Long distance purchase - Ferrari Life
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 02-07-2008, 12:00 PM Thread Starter
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Long distance purchase

I'm new to the forum. I am considering a 97 355 manual rosso/tan spider.
Issue is car is in PA and I'm in arizona. I've had numerous pictures sent and the maintenance history. Purchasing from a reseller. Two owner car, 21000 miles. Seller is in Kingston, PA. I'd like to get someone from Philly to do the PPI. Car lists for 75,900.00. Has anyone done this type of long distance transaction and have any advice? Does the price sound right and do I negotiate the sale prior to travelling there? I have driven 2 355's so I have some idea what to expect.

This would be my first ferrari and the last used car I bought since my first car,
1966 AH Sprite 30 years ago. It threw a rod on the way back to college any I couldn't afford to fix it!

Thanks
Al
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post #2 of 10 Old 02-07-2008, 08:49 PM
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Ciao and welcome

Quote:
Originally Posted by agc View Post
I'm new to the forum. I am considering a 97 355 manual rosso/tan spider.
Issue is car is in PA and I'm in arizona. I've had numerous pictures sent and the maintenance history. Purchasing from a reseller. Two owner car, 21000 miles. Seller is in Kingston, PA. I'd like to get someone from Philly to do the PPI. Car lists for 75,900.00. Has anyone done this type of long distance transaction and have any advice? Does the price sound right and do I negotiate the sale prior to travelling there? I have driven 2 355's so I have some idea what to expect.

This would be my first ferrari and the last used car I bought since my first car,
1966 AH Sprite 30 years ago. It threw a rod on the way back to college any I couldn't afford to fix it!

Thanks
Al
Dude congrats on joining the Ferrari team. You should do tonnes of homework
first find out all the quirks about the 355 and definitely haggle the price after you do a PPI. 355 are awesome cars but if you buy a lemon YIKES $$$$$$
In the end you have to feel comfortable with the seller and the sale if one or the other bothers you BAIL.......

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post #3 of 10 Old 02-08-2008, 07:03 AM
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Hi,
I/my family have bought numerous cars at long distance. Flying out tomorrow morning at 6:30am to pick up my dad's "new" 1999 550 Maranello (our first Ferrari). So far every sale has gone without a hitch, usually starting with cars on Ebay (though very few were bought through the Ebay process, most were negotiated outside of Ebay). I do highly suggest you see the car in person before paying the whole price. We have bought 2 cars "sight unseen" and had them shipped and both worked out fine, however one was a 1955 Jag which we knew to be in need of total restoration and the other was a brand new Jeep Wrangler which still had full warranty so there was minimal risk. We have also bought via Ebay 2 Bentleys a Porsche, a Jag and another Jeep.
As you said have someone "local" check the car out, but do go see it yourself as well if you are serious. I would volunteer to do the checking out as I'm only a bit over an hour from Kingston, however I have no experience at all with 355's or Ferrari in general, and the next time I'm available is next weekend. I highly recommend if you have someone check it out to be sure they are familiar/fluent in the model you're looking at and know what problem areas to look for. We had a "professional" inspection company go to look at our first Bentley (a 1991 Turbo R) and we were pretty dissappointed with what he told us versus what we saw. obvious he really didn't know what he was doing (said the doors/hood were fiberglass??? They are aluminum in real life... etc.)
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post #4 of 10 Old 02-08-2008, 10:46 PM
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What do you know about the reseller? If they are a reputable Ferrari specialist, and you have a PPI done, I would not worry about it too much. But I wouldn't buy one from a reseller where a Ferrari only occassionally shows up by accident. Also - how has the reseller treated you thus far? If he sends you photos of the things that are wrong with the car (there is always something that isn't perfect), then that should alleviate your worries to a large extent.

I bought my 550 sight-unseen from a specialist in Holland. He sent me close-up pics of all the scratches on the car, and because my forum mates recommended him, I had no fears buying the car. 9 months later, I'm still as happy as a pig in the proverbial.

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post #5 of 10 Old 02-08-2008, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agc View Post
I'm new to the forum. I am considering a 97 355 manual rosso/tan spider.
Issue is car is in PA and I'm in arizona. I've had numerous pictures sent and the maintenance history. Purchasing from a reseller. Two owner car, 21000 miles. Seller is in Kingston, PA. I'd like to get someone from Philly to do the PPI. Car lists for 75,900.00. Has anyone done this type of long distance transaction and have any advice? Does the price sound right and do I negotiate the sale prior to travelling there? I have driven 2 355's so I have some idea what to expect.

This would be my first ferrari and the last used car I bought since my first car,
1966 AH Sprite 30 years ago. It threw a rod on the way back to college any I couldn't afford to fix it!

Thanks
Al
I have done it a few times. As per other comments, the key is to get a comprehensive PPI done by someone you trust.
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post #6 of 10 Old 02-09-2008, 06:48 AM
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My lessons learned

I'm in Connecticut and bought my car in texas. In hindsight I would say although I remain extremely happy with the outcome, my purchase was less than perfect. I don't think any problems that have turned up are huge, but I would not recommend doing things the way I did. Knowing what I know now, I can tailor the evaluation process for a remote purchase someting like this.

Once you've found a car your interested in, contact the seller to establish some type of relationship. Obtain a vehicle history report and make sure it's clean. Get pictures, and pictures, and pictures of the pictures. Be a PITA here. Your not looking for sexy photo's in perfect lightinig with a glamouros slut hanging around, you want an Engineers perspective. Get the closeups of things in the engine compartment, electrical system panels, potential corrosion area's, high risk body panels, undercarriage components, brake rotor and pads, etc... Even closeups of the wheels can show you an abundance of wheel weights suggesting issue's with tires or wheels. You must look closely at these shots looking for inconsistencies while being aware of the cars age. If done correctly you should have some understanding the some of the cars imperfections. They all have them, even brand new.

Post the VIN on this or other forums requesting known background info. Someone might say "hey, I thought Jim wrecked that car last year" or " yeah Joe used to own that one, what a great car, worth every penny". Good info to have either way.

Next schedule a PPI with a qualified local source. What's qualified? Depends on what you want to know and how much you want to know about it. You be the judge. Anything from a good ASE tech to Ferrari classique. A solid Ferrari tech being the middle ground and therefore the best choice. Get references from forums like this one. We are geographically diverse an all have a favorite tech.

NOW...this is important and what I would have done differantly. You want to go look at the car during the PPI and with your tech. Its soooo much easlier to get an accurate picture of the cars condition when you are talking to a guy you are paying to represent your interests. You will have the opportunity to learn and see whats wrong with the car and the best way to deal with those issues. Its the most anticeptic approach as the cars beauty will be muted by is vulnerable appearance on a rack. Looking at a car in a perfectly lit showroom on a blue sky day with a sales person is a mistake. The environment and sales folks downplay potential problems and allow you to feel the wonders of the car without representation of the negatives. If you get stuck in that position, throw the tea in Boston harbor, its not worth it. You'll just fall in love and say "I don't care about the costs, I want it". The Marque, on looks alone, can make you fall in love with a donkey.

Take you new found information home and re-evaluate it. Make sure you can live with the imperfections or can handle the responsibilty of restoring the issue correctly. IMO Bailing wire repairs to a Ferrari are simply wrong.

Stay sober and focused in your quest and learn the cold hard facts of the car. The mistaken purchase of a donkey can destroy the deepest bank account and cause irreversable damage to the Victim.

Lane

Previous owner of 348ts SS #64, Now Ferrariless
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post #7 of 10 Old 02-09-2008, 06:59 AM
 
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Saint Bastage, great post, thanks for sharing that information. Good not only for Ferrari buyers, but any car.

"When the going gets tough, the tough get going." - J. P. Kennedy
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post #8 of 10 Old 02-09-2008, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saint Bastage View Post
The Marque, on looks alone, can make you fall in love with a donkey.
The secret to this is to look at a lot of examples of similar cars (say, a minimum of 4 but the more the better). You'll quickly learn to see which ones are good and which aren't, and if you've seen a few you won't be so star-struck.


Onno



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post #9 of 10 Old 02-09-2008, 09:51 AM
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Ohh crap, I forgot about records. Do I need to detail the need for complete records and the review of said docs?

Lane

Previous owner of 348ts SS #64, Now Ferrariless
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post #10 of 10 Old 02-11-2008, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the advice. I am going to arrange to get more pictures and hopefully fly out in 2 weeks to look at the vehicle with a ferrari mechanic from Philadelphia.

Thanks again
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