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Turning Ferraris into classics.

Summary: Owners have everything to hope for given the fancy prices vintage models are fetching

Manoj Nair, Associate Editor


Buy a Ferrari - and then turn it into a Classic. Or if you already have one, make sure it goes on to become a classic.

With the kind of prices some of the Ferrari models of the past have been fetching at auctions in recent years, today's owners shouldn't miss out on a chance to make theirs fit the part. If they are still not convinced, just chew on this bit of detail - a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO picked up a cool $38 million plus, and the title of the most expensive car ever sold in an auction. (It was at a 2014 auction.) Now, the UAE dealership for the Italian marque has just introduced the "Officina Classiche" programme, making it the first in the Middle East's to provide restoration and certification services for vintage Ferrari cars. Anything of 20 years and more qualifies the model to be treated as one.

This certification - direct from Ferrari, of course - will allow Al Tayer Motors to provide for an assessment and refurbishment of any Ferrari Heritage model.

Once the process is gone through, owners are ride off with a Ferrari Certificate of Authenticity endorsed by the Ferrari factory in Maranello.

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Currently, the oldest Ferrari serviced through Al Tayer Motors boasts of a 1962 vintage, a Ferrari 250 Lusso. With the new facility - located off Shaikh Zayed Road - the dealership is aiming to service up to 27 cars a day (including the Maserati) and with a capacity to "stretch this further if needed," according to Ashok Khanna, CEO.

As of now, 48 Ferrari dealers in 20 markets have been confirmed as "Ferrari Classiche Authorised Workshops", individually known as "Officina" (Italian for workshop). This authorises the dealer to implement the certification process and ensure the correct maintenance and/or repair of Ferrari cars over 20 years old.

The Ferrari Classiche department was set up in 2006 by the carmaker and since 2009, it has also been responsible for issuing new attestations for "vehicles of historic interest". Those are the ones that typically go under the auction hammer in their millions. So far, 1,000 authenticity certification requests have been processed.

Now, the full-scale attestation extends to much more than checking all the mechanics are in place. It covers research on the original designs of the cars held in the company's archives, which house details of all of the GT, competition and sports- prototype cars built by Ferrari since its foundation.

Any work done on the cars is carried out in compliance with those original designs. In all, 28 full restorations have been done at Ferrari Classiche's dedicated workshop.

The new Al Tayer Motors' service facility also does the honours for Maserati models. "It is the largest Ferrari and Maserati service centre in the Middle East," said Khanna. "It has been purpose-built, with 38 bays that allow us to reduce the turnaround time. At the previous service facility, there were 12 bays available.

"The opening of the stand-alone service facility is to ensure we aren't only prepared to service the current demand, but take into consideration the potential future increase of demand."

The fine art of restoring a historic Ferrari

The Ferrari Classiche department carries out the restoration work directly at the factory.

It can then "return cars to their original authentic state" as it has access to the in-house foundry and the machining tools used to manufacture the original parts. Plus, there is the archive of all the original designs.

This means that it can reproduce any component or part from any model ever built.

It's been a good year for the prancing horse

Vintage isn't the only reason it is turning out to be a classic year for Ferrari.

The 812 Superfast, the most powerful and fastest Ferrari production car to date (an that is saying something), is now available in the UAE showrooms. It was first shown off at the Geneva Motor Show.

There is also the latest V8 Grand Tourer - the Portofino - launched at last week's Dubai International Motor Show.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Nov 21, 2017
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