Let me preface by saying, after two weeks of ownership my mind still can’t comprehend the fact that I have been able to purchase my first Ferrari F430. As children, a lot of us dreamed about owning an exotic but so few are able to realize that childhood dream.
I am very grateful to have been able to have this experience and I would like to thank the forums for the information available to help me make my decision. I have a (lengthy) write-up of my experience from “shopping” to “driving” and will update this post with it.
Below is my experience purchasing a F430 in Canada. I apologize for the length of the post, I tend to ramble, so you can avoid the entire commentary and just check out the pictures. Introduction:
Let me preface this report by saying ever since watching Top Gear’s Italian mid-engine supercars for less than £10,000 (Series 7, Episode 4) I gave up on the dream of owning a nice exotic car in my early 20s. I decided to explore owning bikes for performance and the life experience. At 23 I purchased my first bike, a starter Kawasaki Ninja (250CC), and just one month after purchased another one after a totaling it. Over the next couple of years purchased a Yamaha R6 (600CC) and once that was stolen, a Ducati 848 (848CC) Evo. After witnessing a few serious accidents in my circles I began to explore the idea of owning a car. I figured risking my career and future for a brief moment of feeling like a superhero/power ranger was not worth it. As they say “four wheels move the body, but two wheels move the soul”. Bikes are a great experience but given the limited riding season, ridiculous cost to insure and risk to life I felt it was time for a change. To put things into perspective, it’s cheaper to insure a Ferrari F430 than a Ducati 848 Evo (I just got my driving “G” driving license and only have 1 year car insurance history in Canada).
Living in downtown Toronto, owning a car made no sense. From a utilitarian purpose, I had no need, and from a financial point of view it was a waste of money. I kiteboard, and I would typically rent a car for 50 dollars for the weekend at 4x a month, this would still be cheaper than just the insurance component on any car. Market Research:
I have always been a car enthusiast, ever since I was a child I would spend countless hours with my dinky cars, perfectly content in my own little world. Despite my analysis concluding that car ownership was not a practical decision I wanted to give my inner child a gift. I began researching cars I could purchase between 70-90k and purchased my first car, a 2007 Aston Martin Vantage with 10,000kms. I am not going to get into that vehicle and the buying experience as it is beyond the scope for this report. Ten months later, I wanted to move up to my ultimate dream car, a Ferrari F430.
Since I still had my Ducati 848 Evo sitting around and little success trying to sell it privately, I explored the idea of trading in both my Aston and Ducati. It seemed like a Ferrari 360 was well within limits. While the 360 is a great car, and was within my “safe” budget, deep down inside I wanted the F430 however, prices were well beyond what I was comfortable spending. For example in Canada I was seeing a 2002+ Spyder 360 was going for around $90,000-$120,000 and a Coupe F430 was $130,000-$180,000. My budget was right at the $110,000 mark. I did the research even with the slightly expensive cost to maintain the belt of the 360 the price difference between the two made me lean towards the 360 not to mention it’s deprecation was fully realized. Regardless, I started to have a look at some F430s at the $130,000 mark just to explore what the condition of the vehicle was like at the lower end of the spectrum. My first experience was with Ideal Fine Cars (http://www.ferrarilife.com/forums/mo...-shopping.html
). In short it was a negative experience. It was based on that experience that I concluded buying a Ferrari F430 at the low $130,000 mark would be problematic.
One day, I opened AutoTrader to see Caliber Auto selling Ferrari F430 with 40,000 kms being sold right at my budget of $110,000. Given it was nearby, a day later I went and saw the car. In comparison to the one I saw at Ideal Fine Cars, this was an immaculate Ferrari. Paint in good condition (no rock chips, swirls or deep cuts in the paint), interior was well maintained (no leather wear, sticky buttons) and maintenance history was provided. From the information at FerrariLife.com I was able to ask the right questions regarding some of the F430s troubles e.g., F1 Pump, Clutch, manifolds etc. Dealer said all is being taken care of and service history will confirm this. I fell in love with the car, it was the right color, the right mods and just very tasteful. While it was still a stretch for me, and I was originally planning to wait a few more years before purchasing one I decided to pull the trigger, pending a PPI. I purchased an Aston with low KMs and every KM I hit I felt like I was killing the resale value of the car, I didn’t want to make the mistake of buying a “collector’s car”. So I was not too deterred with a Ferrari with high KMs, I want a car to drive. Purchasing:
The dealer and I agreed on a trade in value of the Aston and Ducati. The only dependency was the PPI. I am not going to divulge on trade in value, cash down or financing, it’s a bit too personal. That being said, I only decided to finance a small portion of it (taxes plus warranty) for one year. Yes, this time I decided to go with an aftermarket warranty. I thought I would test it out and post my review if and when a claim is made as none is currently available online.
The dealer told me that the clutch was going to be replaced along with new Michelin Sport Tires prior to delivery. The PPI concluded the same requirements. I did enquire about the spark plugs and air filter and the dealer agreed to replace them at his expense. Only one key was provided, but considering the dealer accommodated my request for the sparks and filter, I was not going to insist. Once all the maintenance was completed the car was mine. Servicing took a day longer to complete than expected, but better done right. I picked up the car on Friday and one staff gave me an introduction to the car and explained some of the vital components and functionality of the car. One week ago I never thought I would be in a Ferrari, this moved quick. Experience:
Once I was given an overview of the car, I was sitting in the parking lot, on my own, with the 4.3 V8 idling behind me. My inner child was ecstatic, here I am sitting in a supercar which I only dreamed of driving. My mind could not process the inputs that was feeding into me, the roaring sound of the engine, the feedback of the steering wheel as I turn into a corner, and the sight of Ferrari motifs all around me. I am not a race car driver, but the perfectly synched gear changes made me feel differently. Driving down Toronto streets, careful of every pothole and street car track that I crossed made me second guess my decision about buying a supercar in Toronto. But once I hit clear roads and let the Ferrari stretch her legs I forgot all about it and was fully consumed by the visceral feeling of the car. Owning a car of this caliber for me is just about the pleasure I get driving it. I don’t care about the speed of gear changes, or how I could better spend my money. It’s a passion, and no sort of analysis could persuade me away from experiencing this at least once in my life. Real World:
People say the Ferrari F430 works in the real world, I was skeptical. It’s wide, it’s low and expensive for driving in downtown Toronto. The car has been lowered, but so far I noticed no scraping even getting into my underground condo parking. Toronto streets after last winter are like driving on a teenagers face, covered with bumps and holes. I take caution however, there are times where I drove over some holes at speed and always fear damaging the rims of the car. It’s frustrating but part of ownership of an exotic vehicle in Toronto. Other drivers are less courteous in the Ferrari as the Aston, and a lot more judgmental. I picked a grigio titanio as it is less ostentatious than rosso corsa and would attract less attention. I live in downtown Toronto, and while the attention is fun, at times it could just become a bit much. That being said, in the past few days it did generate a lot attention, and when people smile as they hear the engine roar adds more intangible value to the car. I believe part of owning an exotic car is to let others enjoy it, I would never let a stranger sit inside the car, but if they ask me to rev or take a picture I will usually accommodate their request.
That being said, prepare yourself for storm of negativity. No matter what the color or your driving style the Ferrari badge itself commands a lot of attention good and bad. Two Weeks In
I love every moment in this car, and have gotten used to its quirks such as yanking a pulley to open the front hood etc. I did have a bit of a scare when I noticed a lot of fluid on my garage, as I assumed it was an oil leak. Spoke to the folks at Daytona Auto and they mentioned it was an overspill of the F1 Fluid, cleaned up the car and I was on my way. For now, some pictures that were taken by cp_automativephotography