News

456 buyers guide in the October Top Gear mag

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by Fezzaphil, Oct 28, 2004.

  1. Fezzaphil

    Fezzaphil Formula Junior

    Sep 14, 2004
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    Philip
    I'm not sure if this is old news, however their is a nice article about buying 456's in the Oct issue of Top Gear mag.

    I know there was a debate , over the last few weeks on Fchat, about the viability of swapping 2 seaters for the 4 seaters.....bloody kids!

    Makes interesting reading
     
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  3. 400SPYDER

    400SPYDER F1 Rookie

    Jul 7, 2004
    3,451
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    kevan
    Cheers Phil

    Wish someone had said before as I've nearly bought mine! :D

    Probably difficult to find Oct mag now - could you do a quick summary please.

    Cheers Kevan
    :) See you down the road - with huge grins on both our faces :)
     
  4. stevep

    stevep F1 Veteran

    Jan 19, 2004
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    steve

    you'll be able to back order it from the magazine
     
  5. Fezzaphil

    Fezzaphil Formula Junior

    Sep 14, 2004
    368
    UK
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    Philip
    Summary was...good car but can be expensive to maintain if not looked after properly. Goes for most F cars doesn't it?

    The missus tells me its the current issue with the MG, TVR and Noble on the cover.

    My scanners bust but pm me your email and I should be able to get you a copy of it over to you next week when my new all in one machine is delivered.....bloody Hewlet Packard
     
  6. 400SPYDER

    400SPYDER F1 Rookie

    Jul 7, 2004
    3,451
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    kevan
    Thanks Phil

    As long as there wasn't anything to damaging to look out for I don't mind. I did search through all the threads on Fchat - as usual found out a load of interesting stuff.

    What amazes me is that these cars were @ £150k new!!

    Thanks for your input Steve - may well do that out of interest. As I hope to conclude the deal on mine in the next few days, I was looking for something a bit rapido!.
     
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  8. Robertb

    Robertb Formula 3

    Nov 19, 2003
    1,330
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    It didn't say anything of any specific merit, but did make the point bear in mind that it was £160k new so running/parts/servicing are v expensive.

    On the other hand, it said it was a great car, and worth taking on if you could afford the running costs.

    I'm sure more specific 'what to look for' stuff could be gleaned from Fchat.

    Does anyone know the key differences (except styling and interior changes) between the early cars and the later MGT?

    Robert
     
  9. 400SPYDER

    400SPYDER F1 Rookie

    Jul 7, 2004
    3,451
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    kevan
    Robert as far as I can recall from what I have read the differences are nearly all cosmetic - I think they claimed to solve the window gap problem - but some argue even that wasn't achieved.

    One interesting point concerned a rear spoiler UNDER the car which lowered at 75mph I seem to recall - surprisingly I also recall this was on the earlier car.
     
  10. jimmy b

    jimmy b Formula Junior

    Dec 13, 2003
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    On a plane
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    James
    Robert,
    Contrary to what Jason Dawes' cub-reporter ghost-wrote in last Sunday's Sunday Times, the two key dates in 456 production are April 96 (when the three spoke steering wheel without airbag version was replaced by a four-spoke with airbag, among other updates) and, I think, summer 98 (in the UK at least) when the 456M (for Modaficato) came out about a year after the 550 was launched.
    So basically, there are three generations of 456. The first from launch with 3-spoke steering wheel (93-95 in UK). The updated generation from April 96 with uprated suspension and steering, a small lift in bhp, and the airbag steering-wheel. Finally the 456M with the hydraulic-tappets of the 550 engine and another slight raise of bhp, the rear under-spoiler being fixed rather than mobile, further improved suspension and the addition of front fog lights and a different bonnet line.
    My 456 is the second generation (96 onwards) and I wouldn't personally want an earlier one, as I think the improvements made a lot of positive difference to the driving experience - but this is only my opinion and experience of driving various 456s. I didn't think the price premium was worth the extra for a 456M when I bought mine two years ago, but this gap may now have narrowed, so my general advice is buy the youngest, best looked-after one that you can find.
    Allegedly in the 456M the notorious window non-closure problem was resolved, and I've certainly heard specialists claim that a 456GT(A) benefits from having the 456M window regulaters fitted to fix this issue. This has been done on my car on the drivers side only, as the nearside window closes without problem (and has been tested at 180mph). A main dealership would charge quite scary money for this, but the usual non-franshised folks will do it for less, I'm sure.
    The best improvement you can make to a 456 IMHO, is to change the wheels and tyres for 550 18" wheels, or even 19" wheels if you wish. It improves handling dynamics enormously (yes, it will still understeer into corners if you push it hard on trackdays, but it's not a trackday toy) and few other 'upgrades' are worth the expense I would say. Certainly not two grand for an exhaust that's louder with no change of performance. The suspension is too soft really, but it is a luxury GT after all, and not a 360, so that's life. I wouldn't mess with the factory suspension, although you'll find plenty of postings on here from folks who have.
    What to look for is same as any Fcar pretty much:
    Full history & documents
    Worn outside of drivers seat (can be-lie claimed low mileage)
    Any water leaks (i.e. non-closing windows, etc.)
    Milking of glass in corner of front and rear screen
    Clutch wear (in fact only buy when belts and clutch have just been replaced)
    Accident damage
    Oil level (as all Fcars seem to burn oil a fair bit)
    Ease of gear-change once warm, especially second and third (surprising how many Fcars have badly adjusted gear-linkages or 1 degree mis-aligned transaxles)
    Use a good specialist to inspect before you buy
    Always check all butterfly-clips are tight (as garage mechanics seem curiously not trained to do this)

    A good 456 is a great car to own, not substantially more expensive than a V8 Fcar in upkeep, but in the final analysis the four-seaters are always less popular than the two-seaters, so re-sale must be considered carefully. I see 456 depreciation slowing (maybe even bottoming out) over the next few years, so no one should take a bath owning one - unless it's a total pig.

    Anyone who wants to PM me, either for a chat or maybe even to meet in the London area and see my 456 in the metal, is welcome to do so.

    Good luck !

    J.
     
  11. Robertb

    Robertb Formula 3

    Nov 19, 2003
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    Jimmy,

    Thanks for the overview- interesting stuff. I'd imagine the M would be a bit cheaper to run on the basis that there are not 48 tappets to shim every major service, but then may have a bit more to depreciate than a GT.

    If I had my time again, maybe I should have looked more seriously at a 456 when changing the 328 for a 355. I suspect with a young family (my 21 month old daughter can spot a Ferrari in a mag from the horse on the front!) I'd have got much more use out of it which would make the running costs per mile a little easier to swallow!

    Such a stunning looking car, and a V12 too...

    Robert.
     
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  13. ghost

    ghost F1 Veteran
    Lifetime Rossa

    Dec 10, 2003
    9,846
    Singapore
    Anyone have a scan of the 456 Buyer's Guide? I'd like to compare the write-up to the Buyer's Guide in Forza, which came out a couple of months ago.

    Thx.
     
  14. jimmy b

    jimmy b Formula Junior

    Dec 13, 2003
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    Robert,

    I'm not aware of the shimming issue particularly, but I'm fairly sure that the major service is every 18,000 miles, so on most owners' usage that's once every four years. The engine does not need to come out on the V12s as the belts are all at the front (of a marginally less crammed full engine bay) but a cambelt change is still around a grand at an independent (or club appassionate if their adverts are to be believed) compared to 750 odd for the same on a 355 or 360. Otherwise service costs are comparable. Fuel costs are obviously a bit more, but anyone who claims their V8 is cheap on petrol is dreaming in my experience (had a 348 for two years then 355 for 2 yrs before 456 and 20+mpg was rare) and fuel is rarely your biggest cost. All Fcars do 6mpg round a track, even Mr. Schumacher's ! I'm happy to show any Fcar owner how to get 4-6mph out of their car if they haven't already found out !!!

    You just can't compare 2 to 4 seaters and V8s to V12s. They're too different and designed with different experiences in mind. I just found the 2 seats limited my use of my 355, but others may not. I love the go-kart sharp steering and cornering of the 360, and I love the ceaseless torque and power of the V12s, so I guess I'll have to save up for the F430 CS, the 575 GTC, the F50 or the Enzo, if I ever want to have both in the same car....
     
  15. Robertb

    Robertb Formula 3

    Nov 19, 2003
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    Robert
    It always comes back to this in my mind- what a pity that ferrari don't make a mid engined 2+2 so you can enjoy the go-kart sharp steering and cornering of a 360, and the practicality of a 2+2 layout. Sort of like a certain german sports-car..!

    I agree re the fuel costs- in fact, I suspect the costs are the same as one tends to rev the nuts of the 355 all the time, but I suspect I'd use the torque more of the V12.

    Robert.



    Robert.
     

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