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post #1 of 49 Old 04-17-2013, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
 
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First Ferrari?

Hello everyone,
My name is Matthew and I am a High School student from Sunny California. Since I was a young child, the red Italian Stallions have fascinated me. I had an Enzo Ferrari and 512 TR poster in my room since age 5- I swore that both of those cars would be mine (one day.)

Now, I know what you are probably thinking: "Look! a High School brat who wants an Italian super car, which he'll just buy with Mommy and Daddy's money. I guarantee you that he will crash it!"

I would like to make all efforts possible to disconnect myself from that stereotype. First off, I believe I have the level of maturity necessary to own an "affordable" Ferrari. I understand that Italian cars are not the most reliable feats of engineering on the face of the Earth. I also realize that they are fast pieces of motor art, and expensive pieces of art at that.

I am totally capable of working on a Ferrari myself, and I have the assistance of a trained mechanic who specializes in exotic vehicles at my disposal. During summer and on the weekends, I work at his shop, since he is a close family friend. I have worked on everything, ranging from a Dino 308 to a McLaren SLR to a Rossion Q1. All work was done under the guidance of the previously mentioned mechanic, of course. Garage space, tools, and a minimal number of parts are available to me for no cost.

Currently, I drive a 2007 Jaguar XJR to school, work etc. and an early Chevy Avalanche to work. The Jag was the first (and only) car I have purchased with my own money, and the truck is a hand-me-down. I have driven many exotic cars at high speed (both on and off track) during difficult weather conditions- my driving skills should be significantly better than those of a mall-cruising teenage girl.

Cars are a very large part of my life- they are definitely my favorite hobby/interest. I feel that the car you drive, the work you do to it, and the way you drive it defines you as a human being- the same way clothing describes a person. I strive to make my car a direct representation of myself- determined, happy, and looks good in red!

Please do not consider reliability, part availability, or maintenance costs in this discussion. Through the eyes of the Ferrari enthusiast community, what would you consider the best "entry level" Ferrari to be? My price range max is $50k, and advice on Ferraris that cost less than that would be greatly appreciated.

These are the cars I have considered so far:
Ferrari Testarossa
Ferrari F355
Ferrari Mondial
Ferrari 308 GT4/GTS
Ferrari 550
Maserati Coupe (not a true Ferrari, but as close as it gets)

Am I missing any cars? Anyone care to share their thoughts, opinions, warnings, or obscene profanities?

My entire life I have been raised to achieve my dreams, and never let anything stop me. I achieved the goals I have always wanted: however, a red Ferrari in the garage would be the topping of the cake.


If you have gotten this far through my emotional, badly-written post: I truly thank you wholeheartedly. Your assistance in helping make my dream a reality is greatly appreciated.


Sincerely,
Matthew
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post #2 of 49 Old 04-17-2013, 11:19 PM
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Hi Matt
355 for me all the way!

Cars
458 coupe normale, California T, Speciale A, 458 GT3, FF Maserati Ghibli diesel!
on way in 2015: La F, and 488, 2016 488 spider
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post #3 of 49 Old 04-17-2013, 11:25 PM Thread Starter
 
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Hello there Habsy
One vote for the 355!

By the way, I will be paying for the car in full, and trading either the Jag or truck- I don't want the commitment of finance payments. I enjoy opening the mailbox and taking my paycheck out, instead of finance bills
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post #4 of 49 Old 04-18-2013, 12:04 AM
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Matt, welcome to FL. With the givens, I would opt for 308 GTS. Good luck with your achievements. You already live in an environment to enjoy such cars.

w/ smiles

Jimmy
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post #5 of 49 Old 04-18-2013, 04:25 AM
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Of the cars in the list, I like the 550 the most. But it's not really a young man's car so wouldn't be my recommendation to you. Considering what you describe as having already driven and worked on, I would vote F355 as well as this is the best combination of speed, looks, and semi-modernity. Your skills will help keep the costs down as they are a bit maintenance sensitive.

I think the 308 will be a bit too old fashioned and slow - but perhaps not, there are young guys who go more for character than speed and if that is your game then the 308 is a better car than the F355.

Bests of luck!


Onno



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Future: No idea
Present: 458 Italia, 550 Maranello
Past: 365BB x 2,
330GTC
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post #6 of 49 Old 04-18-2013, 07:18 AM Thread Starter
 
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I think the 308 is a very nice, but the 355 looks so much more modern.
Out of my list, which of those were available as 4-seaters? Any 2+2s available in my budget range?
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post #7 of 49 Old 04-18-2013, 12:39 PM
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Hi Matt and welcome to F life

In your list I'd choose the F355, for obvious reasons

For 4 seater on your list, it's the 550 or Maserati coupe. I had the Maserati Gransport, and although excellent, still more a grand tourer than sports car. F355 is a pure sports car.

Good luck

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post #8 of 49 Old 04-18-2013, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
 
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How does Maserati compare with Ferrari, apart from ownership?
I have heard that the F1 transmissions and engines are Ferrari-produced.
How do driving dynamics and maintenance differ?
The Coupe is a 4 seater, and the convertible is a 2 seater right?

Thank you very much,
Matt
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post #9 of 49 Old 04-18-2013, 03:39 PM
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Matt

I didn't keep the Gransport for very long so can't comment on maintainence but I heard its about the same as for a Ferrari, especially clutch

And yes anything after the coupe the maseratis engine and transmission were designed by Ferrari. The Gransport also sounded very nice stock.

Again the Gransport drove very well as a sporty grand tourer. Maybe closer to a Ferrari 550 than a F355 or 360

Maserati GranTurismo MC - Giallo yellow
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F355 Berlinetta - Giallo Modena, 6-speed manual, carbon sport seats -recently traded in
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post #10 of 49 Old 04-18-2013, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
 
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What do you think of the 355 as a daily driver? Let's say, around 20 miles a day.
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post #11 of 49 Old 04-18-2013, 07:08 PM
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For 20 miles you can use the F355 as a DD. however, others told me, and now I feel the same, that the F355 is too special for the mundane tasks of a DD. however, I do drive mine to work 1-2 times a week, and try to take her out whenever I can on errands.

My Honda S2000 is my real DD and still a fun sporty convertible

(havent driven F355 recently, I need to have her checked out, she's driving weird...)

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post #12 of 49 Old 04-18-2013, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
 
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The 355 is a very respectable car, especially with a 4.6 0-60 time. For an older car, it's amazing (and beautiful.)

However, the only way I would buy a Ferrari is with the F1 transmission. I am not comfortable with a manual transmission in a daily driver, probably because I'm going to have a younger sibling in the car quite often. That's enough distraction on it's own, since safety is priority.

As I think more and more, a Maserati may be a better option for me. If I manage to stumble across a decently-priced Ferrari, I'll definitely jump on it. However, the safety is making my conscience heavy. If anything happens to my younger sibling, I will not only be responsible for it, but also feel guilty forever.
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post #13 of 49 Old 04-18-2013, 08:04 PM
 
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360

Did i read correctly??? 50K PLUS trade in? Considering access to all the tools, shop and a skilled mechanic, i think you can keep a higher mileage 360 going for a long time to come. i vote for 360 Modena in the $65K range assuming the Jag will pull in 15K at least. Don't forget about school and a good profession! you dont want to get side tracked and spend so much time with cars that you miss out on more important things in life....i'll avoid going there but hopefully you thought of that already.
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post #14 of 49 Old 04-19-2013, 04:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chenglo1 View Post
Did i read correctly??? 50K PLUS trade in? Considering access to all the tools, shop and a skilled mechanic, i think you can keep a higher mileage 360 going for a long time to come. i vote for 360 Modena in the $65K range assuming the Jag will pull in 15K at least. Don't forget about school and a good profession! you dont want to get side tracked and spend so much time with cars that you miss out on more important things in life....i'll avoid going there but hopefully you thought of that already.

+1 to what Cheng said

Maserati GranTurismo MC - Giallo yellow
Porsche 911 GT3 RS - black with orange accents - wife's car
F355 Berlinetta - Giallo Modena, 6-speed manual, carbon sport seats -recently traded in
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post #15 of 49 Old 04-21-2013, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chenglo1 View Post
Did i read correctly??? 50K PLUS trade in? Considering access to all the tools, shop and a skilled mechanic, i think you can keep a higher mileage 360 going for a long time to come. i vote for 360 Modena in the $65K range assuming the Jag will pull in 15K at least. Don't forget about school and a good profession! you dont want to get side tracked and spend so much time with cars that you miss out on more important things in life....i'll avoid going there but hopefully you thought of that already.
The Jag's KBB value is $25k, and I will put $25k or more out of pocket. I've been looking at the 360 Modenas, but the F355 styling looks better to me. I'm also looking at Maseratis, because I like the convenience of a back seat.
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post #16 of 49 Old 04-21-2013, 05:45 PM
 
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I would seriously consider the 308 GTS. A classic Ferrari that is affordable to buy and reasonable maintain, has great handling, enough power to be fun but not get you in too much trouble (teenager with 400-500 bhp at their disposal is not a good thing - in 20 years you'll understand why), has all the charm of a Ferrari without the hangups of worrying where you park it, and leaves you room to grow.

Here are my opinions about your other suggestions:

Ferrari Testarossa - expensive to maintain, more car than you need right now, perhaps a bit later in life
Ferrari F355 - a terrific car, fast, sharp, aggressive, but more powerful that you need, a bit one-dimensional and by all accounts a maintenance pig - buy gated, not F1.
Ferrari Mondial - no, just no.
Ferrari 550 - as someone else said, not a young man's car
Maserati Coupe - a great car, very practical/versatile. More modern and cheaper to maintain, but 400 bhp could be trouble.

I would rank as follows: 308, Maserati, 355, 355 F1. I wouldn't consider the others.

The 360 is a terrific option, but for your next car, not this one.
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post #17 of 49 Old 04-21-2013, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by TBigs View Post
I would seriously consider the 308 GTS. A classic Ferrari that is affordable to buy and reasonable maintain, has great handling, enough power to be fun but not get you in too much trouble (teenager with 400-500 bhp at their disposal is not a good thing - in 20 years you'll understand why), has all the charm of a Ferrari without the hangups of worrying where you park it, and leaves you room to grow.

Here are my opinions about your other suggestions:

Ferrari Testarossa - expensive to maintain, more car than you need right now, perhaps a bit later in life
Ferrari F355 - a terrific car, fast, sharp, aggressive, but more powerful that you need, a bit one-dimensional and by all accounts a maintenance pig - buy gated, not F1.
Ferrari Mondial - no, just no.
Ferrari 550 - as someone else said, not a young man's car
Maserati Coupe - a great car, very practical/versatile. More modern and cheaper to maintain, but 400 bhp could be trouble.

I would rank as follows: 308, Maserati, 355, 355 F1. I wouldn't consider the others.

The 360 is a terrific option, but for your next car, not this one.
+1 to TBigs above.

I would look at both the Maserati Coupe and Gransport, obviously Gransport is more sporty but also costs a bit more, but more a focused driver's car than coupe.

F355 is probably the most exciting car ive EVER driven, but like mentioned above, be prepared for maintainence. My F355 is being shipped to Dallas to see why it's running weird....hope it's nothing major...

Maserati GranTurismo MC - Giallo yellow
Porsche 911 GT3 RS - black with orange accents - wife's car
F355 Berlinetta - Giallo Modena, 6-speed manual, carbon sport seats -recently traded in
Porsche Cayenne Turbo S
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post #18 of 49 Old 04-22-2013, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
 
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The 308 seems a bit "old" looking to me- don't get me wrong, it is very nice looking, but not a "young car" I guess. It kinda looks like my mom's first car, a Pontiac Fiero (which had an engine fire @ 4,000 miles!)

I'm really thinking about the Maseratis and a decent F355 F1 in my neighborhood.

Whats wrong with the F1s?
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post #19 of 49 Old 04-22-2013, 08:25 PM
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Matt- Ooh, that is an insult to the 308, which looks nothing like a Fiero.

Nothing is wrong with the F1 system except people like to badmouth the system as not being "pure"

Taz
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post #20 of 49 Old 04-22-2013, 08:25 PM
 
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fiero?

okay, can't put fiero and ferrari in the same sentence! the ferrari undoubtedly came first. personally, i think the 308 and 328's have stood the test of time better than ANY other car of their respective times. meaning look at the 70's cars, 80's cars and then look at the 308, 328 of each decade. they truly have held up well in terms of looks i think. Call them old or momma's car or whatever you want, but i can almost guarantee you that they will turn more heads than most cars the avg person will encounter in a day. for me, it's an easy choice between any Ferrari and the maserati. i dont know what good the back seat is for in the maserati besides tennis raquets and some balls...i'm not sitting back there!
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