Ferrari owners not just seeing red anymore

By Editors on June 29, 2011 1:43 PM

Once upon a time -- and as late as the early 1990s -- Ferrari and red went together like spaghetti and meatballs. According to the automaker, 85 percent of the cars that left the factory then were painted that signature color. While the automaker proudly maintains Italy's officially recognized "rosso" livery on the majority of its factory racing machines to this day, buyers of Ferrari's current strain of street cars are increasingly inclined to rebalance that historic color equation. This new emphasis on paint personalization -- which has seen red-spec cars fall to just 45 percent of the total production mix -- has come with a good deal of help from the Scuderia itself.

During the past decade, Ferrari has introduced new technologies that employ "greener" water-based paints at the factory in Maranello as well as implementing a unique "three-layer" application technique that adds even more depth and luster to any finish regardless of color. It's also expanded the size of the palette to include more conventional choices and added 10 historic hues that recall historic Ferrari competition machines from the 1950s-60s. The rise of its spec-racer Challenge Series has led to even more individualization possibilities, from custom striping to fully unique paint schemes. According to Ferrari, special-order paint jobs have increased from barely one percent to more than 10 percent in the past decade, and it appears the trend will continue in the years ahead.