So you've got a classic Ferrari in the garage. It looks great, but something's bothering you. You're wondering if that yellow paintwork is the original factory color. You're concerned that some of its parts may not be genuine Ferrari components. And maybe you're unsure if the leather seats are the work of guys in Maranello.
It's difficult to get answers to these questions. You might try Google, but it's more likely to confuse things. You could try joining an online community or a car club, in the hopes that you can speak to a real expert. But in reality, you'll struggle. So how do you get the information?
Ferrari's Certification Process
You have to go back to the source, Ferrari. And like anything with a prancing horse badge on it, it's not cheap.
The carmaker can validate that your car, and all of its components, meet the original specifications from when it first rolled off the production line. And if it does, they will supply you with a 'Certificate of Authenticity,' which is more commonly known as 'The Red Book.'
Ferrari introduced the Red Book process back in 2016. And they have a specialist division called the Classiche, which is responsible for delivering it. This division operates via a global network of centers located at specific Ferrari dealerships around the world.
And the way it works is a special committee in Maranello inspects your car, and they decide whether or not it deserves to receive the hallowed certification. And if it fails, they can arrange to have your car fully restored back to its original factory settings. Expert engineers will effectively put your car through a time machine, think Back to the Future, and transform it back to the day it rolled off the production line.
If they have to, they'll strip the car down to its chassis and replace all non-authentic parts. And if the parts are no longer in stock, they have the capability to re-manufacture them for you.
Ferrari states, "The objective of any restoration is to retain as much as possible of the original car and its components, even though this is often not the most cost-effective solution."
Since Ferrari initiated the process, they have restored over 120 cars, and they've certified over 5,000. And according to sources in Italy, there is a lengthy waiting list for what is probably an extremely costly service.
They have also introduced a passport system, where they'll re-inspect your car on a routine basis to ensure that the certification stays valid.
The Importance Of The Red Book
If your car has the prestigious Classiche certification, it will draw a lot more attention at auction. Why? Because classic Ferrari buyers are finicky. And so they should be, if they're parting with eye-watering sums of money, which can climb into seven figures, for an old Italian sports car. They want the car to be just right, in fact they want it to be perfect.
Top end buyers want complete peace of mind, they want the best, and they're willing to pay for it. Quality always comes at a price. So someday, if you do wish to sell that lovely old car in your garage for a top end price, it could well require some major investment. Or, alternatively, you could just enjoy it for what it is: a high-performance vehicle that deserves driving. And you could simply just ignore any of the vehicle's annoyances.