Considering the 456Gt as a dally driver - Ferrari Life
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post #1 of 8 Old 11-24-2009, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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Considering the 456Gt as a dally driver

My wife only drives about 12000 miles a year. She has always dreamed of owning a 456, and after getting married last week we can now do so. We found one at a dealer with 44K miles, and I want to her to get it. She is concerned about the $$'s involved in upkeep in case something goes mechanically wrong. I understand her concern, but think it is probably not horribly different from the same worry with a Mercedes or a BMW. Am I way off base here? BTW, she does go to Portland International Raceway a couple of times a year for track day with her current BMW club (any car can drive that day) and this 456 would be incredible for her IMHO.

Your opinions and advice here are greatly appreciated, and I fully admit I know zero about Ferrari's (but would love to learn).

Gary in Portland, Oregon
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post #2 of 8 Old 11-24-2009, 02:53 PM
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Yes, the costs to upkeep a 456 are much higher than a BMW or Mercedes. The car isn't made poorly, its that parts are more rare, therefore more expensive. Labor to repair is also more. I don't want to spoil dreams of getting the car, at the same time I want you to know realistically it probably isn't wise to put 12K miles/year on the 456 and not expect to budget $5K in maintenance.

Does the car have to have back seats?
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post #3 of 8 Old 11-24-2009, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
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Does it have to have back seats?

No it doesn't need back seats. If there is another Ferrari you would recommend that would handle 12000 miles a year I would greatly welcome your suggestions. Our budget is low 40's. I just want her to have a Ferrari as a daily driver.

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post #4 of 8 Old 11-24-2009, 05:23 PM
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Ferrari Budget under $40K: GT4 and Mondial both have back seats. A woman can easily get in and out of those cars. The 328 (a 2 seater) is a more refined easy daily driver than say a 308, but it's low to the ground compared with the GT4 and Mondial.

Find a local Ferrari shop, and stop by to ask questions. They may steer you and your wife toward a fine daily driver, too.

Good luck and hopefully you'll be in the Ferrari family soon! Here's a thread you may be interested in...


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post #5 of 8 Old 11-24-2009, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by MaryandGary View Post
No it doesn't need back seats. If there is another Ferrari you would recommend that would handle 12000 miles a year I would greatly welcome your suggestions. Our budget is low 40's. I just want her to have a Ferrari as a daily driver.

Your best bet is to find a high mileage 360 that has been well taken care of. 360s make great daily drivers and can handle the mileage easily. Great cars to track as well.

I have watched a few 456 GTs on the track and in general it is just not pretty. They are made for high speed long distance cruising, not for getting pounded on a track. Too soft and heavy.
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post #6 of 8 Old 11-24-2009, 11:53 PM
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Already some good advices given. I would only add that you take your time for considerations and explore different choices. Can she drive stickshifts or prefer "automatic" ? There are so many considerations to evaluate before the commitment. The starting point is to have a realistic budget, which you seem to have set already. Maybe you can attend some local Ferrari or any other exotic cars' gatherings and talk to the owners in person to find out more ? Good luck. w/ smiles Jimmy
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post #7 of 8 Old 11-25-2009, 07:20 AM
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Andrew has already expressed my mantra: NEVER run a Ferrari on a small budget. And DO not compare with BMW or Mercedes. Some things are similar, some are even cheaper. But when things go a little wrong, they can go very wrong. The 456 automatic gearbox can make a car worthless when it goes: repair bill kan easily run up to $30k. A windscreen on my 550 is $7k. A new front for the aircon is $1.5k. It looks like my CPU is giving up the cost, likely cost $3k.

Having said all that, my 550 has been very reliable and late 456's can be too. The running costs have been a bit less than I anticipated. But I budgeted for €1/km (that is $2/mile, but Holland is much more expensive than the USA), which is overall cost including petrol, storage, insurance and depreciation.

Now if we look at your situation for a 456, then you're talking per year as a rough guide:

Major service every 2 years + minor every 2 years - count on $2.5k pa average.
2/3 of a complete set of tyres (change rear every year, front every 2)- $1.5k pa
Gas - 800 gallons a year, not sure what your current price is.
1/2 set of brake pads, 1/4 set of brake discs, say $1k
insurance - no idea in the states, for me it's about $1.5k
storage - only if needed
unforeseen small repairs - budget $1k a year
spray painting - some don't do this but I want my Ferrari to look like a Ferrari and I have found I spend about $500 - 1k per year on this.
depreciation - will negligble on a 456.

It quickly adds up to $10k a year, without any serious issues. A lot of people have mentioned $1/mile and I guess it's not far off that mark.

I hope this helps. And I always say: have $10k in the bank when you run a Ferrari, there will come a time that you will need it.


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post #8 of 8 Old 11-25-2009, 10:36 AM
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I'm a bit confused

MaryandGary: I would need to understand your desire for the 456 better. Although, all are stating fine evaluations of alternatives, I believe they are addressing perceived notions of what you want and why.

Was it the looks or 12 cylinder power/torque that got you? or ??? Since you looked at two seat alternatives, I'm a bit confused. just asking.

Got the drift of a racer and road car. 456 would not IMO be the best for track. I was going to, but you'll really need to stiffen up the suspension and expect some drift anyway. IF your intention is to feel what a 456 would be like up to real speed and corners as configured, then forget the mods: What are you looking for?

Like said above, 550/575 would be a better track car with awsome power, but as far as power to weight ration goes, 360 might be better, but is no bargain either in race mode.

12k/year: OK, not bad [even for] a 456, but do expect to budget about $5k IF all is in order AND expect to see it in the shop at least 2-4 weeks a year. AS A MATTER OF caution only. BUT you could easily experience NO problems and would be good to go, however you'll need a good PPI.

COMMON [even the 550 shares some of these traits lately] probs:
- exhaust manifolds are staring to experience failure: Get them checked.
- Radiators: getting failures too, get them check, rebuild or non-OEM are not bad --$2k range, where you'll be > $9K!!! if OEM installed, ya'...large number.
- seats, front on 456 = problems.
- leather, cheap to replace, sometimes, but expect wrinkling if in sun too long on front and rear.
- didn't mention M vs older, or even the year in question, but the non-M has a deployable spoiler, great stuff, but can be problematic.
- valve guides: GET THEM CHECKED!!! $22k rebuild with better than OEM stuff. IF someone knows what they are doing.
- ECUs, like all Ferraris = problematic
- older 456 has OBD I, not much more, newer, IIRC, has II series...someone help there.
- Of course I would suggest the stick and not automatic, some are fearful of the auto series, which is not founded. PLUS, I can steer someone towards having them rebuilt from one of the original persons who mfgr them for lots less than expected.
- ADJ Shocks: can get them rebuilt for about $300 each: they are RARE and not normal even though it says Bilstein, and were junk, sort of, when new.
- Motor mounts go bad quickly: have them replaced period. IF not watched your steering will absolutely go toast.
- have all the hoses upgraded if not done, OEM = cr#p from Ferrari.
- get a better exhaust
- wheeel bearings, luckily are not too expensive
- Motors for adj shocks go once in awhile. but alternatives and/or rebuilds abound...typically they last if set into a mode for tracking.
- have the gas/fuel inputs checked, if gas smell, might be costly.
- IF M you only have SPORT and Regular adjusting, if older then 3 adjustments, where the SOFT = Freeway only and NOT needed IMO
- Expect to have topline oil products in there for about $300/year min. I replace all fluids every year for about that price to include trans and coolant= cheap insurance, clean stuff.
- wrinkled HVAC console, of little consequence.
- I'd also have a switch installed to disengage the airbags, don't ask the price.
- I bought race wheels, and later just dumped them, but you both know better what to get there than I.
- Yearly maint for me = approx $3k/year, but I drive mine a lot, and about 4kmiles max per year. IF it were not getting fixed I would have it on the road more.

I have an EXCELLENT mech, one who is highly rated in the Ferrari community and knows this car: Lucky, you may not be so, which begs to ask, if this is from the FofWash, or Portland area, they you'll have better luck than most too.

I could go on, but need to understand more of the needs, desires

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Rik -- LAH !

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Last edited by Granucci; 11-25-2009 at 10:42 AM.
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