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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am going to be a first time ferrari buyer and owner as soon as I can figure out what to buy. My budget is $125K tops and the car would be driven a few times per week. What is the best bang for the buck in this price range, what is the most reliable and where is the best place to look? I appreciate any and all responses.
 

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A 328 is always an excellent choice for a first Ferrari. It is the most refined and reliable of the 3x8 series and a good starting point to get your feet wet with Ferrari ownership. It is well less than half your budget, the cars are fully depreciated so if you decide to upgrade later you can always get your money back out of the car.

If you want something more modern you could look at a 360 or a 550 in your price range. But the higher price will eat well into your budget.

A Ferrari is a decision made with the heart, not with the brain. Which Ferrari do you see yourself behind the wheel of.

If you become an elite member to this website you will have access to the buyers guides to help you with your decision.
 

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I agree with Pete on the 328 but would also suggest taking a look at a F355. Both are well within your budget and reasonable cost wise to run. The key is to buy well. If you do go with the F355, as a 1st Ferrari I would strongly recommend the manual gearbox over the F1. Clinking the stick through the metal gate is a core part of the Ferrari classic experience. Of the 328's the late 89's are regarded as the best of the model run.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Guys!

I appreciate your responses - it looks like it will be the 355.

I will download the buyer guide, but any input on best years and models and then best places to find them?

I would imagine the best bet is just to get the newest, best condition car I can find, yes?

Your input re the manual transmission is duly noted!

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well
Went to the local Ferrari dealer here in SD and now have my eyes on a 360 (budget be damned). As you said, buying a ferrari is a decision made with the heart and not the brain...I knew I was going to get myself in trouble walking into that place...
 

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Hope your wife isn't too mad at us. Excellent choice on the 360.

When you make the decision to purchase a Ferrari it is because you found a car that your heart and eyes look at and just go "Wow! That is my car!" The brain shuts off and passion takes over. The brain tells you to buy a Volkswagon, the heart tells you to get that shiney red Ferrari.

Do listen to your brain a bit and get a pre-purchase inspection from an independent mechanic. I would assume there are plenty of qualified independent guys in the San Diego area. Contact Bart on this site, he's from Orange County and speaks very highly of his Ferrari Mechanic.
 

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Well
Went to the local Ferrari dealer here in SD and now have my eyes on a 360 (budget be damned). As you said, buying a ferrari is a decision made with the heart and not the brain...I knew I was going to get myself in trouble walking into that place...
Hard to go wrong with a 360. If my memory is correct, Ferrari made a few major upgrades starting with the 2001 models. If you are buying a 99-00, make sure these have been done.

Suggest you PM "Stradale". He is our resident 360 expert.
 

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If that deal falls through, take the opportunity to look at the spectactular 550. If I had a 6-figure budget for a Ferrari, that would be a garage mate for the TR.
 

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This is one time were I would differ on opinion, as a 1st Ferrari, I would recommend staying with a 8 cylinder model.
Even considering it's high degree of reliability and bullet-proof mechanicals? I was also considering the generous budget he has to work with.:)
 

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I agree with jungathart, I think a 550 is definately a contender with this budget, but I'd probably go with the sexier 360 myself. But I do have a 550 model right next to my F40 model.
 

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Even considering it's high degree of reliability and bullet-proof mechanicals? I was also considering the generous budget he has to work with.:)
A good 550 will eat up basically the whole budget where a F355 will leave plenty of change for maintenance etc. Also as a 1st Ferrari, a F355 or a 360 will be more fun to go wiping around the curvy stuff in where as the 550 really is a great GT but can be a bit lacking in the raw edge that turns a 1st time Ferrari owner into a multiple Ferrari owner. That having been said, I would definitely buy another 550 when the time is right.
 

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It is an interesting perspective to think that a budget of 125K would allow the purchase of 6 of my former Mondial QV! I try to imagine the fun of having 6 side by side in different colors!:)
 

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For $125k you might want to look for a 550 Maranello, they are starting to creep into that price range. All the other suggestions have been excellent, you can never go wrong with a 328 or 355.
 

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First buy

I would buy a 328GTS, they are fun to drive:drive:

No doubt about it Jack. The 328GTS my brother had is still the only Ferrari I've driven and it was lovely to drive. Very nice progressive power band, and more than enough torque. It had a sports exhaust and you could hear it for kilometers if it passed under a railwaybridge. Even when running idle it was just magnificent. I always loved Ferraris but until I drove my first one I just never understood why exactly.

However, I'm buying my first Ferrari soon as well for a similar budget (a little more perhaps, max $150k) and I'm not considering the 328. There are several reasons why:

1. I don't fit in the 328 if it has got the roof down. And I'm only 6'2.
2. The driving position is less than ideal.
3. A little more power would be nice. Not essential, mind.
4. They are getting on in age.

The other options are just so much more tempting, and those are of course the F355 and F550. For me, I like the F550 better and it is looking like I could get a good one for a bit below US$125k in Holland. The F355 is cheaper to run but for me this is a dream car so I might as well buy the one I'm dreaming about, right? I've got a very good idea of the running costs (read the articles on evo.co.uk) and for me the 550 is worth the difference. It is amazing, however, that these cars are so close in price now when they were worlds apart in 1998 (new).

I suppose the really good thing is: if you have 125k to spend, you are in for a serious treat. Even the 328 is just such a loveable car. You won't regret it if you buy it, but the other options are even more fantastic!


Onno



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