"Family-friendly" Ferrari - Ferrari Life
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post #1 of 22 Old 06-04-2014, 02:20 AM Thread Starter
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"Family-friendly" Ferrari

In a quest for a "family-friendly" Ferrari to complement my 550, I am considering a number of options and these are my current thoughts on each one:

1. The most obvious choice for a 550 owner is a 456, although in some ways 550 ownership is a reason not to go for a 456, as it would be too similar (I should add that this is as well as, not instead of - the 550 is staying!). If I do go for one of these, then my research so far leads me towards an M and my preference would be for a manual, but should I consider an auto M, or a manual non-M, if I can't find a nice manual M? Opinion seems to be divided as to just how useable are the rear seats. The key questions are: are they comfortable for a reasonable sized adult and how would my 5'8" daughter find it sitting behind her 6'1" father? Running costs, I understand, are a bit higher than for a 550 and I don't see depreciation as a factor with the 456, which I suspect has reached rock bottom (although I don't see much likelihood of a rise in prices in the foreseeable future either).

2. 612. If I went for one of these, I think I would be happy with the auto / F1 option and I get the impression that the rear seats would pass the test above. My concerns, however, are the size of the 612 - parking, narrow roads, etc. - and further depreciation: I imagine that even early 612s at c. 55/60K have some way to go yet. I have no information on running costs, so any thoughts on this would be welcome.

3. I have also been toying with the idea of a 365 / 400 / 412, almost certainly with a manual box. While I am attracted to the looks / purity of the 365, are the later cars a better bet - more reliable, better equipped, etc. and what are the pros and cons of fuel injection vs. carburettors? Just how good are the rear seats (see above) and ride comfort generally? I don't know anything about running costs and again I don't see much likelihood of a significant rise in prices in the foreseeable future, but I guess that will come sooner than with a 456. My main concern is reliability and potential rust / engine etc. rebuild issues.

I shan't go into looks - opinion seems very divided on all of these, so I guess it comes down to "beauty is in the eye of the beholder". for what it is worth, I love the looks of the 365 / 400 / 412, but am less keen on the 456 and the 612 is my least favourite, but even the 612 is a good looking car in the right colour.

Any thoughts on the relative merits of each, would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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 #2 of 22 Old 06-04-2014, 04:59 AM
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Hi John,

When I was looking for my 1st Ferrari, I too was looking at the 456 and 400/412's. Then I came across the Mondial. Last year we purchased a 1986 Mondial 3.2 Rosso Corsa with Black Interior. I know what you're thinking...I wasn't into the Mondial at first either. But it really is a fun car to go out and take the family to get ice cream and just drive around the countryside.

Because it's built on a 3.2 (Ferrari 328) engine, it's really dependable (provided you find a good sorted vehicle). I agree with you that as a current owner of a 550, the 456 would seem like the same vehicle. As for the 400/412, I heard a lot of stories about the engine being a little too needy when it comes to repair work.

Granted, the Mondial is not as fast as your 550, but it's still fun to drive, it's classic and it's solid. You should give it at least a thought.

Bill P.
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post #3 of 22 Old 06-04-2014, 08:45 AM
 
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I'd go for a classic like the 365/400 manual.
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post #4 of 22 Old 06-04-2014, 09:15 AM
 
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I'm seriously considering a Mondial as a partner to my 550 for the reasons above - they strike me as excellent value at the moment
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post #5 of 22 Old 06-04-2014, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
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Hi John,

When I was looking for my 1st Ferrari, I too was looking at the 456 and 400/412's. Then I came across the Mondial. Last year we purchased a 1986 Mondial 3.2 Rosso Corsa with Black Interior. I know what you're thinking...I wasn't into the Mondial at first either. But it really is a fun car to go out and take the family to get ice cream and just drive around the countryside.

Because it's built on a 3.2 (Ferrari 328) engine, it's really dependable (provided you find a good sorted vehicle). I agree with you that as a current owner of a 550, the 456 would seem like the same vehicle. As for the 400/412, I heard a lot of stories about the engine being a little too needy when it comes to repair work.

Granted, the Mondial is not as fast as your 550, but it's still fun to drive, it's classic and it's solid. You should give it at least a thought.

Bill P.
Ultimate performance is not my main concern here (550 has more than I use 99% of the time anyway!), and I would guess that the Mondial 3.2 QV or whatever is as fast as a 365/400/412.

Mondial is a good idea, but to be honest it is a car that has never excited me: I still have a this hang-up about Ferraris being cars with 12 cylinders (or whatever the Great Man was supposed to have said) and the looks do nothing for me personally. However, your point is a good one and really I ought to put my prejudices to one side and give a Mondial a bit more thought before I dismiss it. As you say, very good value just now.

How good are those rear seats?

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 #6 of 22 Old 06-04-2014, 10:27 AM
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I think that kind of leaves you with a 456 and get the M only. Basically at their low end and still not needing too much to make them a keeper.

or, step up to a 612

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post #7 of 22 Old 06-04-2014, 10:33 AM
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Ultimate performance is not my main concern here (550 has more than I use 99% of the time anyway!), and I would guess that the Mondial 3.2 QV or whatever is as fast as a 365/400/412.

Mondial is a good idea, but to be honest it is a car that has never excited me: I still have a this hang-up about Ferraris being cars with 12 cylinders (or whatever the Great Man was supposed to have said) and the looks do nothing for me personally. However, your point is a good one and really I ought to put my prejudices to one side and give a Mondial a bit more thought before I dismiss it. As you say, very good value just now.

How good are those rear seats?
My son is 11 years old and he fits in the back. He's 5 Feet tall (1.5 meters for you guys across the pond ) and he says he's ok in the back seat. Of course he has to sit with his legs spread apart but he's ok with that.

We took a 3 hour drive recently to a car show and he said that was about the extent he could go in the Mondial. Of course he can always lay his legs across the other seat. So it depends on the sizes and ages of your kids. Younger kids should be good. Older and taller kids, you might be pushing it. Best bet for all of these cars you're thinking about is to find some local examples at your next club event and ask if you could try out the seats?

Not sure about the UK, but here in the U.S. the prices of the 400/412 and Mondial are about the same. But it's difficult to find a manual transmission for the 400/412 and well cared for one at that.

Good luck in your search and definitely let us know what you end up doing?

Bill P.
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post #8 of 22 Old 06-04-2014, 11:04 AM
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John- All the 365 GT4 2+2s were 5 speeds, but there were only 109 originally sold in the UK. Even fewer for the rest, 27, 28, and 24 for 400, 400i, and 412, respectively.

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post #9 of 22 Old 06-04-2014, 11:59 AM
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I'd vote for the 456. Although admittedly I love them and already want one.

I'm 5'6" and have sat in the back of a 456, 612, and an FF. The 456 was fine for short rides, but I would never want to take an extended trip in one. There is no way to stretch out or move much. The 612 is a Big car in my opinion, but the back seats felt only slightly bigger. I could go for a longer trip in the 612, but not significantly longer. The FF was very comfortable in the back.

Hope this helps.

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post #10 of 22 Old 06-04-2014, 03:13 PM
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456M with a 6 speed is a mighty tempting car. I like the updated front fascia and interior. For me with the Mondial really depends on the color. It looks great in Black and spectacular in Grigio. When I see a 2+2 Ferrari though I tend to think V12 also.

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post #11 of 22 Old 06-05-2014, 05:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillP00 View Post
Hi John,

When I was looking for my 1st Ferrari, I too was looking at the 456 and 400/412's. Then I came across the Mondial. Last year we purchased a 1986 Mondial 3.2 Rosso Corsa with Black Interior. I know what you're thinking...I wasn't into the Mondial at first either. But it really is a fun car to go out and take the family to get ice cream and just drive around the countryside.

Because it's built on a 3.2 (Ferrari 328) engine, it's really dependable (provided you find a good sorted vehicle). I agree with you that as a current owner of a 550, the 456 would seem like the same vehicle. As for the 400/412, I heard a lot of stories about the engine being a little too needy when it comes to repair work.

Granted, the Mondial is not as fast as your 550, but it's still fun to drive, it's classic and it's solid. You should give it at least a thought.

Bill P.
Bill, if I needed a family friendly Ferrari your's would fit the bill (although its just as beautiful a car in black IMHO). I think it's a pragmatic car with matching good looks.
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post #12 of 22 Old 06-05-2014, 09:48 AM
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Thanks guys for the kind words on my Mondial. As much as I like black too, I don't think I could handle it in the Summer months. I already have a black interior and that's bad enough.

I was just trying to help the John (the OP) with another alternative for his query. Like I said...when I was first looking for a Ferrari, I wanted to go with the 12-cylinder 456 and didn't give the Mondial a second look. But then when we got it we realized:

1. It's a great entry level Ferrari.
2. It's family friendly.
3. It's a Ferrari!!

Bill P.
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post #13 of 22 Old 06-05-2014, 10:06 PM Thread Starter
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My son is 11 years old and he fits in the back. He's 5 Feet tall (1.5 meters for you guys across the pond ) and he says he's ok in the back seat. Of course he has to sit with his legs spread apart but he's ok with that.

We took a 3 hour drive recently to a car show and he said that was about the extent he could go in the Mondial. Of course he can always lay his legs across the other seat. So it depends on the sizes and ages of your kids. Younger kids should be good. Older and taller kids, you might be pushing it. Best bet for all of these cars you're thinking about is to find some local examples at your next club event and ask if you could try out the seats?

Not sure about the UK, but here in the U.S. the prices of the 400/412 and Mondial are about the same. But it's difficult to find a manual transmission for the 400/412 and well cared for one at that.

Good luck in your search and definitely let us know what you end up doing?

Bill P.
My daughter is 17 / 5'8", so I think that probably means that a Mondial is not going to be the answer. Thanks for your advice, Bill.

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 #14 of 22 Old 06-05-2014, 11:08 PM
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Hi Bluebottle, I have to say that after driving our friend Fiorano's new Family Ferrari - the 612 Scag, I am converted! I was never completely enamoured with the front end styling of the 612, but it has grown on me and in silver as his is it is very nice indeed. Note: Scag's are quite colour sensitive! The interior is fantastic and very spacious; and the drive is all Ferrari. It does not feel oversized when at the wheel and with the big V12 it will waft along or pounce at the horizon at the blip of the loud peddle. His is a manual but I am not sure that an F1 wouldn't be just as nice.

I think it is the best family Ferrari this side of the FF which IMHO is the out and out king of family moving muscle.

Cheers
Michael

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post #15 of 22 Old 06-06-2014, 04:09 AM
 
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The 456 seems like it would be too similar to the 550 since it sounds like you are looking for diversity. The 612 and the 365/400/412 are so very different that you really need to drive both to see what floats your boat. I loved my Mondial 3.2 but didn't have room to keep it and the 330. The V8's are special in their own way and drive quite differently from the V12s, so from a diversity standpoint, a Mondial might be a great choice. Either the "t" or the "3.2" are the best of the Mondial models, with the "t" being faster but slightly more complex. Space-wise, it may not be enough but it would be worth driving one (you might be surprised how fun they are to drive) and seeing how if fits.

Have you given any thought to going older with a 365 GT?
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post #16 of 22 Old 06-06-2014, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
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Thankyou all for your contributions. The problem is that if this is not to be a white elephant, it has to be able to persuade my wife and daughter that they wouldn't have been happier if we had done the journey in our modern Merc (highly specced E-class, with all the toys / creature comforts), or my Bentley; and at the same time make me not have too many regrets that I have been forced to leave the 550 in the garage.

Here is my current thinking after reading all your comments (and others along similar lines from contributors to the Pistonheads forum).

Mondial or GT4 are out - I reckon the back seats just aren't going to do the business for anything other than short journeys, so the family wouldn't be happy; and I would still hanker after the missing 4 cylinders (pure prejudice I know, but there it is).

My personal preference would be for the 365 - all had manual boxes and the details / fittings appeal to me more that those on the 400/412. Compared to the 456 and 612, the 365/400/412 have much more of a classic feel to them (365s even have carburettors!) as well as being significantly slimmer (important in the UK); and I think the body is drop-dead gorgeous. But I don't see the family getting as excited about it as I would, and the first time it threw a tantrum of any sort, that would be it.

A manual 456M has so much going for it, but I fear that the rear seats wouldn't keep my daughter happy long term and the lack of modern amenities would kill it for Her Indoors.

So, my current thinking is that the only Ferrari that stands a chance of keeping the family happy, is a 612, because it offers a combination of adequate accommodation, reliability and creature comforts.

I am not yet convinced, however, that it is a car I really want to own.

But thanks again for all your thoughts, which have been most helpful - this really is a very useful forum!

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 22 Old 06-06-2014, 11:57 AM
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Best of luck John and please post a photo of whatever car you finally decide to buy!

Bill P.
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post #18 of 22 Old 06-06-2014, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
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Best of luck John and please post a photo of whatever car you finally decide to buy!

Bill P.
Thankyou, Bill.

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 #19 of 22 Old 06-06-2014, 11:06 PM
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Hi Bluebottle, I have to say that after driving our friend Fiorano's new Family Ferrari - the 612 Scag, I am converted! I was never completely enamoured with the front end styling of the 612, but it has grown on me and in silver as his is it is very nice indeed. Note: Scag's are quite colour sensitive! The interior is fantastic and very spacious; and the drive is all Ferrari. It does not feel oversized when at the wheel and with the big V12 it will waft along or pounce at the horizon at the blip of the loud peddle. His is a manual but I am not sure that an F1 wouldn't be just as nice.

I think it is the best family Ferrari this side of the FF which IMHO is the out and out king of family moving muscle.

Cheers
Michael
+1 for the 612. Having owned both a 456 & a 612, definitely the 612.
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post #20 of 22 Old 06-07-2014, 12:12 AM Thread Starter
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+1 for the 612. Having owned both a 456 & a 612, definitely the 612.
I should be most grateful if you could expand on that, I.e. what were the main advantages of the 612? How did the two cars compare in the way of accommodation for rear seat passengers?

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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