Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Exeter, England
Ferrari Life Posts: 1,502
I can only speak from practical experience of your chosen E-type, having owned a 4.2 S1 OTS for almost 15 years. Bodywork quality was not good. Very much built down to a price, lots of places for rust to take hold before it becomes visible and little or no rust-proofing. However, and in part for this reason, most have been restored, so can be now perfectly OK. It just depends on the quality of the restoration. I never had any problems with the engine / drive train in mine and I would say that they are pretty good. Some of the ancillaries and switchgear can be a bit troublesome, but no more than for other cars of that era. Parts wear out like any car, but most are readily obtainable and not overly expensive (certainly not by Ferrari standards!), but the quality of some re-manufactured parts is variable.
I have never owned an Alfa, but my understanding is that the bodywork build quality issues that they shared with other Italian makes, e.g. Lancia, at one particular period (1970s?) were down to the use of poor quality recycled steel, that actually had "built-in" rust, so they never had a chance. The 105 series 4-cylinders engines have, I believe, a good reputation for strength and reliability, but I do not speak from personal experience.
My 911 is later than your period, so again my knowledge is limited, but it is well known that the earlier the car the worse the corrosion problem as Porsche went to part galvanised steel bodywork at, I think, around the end of your chosen period, before finally going to all galvanised later on. That aspect aside, Porsche quality is generally very good all round. Engines are reliable, but those in cars like mine (964) generally require a re-build at around 100,000 miles. Not sure about the earlier ones, but I imagine it may be the same.
I wish I could speak from experience of early Lambo ownership, but sadly I can't! Issues with engines in early Miuras, were, I believe, resolved in later versions, when the engine oil was separated from the gearbox oil or something like that.
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 Website: http://bluebottleonline.com/