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Discussion Starter #1
Like many, I have been a Ferrari fan since childhood. I am celebrating a milestone this year, and have tabbed a Ferrari to commemorate it (the wife is in agreement). My question revolves around the purchase of a 456 GT vs a Mondial t. On paper, it's a no-brainer: the 456 GT is 12-cylinder, so it better represents Enzo's vision of Ferrari; it is a very attractive car, powerful and has a better quality reputation. My head says 456 all the way. However, for some reason I have an affinity for the Mondial t; it is mid-engined which I REALLY like, it's a convertible, v-8's are more reliable than v-12's and I find its quirky appearance appealing. So, for some reason, my heart says Mondial t.

Any insights or experience out there to guide me further? Thanks.
 

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I think it depends on what you want from the car.
I've had a Mondial 3.2 for 6 months now but never driven a 456, so a few cent's worth ...

Compared to a 'T' I'd expect the 456 to be :
significantly more refined,
have a smoother drivetrain,
have obviously more modern appointmemts,
probably has a better gearchange but worse steering?
be generally easier around town,
probably much thirstier,
it's got a dead sexy body,
but they rarely come in red (if that's what you want), mainly the darker colours.

A Mondial will be :
noisier inside (you just can't ignore that mid-engine),
probably ride harder,
has a V8 that although extremely flexible (I mean it really will pull from under 1500 rpm) is pretty raucous when spinning over 5000,
has definitely limited rear room (you can fit 3 OK but if you're 6' or more anyone sitting behind the driver gets almost no legroom),
cheaper to buy & insure,
convertible if that's what you want,
probably have cheaper parts,
can be in that unmistakeable Rosso Corsa red,
but is probably somewhat less reliable, esp the "bits & pieces" side of things.

If you want a sleek high-speed GT that will always be there when you want it & doesn't expect so much from you, then I'd say that's the 456.

If you want to spend less but have a more "raw" car that you can punt around with the top off pretending to be a open-wheel racer, then I'd say that's the Mondial.

Either one will be a blast, esp when taking a bunch of kids / nieces / nephews / etc for a easy fun-run through some hills / forest / coast / .... . Only 2+2's can do that! 8)
 

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Welcome to the forum, I hope we can help. We have a Buyer's Guide for the 456 here: http://www.ferrariforum.net/dealer/guides.php

Eventually I plan to have a Mondial guide as well.

While the 456 is a V12 it is still a reliable V12 (unlike the early TR V12s). I think 4kids3fish made an excellent summary from a drivers stand point.

Looks are subjective, I perfer the 456. To borrow the old cliche, "follow your heart." Get behind the wheel of a Mondial and behind the wheel of a 456. The two are very different cars and I think the Mondial is more raw and the 456 is the quintessential GT in my opinion.
 

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Welcome to the Forum. Both 3kids4fish and Enzo250GTO sum it up nicely. The only thing I would add to follow your heart is, also check your wallet. I have a 456 GT and it is a great drivers car. It is civilized in the cities and turns into a beast on the open road. At the same time it is comfortable enough to take on long trips. The engine is huge, very flexible, and quite happy to cruise at twice the national speed limit. The only downside is basically all work need to be done by a dealer and it all is not cheap. 456 GT's are very complicated machines with plenty that can go wrong. Even if you are ony paying $80k for one now, 456 GT's were $200k cars when new and still carry the service costs associated with that price level.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for all of the feedback, it's very helpful. One more

question though: I'm 6'3" and I know that the Mondial t is a crowded fit without moving the rails back on the seat (not sure how much that will help). Does the 456 GT offer much more space for the driver? (It seems most Ferraris were not built for people 6'3"). I do have two young children, which is the primary reason I'm seeking a 2(+2). I couldn't imagine not being able to take them for a spin.

Other than that, it seems that the car characteristics are similar to what I've assumed: the 456 is a refined GT cruiser that also has the power to make a statement to other cars on the highway, whereas the Mondial t is a mid-engined, loud, quirky automobile that you need to know how to drive properly (which to me seems like a fun automobile to test your skills against). We have other cars that we would use for long trips, but it would be nice to cruise a Ferrari on the open road. I'm assuming, though, that would be akin to taking a motorcycle for a 500 mile trip in the Mondial.

(Boxer42, appreciate the feedback. I'm curious as to how often you need to service your car. I assume the costs would be roughly 3x the service costs of the Mondial, including normal maintenance)

Thanks for the help and look forward to your replies.
 

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I am 6'2" and fit easily into the 456 GT so I don't think another inch would be a problem.

Regarding service, the recommended interval is annual or every 6,000 miles. I don't know what average Mondial costs are but there is a table listing average 456 GT costs included in the Buyers GUide that Enzo250GTO referred to.
 

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Body fit depends a lot on your body's "proportions", ie do you have a low waist (long body) or high waist (long legs)? I am just under 6'1" and don't have the Mondial seat right back - there is at least another inch or so of travel. With the seat right back it's too much of a stretch to bottom the clutch. (BTW, I am of the "long-legs" type!)

IMO 500 miles in a Mondial will be MUCH easier than the same on a bike! It's not THAT tough! :eek: :green:

Servicing costs have actually been a lot less than I expected, and that includes going through the 17 years of the prev owner's records (all at Ferrari Service). Of course there's the odd thing eg AirCon that needs special work but generally it's just regular services. The cam belts need changing every 2 years (you will never hit the km-limit for those, always the time-limit), but generally allowing say US$1500 p.a. should be more than enough.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Guys, thanks a lot for your feedback. I found it

well-balanced and objective. Based on your replies, I don't feel I can go wrong either way. The market seems a little soft right now in regards to availability in either model (especially on the West Coast), but it always seems to heat up around summer time.

I'll let you know how it all goes once I get my F car. I'm really looking forward to it!
 
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