A couple of years back, my son, James, and I drove up to Watkins Glen International, a storied racetrack, to watch a Ferrari race. We did not, however, make the drive in a Ferrari.
In 2015, Ferrari kindly lent us a California T, the company’s “entry-level” car — its base price is $US198,000 — to make a return visit. The Cali T is an important vehicle for the prancing stallion now that it’s a public company and needs to grow beyond its traditional 7,000-cars-per-year in sales.
At the New York Stock Exchange when Ferrari, ticker symbol RACE, began trading, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO and Ferrari Chairman Sergio Marchionne said that many of the 9,000 cars the Italian sports car maker plans to sell in 2019 will be Cali Ts.
Thus far, since Ferrari’s 2015 IPO, the spun-off exotics automaker has performed admirably; shares are up al ost 60% since then — and more than 100% over the past 12 months, making Ferrari the best investment in the auto sector of late (better even than Tesla).
The first time James and I went up to the Glen, we watched a Ferrari Challenge race, where amateurs and pros are on the track at the same time, exclusively in Ferraris. In 2015, we attended the Six Hours of the Glen, an endurance race featuring teams from a variety of automakers — Porches, BMW, Aston Martin, Mazda, Corvette — alongside Ferraris.
It was an interesting weekend with a long drive in a cool car and a race that was heavily affected by the weather. Mixed in was a jaunt around the original Watkins Glen road course, where after World War II racers battled it out and before the now famous raceway was built.
We had a lot of fun — check it out.