Friday, July 3, 2009

Ferrari 575M - a boy's dream and a worthwile investment?

This morning I read an ad in a newspaper promoting used Ferrari 575M (at about 50 to 70 percentages of the price when they were new). The title read as "a boy's dream and a worthwhile investment". I don't dispute the boy's dream. Many people admired Ferraris and were hoping to be able to buy one eventually. What I am wondering about is whether these cars are really good investments. This goes back to the blog entry "classic cars and their value over time" I wrote a week ago or so. The 575M is clearly a A1 or A2 in my graph. And it's not clear whether the value actually has already rockbottomed. I honestly doubt. And this car also brings back the question on whether modern cars actually ever will become "oldtimers" and vintage car classics. A car such as the Ferrari 575M has lots of complex electronics on board, it's full of digital processors, sensors, motors, etc.. This stuff is difficult to maintain. If a mechanic in 25 years will try to find an error in such a system he might be in big trouble. If he tries to find the parts needed to fix it, it could be even worse. For some of the early "electronic" cars not even the manufacturers of the digital gizmo is still alive, no blueprints exist (thanks to proper outsourcing). Will this be better with a Ferrari of the year 2001? Small production cars will not be the first target for a potential electronics spare part industry.
Which brings me to another point. How many Ferraris 575M were actually built? I would estimate a few thousands, probably 4'000 to 6'000. That's a lot. If you compare this with the three digit numbers for 330 GTCs or 250 GTEs or even with the low four digit numbers for Ferrari BBs or Daytonas, the Ferrari 575M is clearly less exclusive than one of these early classics.
So, should you worry. If you have the cash and want to drive a great car, the Ferrari 575M may still be a good car to go for, but buy it for the fun (and boy's dream aspect) and not as an investment. This way you won't be disappointed.

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