When you buy a Ferrari, you are not just purchasing the honor of owning a Ferrari. Along with the car comes the dramatic driving experience, the blistering speed, the phenomenal exhaust note, and some peculiar Ferrari-only quirks. In fact, owning a Ferrari is not everything it’s perceived to be.
The average Ferrari only travels on average, 2,000 to 3,000 miles per year, which begs the obvious question: why? There are around 37,000 Ferraris in the US alone, so those figures dictate that we should be seeing them on the road a lot more frequently than we do.
So what is keeping Ferrari owners from driving their dream cars? Well, it turns out the answer is quite a number of things, actually. Ferraris are notoriously fickle to maintain and should only be worked on by Ferrari's approved mechanics, who generally charge large sums of money for even thinking about your car.
And then there are the things that you can’t do in a Ferrari. You can’t leave it parked on a public street. You can’t hit potholes. You can’t sit in peak hour traffic. You can’t blend in. If you consider all of these issues to be minor and manageable, there are even more oddities waiting to be discovered once you get behind the wheel.
Think of this article as a public service announcement. Before you drop a few hundred thousand on the car you had as a poster when you were a child, consider these weird things that make no sense about Ferrari’s supercars.
20 You Can’t Buy One
Ferrari has done a brilliant job of creating a brand that exudes desirability and exclusivity. What many people don’t realize is that you can’t just walk into a Ferrari dealership and drive out with a brand new car. For its ‘cheaper’ models, Ferrari will demand to see a history of secondhand ownership and if you’ve never owned one before, they will show you the door very quickly. If you’re under the age of 40, forget it. The exact criteria needed to be met in order to purchase a new Ferrari is a closely guarded secret. This means that secondhand Ferraris are often sold for double, or even triple, their original price.
19 Deliberately Misleading Build Numbers
Ferrari releases production numbers for each model, but they have been shown to always be understated. This is, presumably, to manipulate the perceived exclusivity of their vehicles. Internet researchers have teamed up to prove that Ferrari deliberately lowballs numbers. Other tricks that they use include giving multiple vehicles the same serial numbers. In one instance, internet detectives have discovered that there are at least four different Ferrari F50s with the serial number 99999. They have also been able to track down and record more than 500 different Ferrari Enzos worldwide, far greater than official production numbers, which state only 400 were produced.
18 The Overhang
Ferraris long front overhang is one of those design features that you don’t really notice until you deliberately look for it—but after you see it, you can’t not see it. To be fair, this isn’t limited to just Ferrari, as all mid-engined supercars have this design feature, to an extent. However, manufacturers such as Pagani and Koenigsegg have much shorter front overhangs and don’t seem to carry it to the extreme that Ferrari designers love to do. It’s never been clear why Ferrari favors this shape, whether it’s a purely aesthetic choice or a compromise between aerodynamics, weight distribution, and downforce.
17 The Tiny Compartments
Without a doubt, Ferrari makes cars that offer some of the greatest driving experiences available. One design flaw, however, means that they are only suitable for racetracks and short jaunts around the city. The cargo space in some models, such as the Enzo and the F40, have enough space to store a handbag and a jacket—provided the jacket isn’t too large. This is worse for rear-engined cars, however, some models, such as the Monza SP1 and SP2, also have trunks that seem like they were an afterthought. This is mostly because every millimeter on a Ferrari is examined and optimized, but a decent sized trunk would allow their cars to be used more for touring purposes.
16 Ferrari Toolkits
If you are lucky enough to be selected to buy a brand new Ferrari, you will get a Ferrari-branded toolkit included. These are very desirable and collectable, and fetch a huge price on the secondhand market. Last year, a toolkit from a Ferrari 275 sold at Sothebys Auctions for over $22,000! If you lose even one piece, it’s pretty much a given that you’ll have to take a hefty financial hit to replace it. And that's assuming somebody else has one for sale. If anything is missing when your Ferrari is resold, the asking price is guaranteed to be significantly lower.
15 The Enzo's Windshield Wiper
The Ferrari Enzo has some very unusual styling, including a very unusually shaped windshield. The styling was inspired by Michael Schumacher's Formula One car and, therefore, features an F1-styled long, raised nose to channel air up over the wraparound windshield. Of course, with an odd windshield comes an odd windshield wiper. The shape of the Enzo's windshield wiper means that it’s impossible for it to fully retract when it’s not in use, so instead, it sits atop the windshield and obscures the view of the passenger. There was absolutely no effort made to make the wiper retractable or hidden.
14 The Hood Prop
While we’re on the subject of the Enzo, it’s worth discussing the unusual procedure for opening the hood. To gain access to the hood release latch, it’s a simple matter of pulling a lever on the door. After that, though, it becomes more complicated because the hood for the Enzo is large and wide, making it a two person job to lift up. After that, you need a third person to insert the hood prop and hold it up. The hood prop has a piece of cloth wrapped around it to act as a heat sink because the designer of the Enzo decided the best place for the metal prop to be stored was in the engine bay, inches from the exhaust headers.
13 The Ancient Parking Brake
Ferrari changed the way their parking brake worked sometime around 1999 and 2000 but because of their healthy secondhand market, plenty of older-style parking brakes can still be found. In some cars, it’s placed between the driver's seat and the door, creating an obstacle whenever the driver wants to exit the vehicle. Instead of redesigning the parking brake—or even relocating it—Ferrari made it so it was able to be lowered back down to the floor and remain engaged and that it would remain engaged until the button was depressed again. Nowadays, Ferrari's parking brake has vastly improved and they even offer an automatic parking brake on their latest models.
12 The 2020 F8 Tributo's 10-Year-Old Chassis
The 2020 F8 Tributo made its debut at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show and showcased Ferrari's evolutionary styling and their talent for building mid-engined, V8-powered supercars. Everybody who saw it was talking about the 720-horsepower engine and 0-60 mph time of just 2.9 seconds. What everyone missed, though, was that the chassis was built around the same design of the now 10-year-old Ferrari 458. Although the frame has been stiffened up and lightened with subsequent models, it continues to be a centerpiece for all modern Ferraris. The aluminum frame has several desirable characteristics over carbon fiber, such as cost saving, rate of production, and ease of design.
11 They Can’t Be Driven Every Day
Ferraris might be a dream for every car enthusiast to own but the sad reality is that having to drive one every day is a nightmare. First of all, they go through fuel so fast you will wonder if the gas tank is leaking. If you have the money to buy a Ferrari in the first place, this probably won’t be a concern but if you’re in the market for a prancing horse, it’s certainly worth considering. The second major problem is having to take it to a Ferrari dealer for the smallest of issues. Failure to comply with this will have an effect on the asking price when it comes time to resell your supercar.
10 The Trunk Is Difficult To Open
Along with making cars that are difficult to drive and problematic to own, Ferrari also seems to enjoy making menial tasks difficult, as well—such as opening the trunk. On a normal car, the trunk would be opened by a simple latch or by pressing a button on the remote control. But on the Ferrari 360, the doors have to first be unlocked, then you have to reach in and activate a latch that is located on the center console. Finally, you can walk around to the front of the car and activate the under-hood latch to open the trunk. Why Ferrari made a simple task so complicated is anyone's guess.
9 And So Is The Fuel Door
Possibly the most annoying feature of Ferraris is the inability to open the fuel door once the car is switched off. This goes against most people’s routine of driving up to the fuel pump, switching off the car, and opening the fuel door. If you’ve already switched off your car, the only way to open the fuel door is by turning it back on and activating the latch before you switch the car off to pump your gas. To make it even more of a challenge, this isn’t uniform across all Ferraris, with some requiring the key to be in the ‘Ignition 1’ position for the fuel door latch to work.
8 The Need For Keys
The 288 GTO was designed as a track car to compete in Group B circuit racing but a low number of competitors saw this model relegated to resale for road use, instead. It was based around a 308 GTB and was powered by a twin-turbo V8. An interesting quirk about this car was the fact that it came with four separate keys. One key was to lock and unlock the doors. The second key was for the ignition, to start the car. The third key unlocked the engine compartment and the fourth key allowed access to the gas tank. Imagine all those keys jangling while blasting around in your amazing sports car.
7 No Effort To Hide Things
Auto manufacturers go to a lot of effort to hide or mask features that are essential to the operation of the vehicle but Ferrari, for some reason, has not even attempted to do this on several of their supercars. Key locks are stuck onto the side of the car, without any regard to how they look. Turn signals, too, are often attached to side panels and not integrated into the side mirrors, as it favored by their competitors. In countries where legality mandates that side reflectors must be included on a vehicle, these, too, are just stuck onto the fenders—with no attempt made to conceal them.
6 Turn Signals On The Steering Wheel
For a long time, Ferrari has decided that using a stalk on the steering wheel to indicate which direction you are turning is for primates. Instead, on several of their models, they integrate their turn signal buttons into the steering wheel itself. They attempted to justify this by explaining that by doing this, the driver doesn’t have to remove their hands from the steering wheel, which can cause problems when the car is being driven at speed. Curiously, though, they include this in a number of their track cars, which makes us wonder why people are indicating while they are driving around a racetrack at high speed.
5 Front Lift Suspension
There aren’t too many people who are brave enough to lower a Ferrari because their stance is already spot-on from the factory and their cars sit extremely low. Of course, with a low car comes the joys of driving a low car and a host of new hazards such as speed bumps, potholes, uneven road surfaces, and debris. To overcome these issues, Ferrari has cleverly supplied most of their cars with suspension lift kits. These can be activated from inside the car by pressing a button. But what is unusual is that it only works for the front of the car, unlike other manufacturers, who enable the driver to raise or lower the suspension for the entire vehicle.
4 The Lighter
Surprisingly, one tiny detail that Ferrari has never been able to get quite right is their in-car lighters. Perhaps more unusual is that for all their missing panels, carbon fiber, and weight saving, they were insistent that their cars have lighters included—or they thought anybody would want to ruin the interior of their half-million dollar supercar with smoke. The design of the lighter itself is odd, also, with several being a slimmer size than the universal size. Some models come without a lighter but instead have a plaster cover—which, of course, is completely removable and easily lost.
3 The Options Plaque
When you buy a new Ferrari, there are several options that can be added just in case you wanted that hole in your pocket to get even larger. Small items like iPod connecters can cost hundreds of dollars, floor mats will set you back just over one thousand bucks, and a Ferrari-branded golf set costs several thousand. The strange part about Ferrari options is how Ferrari likes to list all the options that came with the car on a small plaque, which is mounted in the trunk or front trunk of the vehicle. That makes it only visible to whoever is loading or unloading your luggage, if they know where to look.
2 Confusing Climate Control
Another thing Ferrari struggles to get right is climate control. On some cars. the temperature range is extremely limited, as in the Enzo, with the coldest setting being 19 degrees C (66 degrees F) and the warmest being 25 degrees C (77 degrees F). The controls for the climate in most modern Ferraris look like some kind of puzzle that needs to be put together before they can be used, with way too many buttons, dials, and arrows that go in every direction. Their center vents are also unusual, with Ferrari designers deciding that normal car vents are far too simplistic for their customers. We’re not sure that Ferraris air vent design is much of an improvement, though, as is it an interesting conversation piece.
1 No Fully Electric Ferrari
A lot of car manufacturers are making inroads into mass-produced electric cars. Some companies, like Tesla, are staking their entire fortunes on them. Some luxury car manufacturers, Ferrari included, have started producing hybrid engines. Back in 2011, the then-president of Ferrari Luca di Montezemolo stated that fully electric Ferraris were never going to be an option. However, when he resigned (for reasons that still aren’t clear), there was a more favorable mood to the future of an electric Ferrari. However, to this day, they still haven’t announced their plans and given that companies like Lamborghini and BMW are planning to ditch their V12 engine in the next few years, it’s unsure what the future of Ferrari will hold.
Sources: Jalopnik, Car Throttle, Topspeed, and Ferrari.