My friend Michael Bayer has a saying about posts on chat sites; "If it feels good, then you probably shouldn't post it." Well, this will feel good, mostly because I am pretty defensive about my old man.
In the middle of this last summer, the AC in my Mini failed and dad followed me out to Mini of Sterling so I could drop off the car. Dad cruised over to FoW to introduce himself to the new management, while I got the Mini checked in. Dad had the Prancing Horse w/ him that had he and the Mondial on the cover. When I walked over there not ten minutes later, he was ready to head out the front door of FoW. He had met the younger owner - no recognition, never heard of dad or the car (which had just been featured at a special gathering at FoW just 9 months or so earlier), and frankly no apparent interest in getting to know the story of the car. So after 10 minutes there was nothing more to say. Dad was amused, I was not.
Call me crazy, but it seems to me that a Ferrari dealer, much more so than dealers of other, more mass-produced cars, would want to pay special attention to the Ferrari enthusiast community. That community is literally your bread and butter. I know there have been plenty of negative things to say about the previous ownership of FoW relating to some of their services and sales practices, but you cannot deny that Allie and Co. were enthusiasts and supported events that they did not have to do, which probably made a decent dent in their bottom line. You also cannot deny that a guy like Redding Finney helped bring together the Ferrari community in a tremendous way. One of the things I noticed about the showroom (the 30 seconds I was there) was that there were no vintage or classic Ferraris on the floor. Allie believed it was important to connect younger or first-time buyers to Ferrari history - the stories and cars that made Ferrari what it is today. I'm sure Allie/Redding and Co. knew that neither my father or someone like Dick Merritt would ever be buying anything more from them than t-shirts and mugs. But they also recognized the value in having local dinosaurs like these two guys - FCA charter members and in Dick's case, club founder - present at events to build the community.
You would think that a new owner of an existing Ferrari dealership would make an significant effort to get to know the Ferrari community. Such an effort would include reaching out to the regional FCA chapter, seeing what events the previous dealer sponsored, checking to see who the local Ferrari collectors are, and maybe seeing if the local guy who scored the covers of both Cavallino and PH might want to come out to meet and greet. Instead, it sounds like the old service list is merely the fodder for craven cold calls.
On the other hand, we've never owned a Ferrari newer than 1968 and likely never will, and any old Ferrari we have, or will ever have, will go thru Classiche over my dead body. So a Ferrari dealer should not give a crap about what I think. I am an open-minded guy and it is possible that I have completely mis-judged the new FoW ownership - I'm ready to be disabused of my current opinion.
Redding and Mary Curtis were tops and made FoW pleasant, but there was little they could do about substandard mechanical work when two of their star technicians left. That was the beginning of the demise of FoW.
While I cannot afford the vintage Ferrari's, I can say that your assessment, based on my initial meeting with father and son FoW owners, is eactly the same. Nice fellas, but not the entusiasts that Allie and his partners were.
It doesn't matter if you vintage or modern Ferraris. No attempt to embrace the enthusisasts, rectify ills of the past, just plain cold calling using FoW owners database. Yeah, right. Take my wallet and empty it fellas.
I took a buddy, with cash in hand to test drive a 360 at the new FoW. We made an appt the day before. We drive ~90 miles roundtrip, only to be told: (1) the car has a dead battery and (2) they could not locate the owner to approve a test drive.
It took 45 minutes BEFORE a salesman would even talk to us. My buddy is in early 30s, has owned a Ferrari in the past and could easily afford a 430 - cash payment. Of course, he walked in waering jeans, but we showed up in my 360. Didn't matter, they blew us off completely.
They lost a sale and certainly any of my future business as well.
As for the Ferrari trinkets, I'll buy on-line elsewhere and have them shipped to my home.
I'd put them on life support and start a deathwatch. Mr. Bayer is entitled to his comments based on his own experiences, but there is some bad history there, past and present. Just ask around.
Your dad was a gentleman to walk away and not fuss.