355 Spider at Auto Plaza Houston - Ferrari Life
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post #1 of 23 Old 02-28-2012, 08:37 AM Thread Starter
 
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355 Spider at Auto Plaza Houston

Greetings,

Sorry if this is not the place to ask, but I am considering a 1997 355 Spider that is at Auto Plaza in Houston.

Auto Plaza Inc - Used Car Dealership, Houston.

The VIN is ZFFXR48A5V0106798

Does anyone have any information on this car?

Thanks for any guidance.

Mitch
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post #2 of 23 Old 02-28-2012, 08:48 AM
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Well, one thing I noticed is this is its only Ferrari amongst many low-end domestic vehicles: I'd def get a PPI as this is just a listing facility to me.

On another note, just to me, that is a low price and worth a look, but somehow I'll bet it needs a major to be sure, and it has the stick which I like.

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post #3 of 23 Old 02-28-2012, 09:14 AM
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Mitch- Welcome to Ferrari Life and this is the correct place to ask. Will wait for some more or our F355 owners to chime in whether they know the car or not. Pre-purchase inspections of F355s are very important with their history of exhaust manifold and valve guide issues, especially a leak-down test for the latter. Valve guide replacement can cost five figures to repair.

She looks very nice and unmolested, so that is a strong point, as is the red and tan combination, great for a first Ferrari if this is your first.

Taz
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post #4 of 23 Old 02-28-2012, 09:48 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the replies...

I do have a receipt for the belt service in August 2010 (about 1200 miles ago). I understand the importance of PPI....especially for the valves and headers. The car is located 3 miles from the Houston Ferrari dealer and I will talk to them about doing the PPI. I was curious if anyone knew this car.

Yes...first Ferrari. I have other interesting cars, but always wanted a Ferrari. I have a Lotus Esprit and there is a list serve for Esprit owners. It seems like someone on there knows every Esprit in existence!

Red/Tan seems the logical choice :-)

Again, thanks for any insight.
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post #5 of 23 Old 02-28-2012, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MitchG View Post
Thanks for the replies...

I do have a receipt for the belt service in August 2010 (about 1200 miles ago). I understand the importance of PPI....especially for the valves and headers. The car is located 3 miles from the Houston Ferrari dealer and I will talk to them about doing the PPI. I was curious if anyone knew this car.

Yes...first Ferrari. I have other interesting cars, but always wanted a Ferrari. I have a Lotus Esprit and there is a list serve for Esprit owners. It seems like someone on there knows every Esprit in existence!

Red/Tan seems the logical choice :-)

Again, thanks for any insight.

Check here : Ferrari 355 Registry - Home Page if not there then it will be hit=miss

as for the belt change, that is good, do you know who performed it?

thanks
PS: Welcome to the site.

Guide to the Galaxy: Don't Panic
Rik -- LAH !


Current:
Past:
1990 Mondial T Cabriolet SN 86247 : Red/Tan
1995 456 GT 2+2 SN 99987 : Roso Metalizzato [Fer 311/C] & Tan

Last edited by Granucci; 02-28-2012 at 10:37 AM.
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post #6 of 23 Old 02-28-2012, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
 
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The belt service was done by "M-Performance" in Spring, Texas. I know nothing about them. There are a couple of positive recommendations on the web, but nothing real specific.

The belts, tensioners, water pump, valve cover gaskets and seals, fuel & air filters, 3 different hoses, plugs and plug wires were changed (according to receipt). I don't know where the car stands regarding valves or exhaust.
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post #7 of 23 Old 02-29-2012, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MitchG View Post
The belt service was done by "M-Performance" in Spring, Texas. I know nothing about them. There are a couple of positive recommendations on the web, but nothing real specific.

The belts, tensioners, water pump, valve cover gaskets and seals, fuel & air filters, 3 different hoses, plugs and plug wires were changed (according to receipt). I don't know where the car stands regarding valves or exhaust.

all in all this sounds well sorted, but get a PPI anyway. I'm sure the dealer/seller won't mind and the cost is worth it.

Guide to the Galaxy: Don't Panic
Rik -- LAH !


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Past:
1990 Mondial T Cabriolet SN 86247 : Red/Tan
1995 456 GT 2+2 SN 99987 : Roso Metalizzato [Fer 311/C] & Tan
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post #8 of 23 Old 02-29-2012, 10:42 AM
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Mitch, welcome to Ferrari Life and I would suggest you contact Mark Darragh of Sphere Motorsports for the PPI. Mark takes care of many of the exotics around town, including several 355's, and he's very good & thorough with his work.

832-277-7062

'99 550, Rosso Corsa / Nero, S/N:114654, Assy: 31836, Engine: 52084

High mileage, low compression, and missing on a few cylinders.....just like my cars.

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post #9 of 23 Old 02-29-2012, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the tip... Do you think that is a better option than the dealer? Trust me, I do tend to have a preference for good independents rather than the dealer, so I appreciate the suggestion.
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post #10 of 23 Old 02-29-2012, 02:32 PM
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I feel as you do wrt independents and dealers.

With Mark, I would expect you'll get a better inspection, and I'm sure you'll pay less for it. He's a Brit, and very particular about doing a proper PPI.

He may even know the car if it's been locally owned.

'99 550, Rosso Corsa / Nero, S/N:114654, Assy: 31836, Engine: 52084

High mileage, low compression, and missing on a few cylinders.....just like my cars.

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post #11 of 23 Old 02-29-2012, 06:43 PM Thread Starter
 
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OH..never mind...not a Brit!

I am a bit of a Francophile.....to the point of owning a 2CV! Not sure I can communicate with a Brit!

I have been on the phone with the dealer that has the car. We are checking out a few things now. If we can come to a deal I will be in contact with him to do a PPI. Thanks a million for the advice.
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post #12 of 23 Old 03-01-2012, 04:33 AM
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Mitch

Welcome to FLife - 355 looks very clean

134282 - Carbon knows the history and ownership of almost every Ferrari ever produced.

May want to send him a pm - good luck with the ppi.
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post #13 of 23 Old 03-01-2012, 11:35 AM
 
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Mitch

Welcome to FLife - 355 looks very clean

134282 - Carbon knows the history and ownership of almost every Ferrari ever produced.

May want to send him a pm - good luck with the ppi.
LOL, I think that's a bit generous Doug, but thank you. I have roughly half of total production identified, and the histories on those cars are often incomplete. I'm doing my best to fill in the gaps, but that's not possible without you guys.

I need an Aventador!
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post #14 of 23 Old 03-01-2012, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MitchG View Post
I have been on the phone with the dealer that has the car. We are checking out a few things now. If we can come to a deal I will be in contact with him to do a PPI. Thanks a million for the advice.
Mmmm, be careful. I would never have a seller do a PPI, nor would I use a seller recommended shop. That's just a clear conflict of interest in my book.

'99 550, Rosso Corsa / Nero, S/N:114654, Assy: 31836, Engine: 52084

High mileage, low compression, and missing on a few cylinders.....just like my cars.

Maranello Skunkworks Team Member
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post #15 of 23 Old 03-01-2012, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
 
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Sorry I was not clear - I meant if the dealer and I come to a deal, I will contact Mark Darragh of Sphere Motorsports to do the PPI.

I really appreciate everyone providing guidance here.

Mitch
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post #16 of 23 Old 03-09-2012, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
 
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OK...355 is scheduled to go to Mark at Sphere on Monday. Looking forward to the results!!
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post #17 of 23 Old 04-04-2012, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
 
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OK! Maybe need to move this now to a different area :-)

Got the report from Mark. Car needs quite a bit of money on an assortment of relatively minor issues. I ended up buying it and having Mark's shop do a few of the items that had to be attended to before driving home. They did a wonderful job and - while disappointed that Mark was out of town - Andy really knocked himself out explaining things to us and showing us around the shop. What a place!

Ended up driving the 355 home from Houston to Central Illinois...just over 1,000 miles. It ran perfectly and drives great! Extremely happy with the purchase and looking forward to getting my hands dirty addressing the issues Mark pointed out. Nothing major...but quite a few little items.

And my friends at Auto Plaza were a joy to deal with. While the Ferrari was not a good fit with the product mix, they do have some very nice cars (lot of late model German cars and seem to always have Range Rovers). I wold not hesitate to buy from them again as they were quite honest. Rachel is a challenging price negotiator, but great to work with. If you are in the Houston area and looking for a late model used vehicle, give her a call.

So..two thumbs up for Sphere Motorsports and Auto Plaza of Houston. I am still smiling when I look at the 355 :-)
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post #18 of 23 Old 04-04-2012, 08:19 PM
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Mitch- Congratulations on the car and looking forward to seeing some photos soon. Sounds like a fun drive home.

Taz
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Past: Dino 246 GT 02984, 365 GTB/4 14009, 308 GTS 25125

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post #19 of 23 Old 04-04-2012, 10:45 PM
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Mitch
Good to hear you had a positive experience and are enjoying your 355.
Pics for us all now...

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Ex's: Dino 308 GT4, 612 Scaglietti
The Rest: Rolls Royce Silver Shadow, Porsche 911 2.7s, Porsche 911 3.2 Carerra, Ducati 916... and the Land Rovers
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post #20 of 23 Old 04-05-2012, 12:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MitchG View Post
Got the report from Mark. Car needs quite a bit of money on an assortment of relatively minor issues. I ended up buying it and having Mark's shop do a few of the items that had to be attended to before driving home. They did a wonderful job and - while disappointed that Mark was out of town - Andy really knocked himself out explaining things to us and showing us around the shop. What a place!

So..two thumbs up for Sphere Motorsports and Auto Plaza of Houston. I am still smiling when I look at the 355 :-)
Mitch, glad to hear Mark's shop worked out for you.

'99 550, Rosso Corsa / Nero, S/N:114654, Assy: 31836, Engine: 52084

High mileage, low compression, and missing on a few cylinders.....just like my cars.

Maranello Skunkworks Team Member
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