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Whatever happened to Walnut Creek Ferrari?

Discussion in 'California & Nevada (Northern)' started by Ferrariby50, Jun 1, 2006.

  1. Ferrariby50

    Ferrariby50 Karting

    Apr 20, 2006
    66
    I remember driving by this dealership in the mid-to-late '80's, but it disappeared.

    Does anyone remember what happened to them?
     
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  3. david1175

    david1175 Formula Junior

    Jul 11, 2004
    782
    in the doghouse
    Full Name:
    David
    I think Rifledriver and a few others should be able to chime in on this one...
    If I'm not mistaken, I think it was on North Main by (what is now) the GMC dealer.
     
  4. cal355

    cal355 Formula Junior

    Jun 16, 2004
    383
    San Francisco
    Full Name:
    Cal
    Shut down by the IRS
     
  5. GCalo

    GCalo F1 Veteran

    Sep 15, 2004
    7,008
    Northern California
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    Greg Calo
    "Shut down by the IRS"

    This is true. There was considerable dishonest dealing there including not paying the Board of equalization for sales tax, etc.

    I believe but not sure that one or two went to jail and one was deported.

    I remember that there were some offshore ties that in today's environment would be considered terrorist funding in nature.

    It was a pretty bad scene.

    I can't remember everything that transpired. maybe as was stated Rifledriver has better information.
     
  6. BLACK HORSE

    BLACK HORSE Formula 3
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    Feb 11, 2004
    1,747
    Livermore, CA
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    Rob L.
    The only Ferrari dealer/repair shop in Walnut Creek is called "The Auto Halust" and I think I misspelled the name wrong but an older couple owns the business. Its almost directly across the way from the Porsche dealership on Main St. Only a few (3/5) Ferraris for sale with a medium three stall repair shop and boutiques.
     
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  8. GCalo

    GCalo F1 Veteran

    Sep 15, 2004
    7,008
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    Greg Calo
    The business to which black horse is referring is Prestige AutoHaus which is a very well run business by Miki Mujagic.

    They are at 2259 N. Main Street, Walnut Creek.

    They have a nice facility, and Miki is always at Concorso and other events selling very nice approved Ferrari clothing, items, etc.

    They also sell used and consignment Ferraris.

    They are not and never have been associated with the shop that was closed down about 20 years ago.

    Miki and her husband were the Sacramento area authorized Ferrari dealer prior to Ferrari changing their dealer network some time ago.
     
  9. ylshih

    ylshih Global Moderator
    Global Moderator Advising Moderator Honorary Owner

    Mar 21, 2004
    16,269
    Northern CA
    Full Name:
    Yin
    In a similar vein, what ever happened to Ferrari of Monterey? I bought my 308 GTB there in the 'early '80's and then moved away. When I came back it was gone.
     
  10. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    27,163
    Austin TX
    Full Name:
    Brian Crall

    Sorry Greg

    All wrong.

    I worked there for most of the time it was in business and it was the best company I ever worked for and the best Ferrari service department I was ever associated with.

    It stopped being a Ferrari dealer because ferrari had built their own in the area and was being beaten in every way by WCF and FLG. Ferrari put severe pressure on both until FLG went into bankruptcy (the court wound up saving it from Ferrari)

    The Feds started the luxury tax deal at about the same time and was looking for a high profile bust to make an example of someone and chose a pair of Ferrari dealers. They closed both businesses and arrested about 15 employees. Everyone got their cases dismissed and the court admonished the Feds for their tactics but the expense of the defense wiped out 2 businesses and quite a few employees who had nothing to do with running the business in any event. Several of them have not recovered to this day.

    No one was convicted. No one did jail time. No one was deported.
    Most are still friends and some of them had their lives ruined by the government.


    Greg you are a great guy but you really should stop spreading rumors about Ferrari of Walnut Creek and Ferrari of Los Gatos.
    I lived them both and had a front row seat. You have no idea what happened.
     
  11. GCalo

    GCalo F1 Veteran

    Sep 15, 2004
    7,008
    Northern California
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    Greg Calo
    "Greg you are a great guy but you really should stop spreading rumors about Ferrari of Walnut Creek and Ferrari of Los Gatos. I lived them both and had a front row seat. You have no idea what happened."

    I am neither spreading or starting any rumors about either or any businesses nor is it my intention to do so. I am merely expressing an opinion not fact about what I believed was the occurrence with F of WC. A great deal was reported, and that's what I had to go on.

    As to F of WC, my knowledge was based upon what I had remembered of their situation at that time and what was reported. All of that is about 20 years ago. That's a long time to be accurate about a situation, and I did clearly state that.

    I also did state that you apparently had more knowledge about FofWC, and I would certainly defer to your knowledge of this. Your accounts are well stated and are apparently factual.

    I am sure many persons were injured in the F of WC fiasco. I have no intention to diminish the impact of this either.

    My understanding was that the IRS as well as other govenrment agencies were in there. I was led to believe the IRS did shut them down as that was what had been reported. The Feds generally don't go into businesses without reason. So, there must have been some basis for the initial investigations to thereupon look further, but again this is only a guess on my part.

    However, let's all please be absolutely clear on the issue of "rumors". I do not deal in the same, and I do not see my comments herein as rumors.
     
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  13. Rory J

    Rory J Formula Junior
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    May 30, 2006
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    Rory
    ...and keep in mind that I was only 7 or 8 years old at the time, was a man in a turban (the owner of FWC) buying up a hell of a lot of cars in the late '80s at auction! Including the so-called "best in the world Mercedes 300SL 'Gullwing' that was displayed in a plexiglass case in San Francisco.


    I also heard of the IRS rumors.... good to hear that this was perhaps not the case! I heard the rumors from my father (who bought ...and still owns... a 246 GTS in '86 at the then Rick Cole auction...now RM... at Monterey) when we lived across the street from a very good FLG and now FSF employee, although the rumors did not come from said 275GTB/4 owning employee.
     
  14. Remember the alamo

    Dec 9, 2014
    67
    Bay Area
    Full Name:
    Jeff
    Wish there was a dealership in Walnut Creek currently. The area could definitely support it.
     
  15. arizonaitalian

    arizonaitalian F1 World Champ
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    Oct 29, 2010
    14,184
    Wyoming
    11 years...that must be a record for thread resurrection? ;-)
     
  16. Mang

    Mang F1 Rookie
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    Jul 11, 2007
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    Mike S.
    I visited many times back in the day. Does anyone know/remember Kevin Hill? He was brilliant in all things Ferrari, and converted to sales guy there because he was so knowledgeable and likeable. I have a friend here in Tahoe (Incline Village) who purchased the former home of the owner of WC Ferrari for a song- he acquired it from some sort of legal mess way back in 1992 I believe.
     
  17. islandguy

    islandguy Formula 3
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    Jun 12, 2007
    1,230
    Northern CA & NV
    I sat with Miki 10 years ago and listening to her story for over three hours that included their dealership in Sacramento. Never once was bankruptcy of any of these dealerships mentioned as a root cause. She blamed Ferrari for wanting to thin the herd.
     
  18. JaguarXJ6

    JaguarXJ6 F1 Veteran

    Feb 12, 2003
    5,440
    Black Hawk, CO
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    Sunny
    What is dead may never die. We have the drowning and the crowning right here.
     
  19. ferraricare

    ferraricare Rookie

    Oct 25, 2008
    6
    I do remember Kevin Hill very well: I worked at Walnut Creek Ferrari for one year as a tech and had worked for Kevin for years at Waterfront Automobili. Last I heard, he had moved to Costa Rica.
     
  20. HIO Silver

    HIO Silver Formula Junior

    Mar 12, 2016
    497
    Northern California
    Full Name:
    Alonso C.
    ....Also referred to as a "Zombie Thread".

    Prestige Autohaus relocated about one-half mile from their previous location. Miki and her husband still run the place. The last time I spoke to her their Ferrari specialist drives in from Sacramento or something like that.

    Prestige Autohaus
    1400 Central Road
    Walnut Creek, CA 94596
    (925) 937-5400

    Prestige Autohaus Reopens on Central Rd. in Walnut Creek ? Beyond the Creek


    A more recent F-Chat thread....
    http://www.ferrarichat.com/forum/california-nevada-northern/466110-prestige-autohaus-walnut-creek.html
     
  21. BLACK HORSE

    BLACK HORSE Formula 3
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    Feb 11, 2004
    1,747
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    Rob L.
    I prefer their old location - Visited regularly
     
  22. francars

    francars Karting

    Nov 28, 2006
    109
    Bay Area, CA
    Full Name:
    Francisco
    I used to take my 360 to Brian Crall in San Ramon. Now he is gone.

    Where will be the closest Dealer and most reasonable/reliable?
     
  23. HIO Silver

    HIO Silver Formula Junior

    Mar 12, 2016
    497
    Northern California
    Full Name:
    Alonso C.
    Their old location has been taken over as the service center for Luxury Motors owned in part by Mario Biundo who was a Ferrari dealer out of SoCal. His group owns Walnut Creek Maserati and Bentley Motors of Walnut Creek whose showrooms are across the street. The local Aston Martin franchise was terminated at Cole European and Mario has that too. He's planning to build a new building to house the Bentley and Aston Martin showrooms. I'm egging him on to pick up Lamborghini!!!!!

    I drive by every day on my way to the office and regularly see Ferraris along side Maseratis awaiting service. Not sure yet as to their service pricings. Gonna have to chat with him and my 360 Spider.
     
  24. ROLOcr

    ROLOcr Formula Junior

    Oct 25, 2005
    619
    Costa Rica
    Full Name:
    ROLO
    Kevin Hill did move to Costa Rica, he managed a Ferrari dealership for a couple of years and had a bicycle rental company. Really great guy!
     
  25. natman316

    natman316 Formula Junior

    Jul 20, 2015
    466
    any good driving roads in walnut creek area?

    just moved out here
     
  26. derickson

    derickson Rookie

    Feb 9, 2017
    2
    I am looking for some good driving roads as well. Anywhere in the Bay Area if anyone has any good recommendations.

    Thanks!
     
  27. arizonaitalian

    arizonaitalian F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Oct 29, 2010
    14,184
    Wyoming

    yeah, several.

    South of Livermore are my favorites (all the way to san jose if you want)

    North of 24 in Lafayette.

    South of 24, south and west of Moraga.

    East of Clayton.

    Further afield, loads to the north of the golden gate and southwest of San Mateo .

    [I miss the Bay Area for driving. If it was a "10" on the proverbial scale, Phoenix area is a "0"]
     
  28. Apexboy

    Apexboy Rookie

    Dec 23, 2012
    1
    San Francisco
    Wow, what i'm curious enough to brave mentioning... My dad bought a blue 1965 Lamborghini 350GT Superleggera at WCF around 1985.

    It was a very unique robins egg blue, chassis 0166, and I have been trying to find more info on the paint. I have not seen another car with quite the same color. There are many turquoise colors out there that come close, but there is nothing that looks that pale in the sunlight, saturated in the shade, and fluorescent at night. The qualities are similar to the way Ferrari's red catches your eye. The red is fiery-bright, but not orange. This blue is fluorescent-bright but not green. It is still a very primary color IMO. Even a colorblind car-illiterate wearing a neck brace would rubberneck for a double-take in it's vicinity.

    He had it for a few years, but he had also started a "non-profit", sort of "new-age spiritual healing" workshop of which he had never charged people money for.

    -At least, that is what I remember. Of course, when you call something a "Love, Sex and Intimacy Workshop", it would be wise to go about the proper channels, regardless of how ostensibly selfless it may seem.

    Around 1988 or so, the IRS became extremely interested in getting some of their "protection money". You would think someone who grew up in upstate New York had friends in Jersey to tell him all about how thankful he should be that it's just the IRS and not the Mafia... But he was not about to cave to their bullying and told them he would not pay them a dime. He went on and on about how Americans think they're free, the whole 9 yards.

    Anyways, towards the end of owning that highly coveted, seizable asset, you can guess what was starting to happen while fighting the IRS. I remember him driving it out of a storage container on the Mendocino coast. (Hwy 128 to the coast at 4am, btw- You can make great time in a car like that. Almost lost it over a couple of curved humps; no downforce)

    Well, long story short, the car was not going to blend in long enough watch the value skyrocket before selling it, so he sold it back to WCF before the IRS could take it from him. The very next month, it was worth $250,000. I think the car had been featured in a magazine. Certainly drew more attention to the asset.

    I can't help but wonder if this story may have played a role influencing the IRS to target WCF. Does the statute of limitations go both ways? I have no idea whether the car was sold or auctioned off, but the plot thickened when I read this story about WCF.

    I came across this thread because of Lamborghini's Polo Storico registry which led me to believe I could possibly trace the exact paint color.
     

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