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Replica Ferraris Raise Ire of Auto Maker (wsj.com)
59 points by brownbat 1377 days ago | hide | past | web | 53 comments | favorite

Maybe Ferrari should throw a little more money at their F1 team and not at some small Spanish mechanic making kit cars in his garage if they're worried about protecting the brand.

I really hope he can prove that he didn't affix the labels; I'd love to see Ferrari and Audi (if actually involved with the Lambo side) eat shit on this one.

The sad truth is that this poor guy will drown in legal fees even if he wins.

edit: to clarify: VW/Audi (owns Lamborghini) wasn't mentioned in the article as being involved with Ferrari's suit, however they mentioned the guy made Lambo replicas as well.

I don't think it's a matter of money at Ferrari not being thrown at their F1 team. It's more a matter of not having Adrian Newey at the dawn of the newest formula of F1 cars (2009).

Kimi supposedly got an apology from Montezemolo [0] for the way he was treated/forced out of the team AFTER winning the championship for Ferrari, which I think is one of the biggest signs that they're doing ALL they can to win.

[0] http://kimiraikkonenspace.com/2013/09/13/an-apology-from-fer...

Not really what I meant, but I certainly agree, although that apology came as a contractual obligation for getting Kimi to sign for 2014.

I was more implying that the money spent on the lawsuit would be better spent on the brand itself, whose pedigree is driven almost entirely by racing in F1 and GT.

I don't suppose I'd find you poking around /r/formula1?

Ah sorry. I get so excited whenever someone mentions anything about F1 that I jump directly talking about it

You definitely would find me on /r/formula1! I'm oh84s

jk same username on reddit as here - cmsimike. Keeps me honest :)

> You definitely would find me on /r/formula1! I'm oh84s

I was so excited for a split second there!

same un on reddit as well :)

I have a friend with a Ferrari. He actually tells a lot of people it's just a bodykit on a Toyota. It keeps people from thinking he's rich and/or a good robbery target.

That's so... cute. I tell people the same thing about my Scion but it's true.

If you don't want to appear rich or a good robbery target, why buy a Ferrari in the first place? Plenty of other rich people somehow manage to get by without such extravagant displays of wealth.

Ferraris are fun to drive.

So are go carts.

They are actually a bit more dangerous to drive on public roads though....

I'd imagine the fun parts of driving a ferrari aren't really legal on public roads in the first place

It's a grey area. You can have a great deal of fun between 0 and the posted speed limit. Acceleration, breaking and handling matter at any speed.

However a cop may judge that you are driving recklessly regardless of whether you obey specific traffic laws.

Very late, but a) Ferraris are fun, b) it's a life's ambition fullfilled for him, and c) it's proven an excellent investment for him.

If he didn't want people to think he was rich, couldn't he... not buy a Ferrari?

I have to say, if you're really in it to have an awesome car to actually drive (and not a status symbol per se) there's a long list of cars I would consider ahead of a Ferrari.

In their price categories, Ferraris are nothing to sneeze at for the driving experience. Comparing the 458, F40, Enzo, etc., to something like a Carrera GT or McLaren is at the least a draw.

Of course if you compare an overpriced status symbol to other overpriced status symbols, it will come out looking reasonable...

No, I'm comparing supercars to other supercars (but not to hypercars like the Venom, Koenigsegg, or Pagani). I don't know what you have in mind for "an awesome car to actually drive" but maybe we are not on the same page here. Something like an Ariel Atom would be a bit cheaper and more fun on the track I guess, but much, much less fun on the street / day-to-day.

I am thinking that all super/hyper cars are at least as much about status and exclusivity than about driving. I can respect that, but I question the honesty or sanity of someone who pretends their Ferrari is a fake.

Well, I think people have different reasons for buying outlandish vehicles. Consider Jay Leno--he doesn't need to roll around in a flashy car to get special treatment or demonstrate his bankroll, but he's really into the wonderful variety of mechanical approaches and different driving experiences. On the other hand, you have people who know nothing about cars or driving, and will never hit the racetrack, who buy a Porsche Turbo or Lamborghini because it's attention-getting and expensive for its own sake.

I don't own a Ferrari, but if I had the means for an expensive track car and a trailer (i.e., nobody would even see me driving it on the street) Ferraris would be on the shopping list. I suppose the purist's solution would be a race-prepped 911 GT3 however.

An Ariel Atom is more than a bit cheaper. For the price of any supercar, you could have an Ariel Atom and a huge bag of money.

He could but then YOU wouldn't be driving a Ferrari. No one has to know you own a Ferrari for you to enjoy it.

That wouldn't work. (Would his friends steal it? Do his friends gossip to the local car thieves?) Something like this though:


Hasn't this been a "thing" for decades? When I was a little kid we'd get supercar magazines and they'd be full of advertisements for Ferrari and Lamborghini "kits".

The Pontiac Fiero is one of the most (in)famous cheap cars with Ferarri kits. Hell, GM knocked off the Testarossa (or Berlinetta Boxer, depending on who is arguing) for the vanilla body design.

I had a Fiero back in 1987 when I was 16. It was really a crummy car, reliability-wise, but so fun.

Well yeah, you can't goose an iron duke and expect it to run fine. You know the engine was running a quart lower because of a smaller oil pan? I had an 87 Celebrity with the same engine. That 2.5L 4 banger was great but slow.

The Mera was a Ferrari 308 based Fiero rebody that was sold as a dealer option. You could get a zero mile fake Ferrari just by checking a few boxes and doubling the price of the car.

Yep, this is a "thing". Often a ridiculous "thing":


IIR, old VW Beetles and Porsche 911's were largely interchangeable. So much so that my father used to hotrod Beetles with Porsche engines and I've seen at least 2 Beetles with 911 bodies on them.

Yes, they had a lot of interchangeability. The Porsche 912 had a VW engine. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porsche_912

>He[Hitler] contracted Porsche in 1934 to design and build it to his exacting standards. Ferdinand Porsche and his team took until 1938 to finalise the design.


I don't think Mr. Aguilar was being entirely truthful when he said "We don't like it [pretending the cars are Ferraris], and we think it actually devalues our product, which is something else."

This is the title for the SRC Kit Cars website: "SRC-KIT CARS ferrari lamborghini clasico hot rod piezas replica"

I don't understand how people are willing to pay 40K EUR for a fake Ferrari when you can have a real F430 for 70K EUR or a very nice 308 GTS for 40K (and 355 and 360 between these prices).

Sure, maintenance may be a bit lower but I can't even begin to imagine the "resale value" of a fake one.

Due to the high volume of production of new Ferrari (compared to before), prices are now free-falling and there are models losing 15K EUR per year. So "fetching" a nice one, with low mileage, for a "reasonable price" (say between 60K and 80K) is not as far-fetched as most people think.

Because you can't drive a 308. It's 30 years old, and its engine is constantly about to blow up (at least it feels that way)

And when it does, your 40k goes \poof\ with it.

Source: been around somebody who owned one of these, he was much happier when he sold it and bought a corvette.

Maybe Mr. Calero should be putting new Toyota engines in legit Ferrari bodies!

He'd have better luck with Nissan engines :-) (but really, Toyota's sport engines are quite good)

>Sure, maintenance may be a bit lower

Not just a 'bit' lower but worlds lower, owning a luxury car is rarely about the acquisition cost but the cost to keep and maintain it. You can find Toyota parts any day of the week on just about any street corner, same thing when it comes to a mechanic. Plus Toyotas are built to be daily drivers, not so much Ferraris.

Would the design of a car body count as a type of intellectual property? I understand that clothing designs cannot be copyrighted or patented. Also I think house plans can be copyrighted but the look of the house itself cannot. Adding a trademarked logo to the car would be clearly wrong but what kind action could a manufacturer take against a kit vendor?

I think there are "industrial design" rights, but not sure whether they apply to car designs. There would be an obvious problem of "how similar is too similar" given that car types (sedan, wagon, coupe etc.) are broadly similar across brands.

In this case the action was based on badges (a trademark violation)

The Ferraris used in Miami Vice were originally replicas, as Ferrari originally declined a request from the show for cars. After a couple seasons, Ferrari sued the folks making the replicas and offered two cars to the show as long as the replicas be destroyed.


"Ferrari executives ... had never heard of the Spanish car mechanic and didn't know until recently what he was up to... Ferrari alerted Spanish police, who raided ... and shut him down in July, seizing 17 replica Ferraris and two replica Aston Martins."

... sounds like a measured response. Kind of like suing a person for tens of thousands of dollars for downloading a few MP3s.

> Kind of like suing a person for tens of thousands of dollars for downloading a few MP3s.

With 13 employees and 19 cars in waiting, this doesn't sound such a small-scale operation as you seem to imply. How many Ferraris were sold in his area of operation at the time?

I don't know of a single prospective Ferrari buyer that would even give the thought of buying a Toyota kit car instead a microsecond of time. They are totally different demographics, in fact I'd say there a high chance of a real Ferrari owner to purchase one of these as a novelty.

People that buy a Ferrari are in it only for the pedigree, otherwise they'd actually buy a good supercar like a Noble or McClaren.

"Judge Ronald S.W. Lew asserted that Gotham Garage can't simply manufacture Batmobiles as depicted in Batman movies, without the consent of Warner Bros., the producer of the Batman franchise."

If Warner Bros. had no intention of producing their own Batmobiles, then they were really unfair to fans. Why wouldn't they just ask for royalties from the cars and let him be?

They don't want "FAMILY KILLED IN BATMOBILE" headlines.

the problem with these kit cars are the wheelbase dimensions are all wrong, so they look like little scrunched-up midget versions of the real thing. real sports cars are long, and wide, and low.

Oh THAT"S the problem ;)

well, yeah. they would look fine and fool quite a few car enthusiasts (from the outside, anyway) if the dimensions were right.

The reaction to this article is interesting. Compare it to the reaction of "copied" icons, which sometimes only look vaguely similar and are not being sold to the public but are used to dress a website.

Oh man, 3D printing is gonna piss off auto makers so badly in the near future!

looks nothing like a ferrari

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