Looking to buy my first Ferrari...advice? - Ferrari Life
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post #1 of 30 Old 12-17-2010, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
 
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Looking to buy my first Ferrari...advice?

Hello all,

I am posting because I have always wanted a Ferrari, but never had to means to buy one until now, and would like to get advice from OWNERS on which Ferrari should be my first.

Here are a few things I think worthy of mentioning to help guide your advice:

1. My budget is $30,000 - $40,000.
2. I am an ASE certified technician with 4 certifications (hoping to pass two more tests in the Spring!).
3. I plan to drive the car approximately 7,000 miles a year.

Please provide me with any and all advice you believe you would be beneficial to me!

Thanks,
Will
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post #2 of 30 Old 12-18-2010, 12:57 AM
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Welcome Will, you've certainly come to the right place.

I suggest you start your search by reading the buyers guides. At your stated price range, there are a few models to choose from, the 308 series, Mondial, and 400 come to mind.

However, you'll need to pay particular attention to repair and maintenance costs. Many of these older cars are studies in deferred maintenance and have the potential to test your resources.

Good luck.
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post #3 of 30 Old 12-18-2010, 03:29 AM
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308, 328, 348. Make sure you have $5k in your bank account, and bank on $2k a year plus $5k every 3 years, for 348 add $2k on the major (not saying you will need it but to be safe). Do a search on this forum, this question has been answered many many times.

Best of luck!


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post #4 of 30 Old 12-18-2010, 05:18 AM
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that price range is gonna limit you to the models mentioned. easy! 308 or 328 would be my first choice.



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post #5 of 30 Old 12-18-2010, 06:16 AM
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Hi,

Good price range for entry. Various possible models as suggested above:

1. 328: 1985-1989, bullet-proof technology, elegant lines, fairly fast yet easy to drive and maintain, most modern incarnation of the classic Dino/308-types. A very solid 2-seater entry option if I may say so

2. 308: 1975-1985, somewhat more classical 2-seater: the beautifully lined "Magnum"-model; typically a tad slower (i.e. those in the $30-40k price range since that excludes the light Vetroresina, which is easily twice as expensive)

3. 348: 1989-1995, more modern looking 2-seater with typical horizontal 'Testarossa'-slats. Opinions on this type vary strongly. Somewhat faster than the 328, likely cheaper to acquire, then again more expensive to keep up

4. 308 GT4: 1973-1980 2+2-seater, a bit of an acquired taste ('love it or hate it'), with its angular Bertone (rather than the regular Pininfarina) lines. Not the easiest car to get a solid specimen of, but quite enjoyable according to those few I know who own(ed) one

5. Mondial: 1980-1993. 4-seater, not the most popular Ferrari, but therefore a potentially value-for-money buy, provided you get a good one (which is not self-evident, many have been neglected). My preference would probably be for one of the later (3.2QV) models

6. 400/412: 1976-1989. quite sizeable 4 seater. A bit less sporty looking than the models above, and sporting a 12 cylinders front-mounted engine (rather than the mid-engined 8 cylinders above). Don't know much about them, but do hear these are hard to find and maintain in proper condition

7. etc.: there are a few more obscure variations around like the 365 GT4 (a proto-version of the 400/412), the 208 and 208 Turbo (Italian market small displacement versions of the 308/328), etc. Wouldn't bother with one of these as a start though

Choice really depends on personal preference, budget to a certain extent (esp. differentiated in terms of maintenance and reserves) and what you want it for: solo drives (2-seater) versus taking the family out for a spin (4-seater)? relatively modern versus classic looks? traditional technology (carbs) versus more modern versions (injection)? rigid body (GTB) versus open drive (GTS), etc.

Have a look around, ask yourself and people here a few of such questions, test drive some of these models, and generally speaking: buy the best you can afford (which will pay off in avoiding major and expensive trouble!)

Best of luck!

Irvin

A horse is a horse, of course, of course, and no one can talk to a horse of course. That is, of course, unless the horse is the famous Mister F.

Last edited by IPF; 12-18-2010 at 06:39 AM. Reason: typo
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post #6 of 30 Old 12-18-2010, 09:56 AM
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Congratulations on your decision to take the step!

The first Ferrari I ever drove was a brand spanking new 328 GTS. With my current experience I still rate it as a great Ferrari. It is very together in steering, throttle, brakes, gears and clutch. It encapsulates what a sport Ferrari is all about. The 308 is all of that but one step up in envolvement and crispness. The difference in power between the two is less significant.

These two models are the ones to go for IMO. Try them both and see which one appeals to you the most. I think that both the exterior and the interior are far more beautiful on the 308. Go for a carbed 308 and tell us all about it when you've bought it! That is a car you will never want to sell and probably shouldn't.

Salve,
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Last edited by il Capolino; 12-18-2010 at 10:30 AM.
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post #7 of 30 Old 12-18-2010, 11:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by il Capolino View Post
The difference in power between the two is less significant.
This is true, but requires that you overlook the GTSi, which is significantly down on power.


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post #8 of 30 Old 12-19-2010, 12:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JazzyO View Post
This is true, but requires that you overlook the GTSi, which is significantly down on power.


Onno
True, best to overlook. Unless there is an economic way to tune it up?

Salve,
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post #9 of 30 Old 12-19-2010, 02:22 PM
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Since you work on the cars yourself I'd recomend the 328. Very easy car to work on.

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post #10 of 30 Old 12-19-2010, 08:28 PM
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There is a sucker born every minute. And every time one buys a Ferrari, two more take their place.

I wouldnt care if the Pope was selling it, you need a PPI and a compression test. Ask for the books, manuals, jack and tools. If they say oh yeah, I have to get those, dont make the deal until they are in your hand.

All by itself, I would give whatever the odometer reads zero value. The cars general wear and condition, and any reciepts that go with the car will be a much better indicator, and the odometer should match "that" condition. A car reading under 40K miles with splitting seat seams, loose piping, bolster wear, worn carpets, pedals, etc., etc.., just walk away, the seller is a thief.

I would keep $10K set aside after whatever you pay for the car, so figure the cars price accordingly.
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post #11 of 30 Old 12-20-2010, 03:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by il Capolino View Post
True, best to overlook. Unless there is an economic way to tune it up?
An EFI conversion bumps any of the CIS engines up 20-30hp and costs about $3k in parts for a decent set-up. Or you can go to carbs for $3k-$4k last I heard.
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post #12 of 30 Old 12-20-2010, 09:09 AM
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just out of curiosity, what is the big deal about the manuals jack and tools? mine came with them, but of course, i have never used them. since they are not connected to any particular car, i would imagine you could just purchase what you want. Don't really see how this would be much of an issue. I'm also not sure why copious records are that important. A good ferrari mechanic should be able to tell you if you have a good car on your hands. Which, to me is the point. I imagine there are some pretty tired motors out there with plenty of records. I also imagine there are plenty of cars out there with plenty of documentation of work not done, half done or poorly done. Certainly copious records and a thorough PPI would be ideal, i don't argue that. But i would think 90% of the deal would be a thorough PPI. I mean what you are trying to determine here is the current condition of the car. knowing the ac compressor was replaced 5 years ago is fine, but it won't tell you the condition of the current one. As an example, i would readily buy a 328 with no records and a clean bill of health from competizione than a one owner, completely documented car with tools from some dealers.

I'm not saying don't ask for records or tools. I'm saying the rigid "run away" i always here on forums could lead you away from a great car at a great price and into a mediocre car at a mediocre price. My advice, negotiate the best price, have a good mechanic do a thorough PPI, renegotiate the price or walk away as necessary. What do you guys think?



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post #13 of 30 Old 12-20-2010, 09:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wetpet View Post
just out of curiosity, what is the big deal about the manuals jack and tools? mine came with them, but of course, i have never used them. since they are not connected to any particular car, i would imagine you could just purchase what you want. Don't really see how this would be much of an issue.
They can be quite expensive. I'm told the binder alone for a QV in good condition is over $1000 so if these items are missing you need to plan on a few grand to get them back. Some used car dealers know exactly what they are worth and sell them separate for any car they touch.
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post #14 of 30 Old 12-20-2010, 12:26 PM
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I partially agree with Mk-e. I just spent $200 to get a portfolio that was missing from my car. Cheapest I've seen it advertised. I can't find the one missing manual at any price.

I think the "no tools, no books" advice stems in part from their price of replacement. However, I think it speaks to a much deeper feeling that owners who care enough about the details will care enough about the car.

But I agree Wetpet, their lack is just one consideration for me and not a determining factor all by itself.
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post #15 of 30 Old 12-20-2010, 03:17 PM
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Let's say you are looking for a Vetroresina 308. You can only find a very wayfaren car with high mileage and it is denfinetly only a Vetroresina you are after. I would in such a situation consider buying it and find pleasure in having it restored in sections over a couple of winters; engine and transmission first, then chassis and last body and interior. Meanwhile, you are driving it every season enjoying the upgrades every year.

It might not be the most economical way but if the car is going to be a keeper there may be an added value in inaugurating the restoration yourself and having a fresh car practically from the beginning.

Would you say this is a good way forward or is it worth while waiting longer until you find a very nice Vetroresina?

Salve,
Capo

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You cannot make life longer but you can make it wider and higher.
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post #16 of 30 Old 12-20-2010, 04:24 PM
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i guess one of my questions is, why do you need or even want a $1,000 binder? Sure it's nice if it comes with one, but i wouldn'r care. anyone wanna buy my 328 binder for $1,000? i can put it towards my major.



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post #17 of 30 Old 12-21-2010, 01:42 AM
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Quote:
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i guess one of my questions is, why do you need or even want a $1,000 binder? Sure it's nice if it comes with one, but i wouldn'r care. anyone wanna buy my 328 binder for $1,000? i can put it towards my major.
The concourse crowd are in to things like that I guess....I personally see it as unnecessary weight
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post #18 of 30 Old 12-21-2010, 06:11 AM
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I never intend to show any of my cars, although most would certainly qualify for that level of originality and condition. However, for all of my cars, I have (collect?) all the original items that were included or available when the car was purchased new. These include items such as tool kits, optional accessories, warranty cards, window stickers, dealer brochures, and period books and advertisements.

While these items are strictly for my own enjoyment, on the rare occasion that I've sold one of my cars, the new owners are always surprised by and appreciate these items.
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post #19 of 30 Old 12-21-2010, 06:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by il Capolino View Post
Would you say this is a good way forward or is it worth while waiting longer until you find a very nice Vetroresina?

Capo, I say if the Vetroresina fits - Buy it. Drive it!
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post #20 of 30 Old 12-21-2010, 11:48 AM
 
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Hey,

For a first Ferrari I would either go with a
575 Maranello
Mondial T Cab
F430
456 GT
They would be in your price range with the right year.

And I actually have three of those cars available....please let me know if you may be interested!

Thank you.

Best Regards,
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FerrariOwnersClubNorthEastRegion
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