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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Recently I had the privilege of spending an extended amount of time behind the wheel of a 550 Maranello. My net takeaway is that this is simply the most complete, competent car produced in the last decade. It does everything extremely well. So well in fact that you do not realize how good it is until you get behind the wheel of another heralded machine. In my case a M5. The M5 is a great car but when I compared the two, the M5 lost on every single driving related attribute. Compared to earlier Ferrari 12 cylinder flagships, it does not have quite the same level of driver interaction, but you also don’t really need to worry if the rear end is about to swap places with the front no matter how hard you are pushing. The 5.5 liter engine never seems to run out of power and there is plenty of torque even at the bottom end of the tachometer. This gives the 550 the rare attribute of being both quick and fast.
 

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Interesting

That is quite a compliment from a virtual professinal Ferrarista like yourself, Boxer. I myself do like the 550 design and overall balance. Ufortunately, I have never driven one myself so my comments are purely subjective. Needless to say, 550 is one of the most sophisticated relative to your other carb "girls". You mentioned the M5, which is an excellent car in itself. Very interesting. It is great to hear that you are enjoying your prized possession. Jimmy
 

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Boxer said:
Recently I had the privilege of spending an extended amount of time behind the wheel of a 550 Maranello. My net takeaway is that this is simply the most complete, competent car produced in the last decade. It does everything extremely well. So well in fact that you do not realize how good it is until you get behind the wheel of another heralded machine. In my case a M5. The M5 is a great car but when I compared the two, the M5 lost on every single driving related attribute. Compared to earlier Ferrari 12 cylinder flagships, it does not have quite the same level of driver interaction, but you also don’t really need to worry if the rear end is about to swap places with the front no matter how hard you are pushing. The 5.5 liter engine never seems to run out of power and there is plenty of torque even at the bottom end of the tachometer. This gives the 550 the rare attribute of being both quick and fast.
Glad to hear you are enjoying your newest toy, especially after looking for one for so long.

One of my favorite things about the 550 is its dual nature. When you want to take it easy, it is a refined, comfortable and luxurious ride. When you want to go wild, it can do anything you ask of it and not break a sweat, making you look like a hero in the process. Very few cars can pull off such an extreme "Jekyl and Hyde" transformation as this one can.
The other thing I really like about the 550 is its rareness on the roads. I hardly see any, maybe one or two a season. While F-cars themselves are a fairly rare spot, they are almost always a 360, 430 etc....Its nice not to see one on every street corner, as with many other sports cars (Porsche, for one, comes to mind...) Makes the car feel special, IMO.

The more you drive it, the more you'll appreciate it. Enjoy!

As an aside, I was wondering if you could give us your opinion on a comparision between the 550 and the 456? Being so closely related, I'd be curious to hear your take on the relative pros and cons between the two....
 

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Discussion Starter #4
goldyF355 said:
As an aside, I was wondering if you could give us your opinion on a comparision between the 550 and the 456? Being so closely related, I'd be curious to hear your take on the relative pros and cons between the two....
IMHO the seats sum up the difference between the 550 and 456 GT. On the 550 they are Daytona style sport seats which are snug and keep you firmly planted. Message, this is a machine that can be driven aggressively. On the 456 GT they are nice big comfortable chairs which provide only minimum lateral support. Indications therefore seem to point to it being a bit more stately and refined. And it is. You can drive a 456 GT all day on the highway and emerge relaxed. Put it on a B road, try to hussle it and the results are just not great. It is a big heavy car that I was never comfortable pushing hard in the twisty stuff. Even though they are similar, the engine on the 456 GT did not seem to have the same grunt as the 550. On the 550 the power is instant. On the 456 GT it needs to build.
 

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Boxer,
I've got to say that I really enjoy all your insights into these cars. The info you give is first hand experience and delivered in a manner that all can enjoy. You relate your experiences in such a manner that even the guy who has never sat in a Ferrari can absorb some of what it is like. Thank you.

Unlike most of us who don't have a Ferrari, or just stuck with the "Poor Man's 308" :) You've got a virtual poker hand of Ferrari's. I would suggest that you obtain a 246 GTS to complete the Ferrari "Royal Flush". :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Pete, My pleasure and thanks. Right now I am looking to get back behind the wheel on my PM's 308 GTB next week. It has been off the road for the last 4 weeks during the rather lengthy re-registration process.

I looked at a couple of 246 GTBs and a GTS a few years ago. Achingly beautiful cars. My problem is that I was never able to get comfortable behind the wheel (I am 6' 2" and the 308 is just on the borderline). As a firm believer in the "you have it to drive it" school of Ferrari Ownership, the lack of fit ended that idea.
 

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Adaptation

Boxer, I am around 6' 1" myself and I understand your concern w/ fit in a Dino, but you do get used to it. When I first bought it, I felt the tightness and lack of size comfort. However, after few runs, your body adapts to the new environment and it does not become a serious concern because the positive factors overcome these minor inconveniences. So there, consider a Dino for your next shopping search. Jimmy
 

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Ferrari Dino etc...

Congratulations about getting the 550 Maranello...
Even though it isn' the latest model and doens't have all of the modern gadgets that today's Ferrari's have i.e Ferrari Enzo and F430, it still a special car in Ferrari's listings and more advanced than the 456. Anyway, to add why don't you get a 575 as well, more modern and powerful, similar paint job to the 550 and design?
About the Dino, Are the seats material Leather?
How much does a Dino cost to by today?:cool:
 

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Dino seats & market trend

Depends on which Dinos one's discussing and what country you're in. Dino 206GT is more rare and more pricey due to the limited production (collectors' item). Only around 150 were made. All aluminum alloy body, lighter al. alloy engine block, had made (literally) thus production # was low, all in all more costly to make it was. Next in line was the Dino 246GT Tipo L model, which was a mixture between the former 206GT and the latter M & E models. Productions for Tipo L was 1969 to early 1970. Only about 350 or so were made. Early productions were also hand made and had carry overs from the 206. In 1969 only 81 or so were made. Bumpers, hoods, doors, center lock spinners, etc. were from the 206's. The latter M and E models were mass produced (in F sense). In the States, the GTS models are more3 popular thus price is higher. In Japan, the coupe models are more popular, etc. Probably, the realistic market value (depending on the condition) is around 60,000 GBP; 100,000 Euro; USD $140,000 give or take 20% margin. Seats were not leather originally. Dino models were never meant to be a luxury model to begin with. That was not the original intent. This includes the rest of the interior. Jimmy
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Jimmie, On the Dino, while years ago it was the fit issue which that put off a potential purchase, these days it would have to be price as well. They have really run up in the last several years. For not a huge amount more you are into 330 GTC and then with a little more push, Daytona territory, Today these would both be purchases that I would have an easier time rationalizing.

Agree with your insight that the body does adapt after a couple of turns behind the wheel. My concern would be that I do like to take my cars on long trips and while adapting to a one our drive up the hills is one thing, a 5 hour drive between cities is another.
 

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In Agreement

You are absolutely correct, Boxer. Lately, the Dino market value has been moving up steadily. But then, so are the other Ferraris. Daytona's increase lately is pathetic. Even the BBs showing some slow movement upward. If you do much long driving, then your 550 is by far the best choice over a Dino et al. I myself do not undertake much long driving at all, as much as I would like to, due to time and duties. Also, the speed limit here and the road situation is not really suited for a GT kind of driving. I envy you for being able to take a Ferrari for long drives, Boxer. By the way, the Daytona from Maresilles is due to arrive here in Yokohama on the 22nd. It'll be couple more weeks before I can actually drive her. I shall keep you updated as things come along. Jimmy
 

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Post Addendum on Market Value

Forgot to add another comment, Boxer. A different viewpoint, looking at the market rise, is from the standpoint of per cylinder = market value ? Considering that a Dino is 6 cylinder vs. say a Daytona being a 12 cylinder,...From this perspective the current market asking prices for these two models are roughly equivalent on per cylinder basis. However, from another viewpoint, considering that the total production numbers of Dinos vs. Daytonas are roughly twice, ...this comparison seems to make the Dinos overpriced. Or does this make that Daytonas ought to be higher ? I know one cannot simply equate market value based on per cylinder formula, but it is one interesting viewpoint. Simple viewpoint of price is that it is much more subjective than that. If there's an individual willing to pay whatever price, that becomes the asking price. A great example of this was the surrealistic price paid for that 250GTO couple of decades ago by this Japanese buyer. Jimmy
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Jimmie, I like your price per cylinder theory. Using this model, Boxers are under priced, Daytonas are probably fully priced, and Dinos are over priced right now. My guess is that given the low production numbers, Daytonas are unlikely to drop in price while Dinos are much more volatile. Another way ofd looking at it is the cost of restoration. It will be roughly equal (except engine work on the 6 cylinder Dino) for all three models but as a percentage of value, the Daytona will be the best investment.

Looking forward to hearing more about your Daytona when it arrives.
 

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Another Perspective

I would concur your thinking and assesment. From the simple production number alone, Dinos' are somewhat overpriced lately. Regarding the Boxer, being a little biased myself, I agree the BBs' are well underpriced. Many of those who have a lot of influence on market pricing and informing most likely have a skewed viewpoint and may not truly driven a BB to fully appreciate this epoch making flagship model. The BBs were the major shift for Ferrari from the earlier Daytona, which was a front V12, chain driven mechanism versus the midship flat V12, belt driven layout. Although the two opposing models' production overlapped few years, the BBs were a big change in design and direction for Ferrari. Needless to say, of all the Ferraristas, you understand and fully appreciate the enchantment of driving a BB (two BBs). A splendid GT car. Jimmy
 

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Thank you

A compliment from you is to be taken seriously and w/ humble. Much obliged. I do have a little skewed taste when I look for cars. Of course, visual appeal is very important and personal, but I also tend to look at the history behind the cars and something "different", like an unique appeal, when I decide to buy. As you said Daytona is the last of the true front V12, chain driven, Colombo engined car. The last of the breed. Meanwhile, 365GT4 BB was the start of the midship, flat 12, belt driven line. A drastic departure from Daytona. And Dino 246GT Tipo L was the midship V6. Cannot compare them because they are different. They all have their own statement and issue. I fully understand your decision in getting your 550 in respect to your use and needs. Wonderful selection. Jimmy
 

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Boxer,
Thanks for sharing your experience. The 550 is everything that it is!

btw, is Bart still around??
 
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