Report: Ferrari cuts Toronto lawyer a deal to replace his flooded California [w/video]

Filed under: Convertible, Performance, Etc., Videos, Ferrari, Canada, Luxury

Canadian lawyer Howard Levitt's 2010 Ferrari California gets stuck in a flood on his way to the airport.

A Ferrari might be the last vehicle you’d want to be driving when streets are submerged in water, but Toronto lawyer Howard Levitt was unfortunate enough to be behind the wheel of his $200,000+ Ferrari California when the tunnel he was driving through started to fill up. It was July, when parts of the Canadian city were flooded, but he was determined to make his flight to a court appearance the next day. So Levitt abandoned his metallic blue supercar in the middle of the street and took a cab to the airport, the National Post reports.

The car subsequently was totaled, and the insurance company covered the damage, so after completing his court assignment (and a column for the Financial Post that was due the same day), Levitt began to search for a replacement for his California – driving his 1994 Dodge Viper in the meantime. He decided on a 2014 California in the same metallic blue to replace his 2010 model. When he approached Ferrari to put in an order, the Italian marque was waiting for him, having heard of his mishap. The company offered him a “very generous” deal on a 2014 model; an undisclosed amount less than the after-options retail price of around $300,000.

The new Ferrari is expected to be delivered to Levitt in November, and we can only hope another flood doesn’t catch him off guard. We’re not so sure Ferrari would offer him another “very generous” deal. Feel free to watch the short video below, despite its rather static nature, which we included to precisely show the sad fate of Levitt’s fallen California.

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Ferrari cuts Toronto lawyer a deal to replace his flooded California [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Sep 2013 16:04:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Ferrari cuts Toronto lawyer a deal to replace his flooded California [w/video]

Filed under: Convertible, Performance, Etc., Videos, Ferrari, Canada, Luxury

Canadian lawyer Howard Levitt's 2010 Ferrari California gets stuck in a flood on his way to the airport.

A Ferrari might be the last vehicle you’d want to be driving when streets are submerged in water, but Toronto lawyer Howard Levitt was unfortunate enough to be behind the wheel of his $200,000+ Ferrari California when the tunnel he was driving through started to fill up. It was July, when parts of the Canadian city were flooded, but he was determined to make his flight to a court appearance the next day. So Levitt abandoned his metallic blue supercar in the middle of the street and took a cab to the airport, the National Post reports.

The car subsequently was totaled, and the insurance company covered the damage, so after completing his court assignment (and a column for the Financial Post that was due the same day), Levitt began to search for a replacement for his California – driving his 1994 Dodge Viper in the meantime. He decided on a 2014 California in the same metallic blue to replace his 2010 model. When he approached Ferrari to put in an order, the Italian marque was waiting for him, having heard of his mishap. The company offered him a “very generous” deal on a 2014 model; an undisclosed amount less than the after-options retail price of around $300,000.

The new Ferrari is expected to be delivered to Levitt in November, and we can only hope another flood doesn’t catch him off guard. We’re not so sure Ferrari would offer him another “very generous” deal. Feel free to watch the short video below, despite its rather static nature, which we included to precisely show the sad fate of Levitt’s fallen California.

Continue reading Ferrari cuts Toronto lawyer a deal to replace his flooded California [w/video]

Ferrari cuts Toronto lawyer a deal to replace his flooded California [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Sep 2013 16:04:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: How this Ferrari 250 GTE became Rome’s most famous police car

Filed under: Classics, Coupe, Performance, Europe, Videos, Ferrari, Police/Emergency, Luxury

We’re used to seeing fancy cars gifted to or bought by certain international police forces today, but the story of this 1962 Ferrari 250 GTE goes well beyond a gift. Because Rome’s anti-organized-crime unit, Squadra Mobile, was doing a terrific job in the early ’60s, the Italian president asked what they wanted as a token of appreciation. The answer, meant as a joke, was “A Ferrari.” The president, in all seriousness, got them two.

One was almost immediately destroyed during testing, the other remains in the care of Alberto Capelli today, whose father began attending military and government auctions just after World War II. Petrolicious visited Capelli to hear the 51-year-old tale of the most precious cop car you’re going to see for a while, and it involves outlaws, a French gangster in a Citroën, a policeman who was offered a spot on the Ferrari factory team by Enzo himself, and more. It’s a fantastic yarn, and you can watch the whole story below.

Continue reading How this Ferrari 250 GTE became Rome’s most famous police car

How this Ferrari 250 GTE became Rome’s most famous police car originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 26 Aug 2013 12:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Luca doesn’t believe in electric cars, but Ferrari will build more hybrids

Filed under: Hybrid, Performance, Technology, Ferrari

2014 Ferrari LaFerrari at Geneva

Confirming what we’d long suspected, the hybrid powertrain in the Ferrari LaFerrari was not a one-time thing. “I don’t believe in the electric cars, but I strongly believe in hybrids,” Ferrari boss Luca Cordero di Montezemolo tells Bloomberg. It’s unclear when we’ll see another hybrid Ferrari, though, as the automaker’s current lineup is quite fresh – the oldest model is the California, which was updated for the 2013 model year – but make no mistake, there are more electrified cars coming from Maranello. “The answer is yes,” Montezemolo told Bloomberg when asked about hybrids, although he was quick to add “without exceeding.” It’s that last part that is key for enthusiasts of the gas engine.

Ferrari’s move towards hybrid powertrains reflects a pair of trends in both the political and motorsports spheres. Politically, automakers, even exotics, are being pushed to produce cars with cleaner emissions, or in many cases, no emissions at all. Look no further than the Range Rover Hybrid, which was just announced. Formula One’s push towards hybridization and smaller engines is also informing decisions at Ferrari, with the LaFerrari already using hybrid tech already inspired by the sport.

Still, it’s reassuring to know that while Ferrari is pushing forward with future technologies, that the gas engine won’t go the way of the manual transmission in Maranello – at least in the near term.

Luca doesn’t believe in electric cars, but Ferrari will build more hybrids originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 21 Aug 2013 14:41:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Bloomberg: BMW, Ferrari, VW cars use tungsten mined by terrorists

Filed under: Government/Legal, Plants/Manufacturing, Technology, BMW, Volkswagen, Ferrari, South America

Rebels from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), enter a small town near Miranda, Colombia, Wednesday, April 17, 1996. A column of the same rebel group ambushed a military convoy Monday killing 31 soldiers and wounding 18 outside the town of Puerres, located 350 miles southwest of Bogota. The FARC are the largest and oldest guerrilla group in Colombia. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

Bloomberg Markets is reporting that BMW, Volkswagen and Ferrari have been using tungsten ore sourced from Colombia’s FARC rebel terrorists. The extensive story focuses on Colombia’s illegal mining trade and calls into question the provenance of the rare ore that is used not only in crankshaft parts production, but is also found in the world’s computing and telecommunications industry for use in screens.

The ore is mined by the FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, or Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army), and exported to Pennsylvania, where it is refined. The refined ore is then sent over to Austria, where a company called Plansee turns it into a finished product. Now, it’s important to note that we aren’t talking about the world’s supply of tungsten here. In 2012, Plansee’s American refinery purchased 93.2 metric tons of tungsten, valued at $1.8 million. That’s peanuts, with the entire Colombian tungsten mining industry producing just one percent of the world’s supplies.

That doesn’t make indirectly supporting FARC any more acceptable, though. BMW, VW and Ferrari are all committed to not accepting mineral supplies from the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is also in the grips of a guerrilla insurrection funded, in part, by illegal mining. The same commitment would figure to extend to Colombian mining, but as BMW points out, it’s difficult for a multi-national manufacturer to know where every item in its supply chain comes from. A company spokesperson says as much, telling Bloomberg, “These few grams out of the billions of tons of raw materials passing through the BMW supply chain are of no practical relevance.”

This response is perhaps somewhat blasé, but BMW, Ferrari and Volkswagen aren’t directly negotiating with the FARC rebels, and we’d be stunned if the three manufacturers were even aware of where the tungsten was coming from. By the time it arrives in their respective factories, it’s traveled from Colombia, to Pennsylvania to Austria, making for a rather difficult web of countries and networks to track. Even so, with Bloomberg drawing a spotlight on the activities, we’re assuming a few phone calls are going to be made.

Bloomberg: BMW, Ferrari, VW cars use tungsten mined by terrorists originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 08 Aug 2013 13:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Review: 2013 Ferrari FF [w/video]

Filed under: Performance, Hatchback, Ferrari, New Car Reviews

The World’s Fastest Four-Passenger is Frickin’ Fabulous

2013 Ferrari FF

“I miss my mommy.”

Those frightened words floated from the mouth of a five-year-old boy strapped snugly into a booster seat in the backseat of the Ferrari FF I was piloting. Moments earlier, his father had allowed me to take him, and his two brothers, for their first ride in a supercar, and I had apparently failed miserably.

I craned my neck and moved slightly to the right, in an attempt to see him in the rearview mirror, before I asked with a cautionary tone, “What did you just say?” My mind raced during the next few seconds of silence. I wondered if I had unnecessarily traumatized him, or worse – given the little guy his first case of whiplash.

I knew this 651-horsepower Italian was going to get me into trouble.

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2013 Ferrari FF [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 08 Aug 2013 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Ferrari exec to lead Jaguar North America

Filed under: Hirings/Firings/Layoffs, Jaguar, Land Rover

Jaguar has announced that Jeff Curry will be serving as the brand’s new North American vice president, effective August 13. The move is a coup for Jag, which lured Curry away from his previous posting as VP of marketing for Ferrari North America, and is further evidence of just how strong Jaguar’s comeback has gotten.

Curry has spent over 20 years in the auto industry, and has worked with Audi, SiriusXM and Land Rover, where he made his start in the industry. His primary responsibilities with Jaguar will cover marketing communications, customer relationship management, and product planning.

Jaguar Land Rover’s North American president, Andy Goss, heaped praise on the brand’s newest addition saying, “Jeff brings with him extensive automotive and luxury marketing experience, critical expertise in leading-edge technologies and a personal passion for automobiles.”

Scroll down for the official press release from Jaguar.

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Ferrari exec to lead Jaguar North America originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 06 Aug 2013 18:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Read This: Ferrari vs. Ferrari: Cut convertibles unloved by collectors?

Filed under: Classics, Auctions, Ferrari

1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4*S N.A.R.T. Spider by Scaglietti

The New York Times’ Wheels blog has a really interesting story on a pair of Ferraris that are set to be auctioned off in Monterey during the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. While the two cars are similar on the surface, their differing histories and Ferrari’s attitude towards one of them has led to a sort of experimental auction process.

On the one hand, we have one of ten 1967 275 GTB/4 NART Spiders, in the classic Rosso Corsa and appearing at RM Auctions and seen above. On the other, we have a Fly Yellow version that started life as a 1965 275 GTB Coupe, and was converted into a NART Spider. Called a “cut” car, this particular replica is one of about 100 GTB Coupes that were converted into convertibles to satiate the climbing demand for ultra-rare Spiders.

This will mark one of the first times that an original NART Spider will go toe to toe with a replica of itself at auction, and will answer a number of questions about just how important provenance is in the collector car world. Head on over to The Times blog for the full story.

Ferrari vs. Ferrari: Cut convertibles unloved by collectors? originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 05 Aug 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Ferrari reports fewer sales, more profit to prove strategy is working

Filed under: Earnings/Financials, Ferrari

Ferrari badge

Ferrari’s angle of emphasizing exclusivity by limiting deliveries is appearing to bear fruit. The company posted a 7.1-percent increase in revenues to 1.7 billion Euros ($2.2 billion at today’s exchange rates) during the first half of 2013. Net profits, meanwhile, saw a jump of 20 percent to 116.2 million Euros ($153.5 million). The Prancing Horse delivered 3,767 cars, which, while an increase of 2.8 percent, represents a rate of growth that’s slower than in the first quarter of 2013.

While Ferrari may be actively trying to slow its sales down to below 7,000 in 2013, it’s seen increased numbers in the US, Great Britain and Germany, along with double-digit growth in the Middle East and Japan (39 percent and 28 percent, respectively).

The move to limit sales should have a greater impact on the numbers that come in later this year, which we told you about back in May. Ferrari’s controversial move has already seen a drop in sales to China, which saw 50 fewer Prancing Horses than this time last year.

Still, the early stages of Ferrari’s new plans have been a success, as the Chairman said, “An increase of just over two percent in volumes has been matched by 20 percent growth in EBIT which is and will remain our primary objective along with maintaining the exclusivity and value of our cars over time.” We love seeing automakers do well, but somehow, the world just seems a sadder place with fewer Ferraris in it.

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Ferrari reports fewer sales, more profit to prove strategy is working originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 01 Aug 2013 19:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Petrolicious gets super Seventies in a Ferrari Dino 208 GT4

Filed under: Classics, Coupe, Performance, Videos, Ferrari, Luxury

Petrolicious highlights Bradley Price's Ferrari Dino 208 GT4

The Ferrari Dino 308 GT4 was the automaker’s first sports car with a V8 mounted amidships, and that formula quickly became the Italian automaker’s bread and butter. The 308 in the name denotes a 3.0-liter V8, but for the Italian market, where a tax was imposed on cars with engines larger than two liters, Ferrari decided to de-bore the V8 to avoid the tax. Thus the 2.0-liter Dino 208 GT4 was born, and New York resident Bradley Price likes his 1976 model just the way it is.

Price initially was attracted to the Bertone-styled wedge because it “fit into the whole aesthetic of the space age and of the boundless possibility of [the late 1960s and 1970s],” he says in the Petrolicious video, adding that the opening scene of the original The Italian Job struck a chord with him, and the feeling never left. With 170 horsepower on tap, the 208 isn’t very quick, but, in his opinion, it has a sweeter song than the bigger V8 and the driver-centric interior is one of his favorites.

Watch Price snake the original wedge through some East Coast back roads in the video below, and, just for kicks, we’ve also included the opening sequence of The Italian Job.

Continue reading Petrolicious gets super Seventies in a Ferrari Dino 208 GT4

Petrolicious gets super Seventies in a Ferrari Dino 208 GT4 originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 01 Aug 2013 16:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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