Hi from Germany - Ferrari Life
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post #1 of 24 Old 09-04-2007, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
 
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Hi from Germany

Hi folks,

I'm John, 28. I live in Hanover, Germany, currently drive a 10 year old BMW 750i, got a nice Internet business that I started in 1998 and promised myself to put a nice sports-car into my garage once I have reached a certain level of success.

I have always loved Ferrari, collected all the toy cars when I was a kid (even waited for more than a year to get my hands on a 1:18 F40 model back in 1988) and read anything I could get on the subject. In fact, the first book I ever bought was on a Ferrari Testarossa.

I have been reading this forum for some time, also took a look at the vast amount of manuals and brochures and buyers guides. What a fantastic collection of Ferrari materials!

At the moment, the idea of actually buying a Ferrari appears to be totally crazy to me, I more thought of a Porsche 996 or a Jag XKR, maybe a Maserati Spyder....but there we are almost at a Ferrari level....

Let's see what the future brings.

Always my best,

John
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post #2 of 24 Old 09-04-2007, 09:19 PM
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Welcome.

On you choice of cars, I have owned both Porsche 911's and a Jag XKR. The Jag is a beautiful car but it is soft and only comes with an auto gear box. Very boring to drive. Of all the Porsche's the 996 has to be about the most unloved model. Both the 993 and 997 are better cars. Get the Maserati.
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post #3 of 24 Old 09-05-2007, 03:34 AM
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If you are looking at those cars I would think you could also be looking at a Ferrari 328 GTS.

Capt. Pete
'79 308 GTS, '82 Jeep CJ7 Jamboree
"Time is what prevents everything from happening all at once."
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post #4 of 24 Old 09-05-2007, 06:12 AM Thread Starter
 
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Hi folks,

yeah, the Jaguar XKR is gorgeous, especially the dashboard...I'm talking about the "classic" model. With a sports suspension, R performance package and 20' wheels, I would not really consider it too soft.

The 996 may be unloved, but nevertheless prices are still steep in Germany. I thought they might come down a bit at the intro of the 997, but they did not. Personally, I like the 996, because it has a rather elegant design compared to the 993 (I never fell in love with that model), and except for the headlights, I even like it more than the 997. Compared to the Jag, however, I really miss the beauty and elegance.

I don't know that much about Maserati, will have to do a bit more research on that one.

I absolutely love the look of the 328, for me this is the "original" Ferrari design....but....here comes the but....in order to give me and my family some piece of mind, any car I drive - and especially anything as "scary" as a Ferrari - must have an airbag. So this limits the choice to a 355, 456, 550 and 360. :drive:

Mentioning choice....I live in a new house, and the only road we have is a construction road. The XKR survived it easily, a neighbor with a Porsche 987 also made it...do I have a chance in a Ferrari?

Always my best,

John
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post #5 of 24 Old 09-05-2007, 09:58 AM
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Well, for what little my opinion is worth, anything with an automatic transmission is soft. Also a Jag XKR, just does not sound like a sports car. Way to refined. I do agree that it is one of the best looking cars to come out of any company in the last decade.

Given your criteria, the 456 GT might be a good option.
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post #6 of 24 Old 09-05-2007, 11:15 AM
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Hi John, welcome.
Great choice of cars for your garage, I have indeed considered all of them myself in the past. Will the car you buy be a daily driver or just a weekend play thing?
Ferrari ownership isn't as expensive as people think, Pete mentioned a 328 GTS, that's what I have, and it wasn't a great deal more expensive than any of the cars on your list. If you've always wanted a Ferrari it will put a much bigger smile on your face than any of the others. It is a great car for use as a weekend toy.

If you want a daily driver, the Porsche and Jag both have rock solid build quality and reliability, but both lack emotion. Whereas the Maserati has the usual Italian flair, style and passion. I don't know how reliable they are, but haven't heard anything negative.

Your head will probably say Porsche and your heart Maserati, it's a tough call.

Archie
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post #7 of 24 Old 09-05-2007, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
 
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Hi Boxer,

it always depends on where you come from. I have basically grown-up in luxury sedans, Audi A8, Mercedes S, BMW 7 Series, we had them all.

One thing I did not like about the Porsche 996 was the noise when traveling at high speeds on a German Autobahn. In the 750 I usually drive faster than 180 kph when the traffic allows it, and the BMW noise level at 250 is about the same as the Porsche doing 130.

From the research I did, at the moment I favor the 360 Modena. It appears to make the most sense to me because the design is more emotional than the 456, it appears to require less maintenance, more fun to drive, the luggage place should meet the requirements, plus, my girlfriend likes the design

How much do you think will the 360 depreciate in the next three years? Is the the value likely to go below 50k level some time, like the 355?

Or will the level hover above the 355, like it did with the 348, 328 and 308 series?

Always my best,

John
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post #8 of 24 Old 09-05-2007, 12:15 PM
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John,
If you don't want noise, don't buy a Ferrari. The noise is part of the experience and for many owners one of the reasons why they buy a Ferrari, nothing else sounds like a Ferrari at 7000 RPM
Luxury sedans are built for comfort and are well sound proofed, my Audi is a much nicer car for driving with passengers on the motorways, but it is very dull. At 130 KPH + my ferrari is very noisy and I have to shout to passengers, but despite that I love it.

Archie
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post #9 of 24 Old 09-05-2007, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archiegibbs View Post
Hi John, welcome.
Great choice of cars for your garage, I have indeed considered all of them myself in the past. Will the car you buy be a daily driver or just a weekend play thing?
Ferrari ownership isn't as expensive as people think, Pete mentioned a 328 GTS, that's what I have, and it wasn't a great deal more expensive than any of the cars on your list. If you've always wanted a Ferrari it will put a much bigger smile on your face than any of the others. It is a great car for use as
a weekend toy.

If you want a daily driver, the Porsche and Jag both have rock solid build quality and reliability, but both lack emotion. Whereas the Maserati has the usual Italian flair, style and passion. I don't know how reliable they are, but haven't heard anything negative.

Your head will probably say Porsche and your heart Maserati, it's a tough call.

You are perfectly right

Now I am almost here to buy the car of my dreams, the tough decision is which car will make me real happy. If I had to decide in a split second, I'd buy a Porsche because you cannot make a mistake buying a Porsche.

I know however, sitting in a Porsche I will probably still dream of having a Ferrari...it is unlikely the other way round.

I guess the only way to find out is to actually drive the 200 miles to one of the larger dealers and take a look at the different models, eventually drive one or two...and do the same with the Maserati, maybe even give the Porsche another go.

Btw, I'm really glad to meet a bunch of actual Ferrari owners who can provide a lot of useful feedback and real information, so thank you very much

Always my best,

John
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post #10 of 24 Old 09-05-2007, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archiegibbs View Post
John,
If you don't want noise, don't buy a Ferrari. The noise is part of the experience and for many owners one of the reasons why they buy a Ferrari, nothing else sounds like a Ferrari at 7000 RPM
Luxury sedans are built for comfort and are well sound proofed, my Audi is a much nicer car for driving with passengers on the motorways, but it is very dull. At 130 KPH + my ferrari is very noisy and I have to shout to passengers, but despite that I love it.
I thought so

I had a Volkswagon Convertible for a week while my BMW was in for maintenance....when I got it back, I thought it was....boring.

A real loud sports car helps you better appreciate the luxury of a BMW... :drive:

Always my best,

John
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post #11 of 24 Old 09-05-2007, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRAV View Post

Btw, I'm really glad to meet a bunch of actual Ferrari owners who can provide a lot of useful feedback and real information, so thank you very much
As a bunch of Ferrari owners, naturally we are going to be biased towards the prancing horse But you will find the guys here are very experienced with lots of makes of cars and most Ferrari owners have owned other prestige, exotic or sports cars en route to Ferrari ownership.

Personally, I like the 996, I very nearly bought a 996 C4 cabriolet a couple of months ago to replace my Audi daily driver. For me it makes good sense as a daily driver and the rock solid reliability and quality are also major attractions. When I test drove it, it lacked the emotion of my 328 but that doesn't mean it isn't a great car.

My ideal Garage is a German car for everyday use and an Italian car for fun at the weekend.

If you can afford it buy both, pick up a 996 or BMW M3/5 for 30K Euro, and look at 308/328's for similar money and have the best of both worlds

Archie
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post #12 of 24 Old 09-05-2007, 09:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRAV View Post
Hi Boxer,

it always depends on where you come from. I have basically grown-up in luxury sedans, Audi A8, Mercedes S, BMW 7 Series, we had them all.

One thing I did not like about the Porsche 996 was the noise when traveling at high speeds on a German Autobahn. In the 750 I usually drive faster than 180 kph when the traffic allows it, and the BMW noise level at 250 is about the same as the Porsche doing 130.

From the research I did, at the moment I favor the 360 Modena. It appears to make the most sense to me because the design is more emotional than the 456, it appears to require less maintenance, more fun to drive, the luggage place should meet the requirements, plus, my girlfriend likes the design

How much do you think will the 360 depreciate in the next three years? Is the the value likely to go below 50k level some time, like the 355?

Or will the level hover above the 355, like it did with the 348, 328 and 308 series?

Always my best,

John
As a current 360 and a past 456 GT owner, IMHO the 360 is by far the more fun car to drive. In terms of price/depreciation, hard to say. So far it has held up much better than expected. I would not look at the F355 as a guide to future values, but rather the 430. 360 prices will not move down much unless 430 prices start dropping rapidly.
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post #13 of 24 Old 09-06-2007, 10:26 AM
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[ Whereas the Maserati has the usual Italian flair, style and passion. I don't know how reliable they are, but haven't heard anything negative.

Your head will probably say Porsche and your heart Maserati, it's a tough call.[/QUOTE]

My dad is driving maserati since '93. To be honest...every single one was horrible....the worst was a '98 quattroporte, it spend exact the same time at the dealers as did on the road before he got ride of it after a year
But then came the 3200GT, he drove 163.000km!! in it and it never required anything more then the regular maintenance.

My opinion for what's it's worth: if the ferrari idea keeps appearing crazy, go for the maser
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post #14 of 24 Old 09-06-2007, 09:15 PM
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John,

Welcome to the site.
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post #15 of 24 Old 09-07-2007, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
 
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First Impressions

Hi folks,

today I took a look at a 328 GTS in yellow with a black interieur. I have to admit that yellow is not my color and I certainly won't buy a yellow one, however, it's still a very beautiful car.

It was the first time for me to ever sit in a Ferrari. Being 1,82 m tall, it was a tough fit. It was not possible to find a seating position that suited me right, I either couldn't reach the steering wheel or my head touched the roof, and I also had no idea where to put legs. The headrests were a joke.

Looking front, I could see some part of the hood, the overall view was even worse than in most modern cars.

That's Ferrari, I guess, and that's exactly what I have read about it everywhere, so I have to say that it met my expectations

My girlfriend at least fit into the car perfectly, so she could not really appreciate the feeling of sitting in a real Ferrari (I could, however).

The salesman did his best to ignore us, so we tried our luck on a 1995 Lotus Esprit Sport 300. Unbelievable, but true, the Lotus had even less space than the 328, and there was no way I could squeeze my feet below the steering gear. Interieur quality was out of question, with large gaps between the parts of the armatures. I really wondered if are they supposed to shrink when the car heats up at high speeds, like in the Concorde airplane.

All in all, I'd say that the 328 GTS is a very beautiful car, but not exactly what I am looking for at the moment. It would make a nice 3rd or 4th car for weekend driving.

Btw, being a dealer of race cars they had a number of other rare Ferrari: a 348 GT CS, a 348 Michelotto race car (with only 1 seat) and a 365 BB Widebody (Group IV car modified by Koenig with Campagnolo Wheels).

Always my best,

John
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post #16 of 24 Old 09-07-2007, 11:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRAV View Post

It was the first time for me to ever sit in a Ferrari. Being 1,82 m tall, it was a tough fit. It was not possible to find a seating position that suited me right, I either couldn't reach the steering wheel or my head touched the roof, and I also had no idea where to put legs. The headrests were a joke.

Always my best,

John
Suggest you take a look at a 360 Modena. It has a significantly more interior space than the 328. Your other option would be a 308. In my experience it has slightly more interior room than the 328. We are both about the same height and I do not have fit issues in my 308 GTB but did have all the ones you mentioned in both the 328 GTBs that I have driven. I had the same experience in the Lotus Esprit. Not even close to being able to fit comfortably.
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post #17 of 24 Old 09-08-2007, 10:52 AM Thread Starter
 
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Hi Boxer,

well, it was a first try. I like the 328 much better than the 308, so the 308 would not really be an option for me. I will take a look at other models as I find them.

I really wonder how they have fitted a James Bond into the Lotus

Saw a beautiful red 355 GTS in front of a Walmart today. Beautiful car, really, much more desireable as any kind of Porsche.

Always my best,

John
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post #18 of 24 Old 09-08-2007, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
 
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Hmm, just took another look at the 360 Buyer's Guide:

"Low front end clearance and speed bumps can eat it alive"

Uh-oh...looks like we really have to wait until we get a real road to our house, as this is worse than any speed bump

I hope they will do it within the next year, but I wouldn't bet money on it...German construction is terribly slow, and there are plenty of lots still being available....

Always my best,

John
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post #19 of 24 Old 09-08-2007, 11:31 PM
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On front end clearance, the 360 has a shorter front overhang than the F355. At least in my experience, if you are careful (i.e. brake before reaching the speedbump, and then give it a little gas as you are coming off the bump to raise the front) the 360 is a bit more "Bump friendly". Still it is not exactly a BMW X5.
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post #20 of 24 Old 09-11-2007, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
 
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Today we visited the local Ferrari/Maserati Dealer to take a look at a 1999 360 Modena. On our way, we passed a stunning white new Maserati GT, what a beauty!

Although it was closing time, the dealer took the time to walk me us to the private showroom. On the way, we went through the garage and passed another brand new GT, the dealer telling us that the white one was the first one ever to be delivered to a customer.

Behind an unsuspecious looking door, we found a beautiful collection of Ferrari, including a 328 GTS, 348, F40, 575, 599 GTB, a Dino 246, and of course, the 360, all red. Some of the cars we owner cars, other were for sale.

We got inside the 360. Compared to the 328 GTB, the interieur was HUGE! We fitted into it nicely with plenty of leg and head space. In the rear mirror, there was the stunning view of the beautiful engine sitting in the bay.

The dealer showed us the luggage compartment that was much larger than the one of a 996. We chatted a bit about depreciation and maintenance cost. In the dealer's opinion, Ferrari don't appreciate (which made me wonder why the used one was cheaper than a new one), a large inspection was 2,500, inspections > 5,000 were rare.

The asking price of 85k was a bit high (for my current budget as well as for a 1999 model ;-) ), even at an official dealer.

Do Tubi exhausts, a CS grill, a new becker sat nav and the F1 Gearbox justify a higher ticket?

Always my best,

John
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