1997 Ferrari 550

Today in funny stories about cars I almost bought:

About 4 1/2 years ago, we were in our first year of having just launched RWM; we were also 2 months away from our closing date to purchase the home we currently live in deep — made more complex by the sellers’ ugly divorce. It was a busy, complicated period.

Marty, a good friend and mentor — he gave me my first job in finance — offered me his car. It was a 2001 Ferrari 550 Maranello Coupe in this gorgeous LeMan blue, with a tan coach interior. Barely 3,000 miles on it, gated 6 Speed manual shifter, with a 5.5 liters naturally aspirated V-12 making 478 hp. Its a beast, clearly out of my budget.

He offered me these wheels by saying this: “Do you want this car? Its taking up space in my garage that I need. Figure out whats it is worth, pay me whenever. Just make some room for the wife’s car please.”

Figure out whats it is worth? Pay me whenever?  Who could say no to that?

I get home, and tell my wife “We’re getting Marty’s Ferrari.”

She laughs at me — literally LOLS in my face: “No, we are not. You just launched a new firm, we are about to close on a house we can barely afford. No, you are not buying a Ferrari.”

Ironically, the house we were selling we had been in for 7 or so years, purchased mid-housing crisis. At the time, I almost bought a BMW Z8 for about $65k, in very similar circumstances. We had nearly the exact same conversation — new job, new house, are you crazy? Today, they go for $250k-300k.

Deflated, I call Marty to give him the bad news. He asks me “Whats this thing worth?”

I tell him they are going for $100k-$150k, but his color combo and manual transmission are very desirable. And, they just started going up in price — I think he should hold on to it. “Hold it for 5 years and it will likely double,” I say. (I was wrong; over the next year, it tripled in price).

“Nah, I need the room.” He sells it for the middle of my range, and never looks back. Eventually, he and the wife head to Germany for BMW’s Fly & Drive program, picks up a lovely 6 series, they cruise all over Europe. BMW then ships the car to USA, and it takes the spot the blue beast occupied in the garage.

That was my most recent dalliance with an F-car.

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I am not usually a fan of yellow for sports cars, but this one is pretty, and should go for $150-200k:

 

I love these serious, purpose built cockpits:

Its not easy mastering the gated shifter:

Source: Classic Driver

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