Welcome to the Future

Jim Weed

Volume 47 Issue 05

Mar 6, 2022

It was inevitable. Ferrari builds a SUV. The Purosangue will be coming to a dealership near you.

    Back in 1975, I had a friend who had gotten a job at a new dealership in Tucker, Georgia.


    He told me of this small car company called Ferrari. He said they built the best sports cars in the world.


    They had won great races like the Tour de France and Le Mans, Daytona and Sebring. They competed in Formula One and had won championships.


    If you could afford a Ferrari, you must be rich and successful. Doctors and lawyers were customers, businessman were customers, actors and royalty were customers.


    To own a Ferrari meant YOU had to be special because they were rare and expensive. That’s what he told me.


    He also said one day Ferraris would be everywhere. There would be dealerships all around the country. They would have cars lined up outside waiting for a customer to come in and purchase a new Ferrari.


    It is amazing to have that much vision of the future.


    In 1975 the Daytona had finished its run. Ferrari was building the 365 GT4/BB and 365 GT4. The 246 Dino was over, and the newest small Ferrari was the 308 GT4.


    It must also be remembered the Boxer and 365 GT4, soon to be the 400 GT, were not able to be sold in America. It was up to the 308 GT4 to be America’s Ferrari.


    The 308 GTB would not come to America until August of 1976. So, 1975 seemed to be a very bleak time to sell or buy a Ferrari in America.


    Dealerships were rare. Most major cities did not have one. New York, Florida, and the west coast had dealers. There was a smattering of dealers throughout the rest of the country.


    If you could afford a Ferrari, there were few places it could be taken to be worked on and even fewer to have warranty work done.


    Besides, there were only 14,900 Ferraris built since 1948. Add in five hundred sports cars and a couple hundred Formula cars the entire population of Ferraris was extremely small.


    Things sure have changed. It’s taken forty-five years, but the future is here.


    America now has forty-one dealers, while still saturating the three previously mentioned areas it is possible to not be terribly far from an authorized dealer anywhere in America.


    Ferrari has increased production and reliability has greatly improved. Ferrari’s reputation was built upon reliability, racing reliability, to be sure. Early street cars did not fare well without high quality care and feeding.


    But Ferrari has continuously improved the product, year by year, model by model. Every model Ferrari makes gains from the learned experience.


    Has Ferrari ever gone backwards? Never. The 328 was better than the 308. The F50 was better than the F40. The 488 was an improvement over the 458.


    With each new model, Ferrari becomes another automobile that can be driven and used every day.


    While we may not think a daily driver should be an F8 Spider or 812 GTS, Ferrari does make models that fit well within the daily category.


    Think GTC4Lusso, Portofino and Roma.


    Each of these cars is a Ferrari and many say not very exciting Ferraris, but they have a place.


    Not one of these models may ever become collectible. There may never be a time in the future where they become desired as classic.


    That does not change what these Ferraris bring to the company: accessibility to a whole new type of customer. The family Ferrari.


    Soon, we are to meet Ferrari’s new family SUV. The Purosangue will grace garages and soccer fields all across America.


    The name Ferrari has always stood for exclusivity and status; the Purosangue will continue that tradition.


    Someday there will be dealerships all across the country in every city with a yard full of new Ferraris for sale.

 
    While the wife may be eyeing the newest child mover, you will still be able to check out something more exclusive.


    Welcome to the future.