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Scott Stokes (Desert_trojan)
New member
Username: Desert_trojan

Post Number: 2
Registered: 11-2002
Posted on Tuesday, December 03, 2002 - 10:04 pm:   

Thanks for all the suggestions.

I one more question. I've found an '88 Testrossa with reasonably low mileage (13-15k), a recent major service, all records, manuals, tools, etc. The asking price is in the low $60k's. Is this a reasonable price. I've heard that the Testrossa market is very soft right now and I have never purchased a Ferrari. How much can I expect a seller to come off their price, if any?
Russ Moore (Rem9)
Junior Member
Username: Rem9

Post Number: 107
Registered: 6-2001
Posted on Thursday, November 28, 2002 - 10:12 pm:   

Look for a while before leaping. Subscribe to the Ferrari Market Newsletter which will give you a great deal of information regarding asking prices. Be very cautious of cars listed on auction sites. Be very sure you are not buying something pieced back together after a wreck. I was able to find an 86 TR with only 12K on the clock and it was flawless except based on age I wanted to do the 15K service. I did it myself and learned alot. Ask lots of questions. Very importand is the presentation of service records. It will give a good indication of the level of care the PO gave the car. My suggestion is to buy the cleanest and best maintained car you can afford. It is a false economy buying a "bargain". All too often the new owner finds it was more expensive than buying the car that didn't need much. Yes, parts for TRs are expensive, but the ride is beyond compare. The use of third gear makes you feel like a kid again.
Best of luck in your search. Glad to assist in answering any questions.

william speer (Wspeer)
Junior Member
Username: Wspeer

Post Number: 102
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Thursday, November 28, 2002 - 8:48 pm:   

i have a 1987 testarossa with 31k miles on it. i don't drive the car as much as now as i did in the past, but i really haven't had too many problems with the car considering it is 15 years old. sure, little things have gone wrong here and there, but all-in-all, it has been a good car. in hindsight, i would not pay a premium for the low mileage as i planned to drive the car. the greatest thing about my car was that my mechanic had worked on the car for the previous owner, so i knew exactly what to expect.

if buying from a ferrari dealer, they probably will only accept a great car as a trade-in. clearly, they do not want to tarnish the marque, so i would expect more, as well as to pay more. the "rust" jeff talks about is most likely electrolysis, which was common on the early cars as the door skin was made of aluminum and the door frame was steel that wasn't proctected.

in my opinion, the higher mileage cars have been used and therefore are more likely to have had the bugs sorted out. but then again, do you place a valkue on bragging rights associated with a low mileage car? if not, take a nice clean car and enjoy it. that is what these cars are for.
Jeff Green (Carguy)
New member
Username: Carguy

Post Number: 38
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Thursday, November 28, 2002 - 9:20 am:   

Hello Scott, I too am new to Ferrari ownership, having just bought an '87 Testarossa. Reliability between older and newer models I believe is about the same, pretty good. About miles on the car, I bought mine at 30k with the services done and it's been fine with no problems other than a bad coil wire connection. IMO a car with 25-30k miles that's been maintained can be more reliable than one with fewer miles because lots of little things have been sorted out already. These cars do require some tinkering every now and then, but that's part of the fun. As far as dealer warranty I have no idea, probably not much beyond 6 months unless you pay a hidden premium. Buying from a dealer can ease some stress however as opposed to buying privately. But I would guess that a dealer would be 10-15K more dollars than private seller for the same car. These cars have weak electrical connections at the fuse panel, so be sure to check there for overheated or burned terminals. Check for rust in the bottom of the doors, particularly near the rear of the doors. Check the underbody for wrinkled or dented panels that may indicate prior damage, also if there is excessive undercoating that may be hiding something. If the car has motorized shoulder belts make sure they work properly, or deduct 1-2k from the price. If the car is missing the jack, spare, and tool kit deduct another 1-2k or so (these are commonly kept as momentos by previous owners - darn it! ) If you get a TR before 88.5 model year it will have knock-off wheels like the boxers. These are racey but can be a pain. Aftermarket wheels are limited as I'm finding out for these cars. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING is service history paperwork. If the car had it's major service, timing belts, valve adjustments, clutch, this is good. If not, figure from 6-10k for this work! Something I noticed on my car was that the windshield was perfect.....looking into the seat tracks I found 1 little piece of broken glass. I asked if this car had been wrecked....the owner said no. He said he was trying to adjust the rear view mirror but it was stuck, so he used BIG time force and broke the windshield! This turned out to be a good thing. But really look every inch of the car over, ask any question that pops into your head no matter how dumb it might seem. Bottom line is there has never been a better time to get a Ferrari than right now. TR's are really low right now, and a nice mid-80's car can be bought in the 50-60k range. Perfect TR's are only up in the 70-80k range. I wish mine was perfect, but I'm just a regular guy who is sacraficing a lot to have my car the way it is. I will get it close to perfect over time, but that is also part of the fun. All my ramblings here are my opinion only, and I welcome any comments by others more knowledgeable, although maybe not as handsome. Just kidding! Good Luck with your search and keep us posted. Jeff
Scott Stokes (Desert_trojan)
New member
Username: Desert_trojan

Post Number: 1
Registered: 11-2002
Posted on Thursday, November 28, 2002 - 12:09 am:   

I am looking for my first Ferrari. Being that my father had a boxer when I was growing up in the early 80's, I'm partial to the 512's, and am leaning towards a Testarossa. I like the 80's/early 90's bodystyle. My question is: 1) is there any difference with reliability between the earlier TR's and the later models? 2) Should I be hesitant to buy a higher mileage car (25-30k miles) even if it has been kept in good repair? 3)Would I be better off a newer model with higher mileage, or something a little older with fewer miles? 4) What kind of warranty can be expected (if any) from a dealer? 5) How much more can I expect to pay from a dealer, opposed to a private party, and is it worth it?

Any suggestions would be appreciated...

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