The old saying goes, “If you have to ask, you probably can’t afford it.” But what happens when you can afford it, and still need to be granted permission to actually buy it? That’s the case with the Ferrari LaFerrari. The retail price on the hybrid supercar is a staggering $1.4 million, making it the most expensive car Ferrari has ever sold. But the high price tag did absolutely nothing to deter gearheads from snapping up all 499 editions Ferrari made before it was even revealed to the public at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show.
The crazy thing is that spending that kind of money on a car has already proven to be a wise investment. Demand for the LaFerrari is so high, that buyers are willing to pay double the asking price for the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the fastest car Ferrari has ever made. (The LaFerrari goes 0-60 in 2.6 seconds and tops out at a limited 218 mph.)
So how does one get tapped to purchase one of the exquisite pieces of machinery? Wired spoke with one lucky owner, Robert Herjavec of Shark Tank to find out how he got his. Turns out there’s a little math and a lot of mystery that goes into buying a LaFerrari. Here’s how it’s done.
Have a lot of money
This goes without saying, but you can be the biggest Ferrari fanboy on the planet, and if you can’t pony up the $1.4 mil to the Prancing Horse you ain’t getting a LaFerrari. You should stick to driving one in the Forza video game.
Own more than a garageful of Ferraris already
Herjavec declined to tell Wired how many Ferraris he owns. That’s how you know he has a lot. He did say that his collection includes a 1986 Testarossa, a 2012 GTO, and a 2011 458 Italia. The rumor is that you had to own at least five to even be in the running for the LaFerrari.
Be tight with your Ferrari dealer
There are a surprisingly high number of people who can’t count the number of Ferraris they own on one hand. So Ferrari dealers submit the names of the customers that they think are worthy to Ferrari’s headquarters in Maranello, where execs make the final decisions.
Put your name in early
The LaFerrari was officially revealed to the public at the Geneva Auto Show in 2013. By then it was already too late. All of the LaFerraris had already been sold. Herjavec put his name in years before.
Don’t appear desperate
“You never really know if you’re getting one until you’re actually getting one,” Herjavec says. Even though most of the money is already spent before the car is delivered, it’s important to still play it cool because things can always change. Of course, once you take delivery, it’s perfectly acceptable to start dancing around and screaming at the top of your lungs.
Be able to handle that much car
Herjavec competes in a racing series for Ferrari owners and is contemplating taking his LaFerrari onto the track. It’s a lot to handle. Formula One driver Kimi Raikkonen spun one out (at the :40 mark) on Ferrari’s test track.
Want it as a car, not as a status symbol
The LaFerrari is a car that needs to be driven, and not just to the club so everyone can see you pull up to the valet. Ferrari wants people owning this car who can appreciate it for the engineering marvel that it is.