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post #1 of 37 Old 03-07-2014, 12:20 AM Thread Starter
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Guilty feelings

Good morning all.

Yesterday I took a long test drive in a 2002 Ferrari 456 GTA. 2 hours over country roads, motorways, city centre driving alternating between driving seat and passenger seat with my wife taking the wheel for some miles.

We were shopping for a 2+2 which we can take to Europe for a 4-6 weeks this summer along with the 360 for what is looking like a 'FLED family'!

Now comes the problem, the 456 is beautiful. Grigio Titanio with Bordeaux leather, full Ferrari service history, only 11K miles on the clock. A most elegant design, we sat in an outdoor cafe and admired the design as it bathed in spring sunlight and I really wanted to want the car.

But something was stopping me. Primarily the auto box I think. More than once I grabbed for the non existent paddles or reached for the gear stick only to remember that only the brake pedal would slow me down. Couldn't help but think that it was taking away from the whole experience.

When we returned the car, I still took many backward glances, but I just don't think it will be the 2+2 for us.

So that made me a little depressed , but then things got worse...

Ferrari's: 360 Modena, 550 Maranello
Ex's: Dino 308 GT4, 612 Scaglietti
The Rest: Rolls Royce Silver Shadow, Porsche 911 2.7s, Porsche 911 3.2 Carerra, Ducati 916... and the Land Rovers
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post #2 of 37 Old 03-07-2014, 12:28 AM Thread Starter
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So, parked next to the 456 is a Porsche 911 (997) C4 S, manual, black on black.

Mrs. B says to me. "I like that!" Which I duly ignore, in the same sense that humans can't hear dog whistles I equally can't hear positive commentary on non Ferrari sports cars .

Anyway, in the interests of balanced views on life we set off in the P car. Within 500 yards I knew it was a mistake. Another 500 yards and a set of 3 roundabouts in a row, and I was thoroughly conflicted. An hour later we arrived back and I needed to lie down. To my distress, the 997 was easy to drive, cruised effortlessly, had a magnificent gearbox and when you wanted to you could drive it like your pants were on fire.

The drive home was a quiet one. Feelings akin to that of a cheating husband filled the car. To ease the suffering I called some (unnamed!!) Ferrari Life colleagues who I know regularly commit similar sins and worse by owning P cars. They made me feel a little better (but I still know I'm a sinner). I shall repent.

Ferrari's: 360 Modena, 550 Maranello
Ex's: Dino 308 GT4, 612 Scaglietti
The Rest: Rolls Royce Silver Shadow, Porsche 911 2.7s, Porsche 911 3.2 Carerra, Ducati 916... and the Land Rovers
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post #3 of 37 Old 03-07-2014, 12:30 AM Thread Starter
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Ok so jesting aside.

Its an unfair comparison, a 12 year old GT front engined automatic V12 vs. a 7 year old rear engined 911.

But it's got me thinking, so I thought I'd share the experience for the sake of idle conversation amongst car enthusiasts.

Lets have some debate...

Ferrari's: 360 Modena, 550 Maranello
Ex's: Dino 308 GT4, 612 Scaglietti
The Rest: Rolls Royce Silver Shadow, Porsche 911 2.7s, Porsche 911 3.2 Carerra, Ducati 916... and the Land Rovers
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post #4 of 37 Old 03-07-2014, 01:53 AM
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Barry,

Before the lie down, you should have had a cocktail. Then when you got up, you'd still love the 456.

I can relate, but only so far: We love the 456 and want one. It would replace a Jag XJS that was the best road GT I'd ever driven. The wife wants to trade up from a Boxster to a 911. But we can only get one car at a time.

Like you, I feel guilty every time I find a potential 456 and test drive it, as we'll probably get whichever marque we find first.

Human beings always want what they cannot have, it's part of what separates us from the lower life forms. That's why the Almighty created the cocktail, it works every time....

Of all the narcissists I know, I love me the most.
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post #5 of 37 Old 03-07-2014, 02:02 AM
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Barry, did not realize you were a cheating husband !

Seriously, I do not consider it a sin to yearn for non F cars as such. As a matter of fact, it is more like expanding your horizon.

As for the comparison between the 456 and the German vault, I do not know enough to make any comments that is worthwhile. At least, it seems like the 456 is not the one for you at this moment of your life. Any other considerations ?

w/ smiles
Jimmy
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post #6 of 37 Old 03-07-2014, 03:57 AM
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Barry, have a glass of Kilbeggan and reflect.

Where do you put the 4-5 week luggage in the 911 after putting the kids on the rear bench?

Try a manual 456 or a 612.

612 plus 360 give you 500 litres of luggage volume AND you are going in proper cars.

A Bentley GT will give you about the same luggage space but it weighs 700kg more and has a smaller rear seat than the 612.

The Panamera Turbo will give the 612 a match.

A California provides a slightly better rear seat than the 911 and a lot more luggage space. It is a good car.

Salve,
Capo

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post #7 of 37 Old 03-07-2014, 06:46 AM
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Capo, you are headed for trouble my friend. I once dated a P car, but I have found my way. Good-luck with that, as you future does not appear to be bright.

Take the 456 on a second date.

I don't want to read about you, or see you on the side of the road paying penance, or doing anything that your wife likes, but you don't..
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post #8 of 37 Old 03-07-2014, 07:28 AM Thread Starter
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Whiskey and reflection tonight so...

All will be clear in the morning?

Ferrari's: 360 Modena, 550 Maranello
Ex's: Dino 308 GT4, 612 Scaglietti
The Rest: Rolls Royce Silver Shadow, Porsche 911 2.7s, Porsche 911 3.2 Carerra, Ducati 916... and the Land Rovers
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post #9 of 37 Old 03-07-2014, 05:27 PM
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If you don't wake up in love with the 456, you'll know you drank cheap whiskey.

Of all the narcissists I know, I love me the most.
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post #10 of 37 Old 03-08-2014, 03:06 AM
 
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Hi Barry , here an opinion from a Ferrari newby, that has always owned 911s.

The 997 is a car that you can trash 12 months a year drive it in the snow in the heat and it will always perform. In the process of doing this one will also enjoy driving it.
It is relatively comfortable and and offers plenty of luggage space (provided that you drive without the kids in the back).

However it does many things so well that you can be slightly bored and you might lose the sense of occasion. It becomes (almost) a normal car . I had two of them a 4S and a 2S (my Club Coupe) that i still own. Of course I like the car but I try to give a honest appraisal.

Coming to the sense of occasion: I have this excitement every time I drive my 1972 2.4 S or my 993 4S , this where fun and the big smiles come. Both have experienced several alpine pass drives, tuscany tours etc . Never let me down. Of course not so comfortable and practical such as the 997 but still very usable, and last but not least they don’t depreciate (actually the 2.4S is valued I think too much today).

Going back to the 997: the second hand 997 are rather cheap, plenty were built (around 170,0000 units) and maintenance if properly done is relatively inexpensive (small service 600-700 Eur year, big one 1500 every 4 years approx or 40,000 km).

Good luck!
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post #11 of 37 Old 03-08-2014, 04:52 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Alex
Very honest appraisal. Much appreciated.

Ferrari's: 360 Modena, 550 Maranello
Ex's: Dino 308 GT4, 612 Scaglietti
The Rest: Rolls Royce Silver Shadow, Porsche 911 2.7s, Porsche 911 3.2 Carerra, Ducati 916... and the Land Rovers
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post #12 of 37 Old 03-08-2014, 08:04 AM
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Barry,


A 996 turbo was my last "modern" sports car. It was too good, as Riviera says. It actually did get a little boring in that to have fun you have to drive too damn fast. I used it every day, which maybe added to the boredom.


I have come to love all my older cars due to the sheer sense of occasion when you drive them, and (as you know from your 308) the amazing fun you can have at legal (or at least less illegal) speeds.


When you get in the 456 (IMHO the last beautiful Ferrari 2+2) you will see that prancing horse on the wheel and when you start it you will grin from ear to ear. Worth it every time for me.


I think when you get in a modern 911, you will start it and..........depress the clutch and pull away. Your heart rate will remain unchanged.


I think the fact that you once bought a Quattroporte as a daily drive shows your true colours.


All very subjective I know, so apologies to any modern 911 lovers that I have offended.


John

Ferraris : 1990 Testarossa, 2000 550 Maranello
Others : 1967 E-Type S1 FHC, 1972 S1 XJ6, 1972 Maserati Ghibli SS, 2006 Ford GT, 2001 Mini Cooper Sport 465/500
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post #13 of 37 Old 03-08-2014, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
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You know me well John. But at this moment a classic is not on the cards as the car in Q will be jointly owned and driven by Mrs B & I. But still I fear that your experience of your 996 might be replicated if I were to own a 997. Though the other half of me does appreciate that the 911 is a very fine car.

Ferrari's: 360 Modena, 550 Maranello
Ex's: Dino 308 GT4, 612 Scaglietti
The Rest: Rolls Royce Silver Shadow, Porsche 911 2.7s, Porsche 911 3.2 Carerra, Ducati 916... and the Land Rovers
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post #14 of 37 Old 03-08-2014, 09:25 AM
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Barry all your really trying to do is find a 2+2 that can keep up with the 360 for the summer season in Europe, so if the 456M doesn't float your boat, it's all about doing a good deal and focusing on your real goal of a 550.

As John mentions the QP might well have been the car for the job, but there might be a few other options than the Pcar too. What you want is to find a good deal you can flip in Autumn and get on with the Maranello search.

As you know I am available for copilot duties and discussion coffees on all prospective test drives

Cheers
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post #15 of 37 Old 03-08-2014, 09:42 AM
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Barry, I understand your doubts on the boring autobox. Find a manual 456M?

Salve,
Capo

The bad news: Time flies
The good news: I'm the pilot

You cannot make life longer but you can make it wider and higher.
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post #16 of 37 Old 03-08-2014, 11:32 AM
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Go for the 911 Barry, then you will have the best of both worlds. Everyone should own a 911 - I have had mine for 12 years now and I still get a thrill every time I drive it.

Best wishes, John
Ferrari: 550 Maranello S/N 110995, Dino 246 GT S/N 6934
Other: 1990 Bentley Turbo R, 1989 Porsche 911 C2, 2004 Mercedes 500CLK, 2011 Mercedes E350 CDI, 1972 VW T2 Camper, 2014 Fiat 500C, 1963 Jaguar E-type 3.8 FHC, 2015 Maserati Granturismo Sport
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post #17 of 37 Old 03-08-2014, 10:04 PM
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Strongly suggest you look at either a 612 or a Maserati Granturismo. You will get bored of the 997 quickly and the 456 is at that age that lots of pain and suffering are just waiting to be inflected on a new owner. Of the dozen or so Ferraris I have owned over the last decade, I would put the 456 at the bottom of the list.
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post #18 of 37 Old 03-09-2014, 03:04 AM
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Boxer that is an interesting observation about the 456 based on real experience, I would be interested in a little elaboration as many of us do love the styling of the 456 model.

But more to the point you are spot on a bout the 612. When you look at where some 612's are now priced and the numbers for sale (in the UK anyway) I think they are a much better value proposition than either a Pcar or the 456. After all it is a Ferrari for starters and is basically a modern Maranello underneath plus it does the 2+2 in spades, so It would seem to be the perfect fit for Barry. I have to say in the right colour combination and wheel package they are an imperious machine.

He might need a bigger garage though

Cheers
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Gone but not forgotten: 360 Spider, 575M, F430.
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post #19 of 37 Old 03-09-2014, 03:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 575er View Post
Boxer that is an interesting observation about the 456 based on real experience, I would be interested in a little elaboration as many of us do love the styling of the 456 model.

But more to the point you are spot on a bout the 612. When you look at where some 612's are now priced and the numbers for sale (in the UK anyway) I think they are a much better value proposition than either a Pcar or the 456. After all it is a Ferrari for starters and is basically a modern Maranello underneath plus it does the 2+2 in spades, so It would seem to be the perfect fit for Barry. I have to say in the right colour combination and wheel package they are an imperious machine.

He might need a bigger garage though

Cheers
Michael
Michael,

Below is the text of a PM I sent back in 2006 when a former FL member was asking me about the 456 GT. IMHO, the 612 is a far superior car in terms of build quality.



Happy to share my experience. On the positive side it is a very comfortable car to drive great distances in. I drove mine from one end of France to the other in a day and did not need an appointment with the chiropraticer afterwards. Engine is terrific; it is fast rather than quick due to the weight of the car. At 100 mph the 456 GT just sits on the highway eating up the miles. 2 adults and 2 kids fit comfortably and it has enough luggage room for a couple of decent size bags. You can even jam 2 adults in the back for short trips. For a 12 cylinder Ferrari, they are reasonable to buy. IMHO, definitely one of Pininfarinas best designs.

On the negative, I thought that they were full depreciated but turned out to be wrong. In the year I had the car, I lost $6000 on depreciation. The window seals are crap and wind noise at high speed is just part of the cars charm. I understand that they more or less fixed this on the 456 M GT. I bought a car with a full service history that had been well cared for by both the prior owners. Despite this I still ended up spending about $5000 in maintenance which included a clutch replacement, new horn, minor electrical problem rectifications, seat motor repairs, etc. All in, by far the most expensive Ferrari I have owned.

In the end however the decision to sell was as much based on the personal preference as it was cost. To drive, the 456 GT does a lot of things really well. Probably too well for my taste. It is the only Ferrari I have owned where I always had the stereo on vs the others where I find myself listening to the engine etc. Net net, we did not bond. I had similar experience with the 911.

If you do decide to buy a 456 GT, go through the car with a microscope yourself first. Make sure everything electrical works not only when the car is sitting on the driveway, but also when pushing it hard on the road. Wiring on these can be an issue and connections that seem OK when sitting, come loose the first bump you hit in the road. The rear shocks are another weak point and will need replacing at some point in the 1st decade. Make sure this has been done as it is a $$$$ job. The clutches are fairly strong but when they start to go, the end is quick. Make sure it is in good condition with a lot of life left. The engine mounts and steering rack also degrade over time. One telling sign is if the nose dives when you hit the brakes. Make sure the stereo works properly as they are near impossible to replace. They are no longer made. After you have done all this, then I would get a Ferrari trained mechanic you trust to do a full Pre Purchase Inspection. The cost of fixing anything on a 456 GT is more than the PPI cost.
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post #20 of 37 Old 03-09-2014, 04:16 AM
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The 612 is the way to go and it's priced ridiculously low.

Ferrari dealers will tell you how the FF technology has advanced but chasing technology will never offer a ROI on an unlimited exotic.

Ferrari made less cars and more money - the 612 was one of the last hand built cars.

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