Blessed by Ferrari

Categories: Flotsam

View a slideshow from the 2007 South Florida International Auto Show

I was going to visit the South Florida International Auto Show and write all about the green vehicles -- the hybrids, the ethanol-powered cars, the fuel cell prototypes. All that went out the window when I strolled into the area dubbed "Million Dollar Alley" and saw Ferrari salesman Tony Montoto and the shiny, red Italian machines. Tony, and the Ferraris, stood in a roped off area. Essentially, Tony is a doorman -- he unhooks the velvet rope so a select few people can get closer to the cars. I made a mental note not to breathe heavily on the perfectly washed glass or rub the waxed paint with my sticky fingers. Outside of the velvet rope, two young teen boys were practically wetting their pants in excitement as they snapped photos of the cars with their cell phones.

Tony told me that he has sold four Ferrari 599 GTBs in the past few months. I noticed there was no price tag displayed near the car. "How much?" I asked. "Market value is about $500,000," he said. None of the buyers have been celebrities, said Montoto. A big seller is the 360 Modena, at a bargain price of $240,000. He pointed at a nearby gray sport coupe. "We sell quite a few of those," he said. "We're blessed in this town."

In a nearby roped off car corral, a Lamborghini salesman explained that one of his customers recently bought one of the 2007 models for a cool $425,000. "He also owns that Ferrari over there," pointing at the 360 Modena in the Ferrari corral. "But he's just a regular guy."

-Tamara Lush

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