- BEFRIEND A MECHANIC
Yes, the guy who is going to adjust, tune or (God forbid) fix your car, is right now fixing one just like it, or fixed one just like it last week. A good mechanic will tell you what went wrong, but a great mechanic will tell you why, and how to possibly avoid it in the future. Also, wrench turners eat, too. A couple of pizzas for the service crew costs nothing but buys tons of good will. Don’t be a bother, but don’t be afraid to ask questions.
- SHOP YOUR DEALER
Your customers shop around for your product or services, so why not shop for a dealer? I am personally very close to a Ferrari dealership in Chicago; they have always done me right. I’ve never bought or sold a Ferrari through the other dealership, and in the past, geography has played a large part in that. But today’s buyer is just as likely to purchase a Lotus from 1800 miles away as they are to pick one up 18 miles away, thanks to the Internet .
Explore who sells what and let a couple of dealers know what you want and let them hustle for your business. This is also where clubs (see Before You Buy Your Next Sports Car, part 1) can be absolutely invaluable. Clubs will know where they are supported, which dealerships know how to install performance mods, and above all, who to avoid.
- IS THIS THE CAR YOU REALLY WANT?
Lots of people want a Scuderia these days because they are beautiful, go like hell, and they make an incredible noise. But Ferrari makes a couple of other models as well, and in talking with the sales teams , the people selling the cars feel that a lot of folks are going to buy a Scud that should be buying a standard 430 or maybe a California.
Living with the Scuderias of the world is a good deal more challenging than you initially think. When the test drive is over, and you’re mentally smoking a cigarette, it is very easy to jump toward the one that weighs less, but the stiffer ride, bare bones interior, and huge increase in noise may not fit your lifestyle if you EVER want to take your wife out to dinner. No, I’m not suggesting you consult your SO regarding her preferences on a standard 430 vs. a Scud. But eventually you will have to look her in the eye when she finds out your $200,000 car has an exhaust system so loud that she has to use hand signals to have a conversation. And you will be getting hand signals.