This is one list you don't want to be on.
You've probably heard of the so-called Ferrari blacklist, which is essentially a list of individuals the Italian automaker won't sell cars to. Why does the list even exist? Well, Ferrari and its Prancing Horse logo have a carefully curated reputation, and it remains one of the most exclusive brands out there.
You may argue that a car company has no right to tell you what to do with an expensive car you paid for, but it works. Ferrari is one of the most valuable car brands in the world, and most of its vehicles can be found in the garages of any avid car collector. You may own the car, but Ferrari owns the brand, and it will go to great lengths to protect it from people like Justin Bieber.
Most stories about people Ferrari blacklisted focus on celebrity tuning conversions, but that's not the only way to get on the list. We did some digging and found several ways to get your Prancing Horse torn out from right under your buttocks. There are several cases of Ferrari taking its customers and companies to court to protect the reputation of the cars that roll out of the Ferrari factory in Maranello.
But first, what does the blacklist entail exactly?
First, it's important to remember that the Italian brand can't stop you from buying a car even if you're on Ferrari's blacklist. Prospective Ferrari customers can still buy a vehicle under somebody else's name or buy it privately. The Ferrari banned list does not affect a private deal between two individuals or the sale of used Ferraris.
Most of the celebrities on the blacklist can go out and buy any of the average new Ferrari models. These include the Roma and Roma Spider, 296 GTB, and 296 GTS.
But getting your hands on any limited-edition cars will be impossible.
We'll use the Daytona SP3 as an example. It's the most expensive car Ferrari currently makes and is the third in the Icona Series cars. Only 599 vehicles will be produced, and they've already been sold.
But it wasn't just a case of sending Ferrari a cheque for $2.25 million and waiting for the car. When it comes to iconic vehicles, Ferrari uses a strict selection process. Most people who purchased an SP1 or SP2 were given early access, while the rest had to fight for a slot at the launch event.
Ferrari doesn't care about your acting career or whether you have one of the largest car collections in the world. If it decides you're not worthy of representing the badge, you're not getting one of its specials. Even this tactic doesn't even work out, as David Lee, a well-known Ferrari collector and highly respected businessman, found out. He was denied a LaFerrari Aperta, and Ferrari snubbed him for years. Luckily, he got his own back in 2022.
The blacklist is not as fierce as it used to be, however. There have been several instances where Ferrari invited customers to buy one of their vehicles. The LaFerrari Aperta is a prime example. To qualify, you must have or have owned several specific cars. Gordon Ramsay, a well-known chef, TV presenter, and master of swearing shared his invite to buy an Aperta. He already had the coupe, and Ferrari sent him an Aperta key and an invite to buy the drop-top vehicle.
It's cheeky, but it's a great way of keeping unwanted Hollywood idiots out of your products.
Now that we know what the blacklist entails, how do you get on it?
Chris Harris famously got banned from driving Ferraris after writing a scathing inside look at Ferrari's alleged loaner cars scheme. In short, Chris Harris accused Ferrari of building unique test cars for the media that weren't representative of the vehicles customers could buy.
Ferrari is also quite selective about who gets to drive its vehicles, and if you have anything negative to say about whatever vehicle, you may also find yourself on the blacklist. It's not the same blacklist, but rather a list of automotive writers Ferrari blacklisted from driving its cars.
Luckily, we've never been in a position to get blacklisted. Most of our encounters with Ferrari have been on track, and that's one place where it's exceedingly difficult to criticize the Prancing Horse.
But we have heard tales of the Italian automaker banning journalists from driving Ferrari vehicles for pointing out issues like a dead battery after not moving for two days, or for having funky floor mats.
Luckily, Chris Harris found a way around the problem. Ferrari wouldn't lend him a vehicle, so he purchased his own FF.
Ferrari will put you on the blacklist for pretending to be an avid car enthusiast. The best example is Floyd Mayweather Jr., who has purchased several iconic Ferrari vehicles. The list includes an Enzo, a 599, Portofino, and a 488. He has several other exotic machines, including a Koenigsegg, a few Lamborghinis, and multiple Rolls-Royces.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. loves to boast about his cars on the 'gram, which is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it inspires young people to work hard to afford their own Ferrari one day. But eagle-eyed viewers will note that the cars always come and go. Basically, he buys vehicles for social media clout and sells them a few months later.
Ferrari really doesn't like that. It's not as nefarious as flipping, but it seems like Ferrari wants its owners to keep their vehicles for life.
In addition, there are rumors that Ferrari won't sell special editions to those who also own Lamborghinis.
Speaking of flipping, nothing will get you banned from owning a Ferrari as quickly as flipping its cars or using them to promote products on social media that Maranello has not specifically endorsed. German fashion designer Phillip Plein also learned that you couldn't use one of its products to promote your color-matched sneakers.
Car flipping looks bad and messes with the value of vehicles. As mentioned earlier, Ferrari is worth a lot of money because of its carefully curated existence. It now produces an SUV but has stated that production of the Purosangue will never exceed more than a fifth of its annual output. As a result, the hottest SUV of the decade is already worth more than the $400k Ferrari owners will be charged.
Flippers get an order in early and charge Ferrari loyalists twice as much for not having to wait in line. But it messes with the entire Purosangue market. Owners drop their reservations because they can get a car earlier, while the loyal customers who Ferrari want to do it the right way have to wait in line.
It's not a good look, and Ferrari will put you on the blacklist faster than a 296 GTB can hit 60 mph.
This part feels a bit unfair because almost anyone but Jay Leno would buy a Ferrari in a heartbeat if they had the money. Even people who can't afford a Ferrari do so, which means the Ferrari repossession rate is relatively high. That will also get you on the blacklist, by the way.
This brings us to the strange world of celebrities, not including Chris Harris. He's a car nut, first and foremost. He happens to be somewhat famous. The same goes for David Lee.
The list of celebrities who have been blacklisted is quite long, and it has to be said, quite unfair in some cases.
Ferrari doesn't take kindly to owners modifying its vehicles. You can do it, but the Ferrari head office must approve the mods. Justin Bieber broke two cardinal rules. First, he purchased a white 458 Italia in 2011 and gave it a custom wrap and an overt body kit. It might have been the only Smurf Blue Ferrari at the time. That was strike one. He sold another 458 within the first year of purchase, another no-no. Luckily, the Biebs managed to buy a LaFerrari in 2015 before Ferrari allegedly put him on the blacklist in 2022.
If only the list of celebrities ended there. You'd think Nicolas Cage would be a perfect fit, considering the epic car chase in The Rock. Unfortunately, the great Nicolas Cage is too poor for Ferrari's liking. To make a long story short, the Cage blew through $150 million dollars buying eccentric items like a 67 million-year-old Tarbosaurus dinosaur skull and two private islands in the Bahamas.
He then forgot to pay the government some property taxes, and the whole thing got messy. That's why Nicolas Cage is currently on a mission to be in every movie ever made. We hope Ferrari lifts the ban once the iconic action star gets his fortune back into the millions.
Kim Kardashian got kicked off the list for receiving a Ferrari as a wedding gift from a known fraudster, but we're willing to bet Ferrari just wanted out of that one. Honestly, Kim Kardashian and her family tend to spend more time posing next to these machines than actually driving them.
The most infamous blacklisted case is electronic DJ Deadmau5's Ferrari 458, finished in a Nyan Cat wrap with custom badges. Deadmau5 (Joel Zimmerman) called it the Purrari.
Being a celebrity, he wanted to show the Nyan Cat-wrapped Purrari and its custom badges to as many people as possible. Hence, the Purrari was a regular at car meets, rallies, or any automotive-related event.
Ferrari sent him a cease and desist letter, but for some reason, it was upset about the car wearing custom badges more than anything else. Ferrari wanted the Prancing Horse on this then-new Ferrari, and Deadmau5 obliged. He eventually removed all of the mods and sold the car. He then made the Nyanborghini Purracan, and Lamborghini didn't care. These days, he sticks with Lambos and McLarens.
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