328/Testarossa Purchase - Ferrari Life
 
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post #1 of 19 Old 09-11-2007, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
 
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328/Testarossa Purchase

Hello to Everyone! I joined this group a few weeks ago, and would like to introduce myself, and pose some questions to the group re: getting a 328 or TR (early one before the 512TR... which are getting too high). Sorry if this note ends up being rather long, as I'll probably be spilling my guts somewhat....

I see US members here may be a minority. I'm a retired Mechanical Engineer, and live in the Phoenix, Arizona area. My first Ferrari purchase was a 275GTB 2cam, steel, shortnose, open driveshaft version in 1978. I proceeded to restore it over the next 10+ years, with lots of kind help from Bob Wallace, and sold it in 1992. At that time, I picked up a 308GT4 with only 17k mi. on it. Great car, and fun to drive, but needed paint, and 0-60mph of around 8sec. just didn't do it for me. So I sold it in 2003. I currently have a 400GT 2+2 which is totally dismantled and I plan to restore.

I have planned to get another car to drive, and have decided to search for either a 328 or Testarossa. What I REALLY lust for is a Boxer, but prices are just getting too high. Too bad I didn't get one when I sold the GT4 4yrs ago! I guess I'd try to find a way if I could find a solid one for $80k or so, but doubt that's do-able at this point. I did think about selling the 400, but decided I still want to restore it... only have $40k in it right now, and what else can I get of that vintage for that kind of price?

So I'd like to ask some questions comparing ownership, etc. of the 328 vs. a TR .... please bear with me. I also considered a 348, but I tend to feel these are getting a little to hi-tech in terms of electronics/service. I do like servicing all my vehicles as far as possible. 348 input also appreciated.

Prices for nice copies seem similar here for these 2 models. Even though production numbers are also similar, seems like the 328 is more collectible. I think a lot of people are scared away by potential maintenance costs of the TR, and 328 is probably more classic design. TRs also seem to be harder to service yourself, although subframe removal would not scare me away... that seems to be req'd for belt service, etc. 328s also seem to perform nearly as well as a TR (based on test numbers I've seen). But I do love the flat 12 - a lot of fun to just admire!!

So for the questions...

How is the driving position in a 328 (I'm 6ft)? Is the steering wheel adjustable to a good degree? Do owners feel the 328 feels quite a bit stronger than a 308 at normal US 0-75mph speeds? Any annoying things about the car?

For the TR... any problems with the automatic belts? Do they hold you securely? Is there anyone that has cleanly and successfully replaced them with manual belts or harness? Are there any regular or annoying electronic (gauge, switch, etc) problems?

Overall... how much stronger do owners feel the TR is than the 328 on the road within US speed limits? Fun factor of TR vs. 328 (around town)? Any other input on owning a TR vs. a 328??

Appreciate any and all input!

Thanks
Rick
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post #2 of 19 Old 09-11-2007, 04:35 PM
 
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Hi Rick,

let me be the first to welcome you

I don't own a Ferrari yet, but I am looking to buy one probably during the next year.

I'm about your size, had a look at a 328 GTB recently. I tried to get into it, but found no suitable driving position. Either I couldn't reach the steering wheel, or I'd bump into the roof with my head.

The wheel didn't appear to be adjustable, and the neck rests were a joke.

328s appear to be built for people with short logs and long arms.

It's a real shame, I had a picture of that car in my bed room for a straight five years and always hoped to own one some day....maybe when I can afford to put a 4th or 5th car into the living room just to look at it

Always my best,

John
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post #3 of 19 Old 09-11-2007, 08:13 PM
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TR vs. 328

Hi Rick,

Guess what? I used to own a TR, now I own a 328, and I live in Fountain Hills. Let's get together sometime, and I'll tell you everything I know about both. Do a search of my posts, and you'll see I also do my own work. Never had to do much to the TR, but I have posted photos of my 328 engine out, trans rebuild last summer.

Almost forgot... I have also restored a 400i.

Looking forward to meeting you. Send me a PM.

Steve
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Last edited by Ferrari328GT; 09-11-2007 at 08:51 PM.
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post #4 of 19 Old 09-11-2007, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by rwschumm View Post
For the TR... any problems with the automatic belts? Do they hold you securely? Is there anyone that has cleanly and successfully replaced them with manual belts or harness? Are there any regular or annoying electronic (gauge, switch, etc) problems?

Thanks
Rick
Suggest you send a PM to "carguy". He is a TR expert and does his own maintenance.
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post #5 of 19 Old 09-12-2007, 12:30 AM
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Originally Posted by JRAV View Post
I'm about your size, had a look at a 328 GTB recently. I tried to get into it, but found no suitable driving position. Either I couldn't reach the steering wheel, or I'd bump into the roof with my head.

The wheel didn't appear to be adjustable, and the neck rests were a joke.

328s appear to be built for people with short logs and long arms.
I am 6ft tall too, and weigh approx 170 lbs. The first time I got into my 328 I bumped my head on the mirror, but I soon got used to it and don't anymore.

The steering isn't adjustable and true the driving position does suit shorter people, and yeah, the seats aren't great, but you get used to all of that. If the seats are a problem, they can be replaced.

One thing to bare in mind, the 328 is essentially a 1975 car with a re-fit in 1985. Either way it is 20 -30 yrs old, all cars from that period were as bad and it isn't really fair to compare the luxuries of today's modern cars with car's from 20+ yrs ago.

For me, owning a classic Ferrari and the pleasure it gives me when driving it, far outweigh the very minor niggles regarding seats and comfort.

Archie
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post #6 of 19 Old 09-12-2007, 07:57 AM
 
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Conclusion: if you want to drive a 328, there is always a way to get into it
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post #7 of 19 Old 09-12-2007, 08:01 AM
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Conclusion: if you want to drive a 328, there is always a way to get into it

LOL, absolutely. If all else fails, go for a GTS, leave the roof out and slide in through the top

Archie
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post #8 of 19 Old 09-12-2007, 09:41 AM
 
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Hi!
I don’t know how much this will help but I have now owned a TR for a couple of months. I will have an “engine out” service done over the winter which I am not thrilled about. There are many things I do not like about the TR, especially since I am not capable of doing work myself. However, being 38 years old I grew up with the TR being an icon, despite its short comings, I love it! Out of all of the exotic and luxury cars I have owned I think it is absolutely the best! Now I have to put more pennies in my piggy bank for an F-40 and life will be complete! Of course, my wife will not agree with these sentiments, oh well….
Best Wishes,
Bob
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post #9 of 19 Old 09-12-2007, 12:06 PM
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328 purchase vs. TR

I looked at both, and went with the 328 GTS (1989). In summary, after doing some research and talking to mechanics, the 328 is mechanically the best option of any Classic in that genre (last year they made them, and has ABS brakes.) It is also a classic looking design (Pininfarina). You'll most always be able to get your money out of it (price isn't going any lower, and is actually increasing year on year % wise...), and demand is always high for that model. And, the exhaust sound when you run it through the gears is incredible, although I'd say that the 12 cylinder is equally exciting.
As a first Ferrari, I went with the 328 because of those reasons. I have sunk some cash into it because the car was slightly abused, but it turns heads (black with tan interior and shields on the fenders).

Downside is that it's not the fastest car on the block, though it can get out of it's own way. Also, I'm 6' 2 inches in height, and I have a slightly difficult time getting in and out of the car, but I make due. It's also not the most comfortable driving position, but what the heck!!
I love the car, and will most likely hang onto it for a few day a week driver. I'm looking for my second Ferrari already. Go for it!!! You only live once!

Bill (St. Petersburg, FL)
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post #10 of 19 Old 09-12-2007, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks to everyone for responses so far! I am disappointed to hear that the steering wheel is apparently not adjustable on the 328. I'll just have to sit in one to see. Looks like asking prices in FML are much higher for the '89 328 than earlier ones. Seems like only difference is ABS on 89 vs. earlier years, but anyone know of anything else? I may not even want ABS (unless you can override it). I try not to get too carried away in my everyday Toyota pickup, but it's ABS activates at times I feel I still have control.

On the TR, I'd probably prefer something besides red over tan which gets boring since 90% seem to have that combo. Also, seems that all of the tan interiors have an ugly BROWN dash/console.... is that the case? I guess you could always change that, but I'd rather not buy something that I'd immediately be unhappy with and have to spend $ on. Although I have lived in Phoenix for almost 50yrs, I do plan to move somewhere cooler in a couple years, so a black interior would be OK with me. I also tend to think darker colors are a more understated in terms of the dramatic TR styling.

Also on TR, I did manage to drive one once briefly years ago, but was more concerned about driving a car that wasn't mine than learning about the car. So I still am interested in opinions of if the factory shoulder belts hold FIRMLY when activated. Or is it easy to retrofit something else, and how was that done?

Thanks again!
Rick
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post #11 of 19 Old 09-12-2007, 03:16 PM
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For years it's been a common complaint about the crappy motorized seat belt systems in TRs. There is an ongoing factory recall for the motorized seat belts to upgrade the control units and most all mechanical components. My TR had the recall work done and zero problems since. You can convert back to a manual seat belt system but you will need to find all the parts, there are also some interior panels that are different between manual belts and the motorized "mouse" belts. I did convert a TR to a manual aftermarket seat belt system and it was NOT a fun project to get everything to look right. As for the strength and integrity of the original system's shoulder straps, thankfully I have no first hand experience of how strong they are. But I'd guess they are very robust. If there was a flaw with them we would most likely have heard about it by now.

As has been said, yes TRs with tan do most times get that ho-hum brown leather dash and doors. Occasionally you will see tan and black and this combo looks very nice, too bad it's so rare.
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post #12 of 19 Old 09-12-2007, 08:08 PM
 
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I am looking for a 328 myself, but so far I am just checking ebay & auto trader. Anyone know the other sources?
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post #13 of 19 Old 09-12-2007, 08:21 PM
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Testarossa All The Way

While I have not owned lot of Ferrari's, I have and do own lots of fast cars and there is nothing like the flat 12 Testarossa.

Follow your heart and go with your passion. There is no down side either way.

2 weeks ago I was doing 145 mph in my Testarossa and I would not trade that time for anything.

:drive:
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post #14 of 19 Old 09-12-2007, 11:50 PM
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Rick,

The steering wheel position on the 328 is good and I don't think you'll find yourself looking to adjust you. Overtime you end up getting use to its placement regardless of height etc. Good luck in your search.
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post #15 of 19 Old 09-13-2007, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
 
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I am looking for a 328 myself, but so far I am just checking ebay & auto trader. Anyone know the other sources?
The most authorative place to find Ferraris since the 70's (at least), especially prior to the internet, is the Ferrari Market Letter or FML. Of course, they now have a website, so go to www.ferrarimarketletter.com to subscribe. You will find Ferraris of ALL years and models there. You can either get a hardcopy delivered, or get pdf versions online.

Another national place to check is just www.cars.com. Of course, on ebay and cars.com, you'll find mostly dealer cars, but also some private cars. Some dealers now seem to be getting a little carried away on ebay with their Buy-it-Now prices. $75-79k for an 87-89 TR? Thanks, but I'll start shopping for a 512TR at those prices. Good luck in finding a nice 328!

Rick
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post #16 of 19 Old 09-13-2007, 11:21 AM
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post #17 of 19 Old 09-13-2007, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks William! I'll do that when I'm ready. I'm still going to have to look some more to see if I want to get a TR or 328. Ferrari328GT/Steve kindly invited me to meet with him to see his 328 this weekend. Hope to have a good idea what I want to do in a next month.

Rick
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post #18 of 19 Old 09-15-2007, 10:12 AM
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Steering Position

I didn't want to respond until I had a chance to double check, but the steering wheel actually is adjustable on my 328. If you go under the dash and remove the lower cover, you will find two bolts that are in one inch slots. If you loosen them, you can move the steering wheel up or down. In the up position, the wheel just about hits the dash. In the lowest position, there is about 1 1/2" to the dash. Hope this helps, Rick. -Steve
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post #19 of 19 Old 09-15-2007, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
 
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I didn't want to respond until I had a chance to double check, but the steering wheel actually is adjustable on my 328. If you go under the dash and remove the lower cover, you will find two bolts that are in one inch slots. If you loosen them, you can move the steering wheel up or down. In the up position, the wheel just about hits the dash. In the lowest position, there is about 1 1/2" to the dash. Hope this helps, Rick. -Steve
Thanks for checking Steve, and also, thanks SO much for allowing me to meet with you and see your 328 this morning! I really enjoyed it and the conversation, and I'm sure a 328 would suit me just fine. But I still would like to look closer at a Testarossa, and see if I think I'd still rather have a 328. I do have to say that the allure of just seeing the 12cyl in a car of mine is strong.

I believe I'll start a new thread and post my interest in seeing if anyone knows where I can take a look in the area at a TR, and see what members know of about Testarossas and 328's for sale. Steve, thanks again for your hospitality! I'll be in touch soon I'm sure.

Rick
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