December 16, 2011



It's hell out there for luxury shoppers

by Jim Hightower


They say the early bird gets the worm, which is fine with me, because I really don't want a worm.


I did, however, want one of those Ferrari FFs that Neiman Marcus was offering in its Christmas Catalogue this year. With a 651 horsepower V12 engine, this baby can top 200 miles an hour. That would really shorten my commute (except, of course, for little hindrances like rush hour traffic, uptight cops, and speed bumps).


Yet, just having an FF parked in my driveway would speak volumes about my prestige and personal worthiness in this world. Start with the beautiful interior done in simi-aniline leather. I don't know what aniline is, nor do I know why it's only simi rather than full-aniline, but I like the fact that Neiman's throws in a matching three-piece set of luggage (including a travel bag for golf clubs) made out of the same stuff. There's beaucoup room for luggage, too — the FF has 16 cubic feet of trunk space, which I think is bigger than my bedroom.


However, I have to say that I'm not wild about the car's color, which the catalogue calls "grigio caldo." Huh? I learned from an Italian dictionary that this means "warm drab," which doesn't exactly light my fire. But maybe the dull color is why these Ferraris are priced at only $395,000 each. And, what the hey, you can always take the car to an Earl Scheib paint shop and have the color juiced up.


 What makes the FF worth the price, though, is its exclusiveness. Neiman made only 10 of them available and — get this — each one comes with a numbered plaque, thus certifying that you're one of the 10 most special humans on earth.


But, alas, I called too late to get mine. Neiman's said it sold out within 50 minutes of the sales date. It just shows how tough it is out there for us luxury shoppers. And you thought you had it bad.

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