Buying my first Ferrari - the nitty and gritty details - Ferrari Life
 
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post #1 of 19 Old 03-30-2015, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
 
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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!

Barry

Last edited by bwclark; 03-30-2015 at 04:32 PM.
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post #2 of 19 Old 03-30-2015, 01:40 PM
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Barry, welcome to FL and much appreciated you sharing your story with us. I enjoyed it much.

I remember seeing that pretty 599 ad in the other site. So you were the lucky one to acquire her. She sure looked immaculate. Good choice, if I may say so.

As for your better half, great that she like 430 more, and it seems like you still have a lot to discover regarding her true likings ?

Looking forward to your dramas with your new 599. Enjoy in good health.

w/ smiles
Jimmy

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post #3 of 19 Old 03-30-2015, 01:44 PM
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Good read!

I think you did well - the HGTE is something had my eye on for some time.

Enjoy!

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post #4 of 19 Old 03-30-2015, 01:51 PM
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Great story! Congrats

I can relate to your story as I am the first and only one on my family to graduate from college as well. I had the best parents who taught me to be kind and persevere in life. I wouldn't trade them for anyone else.

I'd love to see you, your car and wife join us in Annapolis for cars and coffee and our SPCA event on May 3 Cars and Critters. Look up the info on the MIdatlantic threads.

Most of all, welcome to FLife and the team!

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post #5 of 19 Old 03-30-2015, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for the warm words. Al, I do love Annapolis (grew up in Anne Arundel County) and would love to attend, schedule and babysitters willing...
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post #6 of 19 Old 03-30-2015, 05:16 PM
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Barry- Welcome to Ferrari Life and having read tons on that particular HGTE, I think you will be very happy with her.

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post #7 of 19 Old 03-31-2015, 01:53 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwclark View Post
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.

Barry
Hello Barry,

I'm happy to join the other F-Lifers by welcoming you here. Compared to the others that have replied, I am a newbie here. In fact, I am much like you were last week before having bought your Bianco/Nero 599 GTB HGTE, since I am still searching for my first Ferrari.

I relished in reading your story because it mirrors mine in so many ways, including being the only university graduate in my family, but except for having a wife

Much like your F-search, although I have looked at Enzo era Ferrari models, I've decided that I'm too spoiled and would prefer recent technology luxuries (e.g., parking sensors and back-up camera are a must since I live in a high-rise condo and the parking garage walls are concrete and unforgiving).

Similar to you, I've looked at the California, 430 Scuderia, 599 GTB, and 575M. I almost bought the 430 Scuderia but the PPI failed

But if you look at the cars that I currently own (in my signature), I have a thing for 2-door coupe 2+2 GT cars (e.g., even my Lotus is a 2+2, although calling it a GT would be stretching it). Don't ask me to explain it...it just happened that way over time. So I'm curious why you did not consider a 612 Scaglietti where the rear seats are "actually useful"?

Like you, Barry, I have been admirably assisted by many FL members and I'm very grateful to each of them for their knowledgeable advice, experience, and wisdom. But you have given me incentive now to follow in your foot steps by writing a similar post about buying my first Ferrari because I also "want to share my experience so that someone else might benefit, as I did from others." That was very grand of you to take the time to do it.

Looking forward to seeing photos of your new Ferrari 599 GTB HGTE as soon as it gets to its new home sweet home

Regards,
Gianni

1999 Ferrari 550 Maranello FHP; 1999 Ferrari 456M GT; 1996 Buick Riviera; 2008 Bentley GT; 2010 Lotus Evora; 1969 Alfa Romeo 1750 GTV;
Past cars: 1965 Corvette Stingray Roadster; 1974 Corvette Stingray.
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post #8 of 19 Old 03-31-2015, 03:07 AM Thread Starter
 
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Hi Gianni, I did consider the 612, and I cannot say for sure why I ruled it out. Some of it was styling, some of it was the fact that it was a slightly older model, the cam belts worried me, I'm really not sure. There aren't or weren't many on the market, which limited choices, and I couldn't see myself in it. I still thought I wouldn't be able to drive it everyday, and it looked less special as my special car than the other contenders. For whatever reason, It just didn't make me fall in love. Not that it is not a beautiful car. It may indeed turn out that I SHOULD HAVE gone with the 612. I would not be surprised.

I did also consider the 430 Scuderia, but the reviews of its relative lack of creature comforts, things like hearing pebbles hit the wheel wells, and it's even more "Look at me, I'm a racecar!" style, which I love, probably meant that I could drive it even less. Even so, I was watching them slide into my budget, and it would have probably been my second choice. I have to confess I love rare things, and the exclusivity of the Scuderia was very appealing. I feel somewhat similar about the factory HGTE 599.

About my worries over the car's "flashiness", Even as it is, I have arranged to park my car at a bank next door to my office on the days I drive it, so I don't turn off my clients. It is my belief people don't want to see a Ferrari parked in their small town attorney's lot, that they will see me differently. I wish I was wrong about that but I don't think I am. Anyone else had similar concerns?
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post #9 of 19 Old 03-31-2015, 03:15 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the encouragement Taz, I thought you might have figured it out with my seeking advice on the car here which you were kind enough to help with.

One thing that still worries me about my new car is the car's accident. Maybe it's impossible to buy things like this or spend that kind on money on a depreciating asset without second guessing yourself. I don't plan on selling this car, but a smart person always thinks about resale value, etc. I think. Despite having some spending money from selling my practice, I am still not what most on here would consider wealthy, and losing my rear end on this car could prevent me from ever buying another, or upgrading, etc. I already am aware that I bought this car further up the depreciation curve than the other 599, and probably the 430 I would have bought as well.

I guess the best you can do is hope you got a good/fair deal and see how it looks in a few years.
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post #10 of 19 Old 03-31-2015, 04:13 AM
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Originally Posted by bwclark View Post
Thanks for the encouragement Taz, I thought you might have figured it out with my seeking advice on the car here which you were kind enough to help with.

One thing that still worries me about my new car is the car's accident. Maybe it's impossible to buy things like this or spend that kind on money on a depreciating asset without second guessing yourself. I don't plan on selling this car, but a smart person always thinks about resale value, etc. I think. Despite having some spending money from selling my practice, I am still not what most on here would consider wealthy, and losing my rear end on this car could prevent me from ever buying another, or upgrading, etc. I already am aware that I bought this car further up the depreciation curve than the other 599, and probably the 430 I would have bought as well.

I guess the best you can do is hope you got a good/fair deal and see how it looks in a few years.
There is one thing that is consistent especially with Ferrari. The more limited the more value regardless of accident as long as it's not the frame.

A lot more Ferrari's have been in an accident than people know about. My 612 and I did a nice 360 spin hit a guard rail - 25k in damage the car came back better than ever. The car was far better aligned better steering etc because the techs spent far more time to get it perfect than the factory and it never showed up on Carfax for whatever reason I have no idea.

Look how many GTO's were wrecked - anyway 599 HGTE was a smart buy and not to pick in F Chat guys but selling a car on that site opens the seller up to an extreme amount of unnecessary judgement.

Dealers / brokers guys personally selling their cars - at least you knew up front vs finding out later.

I think the seller and yourself were stand up citizens and that's worth it's weight in gold upon resale.

Buyers remorse is common - once you bond it's yesterdays news.

Enjoy!

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post #11 of 19 Old 03-31-2015, 05:28 AM Thread Starter
 
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Sound logic Doug. And you are certainly correct about the other site. Also, you may find this funny...I have forbid myself from monitoring the for sale sites to avoid after purchase shoulda/coulda/wouldas!
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post #12 of 19 Old 03-31-2015, 11:10 AM
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Barry, congrats and welcome. I saw that car on Fchat and fell in love with it - it's a stunning car! Nice to see where it turned up.

Enjoy and post some photos.
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post #13 of 19 Old 04-01-2015, 04:43 AM
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Congrats!! And welcome.


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post #14 of 19 Old 04-01-2015, 09:08 AM
 
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Barry congratulations and the right move. Enjoying your hard earned wealth in a Fcar is much much much better than checking your bank balance in your browser.
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post #15 of 19 Old 04-01-2015, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks all. Got the email today, delivery will be Friday or Saturday. What an Easter present! Better than Cadbury eggs!
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post #16 of 19 Old 04-01-2015, 08:54 PM
 
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congrats Barry! post some pics!!! my wife and I both agreed on the F430 though so we only got one Fcar. Now you can surprise her with her own F430!
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post #17 of 19 Old 04-03-2015, 02:31 AM
 
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"shoulda/coulda/wouldas"

Quote:
Originally Posted by bwclark View Post
Sound logic Doug. And you are certainly correct about the other site. Also, you may find this funny...I have forbid myself from monitoring the for sale sites to avoid after purchase shoulda/coulda/wouldas!
Hello Barry,

To reciprocate for your original post here, I'd like to share my "shoulda/coulda/wouldas" experience with you.

When I bought my Bentley GT, I had similar thoughts as you about no longer looking at similar cars for sale for fear of the shoulda/coulda/wouldas post-sale 2nd guessing. But one day, about 6 months after my purchase in the middle of winter when prices are typically at their lowest, I did take a "peak" and was happily surprised that I did very well with my purchase. So I've continued to look at web sites with the same model, options, and mileage Bentley GT (Mulliner) for sale and 2 years after the purchase, the asking price has not dropped below my purchase price...whoohoo!

So you may want to take a "peak" one day...and you just may be pleasantly surprised that you did very well with your purchase and can rest assured about its resale value and that you spent your hard-earned money wisely...and maybe earn a brownie point or two with your wife

Looking forward to seeing photos of your better-than-a-Cadbury's-Easter-Egg supercar.

Regards,
Gianni

1999 Ferrari 550 Maranello FHP; 1999 Ferrari 456M GT; 1996 Buick Riviera; 2008 Bentley GT; 2010 Lotus Evora; 1969 Alfa Romeo 1750 GTV;
Past cars: 1965 Corvette Stingray Roadster; 1974 Corvette Stingray.

Last edited by Gianni; 04-03-2015 at 02:32 AM. Reason: forgot the title
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post #18 of 19 Old 04-03-2015, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
 
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Very good point Gianni, I may have to take a look every now and then. Besides, old habits (I have been shopping for 6 months or more) die hard.

No call from the Transporter (I am picturing Jason Statham in an 18 Wheeler) yesterday, so I am hoping to get a call today informing me the car will be delivered tomorrow.

One thing I have been working on is making sure I can legally drive it as soon as it arrives. Well, according to Virginia Code, every OWNER (emphasis mine) must register his car before it can be driven on Virginia highways. However, since the dealer that brokered the sale out in CA had to pay off the seller's lien, I won't have the title for 1-2 weeks or more. So, I don't think I can register the car without it.

CA also doesn't issue temp tags, so the car will arrive with a San Francisco Motorsports logo in place of the rear plate, and a temporary paper to carry in the car. I just am not sure thats going to cut it. I don't do traffic or that sort of law, so I am up at 2 am last night trying to find some way to make sure I am legal.

I know DMV gives trip permits, but they are only supposed to be good for 1 trip and it must be within 3 days of the date of the bill of sale (which should arrive today via FedEX). I am going to call DMV, but I don't think I can register it without the CA title. And I can't rely on the trip permit for 1-2 weeks.

My fallback argument I would make, as I don't have the title yet, I am not legally the OWNER. Its more like a 1-2 week test drive.

On the other hand, I can't believe a police officer would give me a ticket for driving my new Ferrari. Then again, maybe I can...

Last edited by bwclark; 04-04-2015 at 10:34 AM.
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post #19 of 19 Old 04-03-2015, 08:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwclark View Post
...so I wanted to share my experience so that someone else might benefit, as I did from others...
Very cool story. Congratulations, welcome to "the club", and best wishes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bwclark View Post
... About my worries over the car's "flashiness", Even as it is, I have arranged to park my car at a bank next door to my office on the days I drive it, so I don't turn off my clients. It is my belief people don't want to see a Ferrari parked in their small town attorney's lot, that they will see me differently. I wish I was wrong about that but I don't think I am. Anyone else had similar concerns?
You'll discover that a Ferrari is a bit of a rolling Carnival. Undeniably the Ferrari puts you in a circle of attention. You have to get used to this because it doesn't end. Fortunately most people's responses are remarkably postive. (And back roads are wonderful, quiet places.)

Regarding parking at the Bank, that is probably a good first step. You can adjust as you get used to the rolling Carnival. Its a little bit your attitude toward it and a little bit theirs. It is true though; people think even my lowly 308 is worth a million bucks.

I'll note one last thing; I am a low key guy who doesn't like getting attention. I've been through the process now and I still enjoy owning a Ferrari just as much as I did at the start. The friends I've made and the experience I've had have been fantastic.

1983 308 GTS Quattrovalvole
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