Happy New Year!
Volume 46 Issue 01
Jan 3, 2021
Jim Weed wishes everyone a Happy New Year.
Once again, I sit down to offer random thoughts and some insight about the year past and what the future may bring.
First, I hope all had a Merry Christmas and you were able to spend it with family and friends. This year has certainly been trying with events being cancelled and lockdowns in many cities and states.
Fortunately, Georgia was opened early. We have not had to endure the same closures and economic struggles many other states have had.
Cathy and I work from our homes anyway so the lockdown has not really affected our normal routines. The Ferrari Market Letter still gets organized and printed every two weeks and as long as the postal system continues to accept your newsletters, it should arrive like clockwork.
We did have some problems early in the year with our foreign subscribers. The mail did not make it across the oceans in a timely manner. Amazingly, we send the FML to five of the seven continents of the world. Currently we don’t send paper to South America; we used to, but they moved to an on-line account.
There aren’t any Ferraris in Antarctica, nor any subscribers for print or on-line. I think a GTC4Lusso might be right at home there.
As for on-line accounts we do cover all the populated continents and the mail gets there a whole lot quicker. E-mail is an amazing tool.
As I look at the past year and the articles contained in those twenty-six issues, it is clear how much Cathy and I had to step up our game. Usually, there are enough events and happenings to fill each issue.
We determined many years ago that our core business is bringing Ferraris for sale into your home or office. It makes no difference if you are interested in buying or selling, or just want to keep up with market direction, it is the classified ads that make the magazine what it is.
Of the three hundred Ferraris in each issue, we continue to have a good cross section of each model. Even the older V-12 cars get advertised with regularity.
Of course, newer Ferraris are more prevalent due to higher production totals, but then again, the market for newer cars is greater. Our value is in bringing the greatest variety of Ferraris into one magazine so you can see what is available and at what price.
The speed at which we operate is amazing, at least for a printed magazine. We strive to make sure all ads are current. We check the dealer websites and remove sold cars. We contact owners after six issues to make sure they still want to advertise.
Our two-week schedule means the time an ad is given to us it can be in the hands of a fellow subscriber in a little more than a week and no more than two weeks later. There is no other magazine that can offer that level of turnaround.
Currently the on-line edition follows the same two-week schedule. The website is updated the Monday after the mailing date. There may be a time when we make the on-line edition live with running changes. For now, we have always been a paper magazine first and as we begin our 46th year of print medium we are not yet ready to make that leap.
We also decided the editorial, (that is this section) shouldn’t be too many pages. You get enough media blasted at you every day. As the Millennials like to say TLDR. That means Too Long Didn’t Read.
So, we try to keep the front pages down to a couple of (hopefully!) interesting articles. Events and auctions, history and personal stories, news of the day and unfortunately, obituaries.
As Cathy and I say to each other all the time “We get to do this again in two weeks”. If I were to use up all my thoughts and articles in one issue what would I be able to do for the next?
Which comes back to last year. Without events, or in-person auctions, even racing was affected, and the rough year Ferrari had, there wasn’t a lot to crow about. See Bob Varsha’s article in this issue.
We had to really step up and be more creative. As I’ve said before, I’m not a trained writer; I barely passed every English class I ever took. I can twist wrenches with the best mechanics and manage an entire shop full of prima-donna mechanics, but write?
Write I did. As I look back on the many articles presented in these pages, I am surprised at how many I did this year. Some I thought were groundbreaking. Some I thought were throw-a-ways.
The ones I thought were great, Cathy thought were just OK. The ones she thought were great, I thought were OK. Maybe a writer is his worst critic.
I am always grateful for feedback, good or bad. Several articles resounded with the audience. Both Cathy and I thought they were OK, but I received a number of positive comments. I am always glad to take credit for the good ones.
I hope I have expanded your knowledge of Ferrari, the cars and the factory. I have written about individual models and people, reviewed auctions I never attended, movies and books. Although I did actually see the movies and read the books. What else was there to do during Pebble Beach week?
The car reviews are the most challenging. Even though I have been around Ferraris for forty-five years, there is always something new to learn. Often those articles start with four or five books from our extensive library opened and stacked with little slips of paper sticking out.
It always amazes me how different information is presented and the disparity of that information. The old joke is, put five mechanics in a room and ask what is the best engine oil? You may very well get five different answers. Research can be as exasperating.
The multiple books along with vast experience can usually yield a decent article to present, hopefully, to make you more knowledgeable. I know I always come away a little smarter and observant at the next concours.
This year we lost some great folks who helped bring passion to our hobby. Kirk F. White and Dave Seibert were two who had a great impact on our lives, the Ferrari club and Ferrari in general. Stirling Moss, one of the great drivers, also left us this year. His exploits driving for, and against, Ferrari, helped bring the Ferrari mystique to life.
There were others, John Weinberger of Continental Autosports, and Georgio Nada of book fame, who were not able to be honored within these pages. Both were instrumental in furthering Ferrari sales, knowledge and information.
As I look forward to the new year there is hope. The Cavallino Classic is on schedule for January. West Palm Beach in the winter is a great place to be and I’m sure there will be many beautiful Ferraris present.
Amelia Island will be back and by the time Pebble Beach rolls around we should be well on our way to beating the virus. Life will return to normal.
The presidential election will be soon finalized and no matter which side you are on, we will live and adapt to whatever has been decided. New policies, taxes or regulations may affect our Ferrari world but we always figure out ways to overcome. The luxury tax of the 1980s comes to mind. Somehow life continues on.
As we start another year, let us look to the future and hope for good things to happen. The Ferrari Market Letter will continue to entertain and inform you for another twenty-six issues. We always look forward to meeting our subscribers at the various events and meets we go to. Don’t be shy, come up and say ‘hi’.
In one of my articles, I wrote about driving the F430 Berlinetta. Gary Dowling graciously allowed me to enjoy his car. We are better friends because of the shared experience.
Ed Gilbertson said it best “Ferraris are meant to be driven!” As you go out on the roads remember to share your love of Ferrari and try to pass that love to the next generation.
Dowling is doing his part; the picture of his grandson says it all.
Happy New Year!
Jim and Cathy hope it will be the best one yet.