New Member Introduction; History of one 329 GTS
My 328 GTS is # 69509 and is a 1987. It is Oro Chiaro Met, or Gold Clear Metallic in English. This is 1987. Thus it is an every other # serial number (pre-75000). It also is before the ABS brakes option of the final 18 months or so of production. The color is somewhat unusual. The wheels are the traditional flat star and the car is a U. S. Import Model. I've quickly slipped the clutch in and out to get the car going with the GT shift pattern on the five-speed stick and off I go, waiting for the shifter to warm up so that 2nd gear is more easily accessed. I note that both my quarter mile time is faster that a Lamborghini Jalpa and my quarter mile time of 14.5 second is quicker by a tenth that a Maserati Bora. The Bora with its 310 bhp is faster in top gear at 160 mph but is slower by a half second in the 0-60 mph test. The air blows cold once I get the hang of the switch gear in the center console behind the gear lever. The sound of the stock Ferrari stainless exhaust is plenty loud and it encourages large time frames without the stereo on, just to listen to the music of the engine. This "Goldie" has a history problem with no books or papers accompanying the car. Car Fax provides the only history starting with a 20,000 mile title registration in Massachusetts with the Hingham branch of the DMV on May 22, 1990, when the car was approximately 5 years of age. Eight years later, the car showed 33, 897 miles in Boston, Mass. with title #AR124110. Five years later, the car was re-titled in Pennsylvania in Pittsburgh with title #58501906B101 and 34,570 miles was reported. Only 800 miles had been recorded during this five year span, on February 10, 2003. A dealer took the title at this time. On July 25, 2003 the MVD in Vidalia, Georgia granted title #779278032066056, no miles shown. A day short of two months later the vehicle was serviced at Ferrari Maserati of Atlanta. On October 21, 2003 the title was updated in Gerogia, no further information. It was noted that in title # 609086032944907, that the car was exempt from odometer reporting. On October 31, 2003, "Goldie" was titled in Pittsburgh with a dealer taking title #: 58501906B102. 61 days later, "Goldie" showed 36,522 on the odometer with Threlkeid Ford Lincoln Mercury in Vidalia, Georgia and vehicle was serviced there. Two days later, the vehicle was inspected after an accident or other incident. Damage to rear and damage to right rear was reported. A professional dealer inspection was recommended. February 5 of 2004 showed that the car was exempted from odometer reporting and that Title #58501906FL03 was issued in Clinton, Pennsylvania. Apparently, from 12-29-03 to 6-30-2005, nearly 10,000 miles of driving was completed as on the last date there was 46, 213 miles reported on the odometer as the car entered a Pennsylvania auto auction where it was sold by a delaer. Title was given on July 12, 2005 as the dealer titled it while it was in inventory: #: 58501906B104. (A keen eye will note the renumbering of the registration and system in Pennsylvania). "Goldie" re-entered the auto auction on 7-28-2005 with 46, 516 miles on the clock and was sold at the auction in Pennsylania.
Title for "Goldie" was then issued in California at the Motor Vehicle Department in Anaheim, California and a new owner reported at the same time. 15 days later the car passed California smog test at an inspection station, after the registrations showed 46, 589 milles at the prior registration. On July 13, 2007 a smog certification was passed with the odometer reading 49, 150 miles. At 51,112 miles, the 328 GTS passed a California Smog Certification with a 51, 112 odometer reading. Then at 51, 449 miles the car failed an emissions inspection. No information is given as to what happened with the car, but on March 26, 2012, with 51, 673 the car passed an emissions inspection at Smith Volvo in San Luis Obispo, Ca. It is known that an Ian smith purchased the car from the owner who was an Orange County resident, sometime after July 12, 2010. Not long after that, the car appeared on the Internet being advertised by Smith Volvo. It was placed there on the net in late April or early May of 2012. on 3-26-12 at 51,649 while at Smith Volvo of San Louis Obispo, the "drivability/performance" was checked. On Arpil 2, 2012 with 51, 673 on the odometer the car passed State emissions or an "inspection was completed."--On April 3, 2012, the car was offered for sale. Smith Volvo put the car up for sale. It also appeared on the Internet. A series of excellent showing photographs appeared. Alex Ford of Simi Valley, California spotted the E-Bay listing and called and got in touch with Ian Smith who reported that he was the owner of the car. He indicated that he lived in San Francisco where he had been driving the car. He stated that his father Brent owned Smith Volvo. He had answered the phone and stated that he from time to time assisted his father with sales and hence he picked up the phone although another salesman was listed as the person to ask for. He related he bought the car from a gentleman in Orange County who'd fallen in love with the car. Perhaps the financial downturn had an impact upon the O.C. resident who listed and then sold the car to Ian Smith. However, within a day or two of the sale, the previous owner had seller's remorse and wanted to buy the car back. Ian Smith relates he'd already registered the car with DMV and had gone through all steps and had paid and wanted to keep the car and did. It was at this time, allegedly, that the prior owner decided to hang on to the paperwork, and perhaps the tools and booklets etc. that belonged with the car, refusing to give it up. Approximately a year and 8 months later Smith decided to sell the car and drove it from San Francisco to San Louis Obispo to enlist his father's help in selling the car. Smith Volvo has an offshoot dealership for its exotic cars called, "SGS Motorsports". The car, despite passing, "smog," has an issue that had not been diagnosed, causing a, "no-apparent-reason" random idle increase when the car was warm or hot. Vacuum leaks were suspected and a number of efforts was made to remedy the problem. In the meantime, I (Alex Ford) had driven the car and it passed my non-educated inspection as being almost a fair price at the asking of $32,000.00. I was looking for a driver and not a concours car. I decided that I would buy the car subject to a pre-purchase- inspection. I paid for the car to be transported to the Auto Gallery where Dave Melton arranged for Eric, a Master Ferrari Mechanic to look the car over. I received a fully authorized Ferrari Factory Approved Pre-Purchase inspection. Based upon my goals for the car, this 328 GTS passed the inspection. However, despite having allegedly had a recent belt service, a number of issues cropped up with the car. One of the primary issues was the the wiring in the right rear of this 328 contained an important diode. This diode was not in the wiring harness in the correct direction and had been installed backwards. Current and information were not arriving at the proper time frames as developed by the factory. It is just possible that the damage and repair to the rear end involved disassembly of the rear of the car including wiring and that when it was reassembled the diode in the wiring was not correctly installed. Eric found this and reinstalled the diode. Thereafter, proper idling of the car ensued. Furthermore, it was discovered that the full-throttle sensor was, "dead." Eric replaced the full-throttle sensor as well. A minor oil pump leak was diagnosed as well, but only an oil change was done and the problem is considered so minor that it can be dealt with at another time. The radio antenna does not work and will be replaced. The clock reset switch does not work and will be fixed. One of the switches in the center console has to be fiddled with quite a bit to get it to work in connection with the right-side heater/fan unit. This will be sorted. The headlamps needed adjustment and the left headlamp went out after a few drives of the car. It was replaced and now works and all headlamp adjustments including the way the retractables "sit" were adjusted and work just fine. Driver's side power window was adjusted and now works well. The electronic mirror joy-stick cover or thumb unit is missing and will be sourced from a BMW dealer as Ferrari used a BMW part for this switch. Also missing from this car was its Rear Grill/rear under muffler screen. A used one was ordered from GT Car Parts in Arizona and will be replaced when they arrive. At present, the Ferrari has 51,819 miles. It completed its minor service on April 20, 2012 and I've driven it a few times since. I took it to Super Car Sunday in Woodland Hills where it was summarily entered in the free Shine and coffee type show. It is scheduled to appear in the Pasadena Concorso Italiano, May 6, 2012. Lastly, I'd like to locate the owner who had the car who lived in the O. C. and to talk to him about the car. Thank you. -- Alex Ford