Buying my first Ferrari - the nitty and gritty details
So, I know this has been done before, but I also know when I was Ferrari shopping, I couldn't read enough of these types of posts. I also know that every car and person is different, so I wanted to share my experience so that someone else might benefit, as I did from others.
So I have been a car guy all my life, since I watched Magnum PI just to see 15 seconds of his 308 in every episode. 30 years later, grew up, ended up driving cars I could afford, not Ferraris. Coming from a very blue collar family (I am the first to attend college, as far as I know) I thought they were beyond my grasp. A modded 1967 Ford Mustang fastback was my first pure fun car, and I still have it.
From there, I went with a Cadillac CTS-V daily driver, and realized it makes everywhere I go so much more fun. I can't think of a place I spend more time than my car, next to my house. So, several months ago, I was approached by a large company to buy out my smaller business. The only catch being I had to go to work for them. The money, although nice, was not enough to allow me to quit working anyway, but it would allow me to secure my future and maybe experience some things I might have otherwise not.
Naturally, my attention turned to cars. Part of this was because I love them, and the other part was because I have read too many posts of people pointing out that you cannot take it with you, and some experiences are worth the price.
Well, after a few minor disagreements with the wife (she has generally been supportive, but she would NEVER spend this kind of money on a car), I made up my mind to set up a budget and start shopping.
I knew I wanted to modern car to begin with. I love my 1967, but performance cars over time just keep getting more and more insane in what they are capable of. I wanted a very capable car. I also was not interested in buying a new car. I believe in getting the best car in my budget range, which means one that has already depreciated a good deal. This left me with 3 options in my price range, a California, a F430, and a 599.
My wife voted for the California, which is probably the reason I nixed it first. It felt and looked great, but there seem to be a TON of them out there. Also, i felt like the rear seats were next to useless. I do have small children, but if the seats are almost useless, whats the point. I might as well get a 2 seater. Which left me with the 430 and 599.
I test drove both, and loved each. I could live with either. I thought for sure my wife would lobby for the GT, but she said the 430 actually felt more "exciting". This was probably due to the 430 drive being without a salesperson. We could only drive the 599 one at a time with the salesperson (Thanks FoW! <---sarcasm). However, the more I thought on it, I felt like the 599 would give me more opportunity to drive it. I am still in business for myself more or less, and if I have to be seen in something, the 430 just seemed to flashy. Not that I don't love it. And I'm sure the 599 will draw attention as well, but I don't think it will like the engine under glass and pure sports car look of the 430. Time will tell, maybe I will be wrong.
My original must haves for the car were Rossa Corsa or Grigio Silverstone, with Nero or Cuoio interior. I am not a fan of the pentagram wheels, but knew I could obtain HGTE or even GTO wheels later, Challenge wheels would also do for now.
After the decision was made, keeping nicely in line with my $175K budget, I called about a car at the Ferrari dealer in Orlando, a Grigio Silverstone 599 with Challenge wheels and yellow calipers. Funny thing, the car had sold that same day. I knew I wanted to get this done before the weather warmed, so I scoured Autotrader, Dupont, etc. for second options.
One car I had loved but was thinking it would not still be there was one posted on FChat. It had been dropped and dropped in price, and I had to revisit it. It was priced slightly out of my budget, but not too much. It was also a factory HGTE car, and also a gorgeous Bianco Avus, with my yellow calipers and Nero interior. I called the owner, sent him a PM, and asked if it was still for sale. It was. I thought about asking him to come down, but the price seemed more than fair. It was the least expensive 2010 HGTE I had seen by a good amount. I should disclose that during this time, the Seller did disclose to me that the car had been in an accident, that he had damaged the fender and bumper after losing control. This explained the lower price. However, after reviewing the repair records and speaking to the mechanic later during the PPI, I decided that this was fairly compensated for in the price, and proceeded anyway.
So, I told the Seller I would like to move forward with a PPI. I looked on the Ferrari boards and saw recommendations for San Francisco Motorsports. I called them and immediately Doug Dolton, the owner, answered the phone. After saying he would be happy to do the PPI, he asked where I was calling from, and it turned out he went to college in the same little town I live in. Seemed like Kismet. So, Doug's guy did the PPI, and everything checked out 100% ok. The car needed servicing, so SFMS did the annual, and also detailed the car for shipment free of charge. I cannot stress enough the importance of the rapport I had with Doug. Buying a car sight unseen without that would have been much more difficult, to say the least.
I should also point out that the Seller decided, as his expense, to have SFMS broker the deal. This meant, because there was a lien to be paid off, that I would be protected. If the seller had not done this, I would have retained an attorney to escrow funds and clear title. As an attorney myself, I knew that this was something any general practice attorney would be able to do.
So, next, we come to shipping. I found a recommendation for shipping, All Day Auto Transport. They were very affordable compared to a couple others I priced, but I later found out they are a broker, and I wouldn't know exactly who or whom might be picking up my car. I went back to the boards (this one and Fchat) and found another recommendation for Gran Turismo Motorsports. Ken Gold at GTMS responded personally to my inquiry and quoted my a fair price, although somewhat higher than the brokered price. At this point, I did not want to risk a mishap over a few hundred dollars, so i went with GTMS. It was also the shipper Doug would have recommended. They picked up the car Friday, March 27, with a 7-10 day delivery time.
Thats where we are at this point, for all I know my car is in Nebraska, on its way here. I will update again later. Also, I apologize in advance if I have bored anyone to death!
Last edited by bwclark; 03-30-2015 at 05:32 PM.