Advice and Assistance Requested in Buying First Ferrari

Discussion in 'Mid-Atlantic Region - USA (PA, DE, MD, DC, VA)' started by ArtH, May 27, 2005.

  1. ArtH

    ArtH Rookie

    May 16, 2005
    N. Virginia

    I'm planning to buy a 308 in the next few months, and as this will be my first Ferrari, I would value any advice, experiences, and assistance from Ferrari owners. Perhaps you have a 308 you'd like to sell too.

    I've studied up on the 308 somewhat, had a good drive in one, and understand some of the basics such as the major service items. I'd be most interested in a carbed GTS, but am open to others.

    Here's some initial questions off the cuff, but I've probably missed plenty:

    * Where all should I look for rust? I've been told about the bottoms of the doors and rocker panels. Anywhere else?
    * What hidden problems are there to watch out for?
    * Are mis-matched engine/chassis numbers a big deal in the Ferrari world as they are with muscle cars?
    * What's the range of sale and trade-in prices for 308s in different conditions? I wouldn't want to over pay and am happy to get a bargain!
    * What are the main things to look for in a test drive and inspection? Got a checklist?
    * What emissions related equipment should there be on each of the 3 variants, and where's it located?
    * Who are the best people/shops to do a pre-purchase inspection?
    * What else should I know?

    I'm in the Washington DC area, and would appreciate meeting anyone in the greater DC area to learn more about these great cars.

    Art in Virginia
    artharman (at) aol (dot) com
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  3. WCH

    WCH F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Mar 16, 2003
    Some random thoughts:

    - Come to the upcoming Ferrari Club cookout - I believe it's Sunday, June 12. Heck, you could even join FCA

    - Post your questions in the Classic forum, where no doubt you'll be deluged with replies

    - Call Ralph Cestero at Ferrari of Washington, 703.478.3606, and ask him your questions - yes, I'm plugging the guy who sells me cars, but he's also a car nut, track junkie and (just in case he reads this) all around great guy

    - If you want a PPI, I'd recommend calling Josh, the Ferrari service manager at FoW, who can set it up. They've done a PPI for me.

    - MARQ, Marq Ruben, who posts here regularly, has a beautiful 328 and probably knows something about the 308s as well - unlike me! I can't do your model specific questions justice.

    Hope to meet you soon, and good luck in your search.

    Cheers, Will
  4. ArtH

    ArtH Rookie

    May 16, 2005
    N. Virginia
    Thanks for the help, Will!

    Cookout sounds a good way to meet local 308ers, others in the area & the FoW crew--I hope to make it. I took your advice and posted to the classic forum and got great advice like you said!

    Thanks again and hope to meet you.

    Any DC metro area 308ers out there?

    Art in Virginia
  5. dalbright

    dalbright Rookie

    Nov 3, 2003
    Naples, Italy
    Art, I believe Dave Born, our Mid-Atlantic Region Director, used to have a Euro 308. You can get his details from the contact section of FCA-MAR website. Here's a link: Good luck with your search.

    ps. If you stop by FoW, I would hit up the guys in the shop too. They know more than anymore what the cars are all about. The guys are extremely friendly and will take you around the shop and point things out. They might even have a 308 up on a lift and would be happy to show you some particulars.
  6. Dopplemax

    Dopplemax Formula 3

    Art, youre welcome to stop by and take a look at my 84 QV. Im in Oakton.

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  8. ArtH

    ArtH Rookie

    May 16, 2005
    N. Virginia
    QUICK ADVICE WANTED! I just made an offer for a 79 308 GTS. I'd sure appreciate your fast thoughts!

    I'll be talking to the sellers mechanic tomorrow (Alan Himes/Craftsmen in Falls Church VA--do you know and like the shop?).

    Fellow Ferraristas, what'cha think? What would you consider this car worth? Any major yellow or red flags? Given the high miles (apart from the engine), any major concerns?

    This will be a fun driver, not a show car for me, so perfection in appearance isn't my goal, but something which will last well and look good is the idea.

    Here's the rundown from my 2 hr inspection and drive:

    The good stuff:
    * 2K miles on rebuilt engine (144K miles on car).
    * 1999 repaint.
    * Newly recovered seats (very nicely done) and new carpet. Tan seats with black inserts, tan carpets but the tan carpets is a different shade from the seats.
    * Runs very nice.
    * Brakes feel very nice, rotors look like virtually no wear.
    * Handles fine.
    * Shifts nicely.
    * Carbs clean enough to eat out of--rebuilt 2004.
    * CV boots look fine.
    * Has owner's manual (but no shop manual).
    * Lights, wipers (kind of slow on a dry windshield), horn, etc. all work.
    * Air pump (smog) is there with at least the lines going to the rear bank present--I can't tell what else should be there emissions-wise.
    * Reasonable CD stereo, speakers don't sound the best.

    The "Rest of the Story":
    * Paint very nice but has some various chips.
    * Some rust bubling under the paint on both front fenders towards the doors. Doors and rocker panels fine.
    * Some of the black trim and louvers are faded original paint, others sloppily repainted.
    * Oil leaking from the region of the rear bank on the side of the trans. Can't see where it's coming from.
    * Airconditioning doesn't cool at all. Not converted to 134a. (I know, it's a GTS and why on earth would I want to seal myself up in the car so I can't hear the song of the engine!)
    * Suspension bushings look original, but not really bad (I've seen bad on my Triumph!).
    * Shocks seem alright, but look old and a bit rusty.
    * Some surface rust and missing paint on the black structures on the underside of the engine cover (do we call that a "hood" or a "trunk"!?)
    * Engine compartment paint (black areas) not great.
    * A little black soot from the exhaust when starting the car, then it gets very minor but still a little visible when revving. Is that oil or too rich?
    * There's a 2'X2' pan on the front underside near the front (forward of the battery I think, or maybe not) that is rusted through a little at the front corners.
    * Clutch seems fine, not as grabby as another 308 I drove, but no slippage or chattering at all. With 2K miles on the engine it should be (had better be!) a new clutch.
    * The dashboard is in fine condition except for the cowl over the instrument panel, which has a 2"x1/2" missing area on the dried and cracked leather. (is replacing that section expensive? Stitching on front of it frayed because it's too darned close to the steering wheel!
    * The steering wheel leather wrap is in fair shape but all the stitching is gone so it's separated at the seam. Might or might not be too shrunken to restitch.
    * Engine cover hydraulic lifts don't hold it up.
    * No tool roll, no jack & kit.
    * Windows so slow the snails laugh, but they do go up and down!
    * Fuse blocks look good except for one fuse terminal which was cleaned some after overheating.
    * Very small star on the windshield, should be repairable.
    * Emergency brake needs adjustment.
    * 2 curb-side wheels have scrapes, but otherwise paint good. Driver's side fairly good, spare fair. No logo center cap on spare, should there be one?
    * Tires 70% worn. Original (age-crazed) spare!
    * A couple center console toggle switches missing the black caps.
    * Various other "old car" things which look worn if you really look for them.

    Art in Virginia
  9. LetsJet

    LetsJet F1 Veteran

    May 24, 2004
    Full Name:

    I wish I could help but I don't know much on the 308. I'm hear in spirt.

    Good luck
  10. 285ferrari

    285ferrari F1 World Champ

    Sep 11, 2004
    Southern Md
    Full Name:
    Art, I hope you are getting a killer deal with that amount of work needed to be done. Also not sure what cook out they are talking about but if it's the Gibson Island event you need to pre pay, you can;t just show up. I have that info if you need it.
  11. MARQ

    MARQ Formula 3

    Feb 9, 2002
    East Coast US
    Full Name:
    That car sounds like it has issues. Too many of them.
    You didn't mention the price, so I have no idea as to what $ range you're willing to spend on a car. Can you give us an idea as to your budget, etc.?

    Also, be patient. There are a lot of good cars out there.

    And, you certainly can't go wrong with WCH's advice. Stop by the cookout on June 12th, they'll be a lot of knowledgeable people there; certainly some nice cars to look at too. Consider joining the FCA, there are 9 308s listed for sale in this months newsletter. Definitely, I would recommend a PPI by FoW on any car I was looking at. Well worth the investment. They'll give you the straight scoop on any car they inspect. Personally, I'd give Ralph Cestero a call. (yes, this is a shameless plug but Ralph is all that WCH describes)
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  13. barcheta

    barcheta F1 Rookie

    Nov 15, 2003
    As long as the car has a documented repair history.... and a PPI by a reputable shop you may be OK! PLEASE get a PPI.... you may find more than what you noticed. As for price..... $22,000 tops
  14. barcheta

    barcheta F1 Rookie

    Nov 15, 2003
    Oh and one more thing... ASSUME nothing good until you have that PPI in hand.... even then be cautious... I had a PPI done and still had to replace my clutch.
  15. ArtH

    ArtH Rookie

    May 16, 2005
    N. Virginia
    Thanks everyone!

    I really appreciate all your expertise and advice. I got it today for $22K so now she's all mine, warts and all!

    As a Ferrari rookie, I'm sure I'll have lots of questions for the forum as I work on it, and as a veteran car nut I'm sure I'll contribute plenty of answers as well.

    A 10 year old or so kid walking down my street today said "nice car mister!" Makes it all worthwhile! (I bet that kid won't ever settle for a boring car when he gets his license!)

    Hope to meet you all at various events and clubs.

    Thanks again!!!

    Art in Virginia
    79 308 GTS
    81 Truimph TR7
  16. LetsJet

    LetsJet F1 Veteran

    May 24, 2004
    Full Name:
    Congrats Art,

    I look forward to seeing it.........
  17. barcheta

    barcheta F1 Rookie

    Nov 15, 2003
    Oustanding! Now the fun begins!! :) Please post some pics when you get a chance.

  18. ciao baby

    ciao baby Formula Junior

    Feb 15, 2004
    DC<---> MB
    Full Name:
    Michael Karagiannis
    Look foward to seeing you/the new to you pony soon.

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