We're used to seeing fancy cars gifted to or bought by certain international police forces today, but the story of this 1962 Ferrari 250 GTE goes well beyond a gift. Because Rome's anti-organized-crime unit, Squadra Mobile, was doing a terrific job in the early '60s, the Italian president asked what they wanted as a token of appreciation. The answer, meant as a joke, was "A Ferrari." The president, in all seriousness, got them two.
Italy is the wound that continues to drain blood from the body financial of Italian supercar and sports car makers. The wound was opened by the country's various financial police who decided to get serious about superyacht-owning and supercar-driving tax cheats a few years ago, by noting their registrations and checking their incomes. When it was found that a rather high percentage of exotic toy owners had claimed a rather low annual income - certain business owners were found to be declaring le
Italy is dealing with a financial crisis that placed it just behind Greece on the list of dangers to the stability of the euro, and with €1.9 trillion in public debt the country hasn't hesitated to turn over its couch pillows searching for every contribution. It started a couple of years ago with the Guardia di Finanza targeting superyacht owners, and it has continued with the financial police going after supercar owners.
If the Italian Polizia di Stato (state police) need to get somewhere in a hurry, they've got a Lamborghini Gallardo at their disposal. But what about the national Carabinieri? Not about to left behind, the para-military police turned not to one of their own domestic sportscar-makers, but to the UK. (Or to a foreign-owned automaker based there with mostly Italian management.)
Right up front, we must state that there is a very high likelihood that the following is not entirely true. With that said, here's the skinny on what we think we know: Thanks to local copyright laws, cops in Ostuni, Italy have reportedly confiscated a Toyota MR2 cut to look an awful lot like a Ferrari 355 Berlinetta. And they intend to crush it.
Many precincts in the U.S. are ecstatic over their new Dodge Charger police cruisers, but Italian police are just as pleased to replace their fleet of Fiat Mareas with the new Alfa 159. Police cruisers in Italy are called Panteras, which means "Panther" in English, and the crime-fighting Pantera patrols the boot with a bulletproof windshield and windows, separated passenger compartment and remote-controlled, roof-mounted search lights. You may remember the Baby Blue and White paint scheme from t