I'm in the same boat looking to buy an early to mid 80's Mondial or 308gts / gtb.
The two things that do turn me off are:
1) There's a frequent major tune-up has to be done every so often, costs like 5-8 thousand and it involves replacing the timing belt. This may only be on the Mondial but I am not sure, what I do know is this tune up is crucial because some ferraris sport an interference engine and thus if the timing belt were to break then the pistons would smack into the valves... So it has to be done often, at a dealership.
> On the Mondial and perhaps the 308, seems like every repair beyond the simple involves removing the engine. It is not a daily driver thou I drive just under 5,000 miles a year so it would probably be ok.
2) This is a 200mph car, it does 60 or 70mph in first gear and not until 2nd gear does the power kick in. The ferrari is only slightly faster than a Mustang GT from 0-60, the Corvette outruns it up to around 90, which means by the time I get to feeling the true power of the ferrari I'm doing 90- 120mph and I still haven't even got much past 3rd and there are 6 gears..? That to me is a problem when there are no roads anywhere within the radius of the continent where I can legally and safely do anything even close to it.
> If only once, but you can't DO it on a US highway, the road isn't made for that.
This isn't a turn-off per se but it needs mentioning:
3) A car is never an investment, because it almost always decreases in value over time, and rather severely so. Perhaps the 1983 Mondial I can buy today for 20,000 is worth more in 20 years IF I keep it in my living room AND keep up on the maintenance, or maybe not, but most cars never increase, few even keep their value.
Other than that...
I currently own two early model classic-style bmw's and I tell you there is no secret to the financing aspect, with these cars you don't finance. Because there's no financing these 18-25 year old cars, once they're past 20 years there's no blue book, and most places that could finance are dealers (so you pay more), banks won't touch it, they don't want something that old as collateral, much less if purchased via private party and by the time you get it valuated you're out another thousand...
But that's not all, finance it and you have to have full coverage insurance, not only do you risk paying interest, but you will pay more, I carry minimum liability on mine, a spotlessly perfect driving record is essential, hence another damper on my enthusiasm with the abilities of the car.
And if the car turns out a lemon or I otherwise feel I made a bad choice, at least I'm not stuck with the payments... You can't sell a car while you're making payments, more than a few try, but I myself and most level-headed folks won't buy it unless the title is free and clear.
First you need an impeccably clean driving record, absolutely no violations or citations or marks of any kind as far back as the DMV in your location goes. I think in VA where I live that's 5 years but really 8-10 is better (mine's been clean for 7 now).
That's the first step, then you need to work with your current budget and income and make some room for additional savings. These savings need to come out over top of retirement or anything else, find places to cut costs fine but don't mess yourself up.
At my rate I can put away 4-5g a year, that takes about 4-5 years to get 20g.
Of course these two things can be done at the same time (no tickets, save money).
Once I have the money or I'm within a few months of having it, I start looking.
WHEN I find the car I want, I first call to make sure it's still there and gtg, then I fly or get driven out to the location, inspect it, and if all is well, pay for it cash, get the title and drive it home.
Once I get the car home, it's time to immediately go over the entire thing and fix as much knick knack as needs it, do all the maintenance you can because it might be the only time it gets done over so good... Most owners, once they own a car for some time don't do squat much past oil changes, I'm no exception, so there needs to be a 1-2 thousand dollar buffer to accomodate for that first excitement burn off, and that's one way I burn off the excitement is working on it, usually for several weeks, sometimes 1-2 months.
That's how I paid for the bmw's, 4 and 5g each, not quite 20 but that's just one more step.
That's how I do it, I go through a good 5-600 dollars easy as SOON as I get it home, that's on top of ttlir, sometimes as much as 1-2g, I fix anything and everything I can think of.
On the notes of investment, see I've sunk another few (2-3) thousand into the bmw's over time, but they're only worth maybe 1-2 thousand each today, so there is no investment here.
Thus in the end it boils down to that thing, either you can afford it, or you can't.
What's 5 years?
I'll be 45 by then, what if it takes until I'm 50, who cares?
Then if all else fails, I at least have the money lol.
Perhaps this is why it's always the old guys drive the super cars,
and oh yeah, they drive uh slow, the speed limit.
In the meantime, I DROOOOL.
And I may in the end opt for a different classic, perhaps an Excalibur or a Tiffany, the Panther Kallista is nice thou the 2.3L is a turn-off, I'd love to get a nice DeTomaso Pantera but that's really just an over-rated Ford, Deloreans turn me off, a few others exist, some Alfas come to mind...
Last edited by 8307c4; 10-13-2007 at 06:42 PM.