What they are and why they are valuable

So you have a classic Ferrari in the garage. It looks good, but something’s bothering you. Wondering if that yellow paint is the original factory color. You’re worried that some of its parts aren’t genuine Ferrari components. And maybe you don’t know if the leather seats are the work of guys from Maranello.

It is difficult to get answers to these questions. You can try Google, but it’s more likely to confuse things. You can try joining an online community or car club, hoping you can talk to a real expert. But in reality, you will have a hard time. So how do you get the information?

Ferrari certification process

You have to go back to the source, Ferrari. And like anything with a Prancing Horse badge, it’s not cheap.

The automaker can validate that your car and all of its components meet original specifications as soon as it rolls off the production line. And if so, they’ll provide you with a ‘Certificate of Authenticity’, more commonly known as ‘the red book’.

Ferrari presented the Red Book process in 2016. And they have a specialized division called Classiche, which is in charge of delivering it. This division operates through a global network of centers located in specific Ferrari dealerships around the world.

And the way it works is that a special committee in Maranello inspects your car and decides whether or not it deserves to receive the hallowed certification. And if that fails, they can have your car completely restored to its original factory settings. Expert engineers will effectively put your car into a time machine, think Back to the futureand transform it the day it leaves the production line.

If they have to, they will strip the car down to its frame and replace any non-genuine parts. And if the parts are no longer in stock, they have the ability to re-manufacture them for you.

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Ferrari says: “The aim of any restoration is to retain as much of the original car and its components as possible, although this is often not the most cost effective solution.”

Since Ferrari started the process, they’ve restored over 120 cars and certified over 5,000. And according to sources in Italy, there’s a long waiting list for what is likely an extremely expensive service.

They have also introduced a passport system, where they will re-inspect your car regularly to ensure the certification remains valid.

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The importance of the red book

Ferrari Prancing Horse Badge
SoulRider.222 via Flickr

If your car has the prestigious Classiche certification, it will attract much more attention at auction. Why? Because classic Ferrari buyers are finicky. And they should be, if they part with huge sums of money, which can climb to seven figures, for an old Italian sports car. They want the car to be perfect, in fact they want it to be perfect.

Premium buyers want complete peace of mind, they want the best and they’re willing to pay for it. Quality always has a price. So one day, if you want to sell that nice old car in your garage for a high price, it might just require a major investment. Or, alternatively, you can simply enjoy it for what it is: a performance vehicle worth driving. And you can just ignore the annoyances of the vehicle.

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