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Discussion Starter #1
If all goes well, I should be in position to purchase my first Ferrari this Spring. I've decided to target a mid-80's Testarossa. Can anyone tell me what to look for and what to look out for? Any advise would be appreciated.
 

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Aye - watch out for insanity setting in!!

I searched for nearly the whole of last year for one and couldn't find one even remotely good.

Seriously though - the stuff you should have on your list is as follows:

Year
Any reason why you're looking at a very early Testarossa? In my experience, there's not a massive difference in price between early and later Testarossas. Have a look at this page for the updates that took place thoughout production - http://www.red-headed.com/articles/testarossa_versions.html

Condition
It goes without saying. There are a lot of poor Testarossas out there. Check everything, check everything and check everything again - then get someone professional to do it!! If it's been crashed, has dodgy paint, is missing anything or has non standard bodywork - walk away.

Service history
Must be complete in every way. It's a big complicated engine, and you don't want to even think about the bill to put it right if it goes bang one day - it'll ruin you and your passion for Ferraris. It'll help your resale value when the time comes too.

Originality
Don't buy one that's not the original colour, not the original interior or not running the original engine. If it's running on non standard wheels (as a few are) make sure it comes with the originals. Try to make sure that it has all the original books, wallets, tool kit, etc. Don't worry too much about one that has been converted to dual mirror configuration - most have.

Mileage
Don't buy something very high mileage, unless it's very cheap. Don't buy something very low mileage, unless you want to put it in a museum or your living room. If you want to drive it - something that's been regularly used but not used to the point of high mileage is best. You don't want to pay the premium for a v low mileage car, which will have been sitting for potentially VERY long periods, and will have the capability to put you off Ferraris forever with a string of niggling failures.

Colour
Don't buy a white one. Your mates will think you're a complete idiot, girls will run when they see you, your wife will leave you - and if we ever meet, I'll laugh at you!!!

Finally - if you can't find a Testarossa you like - buy a 348. That's what I did, and I've not regretted it!!! :green:

Have fun too - the search is all part of the fun!!

Bazil
 

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I think I can't add anything to that except for: Keep us updated on your search, maybe we can help you down the road.
 

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I'd have to agree on Bazils comments on the TR.. I really love the TR but have struggled long and hard to find a great car at the right price. Eventually I tried to buy several TR 512's but there always seemed to be a problem!. The other gotcha with any V12 is the service bill, even with a car with a good service history you are going to need some $$ in reserve in case something goes wrong - Make sure whatever TR you buy has had a recent major service done, that whay you can avoid the 5-8k it costs to get done.

I'd personally like to recommend the 355 as a great first time Ferrari- That was my first (A silver 95'B), you will pay more then a 348 but I think its worth it if you can make the stretch (95 355's can be had for $70k with 20k on the clock in the US) + you can save on those large maintance bills from the TR.

Dermot
 

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Bazil said:
Aye - watch out for insanity setting in!!

I searched for nearly the whole of last year for one and couldn't find one even remotely good.

Seriously though - the stuff you should have on your list is as follows:

Year
Any reason why you're looking at a very early Testarossa? In my experience,.........
Condition
It goes without saying. There are a lot of poor Testarossas out there. Check everything, ..............
Service history
Must be complete in every way. ..............
Originality
Don't buy one that's not the original colour, not the original interior or not running the original engine. .............
Mileage
Don't buy something very high mileage, unless it's very cheap. ..........
Colour
Don't buy a white one. ............

Have fun too - the search is all part of the fun!!

Bazil
That's It! I'm buying a Ford Escort :wink:

Actually Bazil has brought up some very interesting, and and mostly important issues, I just hope I can find him when I'm ready for my purchase because I'm probably the biggest impulse buyer there is.

Ed
:eek:ha:
 

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Bazil gave a very good guideline to searching for a good condition Testarossa. Remember, a poorly maintained Testarossa will cost you an arm and a leg to maintain. Why not choose a V8 for your first Ferrari. It's so much cheaper to maintain than a V12.
 

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Bazil said:
Don't buy a white one. Your mates will think you're a complete idiot, girls will run when they see you, your wife will leave you
Methinks this is a bit harsh! Perchance you have personal experience of this old chap?
 

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4kids3fish said:
Bazil said:
Don't buy a white one. Your mates will think you're a complete idiot, girls will run when they see you, your wife will leave you
Methinks this is a bit harsh! Perchance you have personal experience of this old chap?
No personal experience - it's the whole Miami Vice connection I'm afraid!!

I look dreadful in pastels, and even worse with my jacket sleeves rolled up!!! :ugh:
 

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Just a few thoughts on the subject---

I had an '86 Testarossa in the past. It was my first Ferrari and and I really loved the car for the first couple of years and did have some mixed feelings when I sold it. In retrospect I would reccomend getting at least an '87 so you get the double door mirrors as it is hard enough backing up and I like the symmetry. I think in '88 they went to the 5 bolt pattern on the rims instead of the single axel nut. Some think the latter looks nicer but when you have to take the wheels off the chrome starts to chip a bit and that was a little annoying not to mention the lead hammer gets all disorted. Get red with the tan interior. I had the dark metalic blue and although it caught people's interest because it was different, the resale was less (count on selling it someday). Look closely at the dash for warpage as the fiberglass will do so as the leather shrinks. Repair of this is not a cheap undertaking. Make sure the catalytic converters are functioning as sometimes if the car has not been maintained right they can burn out. Check closely for evidence of fire damage near the front of the engine compartment (wiring etc.). Check for mice damage in the trunk area in front of the dash. Then there is of course the obvious such as maintance records and talking to previous owners if possible. Finally bring money. I think it cost me about $10000 per 1000 miles based upon repairs and depreciation.

If you can afford it and love the styling I think you will love the car (for at least awhile) for touring and road events. I used to enjoy just walking by and looking at it in the garage as it is like a piece of art in many respects. That car always stirred my soul, much more than the 550 I have now (although the 550 is a much better car in my opinion).The car is a little bit of a pig on the track because of its weight so don't buy it to do that on a regular basis. I encourage you to stick with the V12 as that is to me part of the mystic of owning a Ferrari (not to take away anything from those who have the V8s). It is a marvel just to look at this engine and despite all the talk about the expense, it is really not that much more unless you get into major engine overhauls. I used to hear the same argument when I had both the BMW 850 (v12) and 840 (v8) and they both cost about the same to operate but the 850 was more enjoyable. If you really can afford it buy the 512TR or FM as they are a little more refined in their body work and feel much more limber and responsive.

In any case good luck and good hunting--- I think the catch will be worth it.
 

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Good post - I agree with pretty much everything that twatson said. By the way - you're not Tom Watson (Golfer) are you?!!! :green:

The only things I'm not sure about are the following:

Red with the tan interior - not sure I agree with this. On a car of that age, a black interior will tend to have aged much better than the tan, and won't need reconnolising quite as often to keep it looking nice - I think that's the best you can find - if you can find one!

And while I agree completely - if you can afford a 512TR then don't even consider buying a Testarossa until you've not been able to find one of those, I'd never point someone at a 512M - it's bloody hideous!!! :ugh:

As for the mice - last time I was in my dealer they were trying to fix a 456 that had had mice living under the bonnet in the V of the V12. They'd eaten a substantial portion of the wiring under there - and their droppings and urine had eaten into the metal of the engine - it was a horrendous mess.
 

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Woah, that's some major mice damage...I guess that's why you have to bring the car out often enough to flush out anything trying to make their home in your car! :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Rosso said:
Woah, that's some major mice damage...I guess that's why you have to bring the car out often enough to flush out anything trying o make their home in your car! :eek:
I had mice take up residence in the muffler of a Rolls Royce I had in storage once. Didn't discover it until I fired up the car. What a mess. Now when I store a car, I lightly stuff steel wool up the exhaust, and put a note on the steering wheel reminding me to take it out.

Thanks to all for the advise.
 

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tmeranda said:
Rosso said:
Woah, that's some major mice damage...I guess that's why you have to bring the car out often enough to flush out anything trying o make their home in your car! :eek:
I had mice take up residence in the muffler of a Rolls Royce I had in storage once. Didn't discover it until I fired up the car. What a mess. Now when I store a car, I lightly stuff steel wool up the exhaust, and put a note on the steering wheel reminding me to take it out.

Thanks to all for the advise.
Woah, that was obviously not a nice treat to find. :p But that steel wool sounds like a good solution to solve/prevent a big problem.
 
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