Genuine automotive enthusiasts celebrate genuine cars. There is no room for counterfeit in the supercar ranks any more than there's room for wannabes in the driver ranks. Racer posers will nose it in the wall, and faux Ferraris will sound like (and move like) Toyota MR2s.
The truth is, a real Ferrari fan would rather drive a Toyota MR2 (which is a fine car in and of itself) and respect the brand than drive a bastardized F430 with MR2 underpinnings. But even a short drive around any of Canada's major cities will reveal poorly fabricated giant wings that create lift on the trunks of front wheel drive cars that can barely hit highway speeds. Window stickers on such lowly rides will imply the use of performance parts that are absent from the car. Chrome-plastic windshield wipers will wave at you in poor taste. Clearly there is a market for the tasteless among us.
A small shop in Valencia, Spain was caught building replica Ferraris and Aston Martins without licence or... taste. While the detailing was quite accurate, the cars beauty ran skin deep. Under the glistening paintwork was shoddy build quality based on beat up Toyota MR2s or similar. It's the stuff of car guys' nightmares.
As the well-worn police saying goes: follow the money, and you'll find the source. The real motivation to build fake Ferraris lies in the dollar signs because someone stood to get very rich off of this fake-tastic plan. Spanish police report that each replica was being sold online for roughly $53,000 USD ($54,855 CAD at current exchange rate). So, buy a beat-down MR2 for $3,500, spend a couple thousand on fabricating the fake bodies, and pay an illegal worker a few hundred dollars to assemble the automotive mutt. Presto: you've just turned $1 into $10. Or $5,500 into $55,000. Sleazy, and lucrative.
According to reports by Autofluence.com, eight shop workers were arrested and a total of 19
supercars superfakes were seized during the police raid that brought the whole scheme down.
We're not sure how these criminals went about selling their snake-oil, but the ads probably read something like this, "Lady-driven Ferrari F430 for sale. Manual transmission with all maintenance done at dealership. Amazing exhaust sound, paint and leather in mint condition." Now comes the sob story, "Divorce sale, must sell immediately. First $53,000 takes it."
You've been warned.
Scroll down to watch a news brief on the counterfeit car bust.