All publicity is good publicity, right? Wrong, and David Lee learned this the hard way. In 2017, LA Times wrote an article about him that misrepresented the ongoing discussions with his dealer about purchasing a Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta. The article worsened his relationship with Ferrari and put a stop to the conversation, all of which he explained while behind the wheel of his LaFerrari Aperta.
Ferrari is known for its selectivity in who can and cannot buy the brand’s supercars, as is the LaFerrari Aperta. Ferrari plans to produce just 200 examples of the car, and Lee, a real estate magnate and boss of the Hing Wa Lee Group, a shop specializing in luxury watches, wants it, just as any other Ferrari enthusiast does. He hoped his growing relationship with the brand would help him land the car, but that didn’t happen after the article came out.
Issues arose from how the article presented Lee’s ongoing discussion of buying Aperta. The reporter asked Lee if Ferrari had allowed him to buy a LaFerrari, which he didn’t, and Lee answered honestly. The talk is ongoing. However, the article was loaded with the title: “He owns a dozen Ferraris and has a lot of money: Why can’t he afford a $2.2 million LaFerrari Aperta?“
The LaFerrari Aperta, a hybrid, uses a 6.3-liter V12 and an electric motor to produce 949 horsepower (708 kilowatts) and 664 pound-feet (900 Newton-meters) of torque. The powertrain can take the supercar to 218 miles per hour (351 kilometers per hour) while reaching 62 mph (100 kph) in just 2.8 seconds. Ferrari’s rear-wheel drive uses a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission to accelerate gear shifts.
Lee met with Ferrari to smooth things over, and he eventually returned to Ferrari’s grace. It didn’t happen overnight, but Lee’s continued support of the Ferrari brand helped, and he finally got his hands on the LaFerrari Aperta. It’s been five years since the article was published, and the misunderstanding is now in the rearview mirror.