Growing up in the early 1980's it was hard for a car loving boy not…
So for all who do follow my daily Auto Fanatic lifestyle you kinda knew this was going to happen sooner or later. Servicing, Customizing and Racing Ferrari cars since the early 1990s certainly has left it’s mark on the most amazing experiences and lifestyle any Auto Fanatic could have ever dreamed growing up. I am truly blessed at all I have experienced, learned and accomplished with cars to lead me to where I am today. Having an older Ferrari for me to work on, detail and enjoy as the new caretaker has been on my things to do list for a very long time. I have been toying with so many ideas on what car really made sense for my lifestyle and that would be a great companion to all my other high performance cars in the Auto Fanatic Stable. I have spent years finding, inspecting and trying to locate a car that is worthy of my extremely high standards. A majority of these cars are story cars as they call them in the industry amongst collectors. Cars with bad carfax, accidents, lack of service work and just plain old beat up. It seems today these online dealers are becoming digital nomads and photo retouching experts when they post photos online. There are always a flood of cars on the market but the true collector grade cars are rarely advertised and if they are they sell immediately to collectors because of how hard it is to find another. Go try for yourself and let’s talk in a few years after you exhausted your efforts to feel and understand the meaning of this blog post. I also need to be clear that the cars I own, chase and desire are cars that mean something to me. I would never buy any car to boost my social media presence because the passion for cars I have is unmatched with anyone out there on social media. Its not about that for me and it never was through the entire journey of starting a YouTube channel. I never wanted to be famous or act silly for views and ad revenue but my purpose was to share my passion, knowledge and lifestyle with other like minded Auto Fanatics around the world who have taken great appreciation and respect of what I am all about. Waking up each day hearing from fans around the world that thank me for helping them buy that special car they dreamed about makes my day seeing that my passion has resonated with so many in their pursuit of happiness with cars.
Inspecting, chasing, appraising and helping clients buy and sell specialty cars is a core part of my business each and every day. So with my extreme breadth of knowledge on these cars and an abundance of trusted resources you would think my chase would be simple. With online presentations being the norm I know sellers try to pass on to potential buyers bad cars or cars that would never meet my standard. Call me picky or obsessive but my pursuit for anything in life was never to settle for anything less than the best. It is very easy for me to spot a fake ad online but there have been times that I was even fooled after I spent my money to send a trusted third party to look the cars over.
I started this journey way back of originally wanting a Ferrari Testarossa back in 2010. My dream car growing up and I still recall the first time I worked on one how massive and strange the car seemed in the flesh. Watching Miami Vice with my dad each Friday night in the 1980s also engrained my love affair for the Testarossa so much that I have a white one on one of my auto detailing products bottles. Values are all over the map and most of these cars are not driven and that does worry me because my goal is to share the ownership experience with my worldwide audience.
After viewing well over 40 Ferrari Testarossa’s all over the USA, Canada and even Europe I just threw in the towel and gave up the search. Then the itch seems to come back months or years later and I started looking again but this time I said maybe I should check out a Ferrari 348, it kinda has some Testarossa design cues and F40 cues and they are very good driving cars if you enjoy the analog experience plus it was much less expensive of an investment. Well that search ended up with more junkers than I could have imagined because the Ferrari 348 were so cheap over the years that they got into the hands of the wrong owners and repair shops and finding a nice one is not easy. They also never seem to bring the money or demand in the Ferrari market and the Ferrari 348 is almost a frowned upon model to collectors which is a true shame because they are neat cars still. About 2 years ago I found a Ferrari 348 Speciale Rosso Corsa with Creme interior but it lacked service records, needed the major service and the history was unknown. I loved the subtle styling changes they made for the Speciale model which was only available in the USA. This particular car had the RARE Ferrari F40 carbon bucket seats, and some other tasteful touches I just loved. The seller would not budge on the asking price of $110,000 and it just was too much risk to outweigh the love affair I was having with this car.
Being in the service business for 27 years with Ferrari dealers and service shops all over the world and continuously talking to experts each week my quest was always evolving on what car to go for. Now we go back to 2015-2017 era and the market was soft for certain models and I had my heart set on a F355 GTS or Berlinetta but it had to be a gated 6 speed car in Rosso Corsa. Once again I looked at hundreds of cars online, had well over 20 of these cars inspected only to be disappointed not only at my time but the thousands of dollars I wasted on PPI at Ferrari specialist shops. So finding that gem of a F355 when the market was soft was just not happening. If I can tally up all the money I spent on PPI over the last 10 years trying to find the right car I think I could have bought a Ferrari 308 QV or Mondial T for a toy. The chase continues!
The F355 was a burning flame for years, it all started in 1994 when I had first worked on one for a client in NYC at the custom shop me and my best friend worked at. I will never forget that car it was Rosso Corsa with tan just like the one I just got. We installed a full TUBI exhaust, Fikse Forged Wheels, We did a high end Mcintosh audio system all integrated with custom leatherwork as well and some other custom touches to the interior. The style of this car blew me away because it was such a radical departure from the Ferrari models I grew up to love as a child, 308, 328, F40, Testarossa. The F355 is not only timeless and classic but also modern still to this day. Even now driving it on the road people are going nuts because of how beautiful the car truly is. I call all of these cars I love rolling works of art that you can enjoy and are great investments if you buy the right car.
Back in 2019 I got the itch to buy a Porsche Cayman GT4 after I exhausted years of similar efforts trying to buy a 964 or G Body 911. I searched and found the perfect or what I thought would have been the perfect example Porsche GT4 local in NYC. I never loved the Cayman or Boxster image but always loved how they drove and I thought this might be a neat new experience to own before I take delivery of the C8 Corvette I ordered to share the comprehensive feedback with you guys. The white 2016 GT4 in NYC was amazing and perfect so we made the deal verbally and the dealer sold the car out from under me to a higher bidder. I despise car dealers most of the time for their unethical tactics but I knew something was fishy when they took all my credit card info on my AMEX to place the deposit and for 10 days they never authorized or charged my card. This is what we call a typical bait and switch, they played me. After that fiasco I got disgusted and life went on. I then hear wind of the new Porsche 718 GT4 so I got on the waiting list with a deposit. I told the sales manager a spec I wanted and they said the way I would order the car is exactly how most of them will be coming so I left it at that.
Time goes on I would browse for the Ferrari of my dreams on occasion and I got the itch once again. Here we go once more, tons of calls, emails, FaceTime sessions and PPI with still no traction to make a deal.
I shifted gears even further now and started looking at 308 and 328 GTS which I absolutely love but after driving many of them I felt this was more of an art piece than a high performance car and it just did not fit with my brand and personality at this point in my life. I still want to acquire a Ferrari 328 GTS one day very soon but not as my first Ferrari, maybe my second or third because it becomes an addiction.
Few months back I found the absolute gem that is now sitting in my garage. There were over 120 high res photos of this car posted and I studied every square inch of these photos to know first hand this was the car. I called the seller and he never called back but I eventually hounded him and got him on the phone only to be disappointed that the car was gone hours after it was listed. I cant even tell you how upset I was because of this long journey over the years and I knew this was the car for me.
I digested the loss of the F355 Berlinetta and I then switched gears again to start looking at Ferrari 550M. Here we go again, more PPI, more BS sellers and more disappointment. You guys are going to go nuts when you read the rest of this story because fate was truly on my side yet I did not know it.
I anxiously browsed for a perfect Ferrari 550M and I found it. This was was simply incredible and you wanna laugh, the seller was the same seller who had the F355 Berlinetta I wanted exactly 6 weeks prior. I called and initated the inspection of this Ferrari 550M and we did 2 sessions over FaceTime. I then hired a esteemed Ferrari shop to do a full PPI on the car 5 days later because the shop was so busy. Now this was a Friday and the seller and I seemed to be on the same page. So Im getting all excited because the 550M is an awesome driving car and how can you beat a V12 Gated 6 speed experience.
I get into my office Monday morning and I get the phone call, it was like the phone call of death, someone bought the 550M over the weekend sight unseen with no PPI for full asking price. I was so angry because this was now the second car I missed out on.
So I began keeping an eye on this sellers website and social media and would TXT him on cars I showed interest but once again they were always sold. We got on the phone and talked a bit and he told me how his core clients are all big wig collectors and I totally understand the crazy client types because I have core clients exactly like this. His core base buys and sells many cars in single transactions to change their garages and collections around so I completely get it when you have this much disposable income and a passion for special cars it’s an addiction hard to break.
A few weeks pass I get a frantic call from the Porsche dealer that the Porsche 718 GT4 I ordered is in stock ready for me to buy it. Now the dealer never told me the price back in 2019 but they were asking $10,000 over MSRP which brought the purchase to about $153,000.00 The car was gorgeous and spec super nice but it was a new color called Gentian Blue Metallic. Now call me insane but I am extremely sensory driven and I have been working on nothing but blue cars over and over for myself lately, clients, friends I was just absolutely so sick of the thought of another dark blue car in my life I said this is absolutely not happening. If the car was Miami Blue or some funky custom color I think I would have taken delivery but I just can not take another dark blue car in my life. Even when I browse my Youtube Thumbnails all I see lately is blue blue blue and I just had to change it up since I sold my red Shelby GT350. Red cars and the right red cars are amazing on camera and for video and this was my goal and I would not accept anything other.
We are now Friday morning 7am I sent a TXT to the sales manager at Porsche telling him I am sorry but I am passing on the car because its just not something I truly desire now in my life and I did not want another blue car. My chase and my heart was not changing from owning an older Ferrari with a gated shifter and the Porsche 718 GT4 I can always buy another time easily and with the depreciation hit taken by the first owner. I woke up out of bed and got ready for my day and as I am eating breakfast Im browsing for cars and I popped onto the website of the guy who had those two amazing Ferrari’s I missed out on. Well I almost fell of the chair because there it was that F355 Berlinetta from 6 weeks prior. I thought maybe this was a glitch so I called him and he said the collector that bought it traded it back in with 8 other cars for a bunch of other cars. I said well is the car for sale, he said yes but another guy is having a PPI done and he gets first shot. Hours later I got the call as the other guy was lowballing him so we made the deal, we wired the money and now the car is in NY. This is a crazy chase if you can call it that but it’s also a very emotional and personal decision in my life right now with how the entire world has been upside down for 6 months with no end in sight. Life is simply too short to sit on the sidelines waiting. If you have a dream and can fulfill it do it now because timing, fate and that emotional experience only comes around so often and trust me it’s been one hell of a long journey for me and I can not wait to share more of the Ferrari F355 Belinetta with my fans around the world. I wish everyone out there to stay safe, calm and resilient during this crazy time we are all facing and if your a car guy go out and try to fulfill that bucket list now because there is no better than than now. Happy Motoring and visit my Youtube Channel to watch the delivery video and highlights of this amazing Ferrari F355 Berlinetta.
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