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400i to Mondial: Rise of the Wife (Slightly long)

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by GuardsRed, Nov 29, 2003.

  1. GuardsRed

    GuardsRed Karting

    Nov 4, 2003
    129
    Alexandria, VA
    Full Name:
    Sam
    Crap. As some of you know that have responed to an earlier thread of mine discussing the merits of the 400i, my wife agreed to a Ferrari. Victory at last, or so I thought. I have trained my wife waaaay too well over the last 8 years (and 19 cars) and her first questions destroyed any chance of a 400i. Rust? An issue. Parts availability? Could be an issue. Reliability? Uh, not really. Okay, how about electricals? Could be an issue. Her conclusion is, find another model (car...not wife).

    Okay. So now I have read about the 348 and am intrigued. Love the F355 but the price will never get approval by the "boss" so that leaves me with 308, 328 and Mondials.

    308, 328 are out due to the Magnum Factor (wife input again) as well as the four seat issue (which is why the 400i was a prospect to begin with...that and the V-12). So the Mondial is being reviewed. I have searched old F-Chat and read some interesting threads. I seems that the 3.2 is a better choice from a maintainence and entry cost standpoint but the t is better for performance.

    What other issues, specifically are there? Oh, and at the great risk of being seen as "stupid" (which I would rather be for 5 minutes than be for a lifetime), I will ask about the proper pronounciation of Mondial...I have heard "Mon-dial" and "Mon-dee-all".

    Sam
     
  2. tbakowsky

    tbakowsky F1 World Champ
    Professional Ferrari Technician Consultant

    Sep 18, 2002
    14,559
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    Tom
    How about a new wife dude?..Does she cut your meat for you aswell? Buy the car YOU want after all your the one paying for it!!
     
  3. No sh¡t. From the sound of your post it seems like you're the "wife" in the relationship.
     
  4. GuardsRed

    GuardsRed Karting

    Nov 4, 2003
    129
    Alexandria, VA
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    Sam
    Nice. I prefer to remain married.
     
  5. GuardsRed

    GuardsRed Karting

    Nov 4, 2003
    129
    Alexandria, VA
    Full Name:
    Sam
    Any useful information out there, vice the NVA and marginally entertaining responses?
     
  6. Forget a Ferrari, I think you should buy some balls first.
     
  7. Dave

    Dave F1 Rookie

    Apr 15, 2001
    2,722
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    David Jones
    Have a look at a late model Mondial T cab...
     
  8. GuardsRed

    GuardsRed Karting

    Nov 4, 2003
    129
    Alexandria, VA
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    Sam
    It's called respect. Ring a bell? She is not some helpless waif with no intelligence nor a piece of meat. It is part HER money as well since we are DINK. And, she want's to be drive it as well. No fun trying to enjoy things that you can't share with your spouse.

    You are entitled to your own opinion however. It is just that I don't appreciate your opinion.
     
  9. Ashman

    Ashman Two Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Sep 5, 2002
    27,231
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    John
    There is quite a difference in feel between the classic, front engined V12 400i and the more modern, mid-engined V8 Mondial. Also, the rear seats in the Mondial are seats in name only. A couple of adults can fit in the rear of a 400i for short trips at least, and children can stay back there for long trips.

    I'll let more knowledgeable people comment on the merits and weaknesses of the Mondial, although the later 3.2 Mondials should be very similar to the 328 series, i.e. pretty much the best of the line before the major changes of the 348.

    Like all the 3X8 series, Mondials have camshaft belts instead of the chains on the V12, and so make sure you get one with a recent, and verifiable, belt service or have the seller knock $3-4K off the price so you can have it done. You DO NOT want to mess with the risk of a broken belt ($$$$$$$!!!!).

    Because of the significant differences between the front engine V12 and the mid-engine V8, you should drive both to see which floats your boat more at this stage.

    Practicality is a relative term when it comes to Ferraris, ;-)


    Good luck!

    John
     
  10. GuardsRed

    GuardsRed Karting

    Nov 4, 2003
    129
    Alexandria, VA
    Full Name:
    Sam
    I like the cab. I was reading about the maintanence issues related to the T (engine out), and dual clutch expense. How is parts availability? Can you work on it yourself? Reliability? This would be a semi-daily driver (2-3 days a week, weather dependent). I have a 911 that is difficult to work on compared to say a BMW. 911 requires a motor drop to perform some maintanence so I am not freaked out by that requirement.
     
  11. judge4re

    judge4re F1 World Champ

    Apr 26, 2003
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    Dr. Dumb Ass
    Sam:

    Rust is an issue with all Ferraris. If you're not looking at a "brand new right out of the box", rust can be an issue. The 400i has better build quality than any 8 cylinder car of the same vintage (don't forget, you're comparing the flagship model, which 98% of tifosi dismiss out of hand and 2% of us covet, TO THE ENTRY LEVEL CAR!!!!). Advantage:400i. Parts are available for them. I've never had a problem. Advantage: a wash. Reliability? I just put more than 1000 miles on mine in November. Get one that's been sorted. An 8 cylinder car will be the same. Advantage: a wash. Electricals? Early Mondials were notorious for gremlins. The 12 cylinders are okay so long as you didn't have a color blind tech who didn't own a multimeter trying to service it. Again, find one that has been maintained and you can't go wrong. Advantage: a wash.

    Looks like the 400i is ahead by one. Don't show this to the wife just yet. Have you driven either? If not, do so. Totally different animals. Find the one that suits you, find the best example of said model. Buy it and drive it. Your wife will thank you for it.

    Don't trade in the wife, sounds like she really is out to cover your backside. Those are the best to have. You just haven't done all of your homework yet. No big deal. Take her out to dinner, nice bottle of wine and don't talk about cars with her until you've had time to respond to her concerns, and can answer her follow up questions.

    Bon fortuna.

    Erik
     
  12. jordan747_400

    jordan747_400 F1 Veteran
    Lifetime Rossa

    Dec 9, 2002
    6,926
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    The rear seats in the Mondial/GT4 arent terrible. As long as the person up in front scoots the seat up a bit, its no problem. I was "stuck" in teh back seat of a GT4 for 2.5 hours nonstop with several more drives back there later on that day. It was no problem. Either that or my mind was so clouded since I was in a Ferrari that I didnt realize I had lost circulation in my legs :)

    I was able to ride in a Mondial T cab recently and it is no slouch. I hear people calling it the soccer mom ferrari but its still a Ferrari :) That thing could cruise over 100 all day long and it still takes corners like a Ferrari should. The car I was in (owned by Jet-x from the website) had Tubi with test pipes and the sound was to die for!
     
  13. Dave

    Dave F1 Rookie

    Apr 15, 2001
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    I think you will find the Mondial T about the same in respect to the 911, engine out for some work.
     
  14. GuardsRed

    GuardsRed Karting

    Nov 4, 2003
    129
    Alexandria, VA
    Full Name:
    Sam
    Erik:

    Yep, that is exactly what she is doing. She is a good one. Homework is the hardest part since there are so many variables. I just don't want to buy the wrong car for our purposes and then regret it. She bought a car without much consultation from me a really regretted it since it turned out to be a total POS. She has a great eye for small flaws that I probably would not catch which is good for price negotiations.

    Build quality is one of the issues we have not discussed as of yet.
     
  15. judge4re

    judge4re F1 World Champ

    Apr 26, 2003
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    Sam:

    Yep, there are a lot of variables to deal with. Don't be in a rush. Drive both. Study and take your time. Patience grasshopper.

    Talk to FoW, see if they know of owners of both that would be willing to show you the goods and bads of both.

    Cheers,
    Erik
     
  16. davem

    davem F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Jan 21, 2002
    5,249
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    dave m
    Funny cause i have thought about switching to a 400 from my Mondial.
    Only because the back seat is too small for my 37inch 21 month daughter, and her 6.0 mom. Mondials are great. I would assume the 400 pricewise an reliability to be a wash as well. Perhaps even favoring the 400 honestly. Do you prefer the cab or coupe? The "T" i would say is the best but only the later years 91-93 which limits you to a cab. These however run 40k to 50ish it seems. That kind of money can buy you a 412 probably with change leftover.
    I wanted a coupe so i bought an 88 3.2. These can be had for in the high 20's. If your wife is concerned about the "Magnum factor" i would think the 400 would be the easier sell.
     
  17. peterp

    peterp F1 Veteran

    Aug 31, 2002
    6,006
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    Peter
    The Mondial is reliable and practical as a daily driver, just be sure to find a car that has been well maintained. You should probably get a pre-purchase inspection (PPI) from a Ferrari dealer or specialized mechanic rather than rely on superficial inspection because repairs can be very expensive if you miss something. You should look for one that has had the 30K service recently or factor about $5K into the purchase price. I think that the electrical problems in the early Mondials were resolved with the 3.2 and T, my 3.2 has been extremely reliable in the year and a half that I've had it. It is pronounced Mond-ee-all. Good luck in your search. I agree with your family-based decision process. One huge advantage of the Mondial is that I can take my family out in it, which wasn't the case with the Carrera I had previously (our 4 year old rides in the back). I wouldn't call the back seats roomy -- but they are in comparison to a Carrera -- adults can sit in the back for short trips without losing the use of their limbs.
     
  18. wax

    wax Four Time F1 World Champ
    Advising Moderator

    Jul 20, 2003
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    The Bertone-styled 308 gt4 is NOT styled like the "Magnum" 308/328 - several F-Chat members have the 308 gt4 and take great pride and pleasure in using all 4 seats.

    Ferrari 308 GT4 Market Report
    Ferrari 308 GT4 Part 1: 308 GT4 2+2

    There are vast differences in the Mondial range - notable amongst them is the Mondial t- reflected in the price, as well.

    Ferrari Mondial Market Report
    Ferrari Mondial Part 1: Mondial 8
    Ferrari Mondial Part 2: Mondial Quattrovalvole
    Ferrari Mondial Part 3: Mondial 3.2
    Ferrari Mondial Part 4: Mondial t

    As for childish comments regarding manhood, real men fulfill their wives vehicular desires. They only live once, too.

    Side benefit: Real women fulfill their husbands testicular desires. You only live once, too.
    "Bone" appetit, if you will. *wink, wink, nudge, nudge.*
     
  19. gordon

    gordon Karting

    Oct 31, 2003
    52
    Paris
    hi GuardsRed,

    I do agree with judge4re, I would add that buying a Ferrari is not rational, so if you try to be rational you just don't buy it (almost as for every exotic cars but especialy true for Ferrari).

    Really the point is what car you prefer to drive for what you want to do. These too models are so different (v8/v12, front/rear, ...) that I think that seeing and driving one should make your choice. In case you would go for a v8, you also should consider 308GT4 wich are very good cars for (i think) very good price.

    I think issues you could have with these cars depends on the original condition of the car you buy : here is the key of future pleasure.


    Gordon
     
  20. 134282

    134282 Four Time F1 World Champ

    Aug 3, 2002
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    LOL, immaturity at its finest... Rob, doesn't this new software have an assh_le filter...?


    Guards, although i've occasionally heard Mon-DYE-al (Mon-dial), i've most often heard Mon-dee-ALL, with the accent on the third syllable; i used to pronounce it that way but with the accent on the first syllable until i heard a predominantly large number of other people pronounce it the other way; Mon-dee-ALL.

    Good luck with your purchase, let us know how you do and try not to pay any attention to the unmarried, rejected women-haters...
     
  21. snj5

    snj5 F1 World Champ

    Feb 22, 2003
    10,213
    San Antonio
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    Russ Turner
    Mondial 3.2 owner input:
    I've had an 88 Mondial 3.2 coupe for 7 years. Like you and others below, I needed a car, not an fair weather play pretty. The 3.2 has been a daily driver in America and Germany except the 2 years I was away in Japan. I wanted a 2+2 for the added bonus (and neccesity) of carrying around my daughter. A car seat fits great, and we had some great family trips on the Autobahn at 120 mph where it falls in a groove. It pulls to redline cleanly in every gear, and have indicated over 150. The aboslute best thing is not point and squirt speed, but rather the balance of the chassis and drivetrain on the secondary road twisties. Certainly a lot of fun to set up a corner and get the heel and toe downshift just right and and hear the engine sing as it takes you out of a corner... I am really thankful to have driven the car in Europe, as I never could have appreciated how terrific it was blending sophisticated handling and daily usability otherwise. I think it is the best (and safest) small Grand Tourismo Ferrari or anyone ever built, followed closely by the 308GT4. The looks of the Mondial are subdued and subtle, and I actually like that better for real world driving as well. I don't need people looking at me, least of all the, well, you know......I bought the car for me.
    Maintenence. Have been through 3 sets of cambelts, replacing about every 3 years, but probably could go longer. Have been through 3 ignition coils, as apparantly there was a bad batch out there. There are some annoying electrical poops on the car from time to time which usually gravitate towards the fusebox and its loom connector. Always check these first. It will be more expensive to maintain than a 911. Parts are really not a big problem. The more you drive it, the more reliable it is.
    There were three longevity reasons why I settled on a 3.2. First is they have the anti-corrosion program (similar to the post 74 911) for the bodies. Secondly (and you may be familiar with this also from having a 911) they have Nikasil cylinder barrels which give exceptionally long life. Thirdly, the 3.2 is the last Mondial where you can change the timing belt by removing the right wheel well and not have to drop the motor for a major service. Another plus in the later 3.2s is that they swithched back from metric tires to standard 16".
    Tweaks. If you do just one thing for a Mondial, get rid of those horrid Goodyear Gatorbacks. Almost any newer technology tire will make a mind boggling increase in ride noise and response. I went to P-6000s and was astounded. I later went to an OEM 17" Speedline wheels (Dealer option in Germany) and have recently gone to Michelin Pilot A/S (I drive all year round, even today at 32 degrees) and they have been fantastic so far with excellent response and great ride. If I still had the 16" would go with the ES-100 Yokos. There are many other things you can do tho the car to make it go faster and be more maint. user friendly (a hobby of mine), but just change the tires and you'll be fine. If you really are motivated, a Tubi exhaust would be next.
    Well, I could go on forever (as many on this board know), but this is why a Mondial worked for me. For the money it's a terrific bargain as it offers a the Ferrari passionate driving experiance in a truly reliable GT car. The Mondial 3.2 was what I (as a former 911 guy) was looking for defining a small GT.
    I've had my Mondial for seven years and my daughter who grew up in it asks me not to sell it. I can't say I want to either, as no other Ferrari meets my requirements as well for the value. Just my experience, everyone's different and folks look for different things. Anyway, if had another $150K layng around for a car, I'd get another aerobatic airplane ( next year) - that's just what I like to do.
    There are others on the board that know a lot more than me. Most Mondial owners, like 308GT4 guys and most true Ferrari tifosi, are a great group.
    Good luck and best regards - let me know if you have any questions.
    Russ
     
  22. shmark

    shmark F1 Rookie

    Oct 31, 2003
    2,967
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    Mark
    Grow up. You're the one driving an extension. That's the best wife to have, one who will help you make the decision, then help you change the clutch under the car rotating the engine from underneath while oil rains down. We should all be so lucky!

    Oh wait, I am one of them. :)

    Mark
     
  23. GuardsRed

    GuardsRed Karting

    Nov 4, 2003
    129
    Alexandria, VA
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    Sam
    You guys have been great. Good opinions (save for the two jackasses). The information and links have been helpful and insightful. Lots of work to do and many cars to drive.

    The shortlist:

    400i
    Mondial 3.2
    308 GT4

    I totally welcome all input and opinions on this subject as I prefer to make informed decisions and not emotionally based decisions. That said, I am sure that I will be a 12 year old with a drivers license once I get a F-car.

    Anybody have pictures to post of the shortlist?
     
  24. snj5

    snj5 F1 World Champ

    Feb 22, 2003
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    Russ Turner
    Check my profile and others. You used to could search profiles for type of car on the old board.
    I'm down in Kingstowne if you want me to meet youwith the car and help sell the 'practical side' to the missus. Just be ready that mine has a tubi and a cat replacement so it is not quiet.
    best
    rt
     
  25. GrigioGuy

    GrigioGuy Splenda Daddy
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    Nov 26, 2001
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    Yes, I have one

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