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How Do You Spot a Fake Ferrari?

Fake Ferrari

When you're looking for a Ferrari, unless you go to an authorized dealership, you're taking a chance on getting a car that is either a knock-off or is not fully restored to its original status. This is why the paperwork is so important. Documentation of authenticity can also be falsified, so how do you spot a fake Ferrari? Discerning between a genuine Ferrari and a fake can be tricky unless you know specifically what to look for.

A rash of fake Ferraris

According to The Counterfeit Report, fake Ferraris have been made and sold by con artists using an old Toyota chassis and building replica parts that closely resemble those seen on Ferraris. The report offers a few tips that can help you to tell the difference between a Ferrari Replica and a genuine car.

Pricing differences

Fake Ferrari 1

While this isn't always the case, most replicas or knock-offs are advertised at a price that is far below the true value of the authentic Ferrari. When you see a deal on a Ferrari that seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Replicas show the base model of the car on the registration

If you come across a replica, there is a sure giveaway on the car's registration. It will state the real base model car type. If the car that you're considering lists a Toyota, or a Chevrolet Camaro as the base car model, then you know it's little more than a replica Ferrari.

Interior styling and attention to detail

Fake Ferrari 2

It's a good idea to beef up on all of the details of the model that you plan to consider. Learn all you can about the interior and pay attention to the small details in the styling and the features, down to the material and stitching on the seats. Most replicas and other fake Ferrari's don't get it right when it comes to the styling and details of the interior. You can spot small differences that will give the car away as a phony.

The market for fake Ferraris is huge

The South China Morning Post, reported on a Brazilian operation involving a father and son who were busy producing fake Ferraris and they were taking orders for them. To make the vehicles look authentic, the pair even accessorized them with the badging details of the brand. They even included logos on the seats, in an attempt to pass the fakes off as the real thing. While the average consumer who hasn't had much experience with an authentic Ferrari may be taken in, the attention to detail just wasn't there. There were glaring differences that would tip someone with a trained eye off to the fact that they were knock-offs. The father and son advertised the counterfeits on social media where they could find a more gullible audience to scam. Police arrested the duo, but there are still plenty of others out there doing the same thing.

Various models are being converted

Fake Ferrari 3

Auto Evolution reported on a Renault that was passed off as a Ferrari ( If you're aware of the fact that there were just 1,311 of them made at Maranello, it's helpful as they're all accounted for. The Renault Alpine GTA which was made from 1984 through 1991 served as the basis with its V6 engine and decent performance. The luxury level was also respectable. It's not a good likeness of the F40, for which it was passed off as, but the sleek sexy angles and exterior styling did look attractive. Just a few immediate disparities include the wheels which were not Ferrari, and the details of the exterior and the exterior when compared with a genuine F40. Unless you know your Ferrari models, this fairly attractive and aggressive looking beast could deceive you into thinking that you're getting the real deal when you're not.

Verify authenticity

When you're inspecting a Ferrari for its authenticity, in addition to the overall condition, there are a few more things that you can do to make sure you're not getting a counterfeit. Insist on seeing the documentation. Continental Auto Sports, strongly encourages this. The certificate of authenticity for all Ferrari road car more than 20 years old is available, and this includes competition and limited series cars. Any restoration work done has been inspected with original spec components for the chassis, engine, transmission, suspension including wheels and brakes and bodywork and interior restorations. If the seller can provide you with this kind of documentation you can verify its authenticity with Ferrari for the classic models.

Vin numbers

Fake Ferrari 4

You can look up the vin number on any Ferrari to confirm the authenticity of the chassis. Some cons even print out fake certificates of authenticity, but the vin number is a foolproof way to determine if a vehicle is authentic. According to Vincheck Info, you can find this information on their website.


The luxury car market has opened up just one more avenue for scammers and cons to bilk people out of their money, but a fake Ferrari is a little harder to pass off. There are quite a few measures you can take to make sure that you don't fall victim to con selling a fake Ferrari. The differences are usually quite noticeable to anyone who has taken the time to conduct a little research on genuine Ferrari cars, and learn the specifics of the model of interest can gain enough knowledge to detect a fake within the first few moments of inspection. Although law enforcement is cracking down on counterfeiters, they're still out there, some of the productions come close, but it's pretty tough to nail the detailing provided at the Ferrari factories. You can spot a fake if you pay attention.

Benjamin Smith

Written by Benjamin Smith

Benjamin Smith is one of the managing editors of Moneyinc. Ben's been focusing on the auto and motorcycle sector since 2005. He's written over 1000 articles in the space and continues to learn about it each day. His favorite car is "any Bugatti" and he's a die hard Harley Davidson fan.

Read more posts by Benjamin Smith

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