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Ferrari has Pontiac Fiero 355 replica siezed .... but misses Noble P4

Discussion in 'British' started by P4Replica, Oct 7, 2007.

  1. P4Replica

    P4Replica Formula 3

    Nov 4, 2003
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    #1 P4Replica, Oct 7, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    This is probably not news to most of you, but it seems that ownership of a Ferrari replica (of any kind) in Italy, is a becoming an increasingly precarious predicament.

    As some of you may know, I run the worldwide registry for Ferrari P4 replicas.
    Until earlier this year, I hadn't been aware of any Ferrari P4 replicas extant in Italy. Not a single one.

    Then, back in July - on Friday 13th (unlucky for some, obviously), I stumbled across a short video clip on YouTube:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEYoL8NBSI4

    I soon tracked this back to DIMA Automobili in Bolzano, Northern Italy, where the car was offered for sale:

    http://www.dimaautomobili.com/main.php?mod=scheda&id_car=44&fotoid=136
    http://www.dimaautomobili.com/scriptsx/schedaprint.php?id_car=44

    Although rather foolishly described as a Ferrari 330 P4 (REPLICA FEDELE ALL'ORIGINALE - PERFETTA - P4 DAYTONA ANNI 60)
    The car was obviously a Renault PRV V-6 powered Noble P4 replica. It turned out that it was one of the (few) ex-Lee Noble 'demonstrators' that I'd been trying to track down for a while.

    A few days later, the car appeared on eBay, with the same set of small photos and the same asking price - €39,000 (Euros).:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=300131182411
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  2. P4Replica

    P4Replica Formula 3

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    You'll notice that NONE of the above links work at all, anymore. :(

    Trust me - they did. ;) But only for a matter of a few days.
    First the eBay listing disappeared; then the YouTube video; then the sales advert from DIMA Automobili.

    Who was threatening the lawsuits for copyright infringement ? No prizes for guessing - good old Ferrari S.p.A.

    They even attempted to have the car seized by the Polizia Stradale, but fortunately the owner got wind of it, and had it spirited away to another secret location, before they arrived.

    It's still advertised on the Web, elsewhere - in Czechoslovakia of all places, here:

    http://www.ferrari-classics.cz/index2.php?akce=prodej_lemans_330_p4

    Personally, I never thought Ferrari would stoop so low as to persecute / prosecute owners of kit-car replicas, such as a lowly Noble P4. The fault clearly lies with DIMA Automobili, for having blatantly advertised the car as a 'Ferrari 330 P4', instead of a Noble P4 replica.
     
  3. P4Replica

    P4Replica Formula 3

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    #3 P4Replica, Oct 7, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Incidentally, I have all the above information (and much more on the 'saga' of the DIMA Automobili Noble P4), courtesey of one of my many 'P4 Detectives' - a Carabinieri officer who lives near Bolzano, who was potentially a prospective purchaser, and who made discrete enquiries on my behalf. Not surprisingly, this Noble P4 has never been legally road registered in Italy, and spent most of it's time hidden in the owner's private collection.

    But the email he sent me last week wasn't the end of the story. Today, I received another from him:

    Bad news!

    It is not good times for owners of Ferrari replicas in Italy. Yesterday a man was reported to be arrested by Italian Economic Police (Guardia di Finanza) because he owned a vehicle with the Ferrari's brand on it - but it was a modified Pontiac (Fiero).
    The car was confiscated and he is on trial risking three years in jail.
    This led me to think that Ferrari is continuing its crusade against replicas.


    There are various links (all in Italian) to it on the web. Most were posted yesterday (6th October).

    Here's one I found: http://lastellanera.blogspot.com/


    come "sprecare" una pontiac (e finire dentro)

    Una finta Ferrari F355 Gts è stata scoperta ieri dalla Guardia di Finanza del comando provinciale di Roma.
    In realtà, l'automobile eì immatricolata come una Pontiac Gmt fiero gt.
    L'operazione è stata avviata ieri pomeriggio, quando i finanzieri, dopo aver ricostruito i movimenti e le abitudini del proprietario della macchina in questione, notata sono amdati in un deposito dove la macchina eraoccultata sotto un telo.

    Durante le indagini sulla finta Ferrari, gli investigatori erano stati insospettiti da alcune parti della carrozzeria, che non sembravano affatto conformi al modello originale: il proprietario dell'auto è stato quindi identificato, ed è stata quindi trovata la documentazione tecnica originale della macchin.
    La contraffazione è stata realizzata con una sofisticata alterazione della carrozzeria e delle parti meccaniche, oltre che con l'apposizione del marchio Ferrari in diversi punti, anche sul motore (che reca anche il mancio "pontiac"!).

    Il proprietario della falsa Ferrari , un giovane mio concittadino, è stato quindi denunciato a piede libero per contraffazione, reato per il quale è prevista una reclusione fino a 3 anni.

    Ecco come sprecare una meravigliosa pontiac.!
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  4. menoy

    menoy F1 Rookie

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    I somewhat understand them hunting down people who make money off the replicas. But to go after someone just because he/she is an owner? A bit too much methinks.
     
  5. ashsimmonds

    ashsimmonds F1 World Champ

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    Well, in one way I have to say I'm all for them chasing down people who call their cars Ferraris but aren't. Put it this way, if I had created a masterpiece and people were making "reasonably good" copies of it and pretending *I* made it... well.

    However in the end I don't see how this affects Ferrari - as long as the replicas are actual replicas which are like an automotive homage - like a scale model, only you can drive it - and not just cars with bodykits then it shouldn't be much of a problem... either way it doesn't hurt Ferraris bottom line - one of the guys with a P4 could sell it tomorrow for $4000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 and Ferrari wouldn't see a cent.
     
  6. tervuren

    tervuren Formula 3

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    #6 tervuren, Oct 7, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Ferrari seems to pay people to look at every auction with Ferrari in it on ebay I think, I know of a lot of pulled auctions.

    If I lived in Italy, I'd be darn carefull of putting that Ferrari Enthusiast sticker on my Porsche, they might take me in for putting their badge on the wrong car. :(

    (Ferraripete's 930)
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  7. dongerdude

    dongerdude Formula 3

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    Replicas are a bit of a funny area in law - in some countries (the UK for example) owning one is not illegal, however producing one/more or selling one/more often is. In other countries, ownership is also an offence.

    Personally I'm not that bothered about replica cars - it's not like they tend to have the same links with organised crime as many other replica/counterfeit goods do (copy watches, handbags, pirate DVDs, etc are often produced by people with links to other more serious organised crimes), however we do live in a capitalist society and as such I see intellectual property as a big deal - if someone was infringing my IP rights, I'd do everything I could to stop them, so why shouldn't Ferrari?
     
  8. P4Replica

    P4Replica Formula 3

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    Copied and pasted from Page 18 of the ‘Another 250 TR REPLICA’ thread in Vintage:

    http://www.ferrarichat.com/forum/showthread.php?p=137123192#post137123192

    Seems there were indeed a few such cars impounded at Ferrari's instigation.

    This Google search appears to brings up most results:

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=Ferrari+Pontiac+Guardia+Finanza&btnG=Google+Search
     
  9. 2NA

    2NA F1 World Champ
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    That must be in Australian dollars ;^D LOL
     
  10. P4Replica

    P4Replica Formula 3

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    Zimbabwe Dollars are a bit closer. :D

    Sunday, October 7, 2007

    1 US Dollar = 30,692.0 Zimbabwe Dollar
    1 Zimbabwe Dollar (ZWD) = 0.00003258 US Dollar (USD)
     
  11. ashsimmonds

    ashsimmonds F1 World Champ

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    #11 ashsimmonds, Oct 7, 2007
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  12. Pav

    Pav Formula 3
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    I honestly don't understand the point of arresting (!!!!???) owners of replica car, let alone seizing replicas as counterfeited goods. Something is really wrong in Ferraris way to deal the situation. The replicas are just a part of automotive world, some are accurate some are not, the point is often to build a car by yourself that you never had the money for the original, or that the original does not exist anymore. It's often the case for brands carrying a high symbolism (sp?) like AC (Cobra), Hummer, and of course Ferrari. I honestly believe that private owners and even replica companies are in their right to make replicas, as long as there is no infrigement into the nature of the product, i.e. those cars are sold as replicas, not as "Ferraris", the purpose being nowhere to fool people. It's not like a false vuitton bag. I think it's a matter of common sense, think that if we follow Ferrari's reasoning here, next time Michael Mann will be on holidays in Italy he should be arrested for using a Daytona replica in Miami Vice and fooling the whole western world on the nature of this car, back in the 80s.
     
  13. karmavore

    karmavore Formula 3

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    Didn't Lambo USED to assist Diablo replica builders back in the day? If so, weird...

    Anyway, replicas are lame, really lame, but c'mon...
     
  14. Pantera

    Pantera F1 Rookie

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    In no way Lamborghini did not assist any replicar builder in anyway but sadly they had alot of backstabbers who used to work for them at one point and farmed out with replicar builders back in the mid 90's which is why there was quite a few companys who used to replicate these cars like crazy left and right somebody was building a lamborghini on a fiero. :D

    I can't complain nor knock on replicars in anyway, I had the same bad attitude of kitcars are a sin to drive and they are god awfull blah blah blah until helped build a Manta Montage(M8 Mclaren) and even got to drive the car a couple of times and let me tell you it was a pretty fun car to drive and build, the car got more attention than any highly modified civic, supra or pretty much anything that pulled next to and was more interesting than anything else I have ever helped build and ever since then I have been involved in the kitcar game for a couple of years now can't wait to start my own project.



    I say if your gonna build a replica do it right! Do if it makes sense otherwise don't waste your time on a POS non stretched Countach or something thats just am embarrisment to drive.
     
  15. Bullfighter

    Bullfighter Two Time F1 World Champ
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    I think confiscation is perfectly appropriate. Not sure about prosecuting the customers, but as far as prosecuting the makers of fake Ferraris I think they're justified. It's pure trademark/copyright infringement.

    If Coach can take action to prevent counterfeit handbags, and Microsoft has a team dedicated to chasing down counterfeit software, what's so 'low' about Ferrari protecting their designs and logo? Is it OK for Ferrari and Pininfarina not to get paid for their design work?

    I concur. Although if someone builds his own counterfeit 'Ferrari' and uses Ferrari's and Pininfarina's designs without payment, they are stealing intellectual property.

    What he said.
     
  16. Bullfighter

    Bullfighter Two Time F1 World Champ
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    The designs of Ferraris are the property of Ferrari. If you, or General Motors, or Ford, build a car using one of those designs, you are infringing on that trademark.

    It is absolutely identical in concept to a fake Louis Vuitton bag, or a fake Rolex. Someone designed something nice and charges a premium. A segment of the market can't afford the real thing, so a market springs up for cheap knockoffs made by those who steal the design (thus pay nothing to Pininfarina, for example). Then these get resold on the market.

    Yes, I absolutely see the cool part of building a kit car. A Caterham 7 is a great way to go if you want to do this, because presumably all the design issues have been taken care of legally. Similarly, I believe the Cobra design has been licensed over the years to Superformance and whoever else has made them.

    As far as Miami Vice, I'm not clear as to how that would be treated, but given the abuse (and ultimate demolition) of that vehicle, I could see how a movie prop not intended for resale could be exempted. (In fact, Ferrari provided the Testarossa starting in season three. IIRC, they didn't want to see a replica in the show. Maybe some Miami Vice guru could clarify...)
     
  17. Pav

    Pav Formula 3
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    I do agree to some extent to the trademark issue, but still i believe that in the replica world it is "case sensitive". Knowing the diffusion of replicas, the whole spirit and background there is behind, even though legally speaking it is pure trademark infringement, i am less worried by some 40 yr old grumpy Fiero owner sticking F badges on his car than by the chinese Geelys and other Great Walls copying literally the design of european cars, yet putting their own logos on them.
     
  18. Pantera

    Pantera F1 Rookie

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    I think its silly how ferrari is so quick to jump the gun and go after these guys i mean what are they affraid of? its an act of fear. Replicars in no way or anyway harm there real counterparts in anyway.

    Its apart of the automotive world like any other automotive tread like the tuners, hotroders, lowriders and even the ricers :D
     
  19. Protouring442

    Protouring442 F1 Veteran
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    The problem is weather or not the "factory" put on the badges. There may also be issues with the age of the design. As an example, somone brought up the Rolex replica. Obviously, a fake Rolex, with the Rolex name infringes on Rolex's copyright. On the otherhand, I wear an Invicta Professional Automatic, clearly designed to look like a Rolex Submariner, just as many other watches are made to duplicate this look. I love the look, and so I wear it. While Invicta cannot put Rolex on the face, who's to stop me from buying a face and having it installed? Now, if I try to pass it off as a true Rolex, then I too have overstepped my bounds. I would think it would be the same for the replica builder, especially if the dimensions are not exact with the "real thing."

    The same would hold true for a designer hand bag. many companies imitate the look of the high-end designer bags, but the cannot put the designer emblems on them.

    Anyway, this is just my opinion. Personally, I would love to own a California Spyder replica. If for no other reason than I would want to update certain features, such as A/C, power accessories, etc. Further, I would want to drive the damned thing! Either modifying or driving a multi-million dollar, nearly irreplaceable, one of only fifty built Ferrari is insane! And parking it in a mall parking lot?? So, a replica it will be, and weather or not I add emblems? We'll see.

    Oh, a note to those who ask "what would you say if someone asked if it were real?" and "how stupid would you feel explaining that it's a replica?" I say I am fine with it. After all, if I spend a year or two builing my car the way I want it, I could care less what another person thinks of it. My opinion of myself does not depend on what someone else thinks of my car.

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  20. Devilsolsi

    Devilsolsi F1 Veteran
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    So where does this fit into the replica debate? Not sure if anyone has seen anything about this guy, but he decided to build a McLaren Can Am replica in his garage. He called it the McBearen. A link to his build thread... http://www.metalmeet.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4020
     
  21. Pantera

    Pantera F1 Rookie

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    I helped build a Manta montage which is a Mclaren replica, awsome suff.
     
  22. JenP4fan

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    A well crafted hand made car with perfectly horrid suspension geometry...unsafe in any corner.
     
  23. P4Replica

    P4Replica Formula 3

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    Hi, Jennifer.
    I trust you were referring to the McBearen ....
    .... rather than the Noble P4 which was the original subject of this thread. ;)
     
  24. Pantera

    Pantera F1 Rookie

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    Iam not a suspension guy but I think the design looks great :D why would it be unsafe in any corner?.
     
  25. tongascrew

    tongascrew F1 Rookie

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    As the owner of an partly home built kit 250 California who "never had the money for the original" captures exactly why I did this. It has been referred to during parking lot encounters as an MG, Austin Healy and of course a Ferris Bueller car. Well one of these actually got it right.A guy from the local Porsche dealer stopped by and actually thought at first it was the real thing but for less than a minute. I have enough stories from building the car to today. Don't worry it will never get written. I will always have a love/hate relationship with the car but it is a beast to drive and looks great in the parking lot. tongascrew
     

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