Are High Miles or Low Miles Better on a 328?

Discussion in '308/328' started by Dabbling, Mar 16, 2005.

  1. ATTENTION: http/https Bug Fix! Most of us have been experiencing problems staying logged in as we navigate the site. That is simply the result of links varying between http and https, which each require different logons. To resolve we are going to force https starting sometime Wednesday. However, you may have problems accessing FerrariChat until after you log out, clear cookies/browser cache, and log back on. Keep in mind my email is if you do have access problems after Wednesday. Thanks!
  1. Dabbling

    Dabbling Rookie

    Mar 16, 2005
    I'm in the market for a 328. I've heard different opinions regarding the number of miles on the auto. One school of thought is that higher miles on the car means it's been used and the engine is in better shape. Some say low miles might mean bad seals, etc.

    Obviously, low mileage cars in the typical market have a higher "perceived" resale market value; however, assuming all maintenance has been performed on a 328, is it better to have high or low miles?

    One more question: I've seen some cars with the Ferrari logo on the side of the car and just forward of the door. Is this only on certain models, or just a cosmetic option?

  2. Bullfighter

    Bullfighter Two Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Jan 26, 2005
    Pepper Pike
    Full Name:
    I'll defer to more experienced f-chatters for the technical reasons why 'garage queens' can be trouble. From what I've seen/read/heard, though, cars that have never been driven (400 miles in 18 years, etc.) are gonna have issues. This isn't a Ferrari-only issue. Also, a car that gets a couple thousand miles a year is 'better' than one that was driven like mad when new and then sat in a barn for 12 years.

    OTOH, I'm looking now and I'm not too interested in cars with over 50K miles. So there's your random sample of one...

    The logo you're referring to is probably the scuderia shields on the fenders, which I believe is a racing badge. Some people like to add decals or actual (expensive) metal badges on the 3x8 series for cosmetic reasons, although these cars were produced strictly for street use.

    Hope this helps.

    Luck with your search for the right car.

  3. Iain

    Iain F1 Rookie

    Jan 21, 2005
    Depends what you mean by "high miles". If I was looking for a car now to keep then my ideal car would have between 18 & 25K on it + records to show regular annual mileage (i.e no gaps of 5 years with little or no use). If I found a car at 27-30K then I'd be looking for some allowance in the price for the impending 30K major service. I'd tend not to look at cars over 45K miles.

    Bear in mind though its pretty easy to disconnect the odo on these cars so service records that show recorded mileage are your friend.

    As for the shields - they were not an option on 328s AFAIK. Some purists will say they should only go on race cars - but then again Ferrari offer them now on most of the range as an optional extra - so who's to say?

    I just don't like the look of 'em on a 308/328 (which has nothing to do with fretting over the race car issue - I just don't like the way they look!). Most of the ones I have seen on older cars just tend to be stickers. I think the ones put on the newer cars by the factory are proper enamel badges and they do look better.

  4. ScuderiaRossa

    ScuderiaRossa Formula 3

    Mar 22, 2001
    I purchased my GTB three years ago with 22K miles. I now have 27K. I try to put 1500 miles a year on it, year round, weather permitting. Also had a major service done, third in the car's history. Mileage theoretically forces regular service, which can catch small things before they become large problems.
  5. Dr Tommy Cosgrove

    Dr Tommy Cosgrove Two Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    May 4, 2001
    Birmingham, AL
    Full Name:
    If you find a 328 with 6800 miles on it you should subtract about $10,000 from whatever crazy price they are asking just for starters. I have posted a lot on this subject and I will be happy to be on record as saying that I rarely believe most milages below 40K or so now. It is too easy to disconnect the sending unit on the speedo. If you don't just give it time and the sending unit will go bad on it's own. I know this for a fact. Mine quit working back in 2000 and I saw in the paperwork history that it had been replaced once even before that. These things are usually kept secret for obvious reasons. I could care less who knows this about my car because I'm never selling it. I also know at least 10 other cars out there who have had "similar" problems if you know what I mean. Low milage cars ARE out their but you're taking a chance. Now IF it REALLY has 6800 miles on it you just open another can of repair worms. If you want a concourse car to trailer around to events then go for it. Just don't expect to get a good driver unless you plan on fixing and replacing some items for more $$$$.
    If you want a good running driver's car don't be afraid of 50-60K miles. These are durable cars and can EASILY go way past 100K if maintained well. Mine shows 92K on the clock (plus extra - see above). I bought it with 57K in 1997 and I have put it thru things that really should have killed it. LOTS of track time. LOTS of weekend driving. Still runs great.
  6. Dr Tommy Cosgrove

    Dr Tommy Cosgrove Two Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    May 4, 2001
    Birmingham, AL
    Full Name:
    I almost forgot. Those fender shields you are asking about were put there by the owner not the factory. I have seen some really good metal ones set in the fender. Most of the time it is just a sticker on a magnet.
  7. Tired of seeing this ad? Upgrade now
  8. Husker

    Husker F1 Veteran

    Dec 31, 2003
    western hemisphere
    Buy on condition, not miles.
  9. DBR328&330

    DBR328&330 Formula Junior

    May 31, 2001
    Winchester, VA
    Full Name:
    Daniel Reese

    Condition and history. Not miles.

    My 52,000 mile 328 GTB scored 98 points at Cavallino. I would not dicount it a bit for the "high" miles,

  10. Nuvolari

    Nuvolari F1 Rookie
    Sponsor Owner

    Sep 3, 2002
    Toronto / SoCal
    Full Name:
    Rob C.
    You want a car with RECENT mileage and RECENT receipts. I bought my 77 GTB with 18K on the clock. The last 8K was in the last 2 years. This also came with $36K in receipts for those 2 years. Since I have owned it I have bearly spent a penny on it. Even those cars that are advertised with 'recent service' are not all great. They need to have been recently driven to work out all the bugs.

    With that said buy condition and not miles however be aware that higher miles lessens the value of the car on the market but it makes it no less of a good car.
  11. Gatorrari

    Gatorrari F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Feb 27, 2004
    Full Name:
    Jim Pernikoff
    My '86 had about 48k miles when I bought it early last year; now it's over 52k. I've had to replace a lot of old parts, but for the most part they were parts worn out due to age, not mileage. I think a car that has been driven at least 2000 miles a year, every year, should be ideal.

    The shields are now a factory option on the current models. I found two varieties of magnetic shields; one style is dead flat and looks a bit tacky, but a slightly more expensive version has a high-gloss finish and a slightly rounded edge that makes it look like the expensive metal and resin shields. I have a pair of these on the car right now and they look like they were factory-installed! They cost a grand total of $20 at T. Rutlands! And, of course, I can always remove them easily if I have a change of mind.
  12. Dr Tommy Cosgrove

    Dr Tommy Cosgrove Two Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    May 4, 2001
    Birmingham, AL
    Full Name:
    You make a good point about the parts wearing out with age not milage. However if you buy a car with milage too those parts have most likely been replaced. Let the previous owner pay for this, not you.
  13. steve f

    steve f F1 World Champ

    Mar 15, 2004
    12cylinder town
    Full Name:
    the more miles its done the better it drives provided its been maintaned properly
  14. Tired of seeing this ad? Upgrade now
  15. hardtop

    hardtop F1 World Champ

    Jan 31, 2002
    Full Name:
    Depends on the car.

    In 1997, I bought an 87 328 with 33K on it. It had great records and was a good car for me. Subsequent owners have had a good experience too. It now has over 50K on it.

    In 2001, I bought an 89 328 GTB with 7K on it. It also had great records. One long term owner had all the fluids (including brake) changed regularly even though driven very little. It's been a great car with no sitting issues. It now has 17K on it.

    HOWEVER, a car that has sat in a garage for 5 years with flat tires and no fluid changes is going to need lots of sorting whether it has 5K or 50K on it.

    BTW, there are some "low mileage" cars out there that don't look it. One with less than 15K on it should look virtually new inside, outside and especially underneath. From what I have seen, I think you are more likely to see cars showing 25K that have been rolled back. I have seen some that looked more like 60K+. At 25K they should just show light wear to the interior and be overall still very nice.

  16. scorpion

    scorpion Formula Junior

    Jan 19, 2004
    A very substantial percentage of the low mileage cars look like they either had the speedometer disconnected for 50,000 miles or simply rolled over 100,000. On the other hand there are truly some flawless examples to be had. As far as what to buy - if you plan on driving the car, screw the mileage - buy a solid, well maintained car. A few minor cosmetic issues (meaning not rusty, missing trim, major dents, etc) are not really a big deal. If you drive a perfect car the first chip or ding you get (you will get these) will flush the $$$$ premium you pay for a perfect car down the toilet. If you don't plan on driving (there seem to be plenty of these type of owners out there) go for VERY low miles and NO blemishes. That way when you get tired of just looking at the car you can sell it off to someone else who wants to admire the Ferrari in their garage.
  17. flyingboa

    flyingboa Formula 3

    Nov 27, 2003
    Full Name:
    What can i say?
    I bought my 328 with 12500 REAL miles 18 months ago. Single owner, car had been sitting in a garage during the last 6 years with regular fire up.
    I put 6000 miles since (mainly during the last 6 months) and I never had a serious issue. I am in love with the car and hope to keep it.
  18. TM328

    TM328 Karting

    Jul 26, 2004
    New England
    It really does not make a difference if its high or low milage. If you want a virtually new car with the looks of a 328 then buy a low milage car that has records and expect to be changing seals for minor oill leaks.
    If you want a car that has proved its worth on the road and has good milage then plan on replacing parts more often. While you are replacing the worn parts such as cam belts,clutchs, and pumps you might as well put some new seals in because you are already in there. Does anyone here think it could actually cost less to buy and operate a low milage car.
  19. PMDDMD

    PMDDMD Formula Junior

    Apr 1, 2004
    I purchased y 1988.5 GTS one year ago with 7104 "verified" miles on it. Prior to its delivery I had a major done and ALL "rubber changed". From May to October I put over 4K vigorous miles on it and I found that the more I drove it, the better it ran. To date, no troubles, just lots of joy. The car loves to be driven and has rewarded me for the use!
  20. TM328

    TM328 Karting

    Jul 26, 2004
    New England
    I agree
    Bought an 87 with 4500 mi on it,in 3 years I have done normal PM on the car and replaced a cam seal that would leak 5 drops of oil after using the car for a few hours. But I waited until the belt service was do before I adressed it.
  21. Tillman

    Tillman Consigliere
    Global Moderator Owner

    Nov 26, 2001
    E ' ' '/ F
    Full Name:
    I bought mine with 52 or 53K on it, and was able to buy it at the low end of the market (incomplete records and owner-maintained, but the car was well spoken of by the local Ferrari guru.)

    In just over 2 years I've put 23,000+ miles on it. It's been a great car, I do a lot of my own work, and the extra mileage has probably knocked $5K off the value of the car.

    Had I bought a 6,000 mile car, I would have turned a $55,000 car into a $40,000 car with the same driving habits.

    It's all in what you want. If you want a car that's cosmetically perfect, go with the lowest mileage car you can find. Not only will there be less wear on the seats and such, but you're also less likely to have to deal with the oddities left by previous mechanics. If you're going to knock out the miles, get a car that is already "higher" mileage and has a solid driver background, and put the extra cash in your pocket.

    As an aside, I am amused by the number of 28,000 mile cars that are always for sale. I truly believe that the odometers on many 328s and 308s are inaccurate.
  22. Yukonart

    Yukonart Rookie

    Mar 15, 2005
    Kenmore, WA
    Full Name:
    Arturo V.
    Being new to all this, I find this kind of thread extremely informative. I've never even looked at buying classic until now, but hearing some of these accounts and knowing what to look for (in the way of records, etc) would certainly make looking for an older car a much less-stressful experience.

  23. Wiseguy

    Wiseguy Karting

    Apr 25, 2004
    Englewood, NJ
    Full Name:
    Mr Bill

    The new/recent issue of Forza has a gorgeous Black Mondial on the cover with over 100k on it.

    There's a 550 running around Chicago that I used to own with over 50k on it.. it was very reliable save the damn power mirror switch.

    I too would be very wary of a very low-mile car, and I also have seen several that I KNOW have been clocked. Saw a 308 qv for sale 3 years ago locally (North Jersey) with 25K miles. Pretty amazing since my uncle traded it in on a 328 in 1987 when it had 24k miles............
  24. dbcooper

    dbcooper Formula Junior

    Feb 7, 2005
    Costa Mesa,Ca.
    Full Name:
    Tim Romero
    Beware of "Low Mileage" cars,I dont know how many cars that were advertised as having 5000 miles or similar were obviously rolled back or disconnected(Most or all of them)or else they were all 5000 miles of running the Baja 1000 .issues such as bald or non standard tires,brake pads worn to nothing or obviously been replaced.missmatched production dates on the wheels(obviously had a wheel or two "curbed"in those "5000" miles.massive oil,coolant leaks,worn out drive belts,worn out clutches(However some Bozo's can toast a clutch in 5000 miles)massive amounts of grease and road grit on filthy underside of car,hidden crash damage,Engine blowby,rebuilt alternator(has a rebuilder shop sticker on it)etc.etc.etc.obviously 5000 miles from hell,or more likely odometer issues. remember if theres no paper trail,be very very leary.
  25. BULL RUN

    BULL RUN Formula 3

    Dec 18, 2004
    Low miles always better. High mileage F cars not a pretty sight. Pay a little more, and have it fully service before taking delivery.
  26. hardtop

    hardtop F1 World Champ

    Jan 31, 2002
    Full Name:
    The good news is there is a good supply of nice 328's whether low, mid, or high mielage. They hold up very well. For those who like very low mileage cars, it is a gold mine model because the hot market of the late 1980's led to many being "put away" as investments. I'm amazed at the regularity that "time capsule" 89's come on the market. Motorcars Inter. recently had a black 89 GTB with 110 miles on it. Evidently sold instantly. They were asking 80K! Anecdotally, 328's don't seem to suffer as much from limited use as some other models. Last year, an 87 was flat bedded into town from a mountain community where it sat since 1988. According to Dave Helms, once he did a major on it, it ran and drove very well! He did believe leaks were in it's future, however. Find a car that's been well cared for with good records and drive happy.

  27. DBR328&330

    DBR328&330 Formula Junior

    May 31, 2001
    Winchester, VA
    Full Name:
    Daniel Reese
    I have heard that Steve McQueen's son bought that 110 mile GTB

Share This Page