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Chris Harris has strong opinions. However, unlike many overly opinionated car reviewers, Harris managed to leverage his experience and expertise into a long-term hosting gig with the BBC’s “Top Gear” program. However, not every brand is amenable to influential personalities pulling the curtain back and making assertions. Such is the case with Ferrari and the time the Maranello marque blacklisted Chris Harris from reviewing their supercars

Ferrari blacklisted Chris Harris after he accused the company of misleading its patrons

Chris Harris, left, stands alongside Paddy McGuinness and the Stig, reviewers of Ferraris and other supercars, at an event.
Chris Harris, left, stands alongside Paddy McGuinness and the Stig | Stuart C. Wilson, Getty Images

Chris Harris regularly reviews million-dollar supercars and hypercars; it’s part of his livelihood and passion. As such, Harris has driven many a Ferrari over the years, from classic Mondials to the savagely powerful SF90 Stradale.

However, the Top Gear presenter stepped in it with a 2011 piece, titled “How Ferrari Spins.” Specifically, Harris claimed that Ferrari exposed reviewers to optimized versions of the cars it sells to its clientele. Scandalous, indeed. Well, the Italian supercar marque promptly banned Harris from its list of trusted journalists with access to the brand’s cars. 

What’s more, Harris is far from the first reviewer to earn a spot on the dreaded blacklist. Some auto journos will find themselves marooned from Maranello’s latest by voicing their dissatisfaction. Understandably so, Ferrari is a prideful badge. 

Harris found a way around the famed blacklist

Despite finding himself on the wrong side of Ferrari’s no-go list, Chris Harris found a crafty way around Ferrari’s ban. Rather than stop reviewing the marque’s stunning supercars altogether, he bought an FF, the brand’s controversial liftback super-hatch. Well, it was less crafty than it was “Oh, yeah? Watch this.” 

Of course, Ferrari isn’t the only brand that puts restrictions on buyers. However, other marques don’t typically “blacklist” patrons in quite the same way that Ferrari does. Still, Chevrolet required some Corvette hopefuls to sign six-month no-sell documents to prevent flipping. In the case of the Corvette and other sought-after models, predatory purchasers would secure a vehicle and flip it for a substantial profit.

Ferrari, on the other hand, values its image so much that it will blacklist the rich and famous from buying its cars or its latest special edition models. Beyond journalists, Ferrari has banned many celebrities, like Justin Bieber and Tyga. While that may be harsh, the brand also banned the musician Deadmau5 for wrapping his 458 Italia like an 8-bit nightmare. You’ve got to draw the line somewhere, right? Right?

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