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Discussion Starter #1
I admit it: I'm a serial Porsche buyer, but now I'm considering a 456 6-spd. I'm looking for opinions from those of you who drive 456's on what the pros and cons are. In particular, how would you rate the driving experience, the comfort and maintenance? Any other thoughts would also be appreciated.
Many thanks - FerrariFan
 

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Well I have driven a 456 several times in the past (But have not owned one). Can I ask a question first: Is there a specific reason you have picked a 456? Its a very different car to a porsche in terms of handling etc

Dermot
 

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I owned a 456 GT 6 speed for about a year. On the positive side it is a very comfortable car to drive great distances in. I drove mine from one end of Europe to the other and did not need an appointment with the chiropraticer afterwards. Engine is terrific; it is fast rather than quick due to the weight of the car. At 100 mph the 456 GT just sits on the highway eating up the miles. 2 adults and 2 kids fit comfortably and it has enough luggage room for a couple of decent size bags. You can even jam 2 adults in the back for short trips. For a 12 cylinder Ferrari, they are reasonable to buy. IMHO, definitely one of Pininfarinas best designs.

On the negative, I thought that they were full depreciated but turned out to be wrong. The window seals are crap and wind noise at high speed is just part of the cars charm. I understand that they more or less fixed this on the 456 M GT. I bought a car with a full service history that had been well cared for by both the prior owners. Despite this I still ended up spending about $5000 in maintenance which included a clutch replacement, new horn, minor electrical problem rectifications, seat motor repairs, etc. All in, by far the most expensive Ferrari I have owned.

In the end however the decision to sell was as much based on the personal preference as it was cost. To drive, the 456 GT does a lot of things really well. Probably too well for my taste. It is the only Ferrari I have owned where I always had the stereo on vs the others where I find myself listening to the engine etc. Net net, we did not bond. I had similar experience with a 911 (993).

If you do decide to buy a 456 GT, go through the car with a microscope yourself first. Make sure everything electrical works not only when the car is sitting on the driveway, but also when pushing it hard on the road. Wiring on these can be an issue and connections that seem OK when sitting, come loose the first bump you hit in the road. The rear shocks are another weak point and will need replacing at some point in the 1st decade. Make sure this has been done as it is a $$$$ job. The clutches are fairly strong but when they start to go, the end is quick. Make sure it is in good condition with a lot of life left. The engine mounts and steering rack also degrade over time. One telling sign is if the nose dives when you hit the brakes. Make sure the stereo works properly as they are near impossible to replace. They are no longer made. After you have done all this, then I would get a Ferrari trained mechanic you trust to do a full Pre Purchase Inspection. The cost of fixing anything on a 456 GT is more than the PPI cost.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for all the thoughtful input. Right now, I drive a 2006 911 S, which is the best and most responsive Porsche I've ever owned, excepting a 993 911 Turbo (but that's another story). As a follow up question, if I'm choosing between a 456 and a 550, which way do I go? Is the 550 generall considered to be much more a driver's car? Which will hold it's price better, assuming both can be had for about half the original sticker for a car 5 yrs old?
 

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Go for the 550 - As Boxer comments, the 456 is a great powerfull car, but its heavy and at least for me is not a car you can throw around like a Porsche

Derm
 

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Change your plan

I would walk away from the 456s, unless you are in for comfort, A/C, stereos, etc. etc. Nothing wrong with those civilized amenities, if that's what you are looking for. But then, is there much difference between AMG SL55, BMW M's, etc. ??? Personally speaking, not very much when I shut my eyes and compare. If you are looking for other qualities from a Ferrari V12, there are other choices, but not the 550. I see the 550s running around the streets of Tokyo but it doesn't excite me much both visually and sensually, albeit this is a personal response. From the practical standpoint, lots of $$$ for maintenance and the market value is flat at best. I'll stop now cause I must have upset some 456 owners, which is not my intention. Good luck in your search, whatever turns you on is fine purchase. Jimmy
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Okay, so what are your next (ideal) car purchases filling the criteria:

Front engine V-12, fun to drive, $120 k or less?
 

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FerrariFan said:
Okay, so what are your next (ideal) car purchases filling the criteria:

Front engine V-12, fun to drive, $120 k or less?
If that is the criteria then a 550 Maranello. You can get them for around 120k and it is a much better car than the 456.
 

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Carburated 365GTB/4

Personally, if you are in for fun and great engine sound, and with the said limitation set, my choice would be the 365GTB/4. Severely undervalued. Whether you like the looks is a personal preference. Jimmy
 

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My error

Boxer said:
Agree that the 365GTB/4 is one of the great Ferraris. Unfortunately good ones are now $175K and up.
Sorry, Boxer. I made a mistake. What I meant by "for the said limitations" was 365GTC/4 not 365GTB (Daytona). Of course, Daytona is truly the last of the real Enzo's front V-12 Colombo engine which is destined to be a classic despite the large production numbers. The 365GTC/4 is still very modest in market value, but is an absolute fun car that is V-12 front loaded with heart pounding engine note. And yes, Daytona's price is moving up and up very fast.
 
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