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Discussion Starter #1
Just wondered if full dealer or Ferrari specialist history is as important as I have always been told. I appreciate a well maintained car with good provenance and in excellent condition will fetch a premium, indeed my old 328 had impeccable history which is why I bought it. However, the downside was that I didn't drive it as it wanted to keep it in showroon condition.
Recently, I've started searching and the cars which fall into my current price category are either LHD or have questionable/missing service history or even both. Many of the LHD cars have 10-15K mile/km gaps in their history and it seems as though the servicing has been done by any mecahnic rather than a specialist. 348's seem to be the worst examples of this in the UK.
I'm not thinking of jumping in and buying a 'cheap' car for the sake of it, I'd rather wait and pay the extra for a well maintained, no questions asked car - or am I being too cautious?
Currently, I'm moving towards the 355 GTS rather than the 550. The 355 has been a favorite of mine for years.
 

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When I first looked for a 348 I wanted one with a full service history. All the ones I saw had one or more service stamps missing. Personally, i can't understand why owners miss a service on their ferrari. I have my Honda serviced every year, so why not a Ferrari. Sure, it costs more, but if you can't afford the running costs, why buy it in the first place. :confused:

I also saw one that had a cambelt service done by a BMW specialist!!! I walked away from that one very fast!!!

But then last year, I got a friend of mine to do an engine out service at his home. I thought that if we did it ourselves then we would do a better job. Not because we were better mechanics (I'm crap by the way), but because as an owner i could things the way I wanted to do it.

So now I have a service book where a major cambelt service was done by John Doe (ie: an unkown individual). I'm sure that if I decided to sell it, a potential buyer will point it out and expect a reduction in price accordingly.

But it does'nt bother as I know what was done. It's probably in better mechanical shape than it has been for a decade. Plus it's got better parts than teh OEM ones. It was all posted up on another forum which made it more credible.

The 348b is a fairly simple engine to work on. Much more simple than the V8 jaguar I have.

Having worked on my car and talked to many people in the Ferari world, I've come to the following conclusions.

1. I would'nt believe a Ferrari odometer even if Abe Lincoln was selling me the car.

2. Service histories only tell you that the car has gone in for a service. They don't tell you what was NOT fixed at the time, even though a fault was found.

3. When they say it's had an engine out service, it's not always engine out. ;)

Not meaning to offend anyone, just my conclusions formed in the last 3 years from personal experience.

Realistically speaking, whatever car you decide to get Archie, it will need work doing to it. Some of the 355's are nearly 14 years old now so things need changing or refurbishing.

If I was to buy another Ferarri, I woudl have an indeph PPI done. If it passes that, buy it and have a cambelt done again straight away. I know, it sounds very anal. I'm doing 2 yearly cycles for my cambelt changes at the moment when it should be three purely beacuse I want my car perfect. After next years cambelt change, I'll revert to the 3 yearly cycle.

:D
 

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Very interesting Angelis, I had never thought that sometimes there would be missing information or even misinformation on a service record.
 

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Having worked on my car and talked to many people in the Ferari world, I've come to the following conclusions.

1. I would'nt believe a Ferrari odometer even if Abe Lincoln was selling me the car.

2. Service histories only tell you that the car has gone in for a service. They don't tell you what was NOT fixed at the time, even though a fault was found.

3. When they say it's had an engine out service, it's not always engine out. ;)

Not meaning to offend anyone, just my conclusions formed in the last 3 years from personal experience.

Realistically speaking, whatever car you decide to get Archie, it will need work doing to it. Some of the 355's are nearly 14 years old now so things need changing or refurbishing.

If I was to buy another Ferarri, I woudl have an indeph PPI done. If it passes that, buy it and have a cambelt done again straight away. I know, it sounds very anal. I'm doing 2 yearly cycles for my cambelt changes at the moment when it should be three purely beacuse I want my car perfect. After next years cambelt change, I'll revert to the 3 yearly cycle.

:D
Overall, I agree with the God of 348s.

The History is interesting but what really counts is the current condition, especially on any Ferrari over 10 years old.

Complete and fully documented service histories can be found with many cars in the US and UK but finding an Italian car with any history can be hard. Surprisingly most German and Belgian cars I have looked at over the years have had spotty histories at best. In most cases, even if the book has been stamped, the supporting invoices are no where to be found.
 

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You just have to see how popular used speedometers are on ebay. ;)

I think the problem with clocking lies at the feet of all of us. We all want low mileage cars and have an aversion to big miles. So the lower the miles... bigger the £££.

Overall, I agree with the God of 348s.
I have upgraded you to Sainthood.

You shall henceforth be known as Saint Boxer :D
 

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When I first looked for a 348 I wanted one with a full service history. All the ones I saw had one or more service stamps missing. Personally, i can't understand why owners miss a service on their ferrari. I have my Honda serviced every year, so why not a Ferrari. Sure, it costs more, but if you can't afford the running costs, why buy it in the first place. :confused:

I also saw one that had a cambelt service done by a BMW specialist!!! I walked away from that one very fast!!!

But then last year, I got a friend of mine to do an engine out service at his home. I thought that if we did it ourselves then we would do a better job. Not because we were better mechanics (I'm crap by the way), but because as an owner i could things the way I wanted to do it.

So now I have a service book where a major cambelt service was done by John Doe (ie: an unkown individual). I'm sure that if I decided to sell it, a potential buyer will point it out and expect a reduction in price accordingly.

But it does'nt bother as I know what was done. It's probably in better mechanical shape than it has been for a decade. Plus it's got better parts than teh OEM ones. It was all posted up on another forum which made it more credible.

The 348b is a fairly simple engine to work on. Much more simple than the V8 jaguar I have.

Having worked on my car and talked to many people in the Ferari world, I've come to the following conclusions.

1. I would'nt believe a Ferrari odometer even if Abe Lincoln was selling me the car.

2. Service histories only tell you that the car has gone in for a service. They don't tell you what was NOT fixed at the time, even though a fault was found.

3. When they say it's had an engine out service, it's not always engine out. ;)

Not meaning to offend anyone, just my conclusions formed in the last 3 years from personal experience.

Realistically speaking, whatever car you decide to get Archie, it will need work doing to it. Some of the 355's are nearly 14 years old now so things need changing or refurbishing.

If I was to buy another Ferarri, I woudl have an indeph PPI done. If it passes that, buy it and have a cambelt done again straight away. I know, it sounds very anal. I'm doing 2 yearly cycles for my cambelt changes at the moment when it should be three purely beacuse I want my car perfect. After next years cambelt change, I'll revert to the 3 yearly cycle.

:D
I fully agree to this! To me a proper photo documentation etc, is far more worth than a stamp in the book whitout matching invoice. I´m by the way a former workshop owner my self!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Overall I agree with Angelis and Boxer, and condition must be the most important factor.
As I don't know one end of a spanner from the other, I have to rely on other people's opinions on cars, and have always found it hard to get a mechanic to tell the truth. Therefore, I opted to buy a Ferrari with the best history and thickest file of service documentation and invoices. I figured that this would reassure me that the cars previous owners had maintained the car regardless of cost and at main dealers or specialists who knew what they were doing.
I agree a PPI is the way to go, if buying from a private seller or non Ferrari specialist. Should I have a PPI done if I buy from a specialist? I didn't when I bought the 328, but I can reasuringly say that I had built up a good relationship over a 2 year period with the dealer I eventually bought from, and to his credit he took the car back to repait it free of charge without any quibble when the offside diff baring started making a noise about a year ago.
I'm surprised to hear that most Europeans don't worry too much about history as we Brits have it drummed into us (or is that a line the dealers spin to get us to buy at their over inflated prices?).
I've been looking for 348 GTS's and 355 GTS's in the last few days and have noticed hugely differing prices on 355's. £35K private - £55K dealer. Sure the dealers cars are probably better prepared, will be properly detailed inside and out, have better history and come with a limited warranty, but are they really worth that much more?
 

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Even with a service history & receipts, you'll still be suprised at what you'll find.

Have a look at these two pictures of the alternator bracket on my 348.

Someone had wedged the bracket into position. There was no way it could have snapped and got into the position. The part cost around £24 and is quite visbile.

I was told the car had an engine out cambelt service 2 years previously by a very well known and respected specialist.

Makes you wonder. :(
 

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Even with a service history & receipts, you'll still be suprised at what you'll find.

Have a look at these two pictures of the alternator bracket on my 348.

Someone had wedged the bracket into position. There was no way it could have snapped and got into the position. The part cost around £24 and is quite visbile.

I was told the car had an engine out cambelt service 2 years previously by a very well known and respected specialist.

Makes you wonder. :(
Oh wow, thats horrible:( This is why I like working on my own cars:)

Chris
 

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Overall I agree with Angelis and Boxer, and condition must be the most important factor.
As I don't know one end of a spanner from the other, I have to rely on other people's opinions on cars, and have always found it hard to get a mechanic to tell the truth. Therefore, I opted to buy a Ferrari with the best history and thickest file of service documentation and invoices. I figured that this would reassure me that the cars previous owners had maintained the car regardless of cost and at main dealers or specialists who knew what they were doing.
I agree a PPI is the way to go, if buying from a private seller or non Ferrari specialist. Should I have a PPI done if I buy from a specialist? I didn't when I bought the 328, but I can reasuringly say that I had built up a good relationship over a 2 year period with the dealer I eventually bought from, and to his credit he took the car back to repait it free of charge without any quibble when the offside diff baring started making a noise about a year ago.
I'm surprised to hear that most Europeans don't worry too much about history as we Brits have it drummed into us (or is that a line the dealers spin to get us to buy at their over inflated prices?).
I've been looking for 348 GTS's and 355 GTS's in the last few days and have noticed hugely differing prices on 355's. £35K private - £55K dealer. Sure the dealers cars are probably better prepared, will be properly detailed inside and out, have better history and come with a limited warranty, but are they really worth that much more?
Dear Comrade Archiegibbs,

In the property world the mantra is: Location, Location, Location.

For myself, I would paraphrase this to the motor car world as: Condition, Condition, Condition.

For me, Condition is everything. I would get the car properly surveyed and rely upon that. Mileage and Service History cannot be relied on completely. However, condition can be relied upon - it's there to be seen and assessed.

With kind regards,

Vulcan
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Not many good 348's out there. I know of a few people who are actively looking for one.

Good luck with the search.
That's what I was told 3 or 4 years ago when I was looking for one, and was advised to go for a 328 instead. I do quite like the 348 though. However, if i go for a 348 it will have to be a later 320 HP engined version, but I'll probably hang on until I've got the cash for a 355.

Dave at Forza 288 has a 348 GTS on at £32K at the moment - looks Ok on the internet, but I haven't seen it close up. I would be tempted to look at it myself, but I'm keeping my cash in the bank until the problems in the world credit markets sort themselves out as my job security is directly linked to it.
 

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Dear Comrade Archiegibbs,

In the property world the mantra is: Location, Location, Location.

For myself, I would paraphrase this to the motor car world as: Condition, Condition, Condition.

For me, Condition is everything. I would get the car properly surveyed and rely upon that. Mileage and Service History cannot be relied on completely. However, condition can be relied upon - it's there to be seen and assessed.

With kind regards,

Vulcan
+1

If the clock says 12,000 miles and the passenger seat is worn out, you have a problem. Trust your gut about mileage - the condition of the car should be apparent. I have seen friends buying 'low mileage' Porsches and just laugh out loud. My brother bought an MB with 40k on it - original miles - but it had scratches around the hood where the engine was pulled for a re-build. I asked him if he really thought an MB engine needed to be pulled at 40k...he was still convinced. Sheesh!
 

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IMO, if the service history is spotty, but a PPI checks out completely fine, I won't have any doubts or regrets pulling the trigger and buying the car.
 

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Dear Comrade Archiegibbs,

In the property world the mantra is: Location, Location, Location.

For myself, I would paraphrase this to the motor car world as: Condition, Condition, Condition.

For me, Condition is everything. I would get the car properly surveyed and rely upon that. Mileage and Service History cannot be relied on completely. However, condition can be relied upon - it's there to be seen and assessed.

With kind regards,

Vulcan
Is Vulcan F-40 who I think it is???
 

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In my estimation a full service history is an indicator of love or money. For it to be indiicitive of love, it should have receipts from local or internet parts suppliers (Autozone, ricambi, sparkplugs.com, ferrparts, etc...) This indicates a desire to save money, a bit of DIY, and the need for keeping the car as perfect as possible. A tall stack of "Ferrari" receipts finds a man with lots of money but no time, experience, or desire to climb under the hood to troubleshoot something. Cars from this genre may have experienced problems left unaddressed until the next time the car was brought in.

Both are examples of cars that may have been properly maintained but they are indicators only. As discussed above, the final assesment can only be made by a qualified set of eyes and is based on condition at the time of sale. Don't be mistaken, you can tell alot from a picture and even more from a touch. A stack of papers tells you nearly nothing. There are plenty of examples of near perfect cars with no history or buckets of bolts with every visit documented.
 

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Is Vulcan F-40 who I think it is???
Yes Sy.

Archie, I for certain would look for history. Mine does have one or two gaps but on the whole it has good history.

I want either a 348TB/GTB (the latter preferably, with the 320bhp) or a 355 GTB. It all depends on my funds at the time.

Terry a guy on CS has one beautiful 355. Terry is a very competent DIY mechanic, he is an aero engineer I think. If Terry was to sell his 355 in the future, if I could I would buy it without hesitation (assuming I could afford it). It has loads of history but since Terry has had it I am not sure what Specialist/Ferrari dealer history it has. However Terry is so good that he probably, no definitely does a better job than 90% of the dealers/specialist do anyway.

Course I know Terry so it makes it easy!
 
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