Are they daily drivers or not?

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by SoBay Jim, Jul 31, 2004.

  1. SoBay Jim

    SoBay Jim Rookie

    Jul 31, 2004
    South Bay / LA
    Full Name:
    Jim Adams

    I'm new to this board and have a general question. Are Mondials or 308s daily drivers or not? Eight years ago I bought an Alfa Romeo Spider as a daily driver against warnings from friends that I should get something more reliable and practicle. Well, it has been fairly reliable and as practicle as I need. I've put about 60K miles on the Alfa in 8 years as a daily driver.

    So, I'm now considering stepping up to a Ferrari. The 1980-90 Mondials and 308s appear to be in my price range. How does everyone feel about drivability, dependability and maintenance.


  2. spang308

    spang308 Formula Junior

    Jul 17, 2004
    York, PA
    I'm not a huge fan of Mondials because of the styling only, but 308's are great cars. The fact that you CAN drive them every day is part of their appeal. They are not terribly expensive nor difficult to work on. If you have average or better mechanical skills and the required tools, the 308's can be user maintained fairly easily.
    Timing belts are a critical maintanence item, but they're easy to change and the parts to do the job correctly aren't expensive.
    I have a 308 GTB QV and I drive it everyday in the warmer months. I've owned it for 7 years and work on the car myself. There is a lot of great advise available right here on this board to help with maintanance questions.
    I say if you have the funds ($25K to $35K, for a nice one) and can wrench it yourself, go ahead and buy one. You'll be glad you did. I know I am!

  3. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    Austin TX
    Full Name:
    Brian Crall
    The 308 was the first car built by Ferrari that was widely considered to be useful as a daily driver. Properly maintained it was a very reliable car, especially the later ones. You should keep in mind however that the last one built is 19 years old and cars age far more from time than mileage. Any 19 year old car being used for daily use should be expected to be problematic, especially an exotic.
  4. snj5

    snj5 F1 World Champ

    Feb 22, 2003
    San Antonio
    Full Name:
    Russ Turner
    My 88 Mondial 3.2 (see profile) was my daily car for several years both in America and Europe from 1996 before storing it for a Japan tour. Now that I am back in the US the Mondial coupe will be a partial daily as they require everyone here in Texas to have a pickup truck.

    Recommended upgrade: 16" newer tech tires to replace the Goodyear Gatorbacks OEM; later model spade type fusebox (post 86-87) if not original.

    Biggest drawback for a daily: it's a bit loud if you are not in the mood...

    Good thing: Mondials are a bit more subtle so doesn't cause a daily stir besides with real enthusiasts.

    The car become very much a family member since my daughter has been riding in it since she was 3 years old: She is now an avowed Scuderia/Schumacher fan in 7th grade and never wants me to sell it. That's a good thing.

    Ferrari: the great secret is that 2+2s (most all of them) are for 'mature audiences' and terrific family fun cars that are practical as well.

    have fun,
  5. spang308

    spang308 Formula Junior

    Jul 17, 2004
    York, PA
    Oh yeah, I almost forgot. Welcome to the site! I'm fairly new as well, but everyone here seems OK. Most if not all drive Ferraris. How could we not have smiles on our faces. :)
    I'm going for a drive now!

  6. Gatorrari

    Gatorrari F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Feb 27, 2004
    Full Name:
    Jim Pernikoff
    The main consideration, in my opinion, is the insurance issue. A "collector's car" policy will be very reasonably priced but will limit your mileage and usually prohibit you from taking the car to work or school. If you want to use the car as a daily driver, you'll probably have to insure it with a normal policy, and that will be much more expensive.
  7. GrigioGuy

    GrigioGuy Splenda Daddy
    Global Moderator Owner

    Nov 26, 2001
    E ' ' '/ F
    Full Name:
    Dindu Nuffin
    They'll handle daily driving just fine, but I'd stay out of stop and go traffic in any manual car. My 328 has 71000 miles on it, and had 52000 on it when I bought it in 2002.

    As far as insurance goes, mine's covered under my normal State Farm policy for normal use and is actually cheaper than my pickup.

    I think a Mondial 3.2 coupe would make a perfect Fcar daily driver.
  8. judge4re

    judge4re F1 World Champ

    Apr 26, 2003
    Never home
    Full Name:
    Dr. Dumb Ass
    Both the 365 and our Mondial are being serviced right now. When we get back stateside, I plan on using both of them as daily drivers (unless I get relocated to NJ in which case I'll get something more disposable).
  9. f355spider

    f355spider F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    May 29, 2001
    Full Name:
    Hugh G. Rection
    Dittos to Rifledriver....I was going to add that the cars are not the most comfortable to use as a 'daily', but if you have been used to an Alfa spider...then no problem. Just get one that is a well cared for example, and do the same...and you should be fine. Get a later example with FI.
  10. Smiles

    Smiles Moderator
    Moderator Owner

    Nov 20, 2003
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Full Name:
    Matt F
    I agree with the above. In particular, if you've had an Alfa Spider as your daily driver for 8 years, a 308 will be no problem.

    Regardless of whether it's a GTS or a GTB, I'd make sure that all of the rubber seals are water tight. Most non-daily driven cars have some water leaks that the owners are probably not aware of, simply because they don't drive their cars in the rain!

  11. ArtS

    ArtS F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Nov 11, 2003
    Central NJ
    Hey Erik,

    Watch the NJ wisecracks! Unless you are very near NY, NJ is a fine place to drive a Ferrari. In fact, Joyce Carol Oats drive a TR at 160 MPH through the Pine Barrens (and wrote an article about the experience!).

    I drove my 330 daily for a few years (except when rains were expected or when salt was present). I hope to be driving it regularly again very soon.


    Art S.
  12. Testacojones

    Testacojones F1 Veteran

    Nov 3, 2003
    Yes they can be daily drivers as any other Ferrari.
  13. ETW

    ETW Formula Junior

    Nov 3, 2003
    Its more of a daily driver than it is a garage queen. If it sits in the garage for 3 months, it will have less of a chance of starting than one that has been driven for those 3 months. They were built to drive, not sit.
  14. judge4re

    judge4re F1 World Champ

    Apr 26, 2003
    Never home
    Full Name:
    Dr. Dumb Ass
    If we move there, the office would be in Iselin and we'd probably move to PA and be near the mountains.
  15. DGS

    DGS Three Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    May 27, 2003
    Full Name:
    If you've been using an Alfa as a daily, then you've either been very lucky, or you already know that the key to reliability is comprehensive regular services.

    I drove Alfas (Spider, Alfetta, (original) GTV6) as my daily drivers for ten years, until I couldn't get them properly serviced. I drove the 328 as my daily for three summers ... until the service issue reared its head again.

    Get the mechanic first -- or be your own mechanic (if you have the time and room). But finding a good local mechanic might also get you a lead on a well maintained car.

    Unless you find one your mechanic has been keeping up, it will cost you 20-25% of the purchase price for a major service to bring an average 3x8 up to daily reliability, plus you have insurance to consider, so don't "run the bank account" buying it.

    If you don't do your own work, plan for about $5000 every 15K miles to keep it up to par. But with good regular services, it won't let you down in between (much).

    These are roughly 20 year old cars. But unlike many modern cars, they're not designed to be tossed. Short of frame rust or major collision, anything can be fixed.
  16. ronsupercar

    ronsupercar Formula 3

    May 2, 2002
    Orlando Fla.
    Full Name:
    Every car is built to be driven daily. I've never heard of a Dealership recommending their clients to drive a car as little as possible.

    The question here is, If you drive it daily can you keep the maintance up to date.

    The more you drive it, the more you MUST maintain..


    P.S. I hate Ferrari garage queens.
  17. doug328

    doug328 Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Mar 11, 2004
    The Space Coast, FL
    Full Name:
    Doug B
    I would think that either/both the 308 and mondial could be daily drivers as long as the maintenance was kept up. If i had to choose one, it would be the mondial, as it would draw less attention and have more room.
  18. SoBay Jim

    SoBay Jim Rookie

    Jul 31, 2004
    South Bay / LA
    Full Name:
    Jim Adams
  19. ferrari sulla pellicola

    ferrari sulla pellicola Formula Junior

    Jun 21, 2004
    Los angeles
    Full Name:
    The 308/mondials make excellent drivers especially when fwy miles are the norm.the huge bonus for you is that you already understand the many pros and few cons of Italian car ownership.other than waterpumps and clutches on occassion trouble free driving is typical.The 4 valve cars are the only way to go for an everyday driver especially if you spend a lot of time getting on the fwys or need to outrun that homely chick in the volvo thats been trying to flirt with you.Ferrari made huge improvements on creature comforts with the 328 series.i must caution however that more than a few have had rough lives or worse as ive seen many cars over the years where the recent headgaskets and valve job advertised was only the outside head!checking out small details like the under the dash wiring for unmolested condition even try turning on the headlights with the hood open and inspecting the framework containing the HL assembly etc.for welds/repairs or overspray.check out certain interior pieces more faded than others,if its a gts make sure the top fits on the car properly.avoid wearing hawaiian shirts and baseball caps or expect "Magnum" jokes aplenty
  20. airbarton

    airbarton Formula 3

    Nov 11, 2002
    Kennesaw, Ga.
    Full Name:
    Chuck Barton
    I can't say how good the Mondial or 308 would be but I have been driving a 348 every day for the last two years and it has been fine. I have put 37k miles on it in that time and it has been quite reliable.
  21. PeterS

    PeterS Three Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Jan 24, 2003
    Full Name:
    I drive my '77 308 as much as possible. Being in sales, it's not the best car to show up to a customer with and say ' I REALLY need that order', but if I needed to drive it every day (25-75 miles), I would feel comfortable about it. I think the worst part about a Ferrari being a 'daily driver' is that you have 'daily parking' and you will not always get a parking spot that will insure against door dings and punks that want to key your car.
  22. kdf398

    kdf398 Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 11, 2003
    Full Name:
    Keith Fraser
    I am a lot like you. I had been using an Alfa Spider as a daily driver. I put more than 120,000 miles on the car in the last ten years with very little problems. I was fairly meticulous on maintenance though.

    Anyway, I figured a Ferrari must be similar. So I bought a carb 308. My original idea was to keep the Alfa as a daily driver and slowly wean myself off of it. It took about a week. Now the Ferrari is my daily driver while I rebuild the Alfa. Plus I use my Alfa rebuild as training for my eventual serious mechanical work on the Ferrari (valves etc.).

    The major drawback to the Ferrari as a daily driver is that the clutch pedal is very heavy and stop and go traffic is tiring. Also, the turning radius is large. finding a decent parking spot is a problem as well. Other than that, its great.
  23. Ken

    Ken F1 World Champ

    Oct 19, 2001
    Arlington Heights IL
    Full Name:
  24. vsnqust

    vsnqust Karting

    Mar 28, 2004
    Next to roland
    Now a friend of mine is a serious collector of hawaiian shirts.. He gets more comments on
    his shirts and where he got them than his car!! So keep those shirts on!!

Share This Page