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Collector Car Dealer Breaks Down Ferraris In Movies & TV

Collector car dealer Jake Auerbach breaks down how Ferrari is portrayed in movies, including 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off,' 'Miami Vice,' 'Magnum P.I.,' 'Goldeneye,' 'Ferrari,' 'Ford v Ferrari,' 'Le Mans,' 'National Lampoon's Vacation,' 'Vanilla Sky,' 'Tower Heist,' 'Scent of a Woman,' 'The Fast and the Furious,' 'The Rock,' 'Bad Boys II' and 'Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle.'

Released on 12/21/2023


Nice car.

What's the retail on one of those?

More than you can afford, pal.


[Ferrari engine revving]

Smoke 'em.

[car wheels screeching]

I think there are probably quite a few Ferrari owners

who felt called out by this.

Being able to afford one doesn't necessarily

make you capable of driving one.

So, with the release of Michael Man's new Ferrari film,

which takes a look at the origin story of Ferrari,

seems like a good time to look at

some of the more famous onscreen appearances of these cars.

My name's Jake Auerbach,

I'm a collector car dealer

and founding partner of Morton Street Partners.

This is The Breakdown.

Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

1961 Ferrari, 250-GT California.

Fortunately, given what's about to happen,

[car skidding]

[glass smashing]

this is a replica used in Ferris Bueller.

They made three for the movie,

one for show and a couple for go.

They actually did a great job

getting a lot of these details right.

This was the show replica, I believe,

which was based on a Dotson, of all things.

There was another replica used in some shots,

which I owned briefly,

which was based on a Plymouth with a slant six.

Basically a pickup truck.

They get a lot of details right.

There were fewer than a hundred, there were only about 50.

The Cal Spyder is to a lot of people the Ferrari.

This is a covered headlight version,

which is a little bit more desirable.

My father loves his car more than life itself.

A man with priorities so far out of whack

he doesn't deserve such a fine automobile.

I think this scene is so perfect in distilling down

the lifecycle of the collector,

and you sort of grow up.

If you could sort of imagine, you know,

one day to skip school and do anything you want,

the thing you would do is

drive a Ferrari fast through the streets

and take it off jumps.

And then by the time you're old enough to maybe afford one,

all you wanna do is sort of fix it and look at it

and never drive it,

and it's such a perfect sort of confrontation

of those two things.

You know, these are really valuable objects.

Even at the time this movie was made

they were really valuable.

Today it's quite a bit more valuable.

We're talking nine to 18 million.

A wide range, just 'cause there's a lot of different

configurations and colors and everything else.

I think actually the main replica sold fairly recently

for a few hundred thousand dollars,

which is a good result for a Dotson.

A lot of companies do a great job

of getting the visuals somewhat right.

To somebody like me,

a lot of things jump out quickly,

even in this little tight frame.

The fender flares,

the way that the headlights fit, the buckets,

the hood scoop is a little wonky.

It's a little stubbier than it should be.

The wheels are wrong, the windshield's too thick.

Does it matter?

You know, we're trying to get something across here,

and and I think they do it well.

They got the broad strokes of it.

I think to anyone looking at this scene,

that looks like an expensive Ferrari.

And sort of mission accomplished.

Miami Vice.

[car wheels screeching]

So, the Miami Vice Daytona Spyder

is one that is a little bit more obviously a replica,

and I think it's spent a lot of time on screen.

There's a few details here that are just totally off.

It's a Corvette underneath, a C3 Corvette.

And I think that bummed Ferrari out pretty hard.

It marks the beginning of them being really protective

of the way their cars were used.

It's something they continue today,

where if you own a Ferrari and wanna sort of mess with it,

sort of do your own thing to it,

customize it visually or in the engine,

it's not unusual you get a cease and desist.

They treat the silhouettes and the design of their cars

as their sort of real patrimony

and they don't want people abusing it.

So, Ferrari saw the Daytona Spyder replica,

and it doesn't do justice to what a Ferrari is.

I think Ferrari stepped in and said,

let's get you the real issue.

They had this Testarossa,

I mean, it was basically an on-screen character.

It did a ton for the brand.

Today we all still think of it as sort of

the main character in Miami Vice is the car.

[engine revving]

[Interviewer] How does that sound?

It doesn't sound quite right, if we're being honest here.

Probably not the best thing in the world

to cold rev a flat 12,

box of 12,

Ferrari engine out of the box.

But that's a real car.

And this is an early Testarossa,

and what we call the Monospecchio,

or the single mirror, or the flying mirror.

You can see it has just one side view mirror

mounted quite high up on the driver's side.

It also has the earlier wheels.

It's also white.

Cocaine white, if we're talking Miami Vice.

I think a lot of people look at the Testarossa

as a car that's about appearances, about flash.

This marked the beginning of a really weird period

of speculation on Ferrari prices.

And the prices of new Testarossas, even in the period,

skyrocketed to even some people paying

close to a million dollars for these

towards the end of the eighties,

in this weird sort of bubble that happened.

They've come down now,

you can get a Testarossa for $150,000.

These are tremendous cars to drive.

Really fast.

They handle well.

They're a mid engine 12 cylinder race car with turn signals.

As most Ferraris, it's not just show.

Quite a bit of go.

Magnum P.I.

[car engine revving]

This is the way a Ferrari should be driven,

like you're fleeing from attack dogs.

I think if you're driving it any less, it's being wasted.

This car is, I think, to me,

one of the more iconic onscreen appearances.

It's also the bane of every red Ferrari owner's existence.

If you own any red Ferrari from the eighties,

people will go up to you and say, Magnum P.I., right?

This is sort of the low car on the totem pole.

It was the first Ferrari badged mid-engine V8 car.

It was an entry level car.

This is full Fiat in effect here.

Lots of plastic on it, lots of sort of part spin stuff.

Great cars to drive, truly,

but they were meant to be an affordable

and approachable entry point.

While a lot of people think it's flattering maybe,

to say, Magnum P.I., right?,

it's sort of, today, a little bit of a knock.

Ferraris, red is the color.

Rosso corsa, racing red.

It's really tied into the identity of the brand.

It actually goes back to a point

where racing was really a national sort of pride point.

Cars were actually painted

according to the nationality of the manufacturer.

Italy was red.

Germany was white, and then silver.

England was green, that's why we have British racing green.

If you ask Ferrari why cars are red,

there's a famous quote that, you know,

if you hand a child a box of crayons

and tell him to draw a racing car,

he'll use the red crayon.


Who's that?

The next girl.

It's such a great scene.

Hey, I've never tried it,

but I think you could do eight sort of pirouettes in a 355.

This marks sort of the end

of when you could do stuff like that with a Ferrari,

in the sense that you go much later

into the 360's and 430's,

you have a lot of electronic driving aids,

electronic steering, or brake control, whatever else.

These cars have power steering, but by and large,

you could sort of switch things off

and sort of have an analog experience.

This is the TS version,

which is sort of a semi-convertible.

You can see the top comes off

but you still have those pillars behind you.

The sort of flying buttress design.

People tend to fall onto one camp or another.

They either like the full Spyders

with the full top that sort of folds in,

or these TS's.

It was the first... or, well, second generation of Ferraris

where you could get paddle shifters.

But most of them were still manual transmission cars

with an old school shifter right there, three pedals,

which is the way a lot of people feel a Ferrari should be.


Two objects cannot occupy the same point in space

at the same moment in time.

The Ferrari movie,

it takes on, you know, the early days of Ferrari.

It was a racing company

which sold cars to subsidize those racing efforts.

This was a point in time where road racing

was a deadly venture.

In the fifties, a lot of road racing was still

long distances on public roads.

You have Mille, Carrera Panamericana, Targa Florio.

These were races where they shut the streets down,

they gave the drivers a map and said, Finish there.

Mille was sort of the big race, the Mille Miglia.

A thousand miles.

This was an Italian race, there was pride at stake.

The movie culminates with the 57 Mille,

which was the final iteration of that event.

The 315-S was the car

that was the most advanced Ferrari at the time,

and the one they ran.

the 315 was a continuation of their MM program

and the MM stood for Mille Miglia.

These cars were brutally fast and, you know,

could approach 200 miles per hour.

One of the reasons these cars are so beautiful

is they hadn't figured out how useful wings were

when it came to racing.

This is an era we sometimes call sculpted by the wind.

It was sort of fluid dynamics

that had originally inspired a lot of this

sort of, let's think about the wind,

realize that it's actually an immovable force

we need to slice through.

Typically, cars of this period,

once they got to these speeds up, you know,

close to 200 miles per hour,

they began to lift and get very dicey.

That was the limiting factor.

But Enzo Ferrari famously felt that aerodynamics

were for people who couldn't build engines.

He was about power.

You know, they began to relent

and sort of incorporate aerodynamics

and covered headlights,

in terms of making things more aerodynamic.

But still, it held true for them.

They thought we needed to build

the biggest, most powerful engine.

This was also a period of time

where there weren't strict regulations

on the size of the engine.

Ford V Ferrari.

So, in this clip you have Christian Bale in the GT-40

and a 330-P3 being driven next to him at Le Mans,

on one of the many long straits that they had there.

Probably in excess of 200 miles per hour.

The 24 Hours of Le Mans is today still

really the sort of defining endurance race.

It's 24 hours.

It used to start with the drivers

standing across from their cars, a gun would go off

and you'd actually have to run across the track,

get in your car and start it, and then drive off.

But the goal was, who can drive the farthest over 24 hours?

A lot of teams have said, well let's just go the fastest.

Others said, let's have the biggest fuel tank,

you know, so we don't have to be in the pits for as long.

The Ford Ferrari film got a lot right about Le Mans,

which is to say, it's an unusual track

in that it's not very difficult to drive it.

It's really composed of a lot of long straight roads.

You go really fast

and you have to take a turn

and then you go really fast for a long straight

and turn again.

And you end up in these sort of neck and neck battles

at extraordinarily high speeds,

where it's about who blinks first and who breaks last.

Over 24 hours, how many moments are there like this

where the guys are white knuckling it,

pushing the pedal all the way down?

Probably not as many as the film made it seem.

There's a lot of Le Mans racing that's just sort of

maintaining your speed, not using too much fuel.

Oh my god.

Oh my god!

Your neck and neck, turning your head, checking.

You know, Christian Bale's sort of turning to the left

at 205 miles per hour.

Drivers tend to have great peripheral vision

and just a general sense of where everyone is,

without needing to turn.

Le Mans.

[car engines revving]

If you want to talk about Le Mans,

talk about cars on film, Le Mans is sort of the movie.

A little short on dialogue, [chuckling]

but a lot of great driving shots.

And this is a movie where a lot of the real cars were used.

They even retrofitted a number of the real cars with cameras

and they actually drove during the race.

I mean, this was not a staged thing.

This was integrated into the Le Mans race in 1970 or '71.

This was a really interesting car

in that you begin to see the first stages

of heavy aerodynamics,

modeling that into the automobile.

They made 25 of these.

It was the beginning of homologation rules.

Homologation is a sort of sanctioning body requires

if you wanna race,

you have to have a real car that you built 25 of, let's say.

So, they couldn't just build one insane prototype.

They had to actually scale this thing,

in an effort to sort of keep down some of the wacky

sort of over the top engineering

that went into some of these cars.

This was a successful

but not wildly successful car for Ferrari,

and it was their first entry back into endurance racing

after having lost to Ford

and kind of walking away

with their tail bush between their legs.

One of the coolest parts of endurance racing,

at least as it used to be run,

is to see the length these teams would go to

to keep their cars running.

And this is entirely accurate to the way

these sort of pit crews approach this.

You see them putting on a new nose for one of the cars here.

These are Zeus fasteners, which are sort of quick release,

so you can take the entire bonnet off in a second

and put a new one on.

And quick release fuel fillers you just saw there,

which were featured

on some of the Ferrari competition road models,

where you can sort of bang on it with one hand,

the cap flies off, and then slam it shut again.

National Lampoon's Vacation.

I don't know what it was

about the Griswold's green station wagon

that compelled this to happen,

but, you know, this kind of sets up the American view

of sort of the car hierarchy.

The station wagon's kinda always been on the bottom.

It still is today a little bit.

It's sort of the, You've given up.

And you have the two-seat Italian sports car with no roof on

and it's like, what am I doing here?

Where did I go wrong?

This is another example of the TS configuration.

They never made a full Spyder of the 308.

Some people would know this as the target top,

that's what Porsche used in their nomenclature.

And there was a place to store your convertible top

behind the seats when it was not needed,

and I think most people drove it

with the top off most of the time.

Looks a little bit awkward with this sort of

outdoor quality vinyl over the top.

And especially on bright colored cars,

it really breaks up the shape of the car.

And this is the classic configuration, red tan Ferrari.

Vanilla Sky.

Here we see Tom Cruise driving a 250-GTO,

pretty indisputably the ultimate Ferrari to own.

They made 36 in total.

These weren't particularly successful cars,

in terms of racing.

Most of them, well, all of them really,

went to sort of private customers.

But it's as beautiful as it gets

when it comes to car design.

Those half moon vents we see in the beginning

are a really iconic part of this car.

They ended up having to change those later,

but you can see the sliding windows,

the competition fueler on the outside.

These were cars that were meant to go racing

but are ultimately actually very usable

sort of conventional cars.

Another replica.

You know, they got a lot right,

but wheels, the shields, the chrome,

a lot of details are off on it.

Not in a way that, again, affects things.

We get what they're trying to say here.

If this was a real car today,

it's, you know, approaching a hundred million dollars,

maybe over a hundred million dollars.

It is sort of the dream to wake up one day

and have the streets of Manhattan to yourself.

As well as all the street parking you see

on the Upper West side in those sort of opening shots.

And that might be the most sort of fantastical part of it.

Tower Heist.

[Speaker] What the hell, man?

Gimme that crowbar.

This is why we say classic cars are a great investment.

They're actually all gold underneath

and it's just a good place to put your money.

The 250 Lusso, this is one of the first truly

comfort production cars that Ferrari ever made.

Lusso means luxury.

All of the chrome trim around the windows, the bumpers,

the playful exhaust that extend out and are polished,

these are all things you didn't used to see on Ferraris

because they were detriments to performance.

But there was a growing demand for these cars

by the sixties already.

You know, Ferrari won so many races,

everybody wanted the winning car.

But people still wanted something comfortable,

so this was plush.

When these cars came out, I mean,

even inflation adjusted they weren't terribly expensive.

You didn't necessarily need to be a billionaire to own one

and there's lots of great stories

of sort of people who just saved enough

to buy their Ferrari.

So the Lusso is a car today

that's really popular with collectors.

They've been refurbished maybe to a standard

better than they ever were new,

and those will get over a million dollars.

Scent Of A Woman.

Al Pacino is driving

probably one of the worst Ferraris ever made,

but in one of my favorite

car scenes, Ferrari scenes, in film.

They do a great job of setting this car up

because they walk into a dealership on Park Avenue,

trying to take out a Testarossa.

They're roundly mocked and said,

for couple grand I'll let you drive the Mondial.

That's the same way the Mondial is sort of viewed today.

It's like, you got a few hundred bucks,

I'll let you drive this thing.

It's a little ungainly.

Awkward convertible top, not very fast.

There were a few versions that had sort of

an upgraded handling package, which are very cool.

But these are really cheap cars today.

[car skidding]

Look at that!

Oh, Charlie!

The scene itself is great,

watching Al Pacino who plays a blind Army colonel

sort of be taught to drive by his caretaker.

And it gets into a point later

where he has to try and talk himself out of a ticket,

which is always a hard thing to do in a Ferrari.

You already look guilty.

But he manages to get it done

without the cop realizing that he's blind

and driving through the streets of Brooklyn.

I think if you asked the Ferrari world,

99% of the people will tell you

the Mondial is the one not to own.

It's a little too large, a little too heavy,

especially from this period of time.

I would rather a 328, which, you know,

you're gonna be paying three times as much,

but I think you're getting three times as much car too.

The Fast and The Furious.

More than you can afford, pal.


[Ferrari engine revving]

Smoke 'em.

This scene, really, I think there are probably

quite a few Ferrari owners who felt called out by this.

You buy a Ferrari because, you know, you've made it,

you've got enough money to afford one.

At some point you realize that

being able to afford one doesn't necessarily

make you capable of driving one,

or even mean that it's gonna be faster

than a lot of cars a fraction of the price.

It's no secret you could save a lot of money

by buying a Supra at the time.

With the money you save, buy giant turbo, whatever else,

and you can out-drag a Ferrari for sure.

You know the truth, though, is today

these roles would actually be reversed

if you had the onscreen car,

this Supra from Fast and Furious.

It's worth quite a bit more than the 355.

Even if you've got a bone stock, sport roof,

a Supra today, with low miles, that's been unmodified,

it's potentially more valuable than the 355.

The Rock.

Oh, why not?

[glass smashing]

Yeah, the shifting stands out.

I mean, it's the classic, you know,

car driving in movies is,

you wanna go faster, you shift.

Which is really not what you wanna be doing.

You shift when you have to because you've run out of engine.

Really, you wanna hold it at a higher RPM range, typically.

He's also really yanking on it, [chuckling]

which doesn't help.

There's no need.

You wanna be quick,

but there's no need to sort of really rip it in there.

This is a car where you could still get

a gated manual transmission.

The gearbox has slots for each of the gears

to make sure you're going into the right one.

It also offers a really satisfying click when you do.

You don't hear that in this movie when he shifts,

which is sort of a miss, I would think.

Oh, why not?

This is the full Spyder here.

You can see where the top folds completely into the car.

There's no seat pillar that sort of stays up.

Nicholas Cage, famous car guy, loves his Ferraris.

But yeah, he's really selling that

two-three shift right there.

Bad Boys II.

Hold on.

[car screeching]

We see the guys driving a 550 Maranello.

Full disclosure, entirely biased,

as I'm a proud owner of a 1997 550 Maranello.

Here's a case where Ferrari provided

real cars, taking damage.

I wouldn't be surprised if Ferrari cooperated with them

to sort of allow this to happen,

but these are real 550 Maranellos being driven,

and it sounds like a 550.

These cars marked the beginning of

the Montezuma era Ferrari,

who became the chairman in the nineties,

and wanted to take Ferrari back to a lot of its roots.

This car is a front engine,

naturally aspirated 12 cylinder,

with three pedals, manual transmission.

It really did ascribe to that

sort of original Ferrari recipe.

And you can see the shields on the side,

the yellow [indistinct].

This is something you saw

only on Ferrari's racing cars in the sixties,

with the cavallino rampante,

the prancing horse on the side.

Starting in this era, brilliant marketing move,

but you could optionally get these shields

as part of your car.

It's a little bit more of an old man's Ferrari, I guess,

in that, you know, again, front engine.

12 cylinder, and for a lot of people

if it doesn't have 12 cylinders,

it's not a Ferrari.

I'm not one of those people,

but 12 cylinders doesn't hurt.

Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle.

♪ Do you love me? ♪

♪ Do you Surfer Girl? ♪

Here we've got Demi Moore straight outta the ocean

and into her Enzo,

which, you know, at the time

this was only a $600,000 car,

so I guess you didn't need to worry about drying off first.

The Ferrari Enzo is one of the first hyper cars.

If you take off all the exterior panels,

what you see underneath is basically

one of their Formula One cars.

This is a very serious piece of kit.

Today they're worth around $3 million, let's call it.

Some less, some more.

Only 400 were made.

One was gifted to the Pope.

They called it the Enzo,

and I think that tells you how

seriously they took this car,

if they were gonna put Enzo Ferrari's name on it.

It's funny because Enzo was always against

a mid-engine car for the street.

Ferrari road cars were traditionally always front engines,

so in a lot of ways I'm not sure

this is what he would've wanted to see.

But in terms of putting forward

a sort of technical masterpiece,

they managed to skin a Formula One car

in a body that would work.

Today this is fully cemented as a collector car

and it's part of the lineage of supercars

that Ferrari produced,

starting with the 280-GTO, it was called,

then the F-40, F-50, the Enzo, and now the La Ferrari.

Those are cars that are seen

as the Ferrari supercars of each era.

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