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Ferrari 458: The wagers of sin, or fun with schadenfreude

September 1, 2009 | 10:30 am

I think we all understand the psychology surrounding rich guys and their exotic cars. Simply put, we hate them. If not hate, then we – i.e., non-rich, non-exotic-car driving plebes (Ask me about my Subaru Forester!) – feel intense jealousy. But our emotions are conflicted, because we don’t want to live in a world without Ferraris and Aston Martins, and so somebody has to buy them. We only resent that “they” are not “we.”

Ferrari_458_Italia Rarely has the envy, jealously and schadenfreude taken so ugly a turn as it has with’s contest betting on the date of the first crash involving the new Ferrari 458. The 458 Italia – a stunning, heartrending beauty of a sports car, the successor of the F430 – will officially debut at the Frankfurt auto show this month and will go on sale in summer 2010. is offering $500 to the person who comes closest to guessing the date the first 458 will get augered into an innocent tree or parking meter. It’s kind of like an office pool for the delivery date of a colleague’s baby, but this is betting the baby will be ugly.

According to – a deeply demented website that specializes in photos of pranged mega-buck cars – the F430 has been involved in 96 documented crashes since 2004. The 360 Modena has been involved in 403 crashes since 1999 – which tells me the F430 drivers aren't trying hard enough.

By the way, put me down for April 18, 2010. April is the cruelest month, after all.

-- Dan Neil

Photo credit: Ferrari