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post #1 of 12 Old 06-02-2009, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
 
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Hello from a new member

Hello everyone, I found your site a few days ago and I decided to join up.

I currently don't own a Ferrari, but I have been giving it some thought after finding out how affordable they have become. Well, at least the purchase price is affordable, I am a bit concerned about maintenance. But after reading carguy's posting in the TR section on engine removal, I feel that maintenance shouldn't be that much of a deterrent for me since I would enjoy working on my own car.

But I could use some advice. I am thinking about getting something from a 512 BB through to a 512 TR. I'm more interested in a 12 cylinder car over the 8's for the moment. One of my biggest concerns is how well I would fit in the car. I'm 6'3" with a 32" inseam and I was wondering how I'd fit in the car. I'm guessing that I'd be more comfortable in the 512 TR over a 512 BB. Is my height a big problem?

Now about the car. Which one do you think I should go for? A 512 BB/BBi or a Testarossa/512 TR? I know the 512 BB is more expensive, but I like the big gauges of the dash and the overall looks of the car. But the Testarossa is such a bargain and I think it would be easier to get parts for. My heart is with the 512 BB but spending more than $70k for a car right now is going to be hard for me. So, should I save up and wait for the right 512 BB or should I go for a Testarossa for a much easier-to-swallow price of $45k?

Lastly, how long are the engine-out service intervals? I'm guessing it needs to be done every time the cam belts need to be replaced, but I don't know how often that would be.

Thanks for the advice.

John
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post #2 of 12 Old 06-02-2009, 05:32 PM
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Hi John, welcome.

You should go and seek out a BB and TR and experience them for yourself. No point in us trying to tell you what you should buy. I think you should fit in the BB with maybe a little squeeze - I'm 6'1, 180lbs and I fit in without any problems and have some headroom. Of the Pre-1985 Ferraris I think the BB is one of the roomiest.

If you can, try the BB, BBi and TR. There is a big difference in driving experience between the BBi and BB, the latter being much more civilised. Whether you actually want that or not, is a different matter. Don't forget about the 365BB either - it is the rawest of all these cars and for me, that was the reason I bought one. The fact that it is by far the rarest also influenced my decision, but principally I bought it for the noise! Have a read through my article in Ferrari Life Quarterly #10 (I think) where I describe driving all three Boxers, and Boxer's article in FLQ #2 where he describes the differences between the 512BB and 365BB.

My experience with TR's is non-existent but I think it is safe to say that the later the boxer engine, the less maintenance it needs. The 365 and 512 need a lot of TLC and recommended major intervals are 2 years, regardless of mileage. Costs for this are high (sort of Russian roulette with your wallet - if it's $5k you are having a great year - but the biggest part of this is labour and if you do the work yourself you save a lot).

For the TR, I would expect around 20% saving compared to Boxer maintenance. But I don't know if that is accurate or not, not having personal ownership experience with them. One thing to remember: build quality for Ferraris took a real nose dive at the end of the 80ies so there are some rough Testa's out there even if they are low mileage.

I guess that is true, though, for all these cars (Boxers and TRs) - they are now affordable for a lot of people that underestimate the cost of running one of these cars, causing a lot of them to deteriorate rapidly.

One thing to consider if you want to do your own work like you say: the older the car, the simpler it is.

My advice: when buying, expect to spend another $10k, no matter how good the car is. You can only have a windfall, but it's more likely you need to spend something. Have a PPI done. Don't buy from a private individual without consulting a Ferrari expert. Don't trust the belt service if it is included within the sale price, unless the shop is very reputable.

Finally: buy the best you FIND, not the best you can AFFORD. Unless you like rebuilding a scruffy one - there's fun in that too.

Best of luck,


Onno



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post #3 of 12 Old 06-02-2009, 07:45 PM
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Welcome John, and yes maintenance should be your number 1 concern when purschasing a Ferrari i've had a Testa before don't know much about the BB but finding parts are not as easy as you think, surely buying one seems affordable now but is the cost of maintenance is going to eat you up if you bought the wrong car! so do lots of home work before you even consider buying a F car. Good luck

Cheers
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post #4 of 12 Old 06-02-2009, 08:21 PM
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I would not purchase a vehicle just because you think it is a "bargain". That can be very disastrous!

Do your homework and know well what you are facing, and definitely learn what to expect from each of the models you mentioned..

I would also suggest you purchase Andrew's "Buyers Portfolio". It is an invaluable guide.

I would also get Boxer involved in this as he can impart extremely invaluable advice to you.

Welcome to F.L.

Take your time.
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post #5 of 12 Old 06-02-2009, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John_H View Post
Hello everyone, I found your site a few days ago and I decided to join up.

I currently don't own a Ferrari, but I have been giving it some thought after finding out how affordable they have become. Well, at least the purchase price is affordable, I am a bit concerned about maintenance. But after reading carguy's posting in the TR section on engine removal, I feel that maintenance shouldn't be that much of a deterrent for me since I would enjoy working on my own car.

But I could use some advice. I am thinking about getting something from a 512 BB through to a 512 TR. I'm more interested in a 12 cylinder car over the 8's for the moment. One of my biggest concerns is how well I would fit in the car. I'm 6'3" with a 32" inseam and I was wondering how I'd fit in the car. I'm guessing that I'd be more comfortable in the 512 TR over a 512 BB. Is my height a big problem?

Now about the car. Which one do you think I should go for? A 512 BB/BBi or a Testarossa/512 TR? I know the 512 BB is more expensive, but I like the big gauges of the dash and the overall looks of the car. But the Testarossa is such a bargain and I think it would be easier to get parts for. My heart is with the 512 BB but spending more than $70k for a car right now is going to be hard for me. So, should I save up and wait for the right 512 BB or should I go for a Testarossa for a much easier-to-swallow price of $45k?

Lastly, how long are the engine-out service intervals? I'm guessing it needs to be done every time the cam belts need to be replaced, but I don't know how often that would be.

Thanks for the advice.

John
Couple of quick comments:

- in the price ranges mentioned above, I do not believe a 512BB is realistic option. Any 512 BB being sold for $70k will be in need of major TLC and will cost you the purchase price plus by the time it is sorted. A decent example will cost at least $50k more.

- height should not be a problem in the TR/512TR. The 512 TRs have a number of improvements over the earlier models and are regarded as being more reliable.

- neither is cheap to run, but per JazzyO's comment, the BBs will be more expensive

- Ferrari never officially imported the 365 BB - 512BBi into the US. As a result all are either grey market cars or recent (post 25 year DOT/EPA exemption). It is critical to check the paper work and make sure the car has all the right DOT/EPA releases. From a collectors standpoint, the post 25 year cars are preferred as they will not have been altered to meet the DOT/EPA standards.
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post #6 of 12 Old 06-02-2009, 10:15 PM
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Sorry - I missed your budget quoted. Definitely not realistic for Boxers, as Boxer mentioned above. A decent 512BB is from 120k upwards in the US.


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post #7 of 12 Old 06-02-2009, 11:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gcalo View Post
I would not purchase a vehicle just because you think it is a "bargain". That can be very disastrous!

Do your homework and know well what you are facing, and definitely learn what to expect from each of the models you mentioned..

I would also suggest you purchase Andrew's "Buyers Portfolio". It is an invaluable guide.

I would also get Boxer involved in this as he can impart extremely invaluable advice to you.

Welcome to F.L.

Take your time.
Sound words +1

But don't count out the 8 cylinder so fast there is nothing that will make a more true Ferrari sound than the sound of a 348/355 at 5000+ rpm.

And if your concerned about height just buy a convertible lol.

Night life........ain't a good life........but it's my life -- Willy Nelson
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post #8 of 12 Old 06-03-2009, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone for the great advice. I am definitely going to take it slow and do lots of research before I take the plunge. The one big lesson I have learned early on is its not if you can afford to buy the car but rather if you can afford to own the car. I think there's a lot of people buying exotic cars right now without a clue as to how expensive it is to maintain it. I think a TR is going to be my best bet, but that's because I don't think I can afford a BB/BBi. But I think I would love to have a basket-case of a BB and work on it. For me, working on the car would be nearly as much fun as driving the car.

Right now I can't buy a car unless its a great deal because I need to stay focused on buying a house first. But having a house with enough land to have a workshop/garage now tops my "must-have" list.

Thank goodness I found your site, I think it will provide me with a wealth of information so I can make the right decision.

Oh, and yes I know I'd love to own a 8 cylinder car. But the mystic of a 12 cylinder Ferrari is too much for me to ignore.
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post #9 of 12 Old 06-03-2009, 06:29 PM
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I have owned both as new . I preferred the 84 BBi over the 88 Test as it was better car from bulid quality, appearance,feeling of driving a Ferrari. The Test felt large, tankish, bulky.
Did not see from you stats the country you reside in but remember all USA Boxer's were grey market. I was fortunate to have found a grt. engineer to legalize my car, but there was a lot of shotty work out there at that time. Testa were for the most part legal cars. Testa were not cheap to work on and had # problem area esp brakes ( at least 88 did), 5000 a pop in the 80's. I have to say I had no issues with my Boxer in 4 yrs of ownership. Boxer upper bodies a little more fragil as al. used vs steel Testa.
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post #10 of 12 Old 06-03-2009, 06:31 PM
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Forgot to say welcome to the site. I am also new to the site.
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post #11 of 12 Old 06-03-2009, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the input, docf. If I were to go for a TR, I think I would actually want a car that has a decent amount of mileage on it. I figured that the previous owner(s) would hammer out all the known issues with the car.

I still hope I can find a BBi within my price range.
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post #12 of 12 Old 06-03-2009, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by John_H View Post
Thanks for the input, docf. If I were to go for a TR, I think I would actually want a car that has a decent amount of mileage on it. I figured that the previous owner(s) would hammer out all the known issues with the car.

I still hope I can find a BBi within my price range.
With the current economy this is a buying opportunity. Having gone through this type of downturn in the past you will wake up to the fact should have bought the best you can afford. Can still remember the day you could buy 427 Shelby Cobra any day of the week for 2000-2800( gas crunch 70's ), had one prior to my current 4000CSX. The sell of my Boxer was theft--310,000 before the collapse of the Japanese stock market late 80's. History repeats itself , the good , bad and the ugly. One of my favorite non Ferraris future collectors is the series II Viper GTS coupe . Has all the criteria for future winner. Beauty, racing history ( Lemans win ), horsepower, 10 cylinder,ease mantainence, very limited production, Shelby is the grandfather , Bob Lutz
the father! Well better quite my rambling. Again welcome.
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