Am I crazy? - Ferrari Life
 
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post #1 of 16 Old 07-10-2014, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
 
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Am I crazy?

Hi Everyone,

I have been lurking on this site for a long time, trying to gain as much knowledge as I can about the "Ferrari Life". A long time ago, my folks lived next to a guy who had a black 308. I can still hear the sound that thing made when it would roar down our street. From the first day I saw it, I swore I would own one of these magical cars. The style, the elegance, the poor driving experience was all I ever wanted.

In the time since, I have driven several Ferraris, both from friends and from various driving schools around the world, and my passion is greater than ever.

I am a proud father to Nathan. Nathan is 4 years old, and has a genetic condition called velocardiofacial syndrome. It has various ways of manifesting itself, and I won't bore you with the details. One of Nathan's biggest challenges though is the ability to speak (or lack thereof). He works tremendously hard and has come a long way in his four years. One thing that Nathan does love is cars, specifically Ferraris. He will go through my Forza magazines or Road and Track magazine and pick out all of the Ferraris...if vintage models (Daytona, Dino, etc) And, amazingly, Ferrari is one of the words that Nathan can say. A match made in heaven! He uses sign language and his "talk box" to tell us about how he will own a Ferrari someday. And I want nothing more than to give him that wish! More than just loving the cars, Nathan has an amazing technical aptitude - evidenced by his ability to help me dismantle and re-assemble the lawnmower this last weekend.

Now, here is the part where I might be crazy. Despite how hard my wife and I both work, most of our income is funneled right back into Nathan's medical expenses. As a result, the odds of owning a Ferrari are somewhere between slim and none. But, as I am an engineer and mechanic for a large aircraft manufacturer here in Seattle I am pretty technically inclined and have worked on my own cars since I was 14, working on my Z28. I was wandering around the internet when I found several sites touting salvage cars, either wiht collision damage or with flood damage, etc...my wheels started turning.

What if I were to somehow acquire a salvage Ferrari - any year, model, etc (or one needing a ton of work) for cheap and then over time used my experience - and that of this fine forum - to restore the vehicle with my son and ultimately enjoy it with my son. I would blog the progress and post pictures, etc. All I would ask from this group is help in sourcing parts and knowledge and perhaps pointing me in the direction of a car that would be a good fit for my little project.

I know this is a long post, thanks for reading. And thanks in advance for helping Nathan's dream become a reality.

cheers,
Brandon
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post #2 of 16 Old 07-10-2014, 08:28 PM
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Brandon, welcome to FL and good luck with your endeavor.

w/ smiles
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post #3 of 16 Old 07-11-2014, 12:16 AM
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Welcome Brandon, you're are not crazy, this is a great way to get into a Ferrari. You will need around $10,000 for a salvage title 308.
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post #4 of 16 Old 07-11-2014, 01:36 AM
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Brandon
Welcome to FL and best wishes with your endeavour. I'm sure that there will be plenty of assistance here for you if you go ahead with your project. I hope you do, it certainly sounds like both you and your young son have the F bug!

Ferrari's: 360 Modena, 550 Maranello
Ex's: Dino 308 GT4, 612 Scaglietti
The Rest: Rolls Royce Silver Shadow, Porsche 911 2.7s, Porsche 911 3.2 Carerra, Ducati 916... and the Land Rovers
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post #5 of 16 Old 07-11-2014, 04:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaboomer66 View Post
What if I were to somehow acquire a salvage Ferrari - any year, model, etc (or one needing a ton of work) for cheap and then over time used my experience - and that of this fine forum - to restore the vehicle with my son and ultimately enjoy it with my son. I would blog the progress and post pictures, etc. All I would ask from this group is help in sourcing parts and knowledge and perhaps pointing me in the direction of a car that would be a good fit for my little project.

cheers,
Brandon
Sadly, no matter how talented and patent you are, if you acquire a salvage or otherwise sad Ferrari needing a lot of work the very best thing you can do it part it out then take the money and buy a car that doesn't need much work......a lesson I learned the hard way. There is a LOT of truth in the old saying "the most expensive ferrari is a cheap ferrari"

The reason ferrari's are expensive is because they are made from REALLY expensive parts......re-doing the interior on a 308 will cost you about $10k in material. An engine rebuild is $4k in parts minimum and assuming you can re-use pistons and maybe valves, most spend more like $6-$10k before they're done. Paint....$10-$15k if you drop it off and pick it up, maybe $5k-$8k if you strip and do the disassembly/reassembly yourself. It just adds up SOOOO fast.

The better plan is maybe look for a good running mechanically solid car, ignore the shot interior and dented fender and just drive it. This won't cost you much more up front than a truly dead car but it will save you $10s of thousands over the coming year

Another good option is look for a decent looking car that has a dead engine.....then sell the dead engine and drop in a salvaged not dead engine. This will cost a few more $k up front but gets you a much nicer car to drive.

Option 3 would be get a good running car and do a "10 foot" restoration. You can make the car look decent with vinyl interior and $1k-$2k in paint and you spray it in your garage. The car will look nice but honestly all the money is "sunk cost" because it would need to all be re-done to actually restore the car.

Option 4 and my personal very favorite......race car replica. Here you replace the expensive but shot interior with anything people will believe is a weight savings, give it a 10 foot paint job and say it's a race car. this is how I mentally justify anything I do that is cheaper than using an OEM part....its high performance

Good Luck! with whatever you decide to do!
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post #6 of 16 Old 07-11-2014, 07:13 AM
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Brandon, welcome!

We're all crazy and we all fool ourselves with little or perhaps some learning curve. No matter what entry level, be prepared to fork out muuuuch much more than you are now fooling yourself to believe. This is very expensive. But it is fun.

If you additionally are fooling yourself to believe that by selling the car after restoration, you will recover the money - get ready to laugh again!

Salve,
Capo

The bad news: Time flies
The good news: I'm the pilot

You cannot make life longer but you can make it wider and higher.
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post #7 of 16 Old 07-11-2014, 08:37 AM
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Brandon- Welcome to Ferrari Life. Some good advice above and good luck with finding a good one. A good Mondial might be a nice place to start. They tend to be underpriced right now and have a spot for the entire family until Nathan's legs get too long.

Taz
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post #8 of 16 Old 07-11-2014, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the kind words an encouragement. It was actually a Mondial that got my mind racing, when I noticed an article in the new issue of Hemmings Sport and Exotic of a guy with a Mondial and he mtnioned he does all of the work himself.

I know Ferrai parts are expensive, I am not fooling myself into thinking this is going to be the budget entry into Ferrari ownership. But I am thinking that if the costs are spread out over several years, it might be a bit easier to manage. And as far as resale, that is really not the point. If this actually works the way it is in my head, the car will stay in the family. If we do sell it some day, then it will be about the memories and experience rather than making any money.

I am leaning towards a Mondial, 308/328, or comprable. If nothing else just because they are a bit more basic. Obviously, I have no business doing this project with a California or Enzo! But, as I am 6'6" I need something I can fit in. I have driven a 308 and made it work, although cramped. If it is something that can be done, I'd consider moving the seat back...I don't know. The first priority is sourcing the car.

Thank you also to those who commented on the pros and cons of getting a full salvage car vs. one that is clear title but with broken engine components. Definitely something to think about!

In the end, I guarantee this will be MORE. More time. More money. More blood, sweat and tears. But hopefully more rewarding in the end. And I hope the kid appreciates it as much as I think I will.

Keep the comments coming - and if anyone knows of a car, any condition, any model, etc that I can get my hands on, let me know.

cheers,
Brandon
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post #9 of 16 Old 07-11-2014, 12:03 PM
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I like to hear your passion, Brandon!

The Mondial is really a very good buy right now. Find a well cared for and frequently used Mondial and start driving it together with your son. You will have a blast together!

Salve,
Capo

The bad news: Time flies
The good news: I'm the pilot

You cannot make life longer but you can make it wider and higher.
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post #10 of 16 Old 07-11-2014, 12:10 PM
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You're crazy not to

Follow your passion in here. Jump and you'll see how much joy you'll add to your lives.

I was looking for a thread here or the other place of a salvage scuderia rebuilt and redone by one man with some help for the body work. It was incredible.


There are so many helpful experienced people on this board. Go surf the ferraridatabase.com and see the workshop manuals.

I agree with the Mondial suggestion- I added one for that purpose- a convertible- it adds to the fun. I would suggest an older model than the "t' as these tend to be alittle harder to work on.

Have at it and have fun. Please keep your word and post here with updates.


ScottS

I have regretted often, but repented never. Is this a good thing? -Enzo Ferrari
2012 California Argento Nurburgring /Nero 2005 F430 Nero 6spd. 2009 Maserati GT-S F1
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post #11 of 16 Old 07-11-2014, 01:51 PM
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Brandon- You are probably too tall for a 308 or 328, so a Mondial might be the ticket. Lots of room to move the seat back.

Taz
Terry Phillips

Present: 575M 135171
Past: Dino 246 GT 02984, 365 GTB/4 14009, 308 GTS 25125

Every day I look around, and if nobody is shooting at me, it is a pretty good day.
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post #12 of 16 Old 07-11-2014, 03:13 PM
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What about a 456 manual ? Seems like a reasonable alternative if one can handle the mechanics ? (Not that I know much about anything).

One more point, if I may add, might be a prudent thing to wait a bit and enjoy the search till this crazy market cools down or reverses.

w/ smiles
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post #13 of 16 Old 07-11-2014, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy Chen Shiba DDS View Post
What about a 456 manual ? Seems like a reasonable alternative if one can handle the mechanics ? (Not that I know much about anything).

w/ smiles
Jimmy
I was thinking the same thing, they can be had pretty cheap these days, but maintenance may be harder/more expensive.
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post #14 of 16 Old 07-11-2014, 03:31 PM
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Maintenance cost is why I thought of a Mondial, but a lot of guys self maintain their 456s, even the belt changes.

Taz
Terry Phillips

Present: 575M 135171
Past: Dino 246 GT 02984, 365 GTB/4 14009, 308 GTS 25125

Every day I look around, and if nobody is shooting at me, it is a pretty good day.
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post #15 of 16 Old 07-11-2014, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by mk e View Post
I was thinking the same thing, they can be had pretty cheap these days, but maintenance may be harder/more expensive.
Mark, I feel more comfortable with your blessing !

w/ smiles
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post #16 of 16 Old 07-12-2014, 04:42 AM
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Go and test drive a few different models?

I agree on early Mondial, simple, reliable.

See if you can fit in a 308 GT4! That car is very well conceived: light, balanced, mid engined, carbs - just what the doctor ordered.

Don't forget to post along the way.

Salve,
Capo

The bad news: Time flies
The good news: I'm the pilot

You cannot make life longer but you can make it wider and higher.
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