For many young men in their 20s, driving a Ferrari can mean shamelessly showing it off to their peers.

But Daniel Knox went one stage further when he realised his red £115,000 California convertible could be used as a 'vehicle' so to speak - to cadge free drinks in swanky bars and clubs.

The 29-year old father of one who didn't think the registration number on the vehicle was flash enough had his own illicit plate '1 DK' created as a 'vanity' project.

And sure enough, as he showed off the modified Ferrari around Manchester city centre, the car became the talk of the town with bar bosses giving Knox complimentary beers and cocktails as regulars took pictures of the vehicle outside and posted them on social media.

But gossip about ''Ferrari man'' came to the attention of police after a suspicious traffic warden saw Knox's car parked up on double yellow outside the trendy Living Room bar ran a check on the plate and discovered it in fact belonged to a Rolls Royce.

Officers were called and impounded the vehicle before towing it away on a flatbed truck. While Knox and others looked on in disbelief, a friend became so incensed by the officers' audacity that he tried to stop them and had to be pinned to the floor.

It emerged the owner of the actual plate - worth £40,000 - lived in Preston, Lancs, and had been receiving speeding and parking fines intended for Knox and his Ferrari.

Later when asked by a court why he had bought the Ferrari and had the fake plate made up, Knox, a car dealer of Stalybridge, Greater Manchester, said: "When I went into Manchester with the car and the plate, clubs, bars and restaurants wanted the car outside the premises so people would photograph it and then circulate the pictures via Instagram and social media.

"I got free entry and a booth in the seating area with free drinks for the people I was with. The car was quite well-known around Manchester. It draws attention. People want to come in the bars because it's outside and it draws attention to the premises."

At Manchester Magistrates Court Knox was fined £850 for fraudulently using a registration mark and permitting the use of a vehicle with no insurance. He was also ordered to pay £550 prosecution costs and a victim surcharge of £52. He no longer owns the Ferrari.

Cavendish Press' coverage of the court case appeared in the Metro newspaper and various websites. If you have a story please contact us on 0161 237 1066 or email [email protected].