He’s Got 18 Ferraris…and He Drives Them All

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Besides the more obvious benefits of being about to use a shorter line to check-in, and being able on some flights to actually lie down flat during a flight, the benefits of business class are the people you sit next to.

We flew back from Bologna last night and I met a pair of fascinating men. They were dressed pretty well, nice looking blazers and expensive shoes, and they said they had flown over to Italy on Alitalia but were returning on the business class service provided by Eurofly. It’s a new service to parts of Italy that never had direct flights from the US, like Bologna and Pesaro, on the Adriatic.

I got to talking to them and they said they were in Italy for the 60th anniversary of Ferrari. One of them said he owned a Ferrari dealership on Long Island the other said he owned some of the sports cars. “How many?” I asked. “I’ve got 18 now,” he said. I asked if he drove them all, and he said yes.

Ferraris are very much in style these days, said the dealership owner, Michael Mastrangelo. There is a two-and-a-half year wait from day of ordering to delivery. You can choose between many colors, not just the racing red. A custom color costs only $15,000 more. I asked them what the difference is between people who buy Lamborghinis and Ferraris. “Ferraris have the Formula One tradition, the others are more for exotic car collectors.”

I asked them about the story in the NY Times that cited a rash of crashes of Ferraris and other exotics. “They really blindsided us with that,” he said, “these are some of the safest cars in the world because they’re built for racing.” He was misquoted and said he prefers to do interviews by email because of it.

We were in Maranella the same day as a parade of 1500 Ferraris whose owners drove them from all over the Europe. Like these two, we missed that event but got to see lots of the cars in the gallery parking lot. I kept thinking of new questions to ask Michael…but decided to email them to him instead.