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Buying my first Ferrari, need advice.

2010 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  '75 308 GT4 (Peter)
I am currently looking to purchase my first Ferrari and I am looking to spend in the $30-50K range. I am really interested in buying a V-12 such as the 400i but I know nothing about the difficulties of passing emissions and getting the car serviced. I have little mechanical ability and would appreciate advice on whether a 400i would be a reasonable car to look at and if so, where would you recommend purchasing from? Denningcars had a couple listed from Switzerland but as I said I am unsure of the prospects of getting the car to pass emissions. I would also appreciate any advice on what to expect as far as maintenace cost and service options. I live in Coastal NC and there is a Ferrari Dealer in Greensboro NC, Foreign Cars Italia (I believe)... does anyone know anything about them? Lastly, would I be better off looking at the 308, 328 and Mondials. Thank you for any advice that you can offer. Will G.
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i just bought a 79' 308 2 weeks ago. my first ferrari. and so far from what i can see and what i have read in to the 308's and 328's are good buys. if you buy a carbed car you can do alot of the work yourself and i guess once you get into the fuel injected cars it gets a bit more dicey. the market for a nice example 308 is in the high 20's to mid 30's. if you work a dealer over you can get one for the mid 20's. i guess the best thing i can say is do research,research, and more research. do your homework and figure out what you are comfortable with spending on parts and service. and no matter what you buy you will be happy with it. how could you not be? its a ferrari.

here is what 26 grand got us.
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Thrill, its best to find a 400i that's already in the U.S. It'll more than likely have the D.O.T./E.P.A. paperwork to ASSIST in registering the car. You must familiarize yourself with your local or state laws concerning these grey-market cars. Most areas have emissions-testing exemptions based on vehicle age (which I'm not 100% sure if the 400 would qualify. Most exemptions are for cars 25 years old and older. Again, check your area for more info).

Your choice of a fuel injected car will make life much easier for you. They're naturally more efficient and pollute less than a carb car, but considering its a near-five liter V-12, its still dumping loads of HC into the air... Installing temporary catalytic converters is one way to pass (albeit not too legal if its temporary...). Its best to sort this out with the vehicle seller and a mechanic.

Although this is way before my time of ownership, my own 308 GT4 was serviced and offered for sale at Foreign Cars! Of course I can't comment on their work as this happened back in 1981-83, but from what I've heard from other Ferrari owners, they are a good place.

Yes, the easiest choice is the 308/328/Mondial. All are smog legal, there are plenty of them out there so they're reasonable in price. And they're easy to own and service. No real difference in service cost between the V-8 and V-12. The V-8's require more service, but its less costly per, the V-12's require less service, but more expensive per. A rough guide to ENGINE REBUILD COSTS: $1000/cylinder - and that's if nothing is broken. ROUTINE SERVICE (filters, fluids, adjustments, etc...): $600-$1000 total. Again, these are just examples, it all depends on the car you're looking at...
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