Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Orlando, Florida
Ferrari Life Posts: 17
Ferrari with possible speedometer rollback
I have encountered a 328 that is for sale by an independant dealer. A carfax check revealed a possible speedometer rollback. In 1990 the car had over 19,000 miles on it. In 1992 it had just over 3000 miles reported on the speedometer.
The carfax report warned of a possible speedometer rollback. In the best case, the milage is at least 16,000 more than the car now shows, but could be much more. Perhaps the discrepancy is a result of a speedometer replacement. At worst it is purposeful deception at sometime way back in the history of the car. In either case it results in a large shadow being cast on the cars history. In addition, the car has been sold about 12 times since new. The only record the dealer could provide was the carfax report. After the carfax report was faxed to me I called the salesman and told him that was the most interesting carfax report that I had ever seen. The salesman started with a song and dance about that being a data entry error and that someone put one too many digits on the number at some DMV. Since we were talking by phone, I don't know if he kept a straight face when he tried that explanation.
I told him that no serious Ferrari buyer would buy that car. He told me that he agreed and that the took the report to his boss and they agreed that they should wholesale the car. The salesman said that he was suprised that I even called back. I told him the reason I was calling back was to tell him that I would not even consider buying that car at anywhere near the price range that we had been discussing.
I asked if they had records for the car. He said that they did. I said, I mean going all the way back to when it was new. He said that they thought the guy who sold them the car had those records. He further explained that the person who sold the car to them was a private individual who was a friend of the salesmans boss. I cannot imagine that records exist which were not delivered to the dealership along with the car.
All the above having been said, the car is significantly devalued as a result, but is not worthless. I told the salesman that if they could produce the records, I would consider making an offer in the wholesale price range and asked if they would be interested in talking about that. He said that he was intrested in such an offer.
The purist among you will probably advise that I walk away from the car. I may indeed do that. On the other hand, assuming that the car is otherwise a good car and checks out mechanically and cosmetically, this might be a good chance to buy the car at a rock bottom price. I realize that when I go to sell the car, if I ever do, this issue will result in a lower sales price. I would never misrepresent the car to a future buyer. I tend to keep things. I still own a 1973 mgb that I bought new. My estate will probably sell the Ferrari that I buy.
I would only consider buying the car if they will take a wholesale price, and the car does well in a pre purchase inspection. I would also have to spend the money to have a full service, especially if the service records are unavailable. The salesman could not tell me when the last service was done. He said that they had spent $3,000 on the car but could not tell me exactly what was done to the car. I doubt that it had the timing belt changed for that price.
Having written the long explanation of the situation, I now seek the advice of those of you here on the forum. First, your opinions and observations about the situation....second, the value of the car. What is the wholesale value of a 1983 328 GTS with the history that I have described, in an otherwise very good condition?
Thanks in advance for your advice.
Older whisky, younger women, and faster airplanes (and cars)