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Classiche Application Stories

Discussion in 'Vintage (thru 365 GTC4)' started by CornersWell, Apr 9, 2008.

  1. CornersWell

    CornersWell F1 Rookie

    Nov 24, 2004
    4,564
    Ok, people, time to get controversial.

    The Classiche programme has now been around for a little bit, and I've heard a few deusies. Seized and crushed cars, cars with court orders to be seized if they enter Italy, hundreds of thousands of Euros spent making a car "legitimate", and even a few cars certified that aren't legitimate. Anyone care to discuss what they've actually experienced? The personal experience I have had so far has been mixed. A recent purchase was derailed at the 11th hour due to the Classiche programme's refusal to accept an application (based on the s/n). Better to find out before the deal closed, but the car is legitimately what it was marketed as. Classiche is the only organization on Earth, possibly, that would say otherwise.

    Based on the conversations I've had, there are very strong opinions floating around out there about Classiche, and maybe it's time to air some of them?

    CW
     
  2. richardowen

    richardowen Formula Junior

    Apr 2, 2004
    837
    Montreal, Canada
    Please do share the stories of cars getting crushed!!
     
  3. WCH

    WCH F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Mar 16, 2003
    5,179
    CW - as you've no doubt seen, folks here overwhelmingly have only contempt for certification and no interest in hearing arguments as to its admittedly limited benefits. Some would insist you are a sucker for paying any attention to the certification program. Discussion here of one's personal experiences with the process is a waste of time IMO. The set that's smart disdains certification, and you should, too. ;)
     
  4. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Four Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Apr 28, 2003
    40,378
    Texas!
    Here's the funny thing. The owners of real cars will probably have little or no interest in the Classiche program. Odds are that these owners know more about their car than Ferrari.

    However, the owner of a fallen angel that became a shady lady at some point would probably realize a significant financial benefit by being born again.

    Dale
     
  5. 330gt

    330gt Formula 3

    Nov 12, 2004
    1,717
    Seattle, WA
    Full Name:
    Kerry Chesbro
    Last year at the RM auction in Maranello, most (if not all) cars were certified. The auction commanded higher prices than typical market values at the time. This year's auction is May 18. I presume that most cars presented will also be certified (maybe a requirement by the factory since they 'sponsor' the auction?). It will be interesting to see what prices the cars bring.
     
  6. 410SA

    410SA F1 Veteran

    Nov 2, 2003
    8,391
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    A
    I have a car consigned at the Auction this year and I have certainly not had it Classiche Certified. I expect that the car will speak for itself, as it were.
     
  7. CornersWell

    CornersWell F1 Rookie

    Nov 24, 2004
    4,564
    Personally, and for the record, I believe the Classiche programme is a poorly conceived attempt at extortion, and I, for one, have little interest in lining SpA's coffers. Ultimately, I believe it will fail miserably.

    However, I also understand that in the Ferrari world, you have to go along to get along. Memories are long at the factory, and I don't expect to be treated well for voicing my strong objections to their arm-twisting tactics. OTOH, I'm not sure that I'm falling out of anyone's good graces as I feel I've already fallen off the radar screen. Frankly, I don't get turned on by the new models, so I'm not sure I'm missing anything anyway.

    I have also learned that every dealer is required to submit a certain number of Classiche applications per year to keep their new car allocation. I don't know if this is widely known, and I may very well be crossing over some line in SpA's mind, but it's this kind of stuff that gets my blood boiling.

    410, I'm somewhat surprised as I had heard that each and every car entered into the RM Auction was required to have a Classiche certificate. However, I have been misinformed before, and this will undoubtedly not be the last time!

    CW
     
  8. prance

    prance Formula Junior

    May 4, 2005
    510
    Agoura Hills
    Full Name:
    morris
    I think that the program has made it a practical necessity to have a car certified in order to sell it. People are going to expect it as a form of an insurance policy. I'm not saying I believe in it but I believe that is the direction it is going.
    Many people are afraid of some form of fraud and the program gives them comfort, especially when they have little experience in older Ferraris.

    I am not planning on getting any of my cars certified until the time I decide to sell one. At that time I'll asses the market and decide whether or not the certification is needed to sell either more quickly and/or for a higher price. I assume that since people know me they know the authenticity of my cars, but I can also understand the worries buyers have.
    As for the auction I would be surprsed if every single car going accross the block in Maranello does not have a certification by auction time. It wouldn't make sense for Ferrari to push the program so much, then violate thier own reasons for the program by selling non-certified cars.
    That is just my .02.
    Morris
     
  9. Vintage V12

    Vintage V12 Formula 3

    Aug 11, 2004
    1,438
    I am considering having it done. In many ways I know it is a crock, but if I were buying a million dollar car, it would be kinda neat to have that nice binder as part of the history of the car. I figure it is only going to get more expensive in the future. I guess at some point I am going to sell my car and need to put myself in the buyers position. I know the car is correct and I have played by the rules in every part of the restoration, but to a new buyer who does not know who Patrick Ottis, David Clark, or Motion Products is, that silly red binder may mean something. If I was in the market for a diamond, which I know nothing about,I would want it GIA certified. I guess it costs about 3 grand for the dealer to shoot all the photos and do the communications with italy. Maybe I could sell my original owners manuals to pay for it and replace them with reproductions. What is more important?
     
  10. DM18

    DM18 F1 Rookie

    Apr 29, 2005
    4,725
    Hong Kong
    I wanted to participate in the Daytona 40th but Classiche was a prerequisite. My car has AP Racing brakes and I refuse to switch back to inferior brakes so I had to miss the event. Other than that my car is completely original. It was a lot of fiddling to get the AP's to work perfectly and I simply don't want to go through it again. Quite unfortunate. Understand where Ferrari is coming from but the inserion of Classiche has definitley not added to my joy of ownership. I will deal with it when I want to sell. In the meantime I will enjoy
     
  11. toto70_0

    toto70_0 F1 Rookie

    Sep 14, 2004
    3,720
    NETHERLANDS
    All Ferrari's on the auction by RM in Maranello have to be certified otherwise they are not allowed, before I was able to enter the car they wanted to know all the numbers, and because the car was just being restored I had very detailed pictures of the numbers that I sent to them, then they where checked personally by somebody from Ferrari.
    RM send a prof photographer to take pictures of the car. They are concerned of what they are going to sell on there auction in Maranello.

    Maybe the case of your car is that they know all is correct and will be checked at the Factory and certified.
     
  12. Smiles

    Smiles Moderator
    Moderator Owner

    Nov 20, 2003
    13,225
    Pittsburgh, PA
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    Matt F
    I'm no fan of the Classiche program. That said, I would like to hear from anyone who has actually been through the process, had their car certified by Ferrari, and what their thoughts were on the process.

    Also, does the above reference mean that all future RM auctions will require Ferraris to be certified, or was that limited to Ferrari endorsed auctions?

    Thanks,

    Matt
     
  13. VIZSLA

    VIZSLA Four Time F1 World Champ
    Owner

    Jan 11, 2008
    41,186
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    David
    Is it just me or does Ferrari seem determined to control all aspects of the market both new and used?
     
  14. open roads

    open roads F1 Rookie

    Jan 28, 2007
    3,739
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    Stan
    Unobtanium can now be obtained. I consider that very good indeed.

    Being a smorgasborg, choose just what you desire.


    Sometimes improvements are recognized as exactly that. Taking nothing away from the "purebreds".


    All in all, a positive turn of events I would say.
     
  15. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Four Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Apr 28, 2003
    40,378
    Texas!
    I curious. I don't know anything about your cars, but let's assume that they are known cars. In your case, thus, what value would the Classiche program have for you? Even though I disagree with the concept of "investing" in vintage Ferraris, my limited experience in this area has led me to believe that naive investors, who are not car guys, typically hire an expert to help them buy a car for "investment" purposes. In order words, the people with the bucks to spend on these cars didn't get those bucks by getting drunk and bidding on Ebay.

    Dale
     
  16. Jeff Kennedy

    Jeff Kennedy F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Oct 16, 2007
    4,906
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    Jeff Kennedy
    You open a point about using experts that leads to potential pitfalls in and of itself. The use of "experts" for a car of murky provenance can lead to bought conclusions. The monies involved to the owner of having a better history/story on the car can be a motivation on their side. The "expert" may, depending upon their individual disposition, potentially be seduced by the fees that they will get if they can establish or prove such provenance. This can lead to a provenance that is actually suspect.

    The follow-up question is if the factory is better adept at sorting through this than others. Is the factory's financial interest in the program its own conflict of interest?

    Jeff
     
  17. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Four Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Apr 28, 2003
    40,378
    Texas!
    Great response! Are you saying that, well, uh, that, maybe, some experts do not have their client's best interests at heart? :)

    Push turning to shove, however. I'd trust an independent expert, who perhaps would like to get my repeat business, than Ferrari. Sad to say, but that's my take.

    Dale
     
  18. Jeff Kennedy

    Jeff Kennedy F1 Rookie
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    Oct 16, 2007
    4,906
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    Jeff Kennedy
    That's the problem! Do either of the choices have unimpeachable motives and/or ethics? I actually agree that independent experts should be better but ....

    At some point you will get to how accurate is the factory with the early cars? There are experts that have decades of interest in this while the factory is late to this party.

    After all that there are philosophical questions on the older cars, especially the racers, about what is originality. Do you go backwards to as built on day one instead of keeping a change (like disc brakes) there were made by the factory? Should the BBLM fuel pump be relocated back to the original location although to prevent fuel starvation the racers moved them?

    It would be nice if there was a clean simple solution but maybe all there will ever be are better and worse situational choices. As Open Roads said maybe just having access to "unobtanium" is reason enough to give some room on the overall discussion.

    Jeff
     
  19. M.James

    M.James F1 Rookie

    Jun 6, 2003
    2,720
    Worcester, MA
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    Michael.C.James
    I agree - I've read a lot of vintage threads and Cavallino articles to know that there is FAR more 'storytelling' than truth in the vintage market; there would seem to be an earnest need to document what is right/wrong with these machines. Anyone with a car to sell is now a 'speculator', of sorts, and I would have a daunting time of finding a trusting voice. The factory program, from what I've read and the folks I've talked-to who have had their cars submitted for inspection, consider the Classiche program a 'cleansing' medium for high-dollar cars that will soon change hands for serious money - someone must act as an 'independent' arbitrator regarding what is 'correct' with the car, and what is not. I know there are MANY self-appointed (or not-so-self-appointed) experts who lay claim to what is correct and what is not, but....for a 'new player' in the vintage market, if the Ferrari Factory said a car was dead-nuts-stock, why would I not put my money against the reputation of the Factory compared to a seller/hustler with a binder full of faded Polariods and a hazy memory from some factory visits made in the 1950s? If a Classiche car trades hands in-private, the Factory doesn't get a 'cut' of any commission, but both buyer and seller have a tremendous peace-of-mind regarding the vehicle's true condition/state/originality - I would want that if I were spending north of $300K on a car. Am I wrong?
     
  20. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Four Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Apr 28, 2003
    40,378
    Texas!
    I have been in and out of the home building bidness for a number of years. (Thank Gawd, I got out in 2005. Long story.) In the South, any home built during the mid-50s has what we call a "pier and beam" foundation, which seemed like a good idea at the time.

    Unfortunately, time has not been kind to this concept. It turns out that a pier and beam foundation is moisture trap that sucks water out of the ground into the whole house. Not good.

    The same holds true for cars. Many ideas that seemed like a good idea at the time didn't work out all that well at the end of the day. So, do you continue to beat your head against the wall in the interest of originality? Or, do you do a work-around to fix the problem. To me, the answer is obvious. Apparently, however, I am in the minority.

    Dale
     
  21. michael bayer

    michael bayer Formula 3

    Aug 4, 2004
    1,292
    I suspect Ferrari's new found cash flow from Classiche will seem far less enticing when some car with stories is laundered through it to an unsuspecting buyer with huge wads of cash who, learning that his prized, newly bought garage jewelry is in fact a glorified fakedo, unleashes legions of flesh eating lawyers on the program for revenge. How then will the Classiche staff say "What were we thinking?" in Italian? We will need a whole new section in F Chat to cover the festivities. M
     
  22. IanB

    IanB F1 World Champ
    Owner

    Jun 15, 2006
    11,785
    Sydney
    The fact that Ferrari can recast engine blocks for early cars is positive I agree.

    However, there are any number of parts for later cars which are simply not available and too expensive or small scale to be remade, yet the Classiche imperative is still applied to the cars involved.

    I have had a frustrating experience many times with parts for my Daytona, where the official Ferrari importers could care less. People like me depend on the excellent network of independent specialists that has grown up over time. It seems to me that the commercial purpose of Classiche is to take revenue back from the independent part of the market. This is not a good thing.
     
  23. Jeff Kennedy

    Jeff Kennedy F1 Rookie
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    Oct 16, 2007
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    Jeff Kennedy
    I do not believe that the problems will ever be over the production cars through the 60s and later. Generally how they were built is understood and there are still people around from when they were all new or near knew - personal knowledge is there. I remember a story that at one point FAF and/or Gerry Roush started doing detailed documentation on the new cars as they arrived to have the information on "as delivered" and running line changes for posterity.

    I have not heard of it but is Classiche bouncing applications for less than perfect shapes after repairs? I am not talking of getting it really wrong but the subtle shapes that we all see as not quite right especially in the racers after their assorted mishaps. Even on the more modern cars I wonder how many people know that the front fender peaks of a Daytona end deferently on the left and right sides just above the front turn signals? A small detail but where is the line drawn?

    Where I believe the crux of all this will return to are the cars of the '50s. Keep in mind that the factory willingly participated in some of the manuevers of renumbering to void import duties and from the current issue of FML there is the story of the 375MM spyders with revolving serial numbers. Look at the entire discussion/allegations of which is the oldest Ferrari does one of the other cars with later serial number have an older frame. The people that knew these cars and their details when new have mostly left us and may not have been as concerned about the minutia as we are now.

    Michael Bayer is correct that there could be a feeding frenzy by the trained attack sharks (attorneys) if there becomes a Certified car that turns out to have a confirmed misrepresentation. Contrary to Michael I don't think it will be a fake car but instead it will be a real car that isn't all that is is purported to be.

    When we talk of the racing or the GT racing cars I remember an old conversation with Gerry Roush, he may have used in one of the FML issues even, about a fake conversation with Enzo about how a car could not make a race because keeping the engine and components as number matching for the future historians was more important than winning. The point being that numbers matching today may be a big piece of fiction for some of the cars and the factory was the one that did the swap.

    Jeff
     
  24. VIZSLA

    VIZSLA Four Time F1 World Champ
    Owner

    Jan 11, 2008
    41,186
    Sarasota
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    David
    Without taking a position on the motives of either group I know which one I'd prefer having legal recourse to if there is an issue down the road.
     
  25. tomgt

    tomgt F1 Veteran
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    Feb 22, 2004
    6,064
    Netherlands
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    Tom Wiggers
    Many parts Ferrari sells are made by third parties. One can buy the products directly from them at price X, at Ferrari the same parts is sold with classische stamp for X + 10/20/30?%
    Read an article from a dutch company which produces 512 racing wheels (no not Roelofs) for...........Ferrari.
    The only reason people want a certificate is: €€€€€ or $$$$$ in my opinion. If you do not want to sell your car, why would you pay thousands of euros for certificate? Waste of money. But okay people with billions are not interested if the costs are 1000 or 10000 euro. They want the paperwork.
    If you do not have a certificate you can not run in the Challenge or sell your car through RM at Maranello. So if a potential buyer want to race in the Challenge, it is easier when the seller has a car WITH certificate.
     

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