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Discussion Starter #1
Hello All,

Here goes my first post...

I've always thought about whether I would buy something like a Ferrari if I could. Well, now I'm at the point where I am considering the purchase of an older model. My preference would probably be in the following order: 348, Mondial Cabrio, 328/308.

I have a few questions for those of you who have been in the Ferrari world for some time and might be able to help me figure out my priorities and risk.

If you had to choose between a 1983/84 Mondial Cabrio for $30,000 USD and a 1989 348 ts for $48,000 USD, both with roughly 20,000 miles, which would you choose?

For a $30K car, I can afford to put some more money into it each year. But for $50K I am more limited on how much more I can put into it.

I start to think I'm not to the point where I should be buying something like this, but then I think I need to live it up a little before it's too late, so I start looking into it again.

My wife is open to the idea of buying a car like this, but she will have a breakdown if we start eating into our savings to keep the car running. A payment on a $50K Ferrari isn't any different than a $50K BMW, yet owning a Ferrari seems like such a larger commitment.

My second question has to do with service shops. In Portland, where I live, the Tonkin's have a Ferrari service shop. I can imagine this would probably be the most expensive place I could take the car. Anyone know if there is anyone else in the Northwest U.S.A. that would be easier on the checkbook?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Schomer
 

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Schomer - You and I have a lot in common, lol.

I am in the process of purchasing a 328 and I am in the same boat. The price of the car is not a problem, but the maintenance scares me (and my wife). I am located in Southern California.
 

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Schomer,

That is not a bad predicament! :D

Have you test driven either? I loved my Mondial and the cab-forward design but I can't say if the 348 is or isn't that much different to drive. I, personally, would go for the Mondi' Cab.' You may worry less about it if you have concerns about covering maintenance. Then again, you may find a car that will give you no problems.

Remember, the best money you can spend is for an inspection! I did and was glad I did!

Keep us updated!
 

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Thanks, Dane! I will most certainly get the vehicle checked out before buying. But I need to figure out which vehicle to look for first. I wish there were some kind of "average cost of ownership" figure I could find for these cars, so I could figure out which one is going to be more costly year-over-year.

Mid 80s Mondial Cabrio, or 89-91 348 is about my price-range right now...
 

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Schomer,

If you are looking for a reputable dealer, I can put a higher recommendation on Peter Sweeney at www.forza.weblobby.com. If he doesn't have what you are looking for, he will do his best to find it. He has an excellent mechanic, Bill Pollard, who has his own shop nearby. Peter is an honest man. I bought both of my cars from him.

Please keep in mind, technical forums show problems with cars. You don't hear about those who are having trouble free experiences with their cars.

Just my two cents....

Forza,

Dane
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks again, Dane. The URL you gave me doesn't seem to be working for me right now. Not sure if maybe you entered it incorrectly, or my browser is hosed.
 

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When it was time for me to buy my first Ferrari, I had the same dilemma about what's the right choice. I had to choose between a 1989 328GTS and a 1992 348. Both were in excellent condition and the price difference was something I could afford.

I test drove both cars and I chose the 328. I never had any problem with the car. But then again it was a weekend car. I read a lot of magazines on what is the "better" Ferrari but in the end I bought what my heart told me. Do the same and you will not go wrong. Which ever model you go for choose the latest model year that you can, because the factory constantly update and improve the model.

Good luck.
 

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Stradale,
Thanks for the advice. You drove a 328 and 348 and preferred the 328? Anything specific that made you choose the 328 over the 348?
Schomer
 

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The 348 clutch was way too heavy for my liking and the steering too was heavier than the 328. Then I asked around and previous 348 owners were no too enthusiastic about the car either. They changed to the 355 as sson as the car was available. Maybe that is what dissuade me most.

But if you're a big guy you should test the 328 for "space" between the accelerator pedal and brake. They're a little close together. I am small built with size 7 1/2 (US) shoes so I am all right, in any case test drive the car. Test drive both cars and let your heart decide for you.
 

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Schomer,

The website I listed looks to be accurate. Give it another shot, perhaps.

Forza,

Dane
 

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schomer if you go for the 348, then get a later year
because there is a big difference between the TS and the GTS (the later production years)
main diferences, 15 hp more, some new electronics and also power steering wich a TS doesn't have, that's why Stradale said it's harder to drive.
the best thing is, make a test drive with both of the cars and see what you like the most.

in the previous issue of Forza Magazine, there was a good article about the 348, it's fun to read
 

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Hi Schomer,

welcome to the forum!

I just bought my first Ferrari a few months ago, a 348 Spider. I love the car and have had no problems with it at all.

I've just had an annual service at an authorised Ferrari shop called Graypaul (I'm in the UK). I think they quoted me £500 (about $800) for this service but when they checked the car over they told me I needed new gas struts to hold the engine cover up and that the clutch slave cylinder was leaking.

The final bill was just over £1,000 (about $1,600) so it wasn't too painful.

Next year the cambelts need changing so I reckon the bill could be £3,000 although I think they have a fixed price of about £1,000 for this job so if there is nothing much else wrong it might cost me half that.

I agree with the advice here to buy the latest model 348 you can (if you decide on a 348 of course). There were quite a few modifications to the car during the production run and the last ones are the best.

When you check a car over don't let you heart rule your head. Check absolutely EVERYTHING in detail.

Check it drives straight and stops straight and that there are no suspicious noises from the gearbox.

The electric windows are often very slow, and the electric mirrors sometimes don't work check the up/down and side to side movement. These gremlins are often caused by bad connections in the door.

Make sure the service history is complete and look at when the cambelts where last changed. Ferrari will advise you to change them every 3 years. Graypaul recently had a 348 in with broken cambelts and the engine work was costing the owner £16,000 - ouch!

Thinking about it I could write an essay on what to check so I guess I should just say check everything in detail and when you are personally happy with the car invest in a professional inspection.

I looked at many cars before I bought mine and you would not believe how many rough cars I looked at. It was as if I was trying to buy a £300 jalopy not an Italian Supercar.

Good luck with whatever you decide and please post some photos on here when you buy one.

Justyn.
 
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