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Old FoW Showroom

Discussion in 'Mid-Atlantic Region - USA (PA, DE, MD, DC, VA)' started by 4REphotographer, Jan 19, 2009.

  1. 4REphotographer

    4REphotographer F1 Veteran

    Oct 22, 2006
    6,088
    Arlington, VA
    Full Name:
    Chris
    #1 4REphotographer, Jan 19, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
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  3. Rafienva

    Rafienva Formula Junior

    Oct 18, 2004
    481
    North Palm Beach, FL
    Full Name:
    Ralph(Rafi) Cestero
    Chris, it sure brings back a lot of memories, I can remember some of those cars on the floor and who they were sold to, back then it was Jim Coffey (RIP) myself and Redding , who would help out when Jimmy and I were busy.
    Thanks, Ralph
     
  4. Robin

    Robin F1 Rookie

    Nov 1, 2003
    2,893
    Arlington, VA
    If I'm not mistaken, that blue 355 Spider was a Series Fiorano.. If it's the one I'm thinking of, it was the first 355 I'd seen in the wild as I happened to get behind it on M Street in Georgetown. It was pretty much at that point that I decided I had to have one. Nice pics!

    -R
     
  5. Jsuit

    Jsuit Formula 3

    Jul 12, 2005
    1,157
    East Coast
    Full Name:
    John
    Ralph gave me my first seat in a 550. I wanted to see if I fit, I was pretty young and he treated me like a regular Ferrari customer. I bought my first Ferrari 3 years later. I did call FWASH first but they didn't have one. FWASH was great. I didn't really go back once it became a Maser and Lambo shop.

    Ralph you made it a great experience and got me hooked, just sorry I won't be buying my next Ferrari from you at FOW.

    John
     
  6. Rafienva

    Rafienva Formula Junior

    Oct 18, 2004
    481
    North Palm Beach, FL
    Full Name:
    Ralph(Rafi) Cestero
    You are absolutely right, it is a Fiorano. It was owned by a local movie producer first then it went to it's 2nd and current owner in NJ.
     
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  8. WCH

    WCH F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Mar 16, 2003
    5,179
    #6 WCH, Jan 20, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2009
    "Ralph you ... got me hooked"

    Got me hooked, too - so why are we thanking the guy?

    Could've gotten us hooked on croquet and saved us a lot of money!
     
  9. Jsuit

    Jsuit Formula 3

    Jul 12, 2005
    1,157
    East Coast
    Full Name:
    John
    LOL, Will

    We could be hooked on much worse things.

    :)
     
  10. mswiek

    mswiek Formula Junior

    Jan 5, 2004
    303
    That blue 355 Fiorano holds a special place in my heart as it was the first Ferrari I rode in and drove, courtesy of Ralph, some five-plus years ago now. After a demonstration drive by Ralph that pressed me back in my seat and made my jaw drop, we returned to FoW and Ralph asked if my son, then age 15, would like a ride as well. Answer was obvious. As my son approached the car he asked me, "Dad what was it like ?" I asked him if he remembered the bumper sticker that says, "GET IN...SIT DOWN...SHUT UP...HANG ON." and left it at that. Fifteen minutes later they returned, with my son bouncing out of the car like he was in an ejection seat, and then he and Ralph walking into the showroom giggling with their arms around each other. At that moment we knew we had found a home for our car passion, and, what has become even more cherished, a true friend in Ralph. Hopefully the new owners at FoW will straighten out what they feel needs to be straightened out, but will also realize what they need to restore and retain in order to rekindle the special atmosphere that created such a devoted group of core customers, and made FoW THE gathering point for the DC area Italian and exotic car community.
     
  11. Bobert

    Bobert Formula Junior

    Jan 17, 2004
    277
    Oak Hill VA
    Boy do those pics bring back memories. I had driven over to FOW in my 2001 Z06. Jim Coffey (RIP) gave me my first drive in a blue 550. I got in and managed to pinch my finger on the adjustment for the steering wheel. Coffey started laughing. We took off and I turned to him and asked him where the cruise control and the cup holder was on the car. Coffey started laughing again and explained that Ferrari's don't have cruise control or cup holders! He then explained the car to me and by the time we got back I was hooked. The smell of the leather and the performance of the 550!

    I started going by the dealership regularly to figure out what my F-Car would be. I must have been there one of the days those pictures were taken as I remember that showroom just as it was set up in the pics with those cars. I was there one Saturday and it turned out they were having the annual anniversary event. Redding told me I should come and bring my wife and our daughter Amanda. Bev got a detailed explaination on the 355 by Fernando that evening as they had an engine on a stand...turned to me a few muinutes later and gave me the go ahead on a 355. Amanda won a door prize!

    I fully agree with mswiek "Hopefully the new owners at FoW will straighten out what they feel needs to be straightened out, but will also realize what they need to restore and retain in order to rekindle the special atmosphere that created such a devoted group of core customers, and made FoW THE gathering point for the DC area Italian and exotic car community." I could not have said it any better than he did here.

    Thanks for posting the pics...those were great days!
     
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  13. toggie

    toggie F1 World Champ
    Owner

    Nov 30, 2003
    18,454
    Virginia
    Full Name:
    Toggie (Ron)
    Yes, thanks for posting the pictures of the old FOW shop.

    I remember going there years ago. The best was the back parking lot behind the building. The race cars were there along with a variety of cars in for service. Also, Allie's F40 sometimes was parked outside in front of the front door. It was actually parked on the sidewalk/planter area. I always wondered what the other businesses in that business park thought about all the exciting cars and "test runs" that were made on those back streets. Most people had no idea there was a Ferrari dealership hidden back there. I used to go by every 4 months or so to look at the non-Ferrari trade-in cars they had in stock. They always had a few Porsches, MBs, BMWs, etc. available for resale back then. That is also when I first met Ralph. I was always greeted with a friendly smile and handshake.

    Good memories.
     
  14. 4REphotographer

    4REphotographer F1 Veteran

    Oct 22, 2006
    6,088
    Arlington, VA
    Full Name:
    Chris
    #11 4REphotographer, Jan 21, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  15. Rafienva

    Rafienva Formula Junior

    Oct 18, 2004
    481
    North Palm Beach, FL
    Full Name:
    Ralph(Rafi) Cestero
    Those pictures were probably taken just months before we moved to the present location. The TDF 550 is probably M.S.
     
  16. RaptorAKL

    RaptorAKL Formula Junior

    Nov 30, 2003
    451
    McLean, VA
    I went to the place several times. Before my first visit during middle school, I had never seen a Ferrari up close and personal before, much less sat in one. When my dad took me there one morning in 1999, a brand new 360 Modena in yellow over black was sitting right by the welcome desk. My jaw hit the floor. I was just getting into cars at the time, and that was one of the things that pushed me over the cliff! The guy showing us around the place was incredibly friendly and even took us through the service center. Thanks to whoever that was for inspiring a kid to grow up into a car enthusiast!
     
  17. ALPO

    ALPO Formula 3

    May 13, 2005
    1,472
    Annapolis area
    Full Name:
    alpo
    I too fell in love w/that car and had the opportunity to see it when the movie producer/CEO drove the car w/his 12-year old son to the FCA-MAR Gibson Island event a few years ago. Great car, nice owner. I test drove a sister car, but didn't car for the F1 shift and wound up w/the 360 instead. To this day, I still lust after the 355 Spider in TDF blue. I too miss the old Fow site, brings back good memories. But it was the people (Raph, Allie, Redding, Mary, etc. that made the dealership work). The loss of some very good/key mechanics started its demise IMHO. Economy flatlining didn't help either. I wish the new owners Godspeed and prosperity.
     
  18. FLATOUTRACING

    FLATOUTRACING F1 Rookie

    Aug 20, 2001
    2,684
    East Coast
    Full Name:
    Jon K.
    Chris, thanks for posting the pics. The pic of my Challenge car was literally a day or so after I got it back from Karoserie. I had an incident at Summit Point a month earlier and Dick V. at Karoserie repainted with the yellow stripes and bumpers. The FOW crew called it the "McDonalds" car.

    I sold that car a few months after the new dealership opened. The new dealership was like a Formula 1 shop but some of the "cozy" atmosphere of the old place was lost. It was more like a multinational business while the old FOW was like your buddy's local store down the street.

    I remember just hanging out at the old FOW on Saturdays because other owners would do the same. You didn't have to being going there to buy or service a car, you just went there because your fellow Ferrari owners went there as well. It was like Happy Hour at the bar.

    Ralph always treated everyone like a friend and he always had your best interests at heart. It was never about selling you a car, it was about selling you a relationship that goes beyond the car and more importantly Ralph was as excited as I was when I bought my two Ferraris.
     
  19. Minico

    Minico Formula Junior

    Dec 22, 2004
    259
    Md.
    I started going there only as an F1 enthusiast and met Ralph. He was genuinely nice to me and I shared some stories of The Glen and going there with my dad & brother as a 10 yr old. Gave him a photo my dad took in the pit lane kneeling in front of Villeneuve's 312t. I always went to the first race parties and met some really nice guys. I'll never forget him telling me to look at the F40 in the back they were doing a service on, he said look at the dash...it had 98 miles on it. He had delivered it new years ago. My first F40 in person! You never forget your first.
    I also remember riding in that 355 challenge Jon had. He gave me a ride @ Summit of about 10 laps that were Amazing! THANKS JON! I'll never forget that...
    I first met Richard there and has been a friend since. Great guy, "mio paisano" with the passion for what it means to carry on true workmanship and professionalism the way Enzo intended. His repuatation speaks for itself. I'm glad I decided to stop in there a long time ago.
    Anyway, now I'm an owner and it was because of all these guys who helped me along the way.

    Siamo veri tifosi !
     
  20. mswiek

    mswiek Formula Junior

    Jan 5, 2004
    303
    Hey Ralph,

    You mean that Michael Schumacher bought that car at FoW ! Wow !!
     
  21. toggie

    toggie F1 World Champ
    Owner

    Nov 30, 2003
    18,454
    Virginia
    Full Name:
    Toggie (Ron)
    LOL. No, I think he meant the other famous "Mike".
     
  22. Rafienva

    Rafienva Formula Junior

    Oct 18, 2004
    481
    North Palm Beach, FL
    Full Name:
    Ralph(Rafi) Cestero
    No, the Pound Cake Guy...
     

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