Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Essex Connecticut
Ferrari Life Posts: 1,839
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.
Previous owner of 348ts SS #64, Now Ferrariless