Fan Fiction : Martin Berry talks about 'Ferrari Approved' and future classics

By davidkhoo, 12 December 2020

Singapore - “There are opportunities involved to buying a used Ferrari,” Martin tells us. “Astute collectors who are passionate about the brand and its sportscars, but more importantly, have an eye for a good car and recognise what they enjoy about it, as well as appreciate the value potential of the car, will buy it regardless of whether it is through the new or pre-approved channels.”

40-something Martin Berry is an ex-banker turned serial entrepreneur who understands the meaning of passion, especially when you consider the fact that this Ferrari fan introduced the addictive Gong Cha bubble-tea brand to Korea, and has since wholly acquired the brand to spread it around the world.

His growing collection includes his first Ferrari (bought six years ago), a pre-owned 458 Speciale (opening picture, right), a F12berlinetta, F12tdf, 599 GTO (opening picture, left) and most recently a 488 Pista Piloti, a racing-liveried Tailor-Made version of the 488 Pista reserved only for Ferrari's Corse Clienti – or motorsports customers.

(Click HERE to read about a trio of special edition Ferrari V8s: the Challenge Stradale, 430 Scuderia and 458 Speciale)

Of the five cars, only the F12berlinetta is still road-registered for Singapore-use – the other cars have become literally asset vehicles and stored in a climate-controlled bonded facility!

The gentleman racer’s journey with Ferrari started with a poster of the cult F40 plastered on his bedroom wall as a boy.

“For as long as I can remember, I’ve always regarded Ferrari to be the pinnacle of all sportscar brands, and it was always a childhood dream and long-term objective to own a Ferrari one day,” he reminisces.

Markets with buyers constantly upgrading to the latest models create ‘churn’ in the secondary market where people like me watch and wait to pick up special cars and possibly, future classics for investment purposes.

Some people think it’s only right for one’s first Ferrari purchase to be brand new, so it’s interesting Martin decided to go with a Ferrari Approved 458 Speciale, instead of a brand new 458 Italia.

“The owner of the 458 Speciale I bought got into a brand new 488 GTB. However, with future Ferrari V8s going turbocharged and/or hybrid, a lot of these guys now want a naturally-aspirated V8 model (like the 458 Speciale) again, and are paying a premium to get back into these cars.”

Even his F12tdf isn’t new, but bought through the secondary market. “I’m still building my relationship with Ferrari, so there’s no way I could have gotten an allocation for the F12tdf brand-new, whereas I now have one because I was prepared to explore the pre-owned channels.”

(Click HERE to read about the time we pit F12tdf against an... Isetta 300!)

“The Ferrari Approved programme ensures everything is properly validated (as was also for the case of Martin’s immaculate 599 GTO), and is an important part of the purchase process for me. For starters, I wouldn’t randomly trawl online classified sites to purchase any of these cars. I’ll normally hear about special cars up for sale through word-of-mouth within the close-knit Ferrari community, and then have the car validated under the Ferrari Approved programme if I decide to acquire it.”

He muses, “Some people think you need to flex with the latest model to be cool. If I didn’t overcome the stigma of buying ‘used’, I would probably have the latest cars, but not necessarily the special and unique models. This phenomenon of constantly upgrading to the latest model isn’t limited to the Singapore market, but the good thing is it creates the ‘churn’ in the secondary market where people like me watch and wait to pick up really special cars and possibly, future classics for investment purposes.”

(Click HERE to read about the time we visited the 'cave of wonders' that is Ferrari Classiche!)

“I bring an investment mindset to these cars, and I’ve learnt to appreciate the back story, and buying Ferrari Approved gives one the certainty and guarantee, which forms part of the whole story (with the model car and matching luggage!) and provenance for the person looking to buy the car from you. A Ferrari Approved car imparts value to the underlying price to go with the back story of the car.”

PHOTOS Ferrari Far East

WHAT IS FERRARI APPROVED?

Applied to Ferrari models registered within the last 14 years, the Ferrari Approved certification is a rigorous, 190-point inspection and validation service that submits a used Ferrari to intense scrutiny to check originality, mileage and ownership history.

The checks encompass running gear, electrical systems, bodywork and interior, with any deviation repaired using original Maranello spares, including trim and upholstery.

Following the mechanical and electrical checks, experienced testers test the car and issues a written analysis to the new owner that details the checks performed. A Ferrari Approved car enjoys an unlimited mileage Ferrari warranty and roadside assistance of up to 12 months.

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