I correspond with many people from all over the world on Ferrari matters and the main reason people get in touch with me is to seek advice when buying into the marque for the first time. One such person passed me some pictures of the service book that was presented to him when viewing an F430 recently. He instinctively knew that the records weren’t correct and it’s not hard to see why – the booklet was an old 3X8 service record from the 1980’s which had been crudely edited with a pen. This car is still on the market in the UK right now, quite how the vendor has the gumption to present a car like this I don’t know.
Now this alone wouldn’t be worthy of a post on my blog but shortly after this I came into the possession of a blank service book for a Ferrari 360. When I first saw it I assumed it was genuine however, once I had compared it to a booklet I knew to be real, it was apparent that it was counterfeit. It was a very good fake, but fake nonetheless.
Someone had gone to long lengths to produce this booklet. Firstly the quality, weight and feel of the materials were exactly like the OEM item. Even the binding was performed in the same way (fake book is on the top):
The tear-out change of ownership cards were even perforated:
However, there are a number of errors and mistakes that I will document here which will hopefully allow people to spot a counterfeit book in the future.
On the front cover the text was printed on a slope. The “r” in 360spider is 2mm closer to the bottom of the cover than the “3” in 360modena.
The red colour of the cover is very washed out when put next to a genuine book (see picture below). Also, on the rear of the cover, the fake book has the Ferrari website address as opposed to the Ferrari logo.
The sharpness of the text and images are also below par (I think that the scan of the genuine book used to copy was set at a low resolution). Here you can see the quality of the logo printed on the front cover is poor (click on the picture for a bigger copy).
Bizarrely, the fake had “FERRARI” embossed on the inside cover. This has not been present on any of the books I have looked at however, it may be a feature of books supplied with late models.
The Warranty Card page was missing the sticker that contains the VIN and engine number. If you are looking at a service book that doesn’t have a sticker that looks like the one in the picture below then be very suspicious. Even the official duplicate books have this sticker in them.
The two pages immediately after the Warranty Card should be missing from the book. These pages are actually copies of the Warranty Card – the factory retains one and the supplying dealer the other. This fake had two tear out blank pages but the perforations were in the wrong place. They were buried in the spine whereas there should be a small slivers of paper left behind when the pages are removed (as seen in the upper book in this photo).
The sharpness of the printed text is also poor. The best way to spot this is to look at the straight lines – they should be razor sharp, not saw-toothed (click on the picture to view in large size).
Another example of the poor print, this time the logo inside the back cover is shown next to the real deal on left (click for large size).
Finally, the logos on the service coupons were a little too large (and the sharpness was awful).
I don’t think that there are many 360’s out there with a fake service history but it is definitely worth looking at the documents presented with a car carefully, especially if there are not any invoices to supplement the stamps in the book.
Another thing worth pointing out is that the distances traveled in every gear are logged in the TCU of F1 equipped cars. If you are buying a car with an F1 gearbox then ask the person performing your PPI to verify the mileage with their SD2/3 diagnostics machine.
Alan kindly sent me some pictures of his North American service book that was supplied with his 1999 360. As you can see the colour is a very deep red.
Here you can see that the inside of his cover is embossed:
The service coupons have got stickers laid over the original km/miles intervals:
Finally, the change of ownership coupons are very different. The Euro books have two on one page whereas the Federal ones have only one:
Other posts in this category: Buying and Selling
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