456M GT - finally - Ferrari Life
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post #1 of 23 Old 02-14-2013, 12:13 AM Thread Starter
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456M GT - finally

Dear all,

good things come to those who wait (I hope). After a Europe-wide search for a 456M GT for over a year, I finally closed the deal on 111524 on Tuesday (after reaching agreement just before Xmas). The car is currently located in Pistoia, Italy, and due to bad weather, will remain there for another 1-2 months before it gets ready for a massive Tour of Europe. The entire process of finding and acquiring the car has been so absurd at times that it'll be difficult to do it justice in one post. Suffice to note that the negotiations and hick ups over a period of 6 months (first testdrove the car in August 2012) have let me age for a couple of years and made the transaction unforgettable....as it should be for a Ferrari.

First of all I wanted to thank all of you for equipping me with fantastic info on these cars. I first started reading this forum in late 2011 and it has been invaluable. Thanks also to Taz for responding on a number of basic questions, and particularly to Fabio (550 Maranello) with whom I've had some great conversations since, and who pointed me to a trusted expert technician who travelled 200kms to check out the car with another fresh pair of eyes. It is a welcome coincidence that Fabio and I closed the deal on our new rides in the same week. It is my first F car after having owned old 911s and an Alfa GTV 2000 Bertone for nearly two decades.

But now to the car which I intend to use for Grand Touring in Europe with my wife and two small kids: It's a stunning 1998 M GT finished in Grigio Titanio with charcoal interior. Some info suggests (thanks to Lars T) that less than 20 cars have been produced in this colour combination, although I'd welcome any info on this from the registry experts. I bought it from the original owner who bought the car at Motor Spa in Modena in Oct 98. The car has 38k kms on the clock and is in immaculate cosmetic condition (with the exception of tiny bubbles on the sticky). It was driven regularly for the first 6-7 years, then occasionally for the following 5 years, and essentially sat for the last 2-3 years covering only 1000km in this period). It has been serviced by the same mechanic (first dealer now indie) over the last 12 years, although the documented service history is not fully available (in written form) - partly due to the fact that the offical F dealer in the area went into receivership. Service history tends to be an issue with many Italian pre-2000 F cars (as many of you know). Combine this with some language problems (I'm dual German/Australian), and you had the perfect mix of false (?) alarm bells, toss ups, doubts, misunderstandings, suspicions, excitements etc etc - I couldnt have done it with the support of a number of Italian friends (with one living 5mins away coincidentally).

The car has been on sale for about 2 years, not very visibly (ie not on regular European sites like autoscout24 or mobile). The vendor was a tough cookie and the price of the car high for the Italian market. He was in no rush to sell which, eventually, I took as a good thing. But I think the reason why this car didn't sell quicker is the fact that very few 'standard' discerning British/German/French buyers would put up with the lack of detailed service history and communication/admin challenges at a price which is lower than in those countries, but not over-significantly so (on the other hand, in my search, I never came across a 1 owner car in these countries).

I leave the 'sorting out the car's gremlins' aspect of the transaction for later in the thread - I have to run now. And I will post more pics as they become available. I might be part of a niche, but for me the 456M is the most beautiful 2+2 since the 330 and the only 'modern' 2+2 I really love. It has been one of my dream cars ever since it was launched. So you can appreciate my excitement now. I hope she'll remain a manageable diva and will aim to keep you informed.

Cheers,
Chris
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post #2 of 23 Old 02-14-2013, 12:59 AM
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Chris, nothing but a hearty congrats to you for finding your dream car.

We shall all wait for your story to be told and shared. Great story !

w/ smiles

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post #3 of 23 Old 02-14-2013, 02:23 AM
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Congrats Chris, what a fabulous color combination.
I agree, it is my favorite 2+2 after the 330.
I look forward to reading the rest of your story and driving impressions.

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post #4 of 23 Old 02-14-2013, 10:46 PM
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Hi Chris,

you have perfectly reason, good things come to those who wait ....

Yes, we have closed the deal on our new rides in the same week, coincidences .....
I have posted from few minuts the photos of yesterday when i pick up my 575..
exiciting moments ....

Compliments for your 456, i stand by for more photos, you'll have fun with that car!

Unfortunately outside Italy you give more importance to the documentation that the real mechanical condition, but they forget that the documentation can be faked ..... i think it is better to have a good car that a healthy beautiful book!

I had the same problem when i tried to sell my 550 .... i prefer not explain it is a story incredible ....

I can not wait to take a meeting with you and our cars, when you come back in italy next summer.

Fabio

PRESENT: 575 F1 HGTC ROSSO CORSA 2004' - MB CLS 350 CGI 2007'
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post #5 of 23 Old 02-15-2013, 12:13 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 550_Maranello View Post
Hi Chris,

Unfortunately outside Italy you give more importance to the documentation that the real mechanical condition, but they forget that the documentation can be faked ..... i think it is better to have a good car that a healthy beautiful book!

.
Hahaha Fabio....I fully agree!!!

Thanks Jimmy and David.

David, thanks also to you for various responses. As it turns out, it was really just the clutch cylinder as suspected a few months ago....now, with a new one, all is working perfectly fine.

Will write more over the weekend.
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post #6 of 23 Old 02-15-2013, 09:28 AM
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Chris- Congratulations, she is really pretty and should prove very reliable. I sent Ben Deetman workshop manuals for the 456 and 456M and an expanded electrical section on the 456M. So you can download those for free at ferraridatabase.com.

Looking forward to hearing driving impressions.

The slow pace of buying a car in Italy would drive me crazy, so lucky you and Fabio are patient. Over here, once you find the correct car, everything can be completed in about a day. Instant gratification.

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post #7 of 23 Old 02-15-2013, 01:10 PM
 
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Congrats mate. I'd be really interested to hear what you paid for it in the end, looking at one myself at the moment.
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post #8 of 23 Old 02-15-2013, 01:17 PM
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Chris, congrats. great story. I love hearing others stories and and getting the sense of excitement from it too!

She is beautiful. hope you share more pics and driving impressions when you get her

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post #9 of 23 Old 02-15-2013, 11:58 PM
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Congrats Chris. .. My Missus has a 456GT in that exact colour combination COOL !!!
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post #10 of 23 Old 02-16-2013, 04:54 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tazandjan View Post
Chris- Congratulations, she is really pretty and should prove very reliable. I sent Ben Deetman workshop manuals for the 456 and 456M and an expanded electrical section on the 456M. So you can download those for free at ferraridatabase.com.

Looking forward to hearing driving impressions.

The slow pace of buying a car in Italy would drive me crazy, so lucky you and Fabio are patient. Over here, once you find the correct car, everything can be completed in about a day. Instant gratification.

Thanks guys. Here are two more pics from when we first met in August last year.

Thanks Taz, will surely download those (have the ws manual already). Well, the slow pace was partly due to the fact that I'm mostly based in Sydney at the moment...but, as mentioned, there was also a lot of negotiations to be done as the vendor's initial asking price was a little unrealistic. Then the issue of what work she required and who'd pay for it, including translating specialist parts language into Italian. Then sending a trusted tech for PPI (thanks Fabio). Then a lengthy attempt of recovering some of the written service records. Then other admin tasks...etc etc

Of particular annoyance has been the question of transport from Italy to Germany...oh Lord, don't you love the EU:

Many folks here (thanks Ton V for info) have simply organised German temporary plates for the trip from Italy to the various parts of the EU (possible over the internet). However, this poses considerable risks. While there is a bilateral agreement between GER and ITA (and a few other countries) to the extent of mutual recognition of temporary plates, the Italian police is not ''aware"of it (despite repeated exchanges between the relevant German and Italian ministries). Consequence: several stories of the Italian police confiscating cars and handing out EUR1000 fines for driving "illegally". I am a lawyer but did I want to launch proceedings to release my car on our honeymoon while being stuck somewhere in Italy and having a plane to catch to Oz? Probably not. Also, there was the weather issue, of course. Summer tires, crossing of the Alps, snow chain requirement in Italy etc etc.
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post #11 of 23 Old 02-16-2013, 05:21 AM Thread Starter
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OK, now to the gremlins.

When I first inspected the car in August, it was in outstanding condition (as far as I could tell) both in/out. But, due to infrequent use, it did have a few issues. First, the clutch cylinder wasn't working properly, the seat controller defect (thank God the vendor payed for this, EUR1700 alone!!!), and a part of the trunk closing mechanism prevented smooth closure. These were really the only major issues....so I was pretty happy.

In November, an expert tech and coachbuilder recommended by Fabio travelled to Pistoia for a second detailed check/opinion (car was located at a workshop with all gear at hand). An extended test drive did not reveal anything apart from the fact that the car seemed to be in really good order. Well, there was one issue (or not). The usual shock absorber/rear suspension issue....there wasn't oil or anything, but the tech suggested overhaul nonetheless...done by the workshop not the rebuilders recommended in this forum (let's see whether needed at a later stage). Also on account of the vendor.

I also had the following work carried out: change of all belts, filters and fluids. Replace torsion damper pulley while at it (after reading a few horror stories). Camshaft box gaskets, cam seals and o-rings. While at it, they checked out various hoses etc - all fine.

So, I do hope she's ready for the maiden voyage in a few months....a 5000km road trip across continental Europe....(and yes, I have already been collecting infos on workshops en route)
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post #12 of 23 Old 02-16-2013, 08:14 AM
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What a beauty Chris! The 456 has lovely lines, a timeless beauty.

I hope and am sure that your 5000km adventure will make the grey hairs and all the waiting worthwhile. Looking forward to your driving impressions and to seeing pictures from you cross continental blast. Enjoy in good health and safety!

David

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post #13 of 23 Old 02-16-2013, 08:29 AM
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Lovely car. Wishing you many happy miles in her.

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post #14 of 23 Old 02-16-2013, 09:40 AM
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Chris- Sounds like you hit all the most likely problem areas. She should be fine for your trip.

Taz
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post #15 of 23 Old 05-22-2013, 03:59 AM Thread Starter
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Ii finally got back to Europe and now had the chance to spend time with my beauty. Driving impressions to follow (nice 250kmh stint on the Autobahn this morning). I have a few questions to the experts - I searched a bit but couldn't really find answers - and please excuse if these are dumb newbie questions:

1) I can't tilt back the seats for rear entry - both of them. All electrics work - can somebody confirm that the backrest tilt is 100% mechanical....(not talking about the sear then moving to the front - if that's what it is then supposed to do

2) Oil temp: for some reason my oil temp remains at around 50C...oil pressure seems ok....I read somebody was worried about 70C being too low. Also, does the viscosity of the oil impact on it's temp?

3) I might be really dumb, but can it be that the front fog lights are for flashing only? I can't seem to switch them on independently....I think they'd be great for highway driving as opposed to the full lights

4) I had temporarily forgotten about the sorry state of affairs of my sticky parts, or should I say I was blinded by the overall beauty of the car and all other things checking out well. Do we have a European equivalent to Sticky No More?

Finally, I'm impatiently waiting for the arrival of mats from Alex - they should be here anyday now.

Thanks in advance for any replies.

Cheers
CHris
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post #16 of 23 Old 05-22-2013, 08:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrismic View Post
Ii finally got back to Europe and now had the chance to spend time with my beauty. Driving impressions to follow (nice 250kmh stint on the Autobahn this morning). I have a few questions to the experts - I searched a bit but couldn't really find answers - and please excuse if these are dumb newbie questions:





4) I had temporarily forgotten about the sorry state of affairs of my sticky parts, or should I say I was blinded by the overall beauty of the car and all other things checking out well. Do we have a European equivalent to Sticky No More?

Finally, I'm impatiently waiting for the arrival of mats from Alex - they should be here anyday now.

Thanks in advance for any replies.

Cheers
CHris
Congratulations

Unfortunately, I know of no equivalent to Sticky No More in Europe !

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post #17 of 23 Old 05-23-2013, 12:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrismic View Post
Ii finally got back to Europe and now had the chance to spend time with my beauty. Driving impressions to follow (nice 250kmh stint on the Autobahn this morning). I have a few questions to the experts - I searched a bit but couldn't really find answers - and please excuse if these are dumb newbie questions:


4) I had temporarily forgotten about the sorry state of affairs of my sticky parts, or should I say I was blinded by the overall beauty of the car and all other things checking out well. Do we have a European equivalent to Sticky No More?

Finally, I'm impatiently waiting for the arrival of mats from Alex - they should be here anyday now.

Thanks in advance for any replies.

Cheers
CHris
Glad you are back and enjoying her. I am going home over the weekend as well, weather is supposed to be crap (obviously, it's end of May, what would you expect ) but I hope I'll get to drive a little.

As for the Sticky No More, a few parts of my interior had the same issue. Before delivery the dealer just emerized them and then spray painted them matt black I believe. Looks and feels perfect.
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post #18 of 23 Old 05-24-2013, 01:37 PM
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First welcome to the happy 456 owner club. It is a fantastic car. We have ours since really New Years, bought also in Italy and now in France.
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrismic View Post

1) I can't tilt back the seats for rear entry - both of them. All electrics work - can somebody confirm that the backrest tilt is 100% mechanical....(not talking about the sear then moving to the front - if that's what it is then supposed to do
It is fully mechanical. Do NOT pull the seat when you pull the trigger. The backrest has to be fully to the back, sometimes needs to be pushed to the back, then pull the black sticky bad pained trigger to the maximum angle and then tilt.

Quote:
2) Oil temp: for some reason my oil temp remains at around 50C...oil pressure seems ok....I read somebody was worried about 70C being too low. Also, does the viscosity of the oil impact on it's temp?
Ours runs 90. 50 is CLEARLY not good and too low. It could be so many reasons.

Quote:
3) I might be really dumb, but can it be that the front fog lights are for flashing only? I can't seem to switch them on independently....I think they'd be great for highway driving as opposed to the full lights
They are NOT fog light. Just for flashing without opening the real lights.

Quote:
4) I had temporarily forgotten about the sorry state of affairs of my sticky parts, or should I say I was blinded by the overall beauty of the car and all other things checking out well. Do we have a European equivalent to Sticky No More?
Mine are also suffering. I plan to uncountable, clean and paint again.

Just teething issues. Did you check your oil level? Windows glass fit?
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post #19 of 23 Old 05-24-2013, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
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Flore: did they charge you for this, and if so, may I ask how much? (I went to an independent workshop in Munich yesterday - Schuller - and they didn't seem to be too knowledgeable about sticky parts - good impression otherwise)

Thanks Henri: yes, teething issues I hope. Oil level is ok, so are my windows, no gaps yet. Yes, I understand the seat mechanism - still, I think it's broken. Where did you buy yours, and which colour? - I was observing the Italian market closely - would be curious to find out!

Oil temp: I have various conflicting opinions. Some say the cold weather is to blame (we had 3C this morning)....but that doesn't make sense 'cos it should not matter after 30mins of driving. Sender maybe?

I've booked myself into a specialist garage for 5 June. At first glance, they reckon oil temp sender and a broken steel cable for the seat....meaning: removing two seats....hooray.

Sticky: no real advice...I haven't found any good shop in Europe yet and am contemplating sending everything to Sticky No More next winter....although I already rather annoyed by it that I might do so earlier

Anyways, the only issue of slight concern is the oil temp - at least not too high. But as I'm embarking on a 5000km cross continental blast shortly, I'd like to have it addressed beforehand.
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post #20 of 23 Old 05-25-2013, 11:38 AM
 
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Been driving for a couple hours today. Never had more than 80 or 90C oil temperature average of 75 or 80 maybe, pressure between 6 and 9. Weather was around 10 degrees. I'm not too concerned, although I did hear it should be more like 100?

They didn't charge me for the stickies. But this is more respray job than anything else.
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