the means, and am on countdown mode for that week of my life when I should be there. But here's some things I've been pondering...

    If you get something like a Ferrari very young, does it spoil some of the fun in life? Is the anticipation dead, or do your desires merely increase to the next model up?

    Something that had me thinking was actually written about the Diablos - that basically you could have anything and any woman if you had one. For a young man, I could see that seriously messing up your values and concepts of the world. I'm not saying what's right and wrong, but maybe I am afraid it causes young men to put off the real relationships in life: wife and children.

    If you had a Ferrari before settling down with someone (or basically any other wealth), wouldn't you fear that your significant other had shallower motives for being with you?

    I guess I would be afraid of that. I'm happy that my wife met me overweight and broke and still loved me, even though I'm working hard to change both of those :). And I guess I realize my own potential for being corrupted emotionally in saying if I had many of the luxuries my friends and acquaintences here have so young, I might have turned out to be a really selfish, egomanical jerk (or more of one, depending who you ask ;-). Not that everyone doesn't have their own burdens, weaknesses and trials in life though.

    Please don't think I'm being preachy. But I'd like to hear some honest responses from the wizened F-chat elders and the younger generation on their thoughts on this. I'm also afraid for my own children, who will not grow up with the same familiarity with relative poverty that I did.
     
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  3. bobafett

    bobafett F1 Veteran

    Sep 28, 2002
    9,193
    Buy a 550, black, and never wash it. No one will notice. Girls go for cars?? :D

    On a more serious note, I think it's a question of personal character. This requires a lengthy response, and Dan is Lazy! ;)

    --Dan
     
  4. tonyh

    tonyh F1 World Champ
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    Dec 23, 2002
    14,372
    S W London
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    Tony H
    Interesting question.
    I have seen 20 yr old guys-and girls- walk onto the trading floor and within 8-12 months they've gone from zero to hero.First thing that's bought, regardless of whether they have they're own place to live, is a 911 ,then gold Rolex, flash suit etc.....Most of this was financed and most of them vanished back from wherever they came from without a trace.
    I was a bit luckier in that i'd already met my wife to be before i ended up on the trading floor and we both came from next to nothing . It was very nice that she has been able to share in my good fortune as i progressed .
    In answer, i would say without doubt that having too much too soon can be very harmful. The anticpation of working towards your dream makes the reality that much sweeter.
    PS . Could you say how old you are,pls? I'm 36.
     
  5. LAfun2

    LAfun2 F1 Veteran

    Oct 31, 2003
    6,106
    California
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    Ryan
    Ryan,

    Great question. I will try to give my personal slant on this using examples from my own life, as I know that best. Coming from a very poor background allows me to appreciate a honda civic with 140K miles just as much as anything. Where I come from owning a car is not a dream, but riding a rickshaw is, that is how poor my background is.

    I think having a F car/lambo/m3/ducati whatever at a young age can go two ways. One way is obvious, that the kid becomes spoiled, doesn't achieve anything in his life and lives off mommy/daddy all his life. This is the common interpretation to be sure. Heck where I went to school (I told you the demographics over the phone once), 16 year olds were getting SL500 convertibles and M3s for their birthdays. Heck my best friend got a 1998 Nsx for his 17th birthday. His dad drove a Silver Seraph everyday. Most of these kids I know, save one, is still living at home, driving new cars, and spending money at malls like there is no tomorrow. Education is not important to them, but status is. Sadly these kids, some very smart, have not reached their potential.

    However my friend with the Nsx, he turned 18, got into Georgetown, and like me will be finishing next year. He is headed to Med School at Ucla. He took the nsx, but used that as a spring board for going higher in life. He saw what his dads success brought him, but he wanted to eclipse that. He had good foundation growing up, and I think that is the key when you talk about your kids. If they have a good foundation and good home, you can give them a F50 for their 16th birthday, and they will be responsible with it, and grow up to be normal human beings. I sincerely believe this.

    People coming from immigrant/poor families like me and you have a different perspective I think. I have a cousin, his dad owns 4 dryclean stores and 5 pharmacy stores. His dad worked 100 hour weeks at really bad jobs to put himself through pharmacy school. However he didn't want his kids to have a harsh life like him (very common among immigrants). When he made it big about 6 years ago, he bought his son a brand new navigator. After that car, this 3.5gpa student, failed out of high school. He recently finished his GED, and wants to take over dad's business without any inclination or knowledge on how to cross the street safely.

    I think immigrant or poor families faces the toughest challenges. They need to balance the thought of "I don't want my kids going through what I go through" yet not spoiling them. I clearly see the differences in me and my sister. I did not grow up here. As you can tell by my English, I am not that fluent and my writing is not up to par. So even though I might be considered a second generation immigrant, in reality I know life with 6 people in a 400sq feet room. Thus I have a different appreciation for material possessions. If you gave me a Ferrari today, or heck even just $100 I would know the value of it, and how hard one has to work to get there. To me family, wife, kids are more important than the Ferrari. But if you look at my sister, she spends 20 bucks like its nothing. She has been fully Americanized (not saying its a bad thing), but she has bought into the ultimate consumerism American lifestyle, where you have to go to movies every friday night, spend 50-60 dollars a night, buy new shoes, buy new cars, whatever. She is 16 by the way. My parents do pretty well now, and my dad was saying last night "I want to give you XX amount of money when you graduate so you can buy a big house." I told him straight, that I didn't want his money. I want him and my mom to be happy, while I earn enough to maybe have a small condo. However if he makes the same offer to my sister, I have no doubts that she will take it.

    I love my sister very much, but using her to make a point. When given Ferraris at an early age, people can go both ways. Mostly they end up being spoiled and not learning the value of things. That is why I get dissapointed to see people buy their kids 20K new cars even, because I think it doesn't teach them the value of money. Sure the kids say, when confronted how good they have it, "Yes, I am lucky my parents are helping me out" but I think in reality, they start expecting more. They become financially dependant.

    I think being a parent is the hardest job in the world. I have no idea how one balances not spoiling a kid versus giving him what they want. To tell you the truth, I want to have a daughter, and when she turns 16 give her a yellow 355 (like Jeffreys)or whatever is hot then, because I did not have it when I had it growing up. However then I think through the situation and realize, it is better I give her no car, but teach her the values of life, love, and compassion, and how to manage money on her own. To me that is the greatest gift.

    *remember I don't have any kids and am fairly young, so my post is probably rambling and is of no use*
     
  6. LAfun2

    LAfun2 F1 Veteran

    Oct 31, 2003
    6,106
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    Ryan

    I think I read recently Ryan will turn 25 later this year. So he is 24.

    I am 21. :)
     
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  8. andrewg

    andrewg F1 Rookie
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    Sep 10, 2002
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    Irrespective of age, once you've acheived more than the average it may be hard to go back to living "normaly",
    My father once sadly lamented that after acheiving his goal's financialy and then losing most of it, whilst he still had the simple pleasures in life he knew that no matter how nice a "normal" car he drove it would always be a step down from the Rolls Royce's and Bentley's he'd had before.
     
  9. lesterm

    lesterm Formula Junior

    Nov 3, 2003
    608
    Durham, NC
    I do not think that it is ultimately possible, in an objective sense, to speak of the relationship between wealth and youth and how that leads to corruption. Every circumstance is markedly difference, and personal character and biological determinism has a lot to do with how one will act. I, for one, have been very lucky to be born into a family that is afford certain economic luxuries. Personally, I do not think having money has corrupted me or made me a bad person. I know people who have much less who are completely selfish and uncaring individuals. Then again, I know people who have much more who are the same way. The way in which one will behave is completely relative.

    With that said, with regard to relationships, I was very lucky as my current girlfriend of two years and the girl I will probably marry thought I was alterative and of humble means when she met me. She found out otherwise a few weeks later; however, at least I know she loves me for the right reasons.

    Furthermore, I feel that if money is never an issue, one is afforded certain luxuries such as pursuing endeavors that one truly enjoys. For instance, I really enjoy philosophy and, consequently, I want to pursue my interests and get my PhD. Ultimately, I do not want to teach, but rather go into law. However, if I had been born under different circumstances, obtaining a PhD and then going to law school would have been very difficult. (Then again, if I had been born differently, this Hume paper that is due tomorrow would not be an issue :))

    However, rich or poor, I feel that it is very important to teach children proper values. It is also very important to know what it is to struggle. I know that situations have arose in my life that have forced me to grow up very fast, such as the death of my father, etc. If life is too perfect, people are at risk of becoming jaded and taking what they have for granted. Just my opinion. Then again, I wouldn't take what I say too seriously as I am warped. I'm don't know of anyone else that gets excited over the prospect of writing a 100 page thesis contrasting the ethical theories of Kierkegaard, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche.

    *edit* I'm 20.
     
  10. Jimmy540i

    Jimmy540i Formula 3
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    ah.... NO! :)
     
  11. zjpj

    zjpj F1 Veteran

    Nov 4, 2003
    5,938
    USA
    If a girl wanted me for my car (or my house), I wouldn't want her.
     
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  13. Strasse

    Strasse Formula Junior

    Apr 12, 2004
    252
    Perth, Australia
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    Phil
    I realise it is a profound and intricate question you are asking, but....

    remember, you only live once.
     
  14. normhuff

    normhuff Formula Junior

    Dec 14, 2003
    711
    Peoria, IL
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    J. Norman Huff, Esq.
    For me the F-car adds to the fun of life. I fell in love with the cars from the Magnum, P.I. days. I simply added one to my list of life's goals, i.e., get one on my 40th birthday, which I did. I've had the car five years and still love driving it. However, I don't plan on getting another exotic sports car. My next goal is to retire in four years and possibly move to a far away land. Therefore, I'd say get your priorities straight in life (family, God, job--whatever they may be) to determine what's most important to you. Once you stray from these, then you're in trouble. Then be realistic and practical in terms of material possessions you want to obtain. Young is a relative term, especially since they say that 60 is now the new 40, so I have to heed my own advice...
     
  15. ryalex

    ryalex Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Aug 6, 2003
    22,219
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    Ryan Z: thanks - you've articulated a large part of my question, and very honestly and thoughtfully.

    Lester: Yes, I hope my kids can pursue what they want in life, but I will let them struggle a little bit (not a lot, but enough to get tough). I think that the people who can turn and focus efforts directly on societal betterment and community action are those who don't have to worry about basic needs and wants - hence a cycle of rich conservative parents and 'save the world' dem kids. BTW, I would recommend a JD/MA rather than PhD and JD, unless you want to teach, or want to be recognized as a doctor. I understand the urge - sometimes I think I'm at law school just to be a JD and get the credential and move on.

    Norman: I think about this too- namely, when will it be enough? Wants are pretty unlimited, and by personality I'm very keen on wanting things, in complete honesty. But I'm trying to wrangle my daydreams to accept more modesty, in order to achieve more of my long-term goals which don't involve Ferraris.
    ____________________________

    I've been thinking more, and to explain some of my original post, I was thinking partly about humility and pride. Exotic cars wield a fair amount of social power. I suppose I'm worried about the toxic effect it can have on self image for young people to drive around town like they own the place, thinking they're one bad-ace mutha in their Ferrari. Does it alienate? How can it affect you?
     
  16. jordan747_400

    jordan747_400 F1 Veteran
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    Dec 9, 2002
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    There are always more dreams to dream and goals to accomplish. After I get my first Ferrari I will always want another one, or perhaps a house, a great vacation, or some other sort of goal. As for spoiling yourself, if you work hard enough and earned it, I think you should be able to buy one.

    I dont know if I will be alive next year, so that means I work harder to accomplish more now...not wait.
     
  17. bernardo66

    bernardo66 The Crazy Cat Man
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    Dec 14, 2003
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    On the contrary, I'm under the impression that your humble beginnings have made you wise beyond your years. You bring up a good point regarding second generation immigrants, and I can relate to that, given that my parents too came to Canada with barely a pot to p*ss in (and three children in tow).

    To get an F-car at an early age can is not neccessarily a bad thing. If you've worked hard for it and earned it (regardless of your age), I believe that you'll have a greater appreciation for it; as opposed to the one that get's the keys handed over on a silver platter. It is human nature to always aim for bigger and better things. So if you get an F-car at 21, what will you aim for at 31? I got my car at 36, and I've been wanting one since the age of 17. The 19 year wait only made it taste a whole lot better.
     
  18. lesterm

    lesterm Formula Junior

    Nov 3, 2003
    608
    Durham, NC
    I know what you mean. Sometimes I think getting a PhD is silly, especially since I don't want to teach. I was considering just getting an MA and then going on to law school. We'll see in a few years how that goes. There is always the slightly competitive nature between me and my girlfriend. Since we're both going to graduate school for philosophy, I don't think I want to leave it at an MA :) Then again, I don't want to be in law school at 30.
     
  19. abarthracer

    abarthracer Formula Junior

    Dec 6, 2003
    373
    Falmouth, Cape Cod
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    david S.
    Ryan,
    If you had not said that you were 2nd gen. American/Immigrant, I would have never thought once of your mastery of the english language! IT is perfect and do not think otherwise. I can think of a few "dopes" on MTV that could use some lessons from you! And they are probably 9-10th gen. "Americans". Your post was very well thought out and to the point. Bravo. I think this post in general is very enlightening. I totally agree with the thoughts of working for your dreams. That is why we have the employment issues in this country, Americans don't want to work anymore. Hence the huge immigrant work force. I am 41 and just recently purchased my first F car. A "lowly" Mondial, but it is something I have wanted for 20+years and I made it happen. I know family/ freinds/ misc are looking at me and my family asking how do we do it on what appears to be a meager income. Where there is a will, there is a way. Work hard and it will pay off!
    David
     
  20. motoxxx63

    motoxxx63 Rookie

    Apr 4, 2004
    21
    I just turned 24 and I have a 360. I'm no different. When I was 16 I got a new M3, a new M3 at 18, New M3 at 21, CLK55 at 21, and now a 360. Similar kids at my highschool (even my best friend) got the same types of cars. I'm finishing my 2nd year of medical school...barely anyone in my school even knows I have a 360...I drive a Tacoma pickup as my daily driver. My best friend does nothing all day long except has fun, and spends his parents money. My parents taught me to respect cars, and to become an educated person so I can provide for my family, etc. Whether they would have bought me a used Civic in highschool, or an F50, it wouldnt have made a difference towards me achieving my goals. I think infact it helped me and motivated me to do my best to become successful in the future. Do girls like me because they see me driving a ferrari...of course they do. Do I like them? Only for a night. When I meet girls...I never tell them anything...I tell them im a student and my car is a truck. If they hang around...a month later they will see the Ferrari.

    Why not enjoy life. If you can have a 360 now...have it....maybe in the future you might not be able to have one. If this is the case...will you miss the days when you had your ferrari? Of course you will...but it will be a good memory.

    Get one...but dont let the car get to your head
     
  21. LAfun2

    LAfun2 F1 Veteran

    Oct 31, 2003
    6,106
    California
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    Ryan

    I would say once you are young and do have that, it alienates you from the older generation. People who are 45 and drive toyota camrys (nothing wrong with that) will resent you, out of jealousy or whatever. However among your peers you become popular, cool, and a great guy. My cousin with the navigator is THE most popular kid in high school. He doesn't play football, so it is quite an accomplishment. However I feel rich kids tend to want to "prove" things to the rest of the world. My cousin does it buy using his dad's CC to pay for all his friends dinners/lunches. Because he has a navigator he feels that he has to prove his richness to other people.

    But its like if you know anything about motorcycles its the same thing. 20 year olds go and buy a 2004 R1, and crash it before they get their plates (look onspeedzilla for pics). But while they ride the bike, they think they are on top of the world. For people like these others approval mean a lot. They like hanging out at starbucks having chicks look at their car/bikes, not understanding most women couldn't tell the diff (sorry NNO, not being politically correct again).

    However I think in most instances it has a negative efffect. Like the guy on the bike, the kid with the Ferrari will fall on hard luck and figure it one of these days. But there are good kids like I said, that don't let this stuff go to their head, but few and far between.

    For the people who say "live for today," I say, I don't want to drive a Rolls today and a yugo when I was 60. My parents always told me that is a sign of a fool. A truly successful person can have the same level of lifestyle all their life. (meaning once you get a ferrari, big house, lambo, whatever, you can continue to manage that, if you are smart financially).

    /end ramblings
     
  22. bernardo66

    bernardo66 The Crazy Cat Man
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    Dec 14, 2003
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    Montreal Canada
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    Bernie
    When I was 24, I bought a Mercedes. I felt like I was king of the world....but unfortunately I let the "toxic effect" take over, and I became the biggest, arrogant *sshole in my circle. Needless to say, at 27, I got divorced and was forced to leave my home and sell my Benz (and give my ex half!!!). Afterwards, I could be seen putzing around town in a rusted 1984 Toyota Tercel that I inherited from a deceased cousin.

    When I got my 308 at 36, my second wife warned me that if I would let it get to my head, the "for sale" sign would go right on the windsheild. Your point about humility and pride is heartfelt. I am proud to be an F-car owner, and you MUST keep a level head, if you wish to still be liked and respected in your circle.

    If I rambled on with my rags-to-riches-to-rags story, it's to prove a point. The way I behaved when I got my Benz was ultimately responsible for my down fall.

    I believe that those who think that they are king-sh*t because thay have an exotic, will eventually have life teach them a brutal lesson...which they soon shall not forget.

    As far as wondering if ownership alienates you, I can say from experience that I've lost some friends as a result of my 308. Even though I tried my best to show them I was pretty much the same person, their perception of me changed. And there was nothing I could do about it. However, I've since made other friends...and oddly enough, they're F-car owners.
     
  23. warrenn

    warrenn Formula Junior

    Mar 12, 2004
    376
    LA for now,NJ really
    I guess it depends on if you earned it yourself. Then again, I'm relatively young, bought the F- 100% on my own and it kinda depressed me. Just because it was a goal of mine that I reached pretty quickly. Then when I obtained it, it was like what next? True I could get another car, and I am looking for one now as some of you guys know, but its not the same. In other words its kinda nice having a long term goal. Not trying to sound whiny, I'm very happy with my situation, just want to give another perspective.

    By the way, I was kinda like one of those families described earlier. Had a new vette senior year of H.S.(I actually delivered pizza hut pizzas in it while I worked there for the summer), my bro drove a SLK and my sister drove a C class in H.S. My sis works in mergers and acquisitions now and my bro is in law school and I don't know what the hell I'm doing -j.k. Anyways.. yeah my parents gave us everything, yeah we were spoiled, but HELL NO are any of us lazy because we worked our asses off and make our own now. Getting all this stuff in H.S. and college just made me want to work harder to earn things for myself because I was sick and tired of people telling me I got this and that because of my dad... actually they still say that sometimes still but whatever, I know the truth so.. that's all that matters.

    Oh another thing.. just want to say to all those filthy ass rich children out there, if you do nothing and have fun your whole lives and your savings can hold you through your life and you're not depressed, then keep on living like that.. who the f--- cares what other people think, who are they to judge you while they waste their lives away on a full time monotonous job while life passes them by. Your family worked hard to provide a good life for you, so why not enjoy it as long as you are not 1) hurting yourself 2) hurting others. Having a job and struggling to make ends meet is not a passport to judge the rich. The only thing I find unfortunate about the really rich children is that they don't have the opportunities to gain real world knowledge, and that's a major disadvantage.

    Wow this was like a therapy session for me.
     
  24. Hubert888

    Hubert888 F1 Veteran
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    I would advise that before you buy an exotic sports car, make sure you own your own house first (or some type of real estate property).
     
  25. bernardo66

    bernardo66 The Crazy Cat Man
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    That's priceless!!!!! However, having a job and stuggling to make ends meet...and looking at the rich, does make you wonder "what are you doing wrong?"
     
  26. racerdj

    racerdj F1 Veteran
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    Jan 19, 2003
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    I couldn't have said it better. Fortunately my wife and I went thru the early marriage years struggling at first, worked hard, invested in rental properties and saved. She is not into cars as she will not even drive my 360, however if it wasn't for her frugal ways, I probable would not have what I have. She is a jewel!!
     
  27. superyota

    superyota Formula Junior

    Mar 29, 2004
    349
    Newport Beach
    I am 26 and just bought my first F-car 360M. I am not hating on anyone who has a high end car...more power to you. I made every penny myself so I understand how much work it takes to drive an amazing car; in reality I think it has pushed me to work harder and make more money. If someone has good values and strong work ethic I dont think that a F-car will hurt their future.

    Now i think that a single guys sould have another daily driver so girls dont date him for his car. I drive a Toyota Tundra. Plus most girls dont know how treat an F-car so I dont let them in it.
     
  28. Johns

    Johns Guest

    Nov 2, 2003
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    Johnny East
    99% true, cus I have an 04 M3:D
     

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