Maserati of Baltimore
History and Press
November 16, 2007
Maserati Ferrari Washington Baltimore Dealership Owner History
Article published Nov 16, 2007
Ferrari of Washington
November 16, 2007 Ferraris, Maseratis and Lamborghinis are very special cars. Their owners tend to be financially well off, discerning and enthusiastic about the vehicles. That’s also true about the founders of Ferrari of Washington. The dealerships started out in the fall of 1994 with a few people operating out of a garage at the house of one of the owners. Allie Ash and “fellow co-conspirators” (all Ferrari enthusiasts) managed to take over the D.C. area Ferrari franchise from a Mercedes-Benz dealership where Allie hung out after purchasing one of the cars.The deal was closed with Ferrari, even though they had no place at the time to locate the new dealership. The group brought in Arnie Poundstone, who worked as head Ferrari technician at the dealership, to be its service manager and a site was located in an industrial park near Dulles Airport. It wasn’t long before Ferrari cognoscenti found the shop and put the word out all through the Mid-Atlantic. Although the permit process in Northern Virginia discourages car dealerships, Loudoun County wanted the prestige of Ferrari and was willing to be flexible. A fast track design was generated and the approval/construction process was completed within five months.Ferrari of Washington quickly gained a reputation for being a dealership operated by “car guys,” and a loyal following allowed an expansion in 2002 with the addition of Maserati. Maserati has a history rooted in racing and a passion for the open road and it was a natural addition to the dealership’s Italian product line. This success was followed in 2005 with the acquisition of a Lamborghini franchise from a local Chevrolet dealer. Mr. Ash and his partners felt at the time that Lamborghini represented the values sought after in high performance Italian touring cars and, frankly, they felt it was their moral responsibility to undo the sacrilege of having this great brand sold out of a Chevrolet dealership.In 2003 a new dealership location was completed on Route 28 in Sterling, Va. — one that tripled the size of the previous location and is architecturally worthy of the cars they sell. A separate new Lamborghini facility is being built right next door and a Maserati dealership in Baltimore just had its grand opening.None of this has been easy for the business partners but, in the long term, their enthusiasts’ focus has been vindicated. They have been successful, not because they were savvy car dealers, but because they stuck to a few guiding principles. As they were Ferrari owners and enthusiasts before they were Ferrari dealers, they always tried to look at everything through the eyes of the customers. They learned that you can’t stay in business if you don’t treat customers as valued clients.Customers owning such inspirational cars always want head-of-the-line privileges and special considerations. In the world of Ferrari, Maserati and Lamborghini, every car is special and all customers deserve special treatment.Almost all of their new customers are referred to them by existing customers and by most accounts the Ferrari, Maserati and Lamborghini owners in the Mid-Atlantic area don’t think of them as just another car dealer. Above all, Ferrari Maserati of Washington, Lamborghini Washington and Maserati of Baltimore are something everyone (owners, staff and customers) are justly proud of. For them it’s not just a job, it’s a passion.Footnote:Ferrari is all about racing, as anyone familiar with the brand knows. Ferrari of Washington’s race team has been around even longer than the dealership. The team was formed in 1993, just in time for the start of what was then the Ferrari 348 Challenge. Everything about it has grown and changed over the years, including its name. Originally called Washington Motor Sports, the team name soon became Gruppo Gardiniere after an Italian phrase meaning “ploughing up dirt,” referring to a number of off-track driving mishaps. The team had as its insignia an azalea bush and a sickle in honor of a trailer incident involving Allie Ash’s landscaping.Now the team is officially “Scuderia Ferrari of Washington”. Although a separate legal entity, the race team has always been a part of the dealership both physically and spiritually. One would not exist without the other. Much the same way that Ferrari would never stop racing. It defines who they are.For most car manufacturers racing is merely a marketing exercise. For Ferrari it is the soul of the organization. It’s the same for Ferrari of Washington. They wouldn’t dream of a Ferrari dealership that didn’t race. Like Enzo Ferrari, who only sold road cars to make money to support his race team, Ferrari Maserati of Washington would not exist if it did not race. To just sell cars would be unthinkable.Today, the team runs Ferrari 430’s in the Ferrari Challenge and vintage Ferraris in the Ferrari Maserati Historics out of a fleet of tractor-trailers. In 2002 and 2003 the Team won the Grand-Am national GT Championship, setting records for the most consecutive victories in each year. In 2004 they were the first team in the world to campaign the Maserati Trofeo Light GT.WASHINGTON TIMES
October 17, 2007
Maserati Brings Italian Luxury To Baltimore
BALTIMORE (WJZ) ― A new fleet of European luxury cars are rolling into Baltimore. Call it a taste of Italy in the heart of Baltimore City.
Jessica Kartalija reports Maserati Baltimore is expecting to add more cars to its fleet in Charm City soon.
Buyers can head just off of York Road.
“It’s pretty sweet technology,” said Maserati Owner Allie Ash.
In celebration of Maserati’s grand opening in Baltimore, Ash took WJZfor a test drive.
“The car really has a Dr. Jeckyl, Mr. Hyde personality. You can really go all day in city traffic, and it gives you all the luxury and comfort you want,” said Ash.
With a sticker price of $130,000, each car is in a class of its own.
“We literally have no two cars come in the same. You truly have a unique product–it’s not buying off the rack,” said Ash.
Call it a sign of the times, Ash says Charm City is in need of a luxury dealership.
“Baltimore used to be a small town on the Chesapeake Bay, known for ethnic neighborhoods and crab cakes–now it’s a thriving metropolitan area. Luxury makers are taking notice,” said Ash.
If you’re looking for something else, the million dollar Enzo Ferrari might be more your speed.
Surprisingly to some, women are the highest buyers of the pricey vehicles.
October 17, 2007
Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved.
Ferrari Maserati Lamborghini Owner Allie Ash Prime Interview
Prime People: Bad Boy Allie Ash
In a recent interview with Allie Ash at his Ferrari of Washington (FoW) dealership, we got the opportunity to take a closer look at the man behind the dream.
Allie Ash says he always wanted a Ferrari. So much so, he finally bought his first Ferrari in 1992 – his ideal car. And he liked it so much, he bought the Washington-area franchise in 1994, and moved its operations to Dulles, where the cars not only get their proper respect, but also thousands of wishful admirers passing by every day on Va. 28.
According to Ash, owning a Ferrari is more than owning a fast car, a dream car, “it’s a passion.” Is it the mystique, the essence or the personality of the lauded Ferrari brand? He just says it’s the commitment between man and machine. “To mishandle a Ferrari,” says Ash, is “sacrilege.”
“When you buy a Ferrari, you’re actually joining a club,” says Ash. Not only are there a number of manufacturer events, but also rallies, parties and more sponsored by local dealers like Ash. “You’re one [of] a few,” he says. “… There’s only about 1,000 Ferraris registered in the area and we’re all [true] ‘car guys.’”
Ash goes on to explain that the “club” is comprised of people from all walks of life, where “members” don’t really know if the fellow they are sharing conversation with is a CEO or an insurance salesman who has saved nickels and dimes for 25 years to pursue his dream. “All we know is that all of us have the passion.”
Ash says when he drives one of the two Ferraris he owns, “it’s a knee-jerk reaction. I open he door, settle in, start the engine and I just start smiling.” He can’t help himself, it’s instantaneous – the indescribable feeling of massive horsepower about to be unleashed. His wife says these are “bad boy cars,” or cars for “boys with a streak for taking chances.”
Watching his face when he talks about “the feeling,” you almost feel it yourself. Heck, he smiles just talking about it.
The black prancing horse, the famous “Cavallo Rampante with it flowing tail and mane,” is recognized world over as the symbol of one of the greatest performance cars of all time. And as Ash said, the car is pretty rare – Ferrari only builds about 4,500 cars a year, and just a handful come to our region. Since only a handful are available each year, you’ve got to put your order in quickly. In fact, Ash says their list is full for the next six years.
Ash says he particularly likes it when he’s able to call a buyer and tell him that it’s time to choose his color. “He’s been waiting for that call,” says Ash. “It’s like Christmas and we’re delivering the presents.”
Not only does Ash drive a Ferrari, he races them as well. His office is full of photos of him driving and winning and others of the racing team Ferrari of Washington sponsors. The team consists of six cars, each driver-owned, and is managed by Arnie Poundstone of FoW.
Touring the service area at Ferrari of Washington is a treat in itself. Not a speck of dirt or a smudge of oil can be found on the sparkling floor, but what you do find is everyone smiling. Every technician, every employee … they know they’re in rarified atmosphere. Ash says this is one service area where owners are not only allowed, but encouraged. Everywhere you look is another Ferrari, Maserati or Lamborghini (the dealership offers both cars as well), lovingly being tended to by certified technicians.
“A Ferrari owner is typically male, and more likely to ask who is working on his car before he’ll ask who is sleeping with his wife,” says Ash, explaining the relationship between man, machine and the machine’s “caretaker.” In fact, several of the technicians own their own Ferraris and are members of the racing team, so they more than understand this “very personal relationship that develops between the owner and the technician.”
As to the typical (if you can ever say that) Ferrari buyer, Ash says they’re very well educated about the car before walking into the Dulles showroom. “They know as much as we do before they buy the car,” he says. “They know what they want, and they’re willing to wait … [for a dream come true].” Is Allie Ash really a “bad boy?” Certainly not in the truest sense of the word. But when it comes to Ferraris, there’s no stopping this man when his eyes start shining and that smile slides across his face.
Ferrari of Washington is located at 45235 Towlern Place, Dulles, [Virginia 20166].
– Susan L. Neer, Managing Editor
© 2007 Home Seeker Prime. All rights reserved.