This Brazilian Father-Son Duo Were Caught Making Fake Lamborghinis And Ferraris
Lamborghini cars are synonymous with extravagance and dreams of wealth that are unattainable for the vast majority of people. Ferraris are also a denominator of wealth and sometimes of a midlife crisis (generally “suffered” by white dudes who need to reaffirm their masculinity by driving a fancy, roaring car).
By the amount of Italian luxury cars one is able to spot in Latin America, you wouldn’t think that the region suffers from constant economic crisis and that vast segments of the population live under the poverty line. However, the fact that some individuals are willing to spend on a car more than some people make in their whole lives speaks to the deep and wide inequalities that exist in the region.
The Brazilian police just revealed that they uncovered a secret operation in which a father-son duo were actually manufacturing fakes! Yes, you read that right. If you thought that making fake Prada and Louis Vuitton handbags that look like the real deal sounded complicated, just wait until you read this story that falls under the category of magical realism.
Lamborghinis are expensive, like REALLY expensive.
If you wonder why someone would go through the trouble of making a fake luxury car, wonder no longer. An authentic Lamborghini costs no less than $200,000 USD. Just think about this: the minimum wage in Brazil is 998 reals a month, which translates into $257.5 USD. Yes, we are talking MONTHLY wage. So you can imagine what owning a Lamborghini in Brazil, even a fake one, means in terms of what some people consider important as a definer of class and social status.
The Brazilian police made a fantastic discovery in the region of Santa Catarina.
The Brazilian police received complaints from two Italian manufacturers, Lamborghini and Ferrari. Investigations led them to Santa Catarina, a state in southern Brazil famous for its beaches and nightlife , and about 840 miles southwest of Rio de Janeiro, where they made the arrests.
They proudly announced the bust on social media, and guess how the cars were being sold.
The Brazilian police, which is getting a boost from conservative new president Bolsonaro, proudly announced the bust on their Twitter account. As reported by Business Insider, the father-son team also used digital networks for their marketing and distribution: “The shop was offering the cars on social media for $45,000 to $60,000, which is far less than what the genuine exotic supercars cost”.
The “company”, Autos Fibra, even had an Instagram account!
Descarados! The workshop even had an Instagram account and some YouTube videos, so they were not very secretive about their operation. It makes us think of how copyright and intellectual property are legal matters, of course, but also about how the notions of originality can vary from country to country. In China, for example, making knock-offs is not necessarily seen as a bad thing, as ideas are considered communal rather than individual assets.
They really thought this through: the level of detail in the replicas is really amazing… in a criminal kind of way.
We are not condoning criminal activity here, but you got to appreciate the craftsmanship in making all this from scratch, from used car parts and without the original blueprints for the vehicles. Only a trained eye would be able to spot the difference at first glance. The Sun UK reports: “Upon raiding the operation, police discovered eight replicas which were in the process of being assembled. Photos captured by police show some of the motors covered in dust and wrapped in plastic covers. The crooks were even fitting fraudulent badges, seats and accessories emblazoned with the iconic Italian brands”.
Everything was seized in the raid.
When the police arrived they found a well-oiled (pun intended!) operation. As CNN reports: “Tools, molds, fibers and frames used to manufacture the cars were also seized during the raid, police said. The shop was owned by a father and son, who were both arrested and face criminal charges for falsifying commercial property. The pair are thought to be the largest manufacturers of bootleg luxury vehicles in Brazil”. According to the two men who were arrested, they were making “legal prototypes”. Yeah, sure!
This has happened before elsewhere in the world.
The manufacture of bootleg luxury cars is not unique to Brazil. Nine years ago in 2010, a Thai man was made famous for his ability to build replica Ferraris, Porsches and Aston Martins. Thailand is one of the epicenters of global counterfeit of replicas of luxury goods.
Social media soon found some humor on the story of the Brazilian fake Italian supercars.
This dude, Peter Malcolm, bluntly claims that he has a Lambo: do we believe him or is he just bluffing?
These are some cool new words that need to enter the Oxford Dictionary!
This news story led to the creation of some fantastic new words. “Shamborghini” and “Fauxrrari” should definitely enter the dictionary as socially acceptable words. One thing is for certain, this duo, whose identity is concealed due to legal reasons, will go down in the history of counterfeiting as infamous legends.
And some people lauded the father-son duo as true entrepreneurs, products of Latin American neoliberalism!
As we said before, we do not condone this criminal activity. The car industry invests millions of dollars in the manufacturing, design and distribution of its products, and hundreds of jobs depend on it. But, as some social media users pointed out on CNN’s Facebook page, we gotta give them some credit. As one Gideon K. Langat pointed out: “They are actually offering a solution to the financially challenged with taste of class”. Well, if not being able to afford an Italian luxury supercar means being “financially challenged” then we all are, aren’t we?
BTW, an American father-son duo built a Lamborghini Aventador using a 3D printer!
An American dad and his son were playing video games when they suddenly decided to build a replica of one of the cars featured in the game. As The Sun UK reports: “Sterling Backus was inspired to build the supercar after his son said he liked it when they were playing video game Forza Horizon 3. But as he didn’t have the budget to buy a brand-new Aventador, valued at more than £270,000, he decided to get creative. Despite having no experience, the physicist turned to 3D printing to build the impressive motor. Over the past 18 months, the duo have spent an hour each day painstakingly gluing each panel onto the home-made chassis”. Wow, that is what we call parental dedication. This dude deserves some sort of Father of the Decade award.