My Car Quest

March 29, 2023

Editorial: When It’s Too Good To Be True

Let’s all be careful out there…

by Wallace Wyss –

I shoulda picked it up earlier–something isn’t right. I’m talking about a fancy exotic car dealership in the Inland Empire part of Southern California. They had a fabulous showroom overlooking the 210 freeway and were full of exotic cars–Ferraris, McLarens, Lamborghinis.

Local collectors thought this was the cat’s pajamas–a place they could take their exotic car to, leave it on consignment and drive out in another before the one they left was sold. But I think I began to wonder when they hosted a drive up nearby Mt. Baldy for exotic owners but when we arrived at the parking lot, no coffee and donuts. What was the point of inviting us car owners with no vittles? Even when Ford hosted Cars & Coffee in Irvine the food was free.

I first saw the story break on Ferrarichat, an excellent website where it has many forum sections on localities where, say, SoCal residents can pass on local news. A few months ago postings began appearing from exotic car owners that they went to the dealership in question and their car, left on consignment, was missing. Come to find out it was on another dealer’s lot far away. Or they were paid with a check that bounced. Or the salesman that handled it was no longer working there.

Now the dealership is empty. You could fire a cannon through it and not hit anybody. The dealership has re-opened under another name but their credibility is gone. Lesson to be learned? Don’t leave your car on consignment and drive out with another because in effect you made a trade. Once you do that you are giving them blanket permission to do what they want with your collateral.

Another suspicious warning light was I didn’t see much servicing equipment. I heard they would send cars left on consignment to outside shops for servicing, which means they only want to be about selling.

I know the authorized Ferrari dealers charge up the yinyang (Is that a Chinese word?) but they usually only become authorized after the manufacturer checks them out. I noticed years previously Ferrari never gave Symbolic, another flashy dealer in La Jolla, CA, the green light and the founders had other legal troubles as well. So the lesson here is when your internal warning light flashes, pay attention.

And if the deal they offer you sounds too good to be true, turn your feet to the exit and march forthwith out the door…with your keys in hand. I’m just sayin’.

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss is a fine artist, depicting the classics in oil, on canvas. He will be manning the Art & Books booth at Concorso Italiano.




We are not naming the dealer in question here but news reports can be read at these links: here, here and here.

Mike Gulett, Editor


Editorial: When It's Too Good To Be True
Article Name
Editorial: When It's Too Good To Be True
Don't leave your car at a dealer on consignment and drive out with another because in effect you made a trade.


  1. David Beale says

    The small print is always there for a reason……..

  2. I have sold a few cars on consignment with a dealer that I trusted but I stayed in close contact with the salesman and stopped by the dealer regularly.

    “Trust but verify” is a good approach.

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