Pulled the trigger - 456M GT - TdF - 1999 - Ferrari Life
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post #1 of 29 Old 03-08-2013, 02:26 PM Thread Starter
 
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Pulled the trigger - 456M GT - TdF - 1999

As you might have read elsewhere on the forums, I purchased a 456M GT this week in Germany. Delivery is 28th of March and I wanted to share a little of my experience here - it might help others.

This is my first Ferrari and I'm relatively young, so quite anxious about how everything will turn out. Always wanted the 456, had a model of it in TdF at home for 15 years I think. Still got it.

Some details about the buying experience:

I have been following the market for 4-5 years, sometimes more intensively, sometimes less. Mostly focused on Europe, as it's just not feasible to get US cars imported. I always wanted an M GT, either Pozzi Blu or TdF, preferably beige interior.

My feeling always has been that a good car, no matter what the bargains out there suggest, will be at least 50k and more likely to be in the upper range of that. For me, buying from a reputable dealer and getting a car with complete history was important and those are quite rare as it happens, particularly if you want a certain colour. I have only really seen 2 or 3 that seemed acceptable (on paper) during my search.

The car I picked now is a 1999 (I would have preferred a later model, but also have not heard about significant changes across the M model years), it has 17000 km, most of which were accumulated in its early years. It had one owner only and an immaculate history and full documentation, including the original contract. There was no history of any significant issues, the tires were almost new, battery has been replaced in 2009 and the belts were done in the same year.

The interior is in excellent shape, the carpets are like new. It is blu scuro, which initially I thought was less elegant than beige, but it has grown on me now. I also feel it will be hold up better as the car gets older and used more.

The dealer is Eberlein in Germany, which is the country's biggest Ferrari Dealer and also a Classiche partner. I contacted them and after getting some info, I flew in from London, where I currently live, and looked at the car for half a day.

I did not have a formal PPI from another dealer or similar, but had a DEKRA inspection, which is an independent German car inspection company. They do a generic review and not necessarily focused on the specific make / model, which is a downside. I looked at the car in quite some detail myself and all the minor issues we identified were recorded with the dealer and will be rectified before delivery. The car will also get a full big service incl. belts / fluids etc.

I did in fact not get a chance to drive it - weather was horrible, but we did run the engine and it seemed very smooth at idle. Sound was great too! I was on the lookout for the usual concerns that you hear on the 456, windows, sticky interior, valves etc and did my research as far as possible. On the less obvious items I did rely on the dealers assessment, the mechanic was with us as well, which is why I wanted a reputable dealer that I could build a relationship with. There is definitely some risk here, but I felt comfortable. In the end, there is always a little luck involved.

After seeing the car I took about a week to think about it, as I mentioned this was mostly about the risk of buying such a car at my age and the required investment in maintaining it. In the end I felt though in worst case I will have to spend a few grand and if I can't maintain it or priorities change sell it again - I could live with the loss and would at least have had the experience of owning my dream car for a while. So that's when I signed the papers You only live once.

Money was transferred and I had all the papers of the car with me next day. These are now going to the insurance and I have reserved my number plate in the meantime and am now waiting until the 28th like a kid for christmas.

As I live in London and the car will be living in the garage in Germany, she will be mostly sitting on the battery tender and get driven when I get a chance to fly over over the weekend.

I know these cars want to be driven, but I'd rather have her in my garage than in the dealer's showroom! In the end, there are not so many of them and I did not want to take the risk of trying to find one 5 or 10 years down the line. You never know what happens.

I'll keep you updated and I hope you find this interesting / useful. In the meantime, here are a few pics.

(I posted the same thing on fchat, just for reference.)
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post #2 of 29 Old 03-08-2013, 02:38 PM
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Flore, congrats ! She is a beauty with understated elegance.

Unlike many of us here, seems like you knew exactly what you wanted and with due diligence and patience, found the right car for yourself. Must be gratifying. Now you can put your logical thinking aside and turn into a kid and enjoy your ownership. Congrats again. Looking forward to your driving comments to come.

w/ smiles

Jimmy
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post #3 of 29 Old 03-08-2013, 03:45 PM
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Flore,

She's absolutely beautiful! What an elegant cobination. Thanks for the great write-up, you've given me motivation to keep the search for my own special 456.

Congrats, hope you get to drive her real soon.

Of all the narcissists I know, I love me the most.
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post #4 of 29 Old 03-08-2013, 04:02 PM
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Very happy for you - I've always loved the blu scuro, much more stylish than beige in my view and yes, will hold up better over the years.

(ps. haha, I have also been toying with the 'Wunschkennzeichen')
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post #5 of 29 Old 03-08-2013, 07:10 PM
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Congratulations!

Enjoy the 456M - it's a beautiful GT and the color combination looks great!
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post #6 of 29 Old 03-08-2013, 07:53 PM
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Flore- Beautiful 456M and in great shape. You are correct, there was not much difference in the 456M from year to year. All the Scaglietti options were available from start of production except the Bicolore related options, which came out later.

Assume you have already downloaded 456M tech data from ferraridatabase.com.

Taz
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post #7 of 29 Old 03-08-2013, 09:05 PM
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Congratulations. A 456 M GT in blue is extremely elegant. Enjoy !

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post #8 of 29 Old 03-09-2013, 01:23 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the comments guys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Killer58 View Post
Flore,

She's absolutely beautiful! What an elegant cobination. Thanks for the great write-up, you've given me motivation to keep the search for my own special 456.

Congrats, hope you get to drive her real soon.
I think you should. In my view it's the most elegant GT out there, despite its age. Many disagree but I think it's timeless.


Quote:
Originally Posted by chrismic View Post
Very happy for you - I've always loved the blu scuro, much more stylish than beige in my view and yes, will hold up better over the years.

(ps. haha, I have also been toying with the 'Wunschkennzeichen')
I've got "Citycode - FF - 456" now

Quote:
Originally Posted by tazandjan View Post
Flore- Beautiful 456M and in great shape. You are correct, there was not much difference in the 456M from year to year. All the Scaglietti options were available from start of production except the Bicolore related options, which came out later.

Assume you have already downloaded 456M tech data from ferraridatabase.com.
Cheers Taz, downloading and starting to read soon. Never really been into the mechanics and technical details of cars, so that is another good thing that might come out of this.
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post #9 of 29 Old 03-09-2013, 04:22 AM
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Good for you. Very nice color and my second pick by far. Look fwd to hearing of you driving experiences. You are going to love the 12's power.

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post #10 of 29 Old 03-09-2013, 07:13 AM
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Looks like a really good colour combination, low mileage and great condition. Congratulations

2013 FF & long term owner of a 1978 512 Boxer blu over black.
previously owned a 1990 328GTS
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post #11 of 29 Old 03-11-2013, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
 
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To keep this updated - today I ordered the Ctek 3.6 battery trickle charger and the cigar lighter adapter to keep the 456M happy in the garage.

Also, today I had a bad case of "what the hell am I doing - why am I buying a car that will cost me thousands of maintenance a year and that I won't get the chance to drive that often"...
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post #12 of 29 Old 03-11-2013, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flore View Post
why am I buying a car that will cost me thousands of maintenance a year and that I won't get the chance to drive that often"...
Because when you do drive it, it will be worth every single penny. And more....

Of all the narcissists I know, I love me the most.

Last edited by Killer58; 03-12-2013 at 03:48 AM.
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post #13 of 29 Old 03-12-2013, 12:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Killer58 View Post
Because when you do drive it, it will be every single penny. And more....
+1.


Don't look back!
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post #14 of 29 Old 03-12-2013, 03:47 AM
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Congrats on a beautiful 456 and enjoy the site!

Jeroen

Italian bella's:
550 Maranello 7-2000 nero/nero
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1974 Ducati 350 Desmo Yellow Sport
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(And a few Alfa Romeo's and Range Rovers)

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post #15 of 29 Old 03-12-2013, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks. Got a few updates today, pics coming tomorrow probably:

- Car is in the garage now for the service
- They will respray some of the plastic elements in the interior in matt black to prevent stickiness
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post #16 of 29 Old 03-13-2013, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
 
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Here are a bunch of images while they are working on it. Mechanic said the engine looks like new - I am not sure that's good or bad ^^

Any idea what they are doing on the engine? What are the tissues for? Always appreciate your insight.
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post #17 of 29 Old 03-24-2013, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
 
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Only 4 days to go
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post #18 of 29 Old 03-24-2013, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flore View Post
Only 4 days to go
nearly there. The anticipation is half the fun.

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post #19 of 29 Old 03-24-2013, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flore View Post
Here are a bunch of images while they are working on it. Mechanic said the engine looks like new - I am not sure that's good or bad ^^

Any idea what they are doing on the engine? What are the tissues for? Always appreciate your insight.
It looks like they are checking compression. (On second thought not, they are working on the belt...) Tissues are to prevent anything falling into the cilinders, engines don't like that...

Jeroen

Italian bella's:
550 Maranello 7-2000 nero/nero
1974 Ducati 750 Yellow Sport
1974 Ducati 350 Desmo Yellow Sport
2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200S
(And a few Alfa Romeo's and Range Rovers)

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post #20 of 29 Old 03-25-2013, 05:26 AM
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Nicely done.
My favorite color combo on the 456.
Enjoy!
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