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Old 05-18-2017, 09:27 AM
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I Miss my 360 3 pedal - What is the replacement?

Greetings -

A few years ago, in a fit of fear as I contemplated a new clutch, catalytic converter replacement, and a few other odds and ends, I decided to sell my 3 pedal 360 spider. The timing was perfect - for the buyer. I sold it just before the 3 pedal cars moved higher, watching my "ex" gain significantly over the last few years. But that's life, and no point getting upset about it.

The question now is: If I want to replace my 360 spider, in today's market, what's the best way to go? Some info: I'm a "senior citizen" - that means someone stole my 35 year old body and gave me this one -- complete with arthritis and decades worth of wear and tear. My wife also shares my arthritis and even though I enjoy a great sports car, I wonder about those low seats over the coming years.

I have always had a manual transmission sports car, and the thought of a F1 bothers me. On the other hand, having driven the F430 and newer cars, I must admit that in those cars an F1 transmission is a very good match - getting the most out of the car all the time. The issue is I'm no longer looking to get every ounce of testosterone into my driving experience, and having a car shift in 60 microseconds isn't necessarily as much fun as "rowing your own".

I also have 3 grandsons - all under 8 years old. The idea of a "2+2" has some appeal as I can see myself in a more comfortable car (sorry, at my age I actually think of that) and have room for the grandkids. I live 90 miles from one child, 175 to the other - perfect distances to enjoy a nice ride, particularly on back roads.

So, my thought is to consider a F430 if I want to replace the 360 spider, or maybe a 612 if I want the 2+2. As I consider these cars I believe that at current prices the F430 F1 is very reasonable ($100-135K or so), but I'm unsure about earlier 2005-2006 versus the later 2008+ cars. Your thoughts are invited. I've heard some horror stories from owners about replacement cost for the CCB brakes, along with the common header problems and exhaust issues. I don't like aftermarket exhausts - too loud and not enjoyable, at least for me.

The 612 F1 has a pretty wide price range, likely because there are fewer of them, but I'm sure with a little work I can find an appropriate car. The 612 manual transmission cars seem to have moved to levels far beyond my idea of reasonable. I don't know very much about this model, having only sat in one, unlike the F430 which I've been able to drive several times. Your experiences are welcome.

Finally, I've also considered other cars - largely to avoid my prior history of unexpected and sometimes expensive repairs. I'm intrigued by the Ford Shelby GT350, which is now more available at sticker price, particularly the manual nature of that car. Yes, it's a bit of heresy(but at least the car's symbol is still a horse!). The car's flat plane crank does try to mimic the Ferrari sound - it's not really the same, but for $60K I didn't expect it would be. My friend bought one and I was impressed. The Recaro seats are not to my taste, but there is a comfort seat option for 2017 that could work for me. I also went for a test ride in the new Miata - enjoyed it, but it's not really comparable to a Ferrari (the Shelby really isn't either - interior materials are definitely several notches lower, but it is a lot of fun to drive), but it's a pretty cheap entry into what will definitely be an "occasional" driver. I also own a Moto Guzzi California 1400 Custom - an amazingly fun motorcycle - it's a heavy machine, very comfortable, with lots of electronic nannies and ABS to keep me under control. It keeps my Italian heritage alive, but my wife no longer rides with me, and I would never consider giving a young grandson a ride on it. If any of you are looking for the equivalent of a GT motorcycle I highly recommend it, and it has a very Italian exhaust note!

So, finally, my question. Do you think that the F430 or the 612 would scratch my Ferrari itch? What about running costs, future depreciation, etc.? I'm not against buying from a private seller, but I also don't mind paying a bit more to get a car from a top notch broker or franchised dealer to minimize future potential problems. Am I completely crazy to consider these cars? What about an alternative, like the Shelby, Miata, or the many used Porsches that always seem to be available?

Sorry for the long post, but it's been a while since I considered a Ferrari, and I've been absolutely amazed at the prices - I remember considering a 512TR for less than I paid to buy the 360 Spider - now that car is worth about the same as a 458 Italia! Or the 550 Maranello that was even less expensive, now worth more than a mint F430 spider! The moral is clear - never sell a Ferrari!

Last edited by lencap; 05-18-2017 at 09:34 AM.
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Old 05-18-2017, 09:58 AM
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Sounds to me like the best choice would be the GT350. It should be very reliable, and if you do have issues repairs are dirt cheap compared to a Ferrari. The grandsons will love it, and won't care what badge it has on it.

The 612 is also a great choice though but its running costs will be alot higher. It'd be alot more exclusive and you'll get looks from a different crowd with it.

End of the day I think you're looking at the classic new vs used decision. Do you want a new car with a warranty that is unlikely to have major issues, or a used car which will cost more to maintain, but has a much higher quality interior?
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Old 05-18-2017, 10:15 AM
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Just throwing it out there, but I think an E9x M3 would be a lot of fun and fit your needs. It's also a hell of a lot cheaper. ($25-40k depending on factors)

6 speed trans available, 4 real adult sized seats, comfortable, pretty solid in terms of reliability.

Three versions were made, that's why i wrote "E9x"

E92-coupe
E93-convertible
E90-sedan
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Old 05-18-2017, 10:21 AM
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Could you stretch to a 550 Maranello? It would be more comfortable, guaranteed to have the manual you love...and just so spectacular looking.

An E39 M5 or E60 M5 would be a nice addition for fun with the grandkids when they're all together...
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Old 05-18-2017, 10:38 AM
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Thanks for the help. I agree that my choice is indeed new versus "used". I also realize that I'm more than a bit of a snob, in that I appreciate and enjoy my vehicles regardless of what others may think/say about my choices. When I drove my 360 spider I enjoyed every minute, whether I was at VIR trying to master the car and the course, or puttering along at 35 MPH on a small side street. The top was down all the time, even in a light mist. I didn't care what people thought about me or the car. It was my enjoyment, not meant to impress people or be gawked at. Getting to master the shifting gate without clanking was my daily high point.

My wife has a BMW335d - it's an automatic tranny (no manual was available with the diesel). The car pumps out 429 lb/ft of torque and it's available from 1600 RPM to near redline. The engine is a twin screw turbo - lots of fun. I considered an M3, even found a low mileage M3 manual tranny locally, but it's very similar to my wife's car and doesn't seem sufficiently different to buy the car. I was thinking that something different would be a better match - hence the Shelby and the Miata, but I'm open to suggestions.

As was mentioned, the 612 seems to be an interesting choice. I don't really know what pricing is for the cars - I've seen them below $70K and above $150K - each with a F1 tranny. At the lower end of those prices (sub $100K for a clean car) it has a lot of attraction. I've always loved 12 cylinder cars, having owned a BMW 850, and the thought of a Ferrari 12 is very appealing. Does anyone know about repair issues with this car?

The Shelby is a definite possibility, but somehow I am more concerned about "buyer's remorse" with that car. Yes, it has a "horsey" on it, but it's not the "horsey" I had before. Over the years I've had few American cars - not trying to avoid them or be a snob, I just preferred lighter weight, good handling machines with modest but usable horsepower to high HP "burnout" machines that were front heavy and didn't handle particularly well. I've owned several Alfas (GTV-6, 164LS, Spider), Fiat 850 spider (bought new for $2250 - I'm really old), Porsche 911, several BMWs - 850/3 Series/5 Series, and Mercedes, Jaguar and others for the "road car". My current stable is the 335d and an E350 Mercedes. Both are relatively new, easy to care for and accomplish what I want - a fun car for my wife (she's very aggressive with it when she's in the mood), and a comfortable ride for those 3 hour rides to see the kids. But neither of them is a Ferrari, has three pedals, or makes me want to just get in and drive for hours. The Moto Guzzi comes closest, and truth be told that's probably a good solution - it fits in my two car garage with my cars, and is fully manual. You can't drive a motorcycle without being fully engaged. No cup holders, radio or even a fairing - just the road and me. I've been riding for 40+ years, gave it up at least three times, but given a 2 car garage and fiscal prudence in retirement, it seems like a good solution.

The 550 is the car I should have bought when I got the 360. In fact, I could have bought a 550 AND the 360 for today's 550 price alone. That ship sailed for me - I have a very hard time buying one at current prices. The M5 is an interesting machine, but it's very heavy and has some upkeep quirks that are potentially expensive to fix. I've driven several, and while they're fun, they are more of the GT ride, not a sports ride. That's fine, but it seems like a bit of a compromise to me.

Still, the 612 has my interest as does the F430. The Shelby seems reasonable as well - likely will begin to lose residual value quickly as they will produce it again in 2018, and both the Camaro and Mustang updates make the non Shelby cars plenty potent for a therapeutic ride.

Thanks for the comment - please keep them coming. They are very welcome and helpful.
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Old 05-18-2017, 11:09 AM
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I just subscribed to the FML and checked out the current prices. The 612 seems to be a $135K car - pretty similar to a well cared for F430. I thought the 612 was quite a bit lower in price - what a difference a few years makes! At that price I may be less interested, but we'll see. The idea is finding the right car, not getting bogged down on pricing early on.

And so the discussion continues....
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Old 05-18-2017, 11:34 AM
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You can get early MY (2005-2006) 612 for less than that. The OTOs (2008 and beyond) will be at the higher end. Note that the 612 is subject to sticky switch gear (like all Ferraris), but it has A LOT of switches and plastic to rectify - ask me how I know... It is also subject to shrinking dash leather, again, like most Ferraris... Those are costly corrections on a 612, even if you do the labor of pulling it all apart and reassemble yourself... It honestly sounds like a front engine V12 GT car will suit you better than the mid engine V8s, and on paper the 612 seems like a good option.
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Old 05-18-2017, 11:49 AM
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I am afraid you are no longer a candidate for a Ferrari (at least a modern one.)

I am in the same boat (wanting M tranny and complete with arthritis,...)

Do not fret, there are Lamborghinis for all out sports cars, Audi has made them tolerably reliable.
There are Aston Martins for sleek GT, and there are Mustangs, Dodge Demons, Corvettes,... all without F1 trannies.
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Old 05-18-2017, 11:53 AM
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I'll provide my opinion...

Before I bought my 430, I considered a GT350R. I like the looks, the flat plane crank but in the end it isn't a Ferrari. Keep in mind that I worked at Ford for 15 years and was a Ford owner prior to my stint at the automaker so I have been a Ford fan for some time. But in the end it doesn't have the "special" feeling that I get when driving in my 430. Don;t get me wrong, I like the GT350 and have even considered buying one, but in the end I look at my Ferrari and I ask the question, "what will the GT350 offer me over my 430?". My answer is, "nothing". I get in my 430 and see the humped fenders in front of me and that red intake behind me and I understand why I bought the car.

I have a feeling that if you were to buy a GT350, in less than a month, you'll regret the decision especially after having owned a 360. I would personally look at the 430 as it is very close to your previous 360 albeit there are vehicle and powertrain upgrades.

YMMV.

Tony
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Old 05-18-2017, 01:09 PM
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Maybe a 456 ?
Older but if you find one that has been well cared for and well maintained, you will have plenty left over for parts/repairs.
As far as Ferraris with back seats, I just prefer the look of the 456 over the 612.
Manual 456s are going up in price, at least it appears that way to me.
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Old 05-18-2017, 01:50 PM
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Old 05-18-2017, 02:07 PM
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I will NEVER own a Mustang. Well.. never say never. I may one day decide that I want to leave cars and coffee and run something over. Until then, I don't care how fast they are or how competent they are. I could never leave a restaurant or store walk outside and see one of the three mustangs at any one time in the parking lot and say to myself: "Oh there's my car." I . Just. Can't.

When the time for the little peep is in our lives and I want to share that experience, I'm going to use my 997 or perhaps at a later time a 991. Consider them, they're great cars.

I've also considered a Cali perhaps as a 2+2. It's comfortable and the children could go in the back. 612 is also really cool. I wonder though if the car market is cooling... of course, I'll never sell my 3 pedal 360.
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Old 05-18-2017, 03:09 PM
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What about a Maserati 4200? Seats four. So, even in 10 years 2 of your grandsons would fit in. Unluckily only 8 cylinders. No serious problems known and the engine has some genes from the 430.
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Old 05-18-2017, 03:16 PM
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A 5 or 6 year old barely used Aston Martin DB 9 w/ a manual would fit your bill. In fact, I just saw a door Aston Rapide, barely used, for about $80.
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Old 05-18-2017, 03:51 PM
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Good suggestions, and some reality. VR and others are suggesting my fear as well - I buy the Shelby, have a brief torrid affair, and then find that I bought the wrong "pony". I haven't done a burn-out since my teen years, and I'm likely not going to start now.

I just drove a 2014 Jaguar Type F, V6, automatic. The car on paper should be a strong contender. In reality the turbo lag is enough to drive you crazy. Has all the bells and whistles, but doesn't do it for me. The asking price was $49K.

I also visited the largest local Ford dealer - his 2017 350GT allocation is filled. He's a big dealer gets about 25 a year - all gone. He said he'll protect me on a 2018 if I want, and he'll sell it at sticker. Some discrepancy as to whether or not the 2018 GT350 gets a minor facelift. Most internet sites say no, the dealer isn't so sure. An option if I need it.

I'm also kicking myself about a MINT 2015 911 Carrera from a local seller about 3 months ago. It was black/black, MANUAL tranny, sport wheel, sunroof and not much else. 6K miles, could be a concours winner - the paint was perfect and he was a fanatic keeping that way. Still under warranty, he offered it me for $69K. I thought long and hard, didn't pull the trigger, and by the time I decided "why not?" it was gone.

Can anyone give me your experience with the F430? Is the cracked header problem unavoidable? Have many of you replaced the stock exhaust with an aftermarket version? Is that necessary? Any unusual clutch/tranny issues?

I've located two from a high quality independent dealer in my state. One is a 2007 spider, the other a 2008 coupe. Both are priced at $137,500. Colors are "OK" - grigio titanio/grey leather on the spider, 7K miles, mostly stock - including the exhaust. All black on the coupe., 11.5K miles, recent service from Continental Motorsports including filters, spark plugs, accessory belts, oil change, Ferrari upgraded stereo. Exhaust appears stock, but not certain.

No 612s around that I can find within 200 miles of me.

I looked into the 456 pretty hard when I bought the 360, but I decided that if I went that way I'd prefer the 456M version - that's hard to find now, and anything with 3 pedals is at a premium.

The other car I "let get away" was a brand new 2015 Aston Martin when AM was closing them out and put together a "factory special". The car was brand new from the authorized AM dealer in my state, and had a list price of $105K - that was nearly 35K lower than the same identical car the prior year due to AM trying to close out their inventory. The care was silver/black, the only downside was a ridiculous looking stripe along both flanks low on the door/fenders with some dumb lettering on it. Still, it was a manual new car, kind of rare, and priced in Porsche territory. That was probably as good as it was going to get.

I'm a bit amazed that only Porsche is still on the manual tranny bandwagon. I would think that there are enough of us who like three pedals that some smart manufacturer would cater to the obvious demand. Porsche has the new 2018 GT3 with a manual tranny - a heck of a car, and after that there's not much to pick from. My Porsche dealer told me that I probably can't get one - they will be limited and, like Ferrari, I haven't yet paid the "dealer tax" by buying a few cars from him already.

And I'm pretty sure that whether I consider a GT350, Camaro or Corvette, the car itself will be fine, but that voice in my head will say "Why did you settle when you know that's not what you want?" I'm afraid that a F1 tranny F430 may have the same voice in my head after our initial affair. What is it about manual transmissions? They are old, inefficient and make no sense, yet I love them.
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Old 05-18-2017, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lencap View Post
I'm a bit amazed that only Porsche is still on the manual tranny bandwagon. I would think that there are enough of us who like three pedals that some smart manufacturer would cater to the obvious demand.
Porsche, Lamborghini, Corvette, Aston Martin all have 3 pedal trannies.

Buy from a manufacturer that understands what you want!
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Old 05-18-2017, 04:25 PM
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I have a GT350, along with a 360, 97 Viper GTS, and 13 C6Z06. The GT350 fills
a spot of a nice all around car. Roomy, ok rear seats, easy to drive in traffic,
see out of, comfortable( I have the sofa seats) handles good, great brakes, and a nice engine, but....
You need to keep the boil on the motor if you want to move it, if you track
it sounds like most like it for track work.

A lot of Porsche drivers have one for daily and track time, so can not be all bad.
It is a fun car. That said, I do not share the rabid enthusiasm, and comments like
"It feels 500 pounds lighter than it is" make me chuckle.....to me it is a great
all around GT car, and I can definitely feel the weight and somewhat less refined
shock/ rebound tuning, but for the money it is probably a Best Buy for what it does.

That said, reading your comments, I would steer you to a nice used 991 Carrera,
you have the back seats in case you need them, and try out a 991 with Sport
plus PDK, I know not manual, and I also covet manuals, but you may be surprised.
Or a little more budget a couple year old Turbo, probably best all around car
on the planet, if you only had one. I am looking at dumping the GT350 and
getting into a late model Carrera S or GTS myself, maybe a Turbo.
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Old 05-18-2017, 04:59 PM
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Z - thanks for your post - I appreciate your thoughts about the GT350 and the rest of your fine garage. My best friend of 50+ years (high school) is a Ford fanatic, having owned everything from a Boss 429 (bought nearly new), the 2006 Ford GT, and many Mustangs, including the Boss 302 and a 2016 Shelby GT350. He's driven my cars, and I've driven his, but haven't yet tried his GT350 (he's in CA, I'm in NC).

He thinks my Ferrari fixation is kind of crazy - he enjoyed driving my car, and has driven both the F430 and 458 Italia at Willow Springs several times. He does track his GT350, and he's an exceptional driver. I have neither his skills, or his nerve, to drive as he does. I'm pretty sure I could take a 458 on the track and he can drive a Miata and give me a run for my money. He thinks that the GT350 will give me "all I want" and more. He agrees that below 3500-4000 RPMs there is not as much excitement as on the higher end of the tach, but as he says, not many cars that I drive/enjoy have lots of torque on the low end anyway.

I must admit I loved his Ford GT, and he allowed me to play with it at Willow Springs - quite a good friend! I took it and played, and he ran right behind me with a stock Mustang GT. When he took the wheel of the GT he beat my time by such an embarrassing amount that we both laughed.

Anyway, the point is that I don't drive like he does, and never did/could. I enjoy playing on the track, but typically as I approach 8/10s, I'm about as far as I'm going. He's a solid 10/10 on the track. Since I'm not doing that, I'm not really worried about a 177 MPH top speed - which he regularly hits on various tracks.

I wonder if every Ferrari is overkill for me. I live in a mid sized city, and radar/laser is heavily used everywhere. In 2nd gear I'm over the limit with any Ferrari, and most other high end sports cars. That's where the Miata came in - it's a lot of fun to drive a slow car fast, and not very much fun to drive a fast car slow.

By the way, he also took my commuter VW Passat Manual transmission TDI to VIR and reached 106 MPH. That may not sound impressive, but VW lists the top speed of the car at 110, and he was riding stock tires with 20K miles on them.

Thanks to everyone for the posts/opinions/thoughts. They really are helping me narrow my focus and reach a decision. In retrospect, I wish I had given more thought to the Aston Martin or the Porsche. Both would have been ideal.
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Old 05-18-2017, 05:13 PM
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When my son was about 10 years old I replaced my 997 911 Turbo with the 612 since he complained about lack of space in the back in the 911, and I wanted a special car the entire family could go in - and it was a good excuse for me to try something else Just a heads up that if you plan to ferry your grand children around in the 911 you could face similar "complaints" as they grow. Since being able to take more people is part of your plan, I would make sure to assess the ability of each of the cars you are considering.
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Old 05-18-2017, 05:40 PM
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F Type would of had a supercharger, not a turbo.

Surprised you had lag issues, typically the SC is there to negate Turbo lag issues.
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