Best first Ferrari | FerrariChat

Best first Ferrari

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by Varenne, Dec 5, 2003.

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What's the "best" first Ferrari?

  1. 365 GTC/4

  2. 308

  3. 328

  4. 348

  5. Mondial

  6. GT4

  7. Other? (please list in post if so)

Multiple votes are allowed.
Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. Varenne

    Varenne Formula Junior

    Nov 8, 2003
    Full Name:
    Rob had a poll on F-chat a few weeks ago about the best "poor man's" vintage Ferrari (under $70k). I would like to see a similar poll, but geared toward advice for a prospective first-time owner. What I'm getting at is the "best" first Ferrari for a new owner as an introduction to the marque? What's the best model that can be bought and enjoyed without maintenance costs that might cause the happy new owner to suddenly regret the purchase? Even a wealthy owner doesn't want to go in for service all the time for unexpected problems. In other words, I could purchase a TR, but as much as I love them, I'm afraid that the maintenance would kill me.
    Of course, we know that all Ferrari's are expensive to maintain and any car will have unexpected problems, so we're looking at averages here. "Best" in this case refers more to overall reliability and quality than anything else. The impression I have - rightly or wrongly - is that the 308/328/348 models might be the best way to get started assuming proper maintence by previous owners, but what about other models a such as the 365 GTC/4 ?
    I'm not intending to start a long thread about maintenance, just asking what you would advise someone if asked, "What's the first Ferrari I should buy ?"


  2. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
    Staff Member Admin Miami 2018 Owner

    Dec 1, 2000
    Southlake, TX
    Full Name:
    Rob Lay
    If you don't mind, I'm going to add a couple more to your list. This is a good poll, but very subjective. There's not one right answer for everyone. I think you should include the Mondial and GT4.
  3. jordan747_400

    jordan747_400 F1 Veteran
    Lifetime Rossa

    Dec 9, 2002
    Houston, TX
    Full Name:
    I would say 328 all the way. Its cheap enough for you to afford easily with 70k and have money left over to spare. It was the last of the line for the 308 series and if you get a later model 328, from what I hear almost all the bugs are worked out. Ive heard of sevreal 100,000 miles + 328s out there.
  4. parkerfe

    parkerfe F1 World Champ

    Sep 4, 2001
    Cumming, Georgia
    Full Name:
    Franklin E. Parker
    To get the full Ferrari experience you need to own a 12 cylinder car. The TR is a great buy right now as is the Boxer, 365 GTC4 and 365GT 2+2. Sure, the maintenance cost may be a little higher, but if you buy a well maintained car and DRIVE IT OFTEN, you will not spend that much more than the little v8s would cost you. Having owned 6 cars badged as Ferraris, 2 v8s and 4 12s, I will never own another v8 unless it is a 288GTO or maybe an F40. They're just not the same....
  5. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
    Staff Member Admin Miami 2018 Owner

    Dec 1, 2000
    Southlake, TX
    Full Name:
    Rob Lay
    Might be confusing the bugs with the 348. Early 328's didn't have any bugs. There were a couple recalls and the later 328's had upgraded suspension and ABS, but I don't think anything troublesome only with early models.

    The 348's did have early bugs and were worked out by Ferrari in the later models and most owners have worked them out in the early models by now too, so most 348's are in great running order.
  6. F1racer

    F1racer F1 Rookie

    Oct 5, 2003
    Full Name:
    You could buy a nice 308 GTB or GTS or a 308/GT4 they`re great.
    But I think the 328 GTS is the best buy.
    When you said the Testarossa is expensive to maintain thats true.

    What about the 512 BBi or the 365 GT4 BB? I guest they`re also $$ to maintain.
  7. Erich

    Erich Formula 3

    Sep 9, 2003
    Poway CA
    Full Name:
    Erich Coiner
    I posted other.

    My vote is for a 330 GT2+2

    For me a Ferrari means 12 cylinders. That 60's Pininfarina styling is what floats my boat. The magnum PI look just does nothing for me.

    If I were willing to settle for 8 cylinders, there are any number of exotic cars that offer tremendous performance, styling and panache for the buck. Think Maserati Ghibli, or Iso Grifo.

  8. Chiaro_Slag

    Chiaro_Slag F1 Veteran

    Oct 31, 2003
    Full Name:

    I think the 512 BBi is a great car, but would be tough as a first Ferrari - Get your feet wet with a 308 or 328 and then start to explore other models once you are more familiar with what Ferrari ownership entails. Just my 2 cents. :)
  9. F1racer

    F1racer F1 Rookie

    Oct 5, 2003
    Full Name:
    Thats true.

    Its better to start with a not too expensive Ferrari and then you move on in the company and buy something thats more special and that`s worth much more.

    But damn I love the 512 BBi!!
  10. Chiaro_Slag

    Chiaro_Slag F1 Veteran

    Oct 31, 2003
    Full Name:
    Roger that - I would have loved to get one - But I think it would have just been too much car for my first one. One word always come to my mind when thinking of them : Beast!
  11. Ashman

    Ashman Three Time F1 World Champ
    Owner Silver Subscribed

    Sep 5, 2002
    Full Name:
    My first Ferrari was the 400i that I bought 5 years ago, and I have been very happy with that decision.

    So my vote is for a 400i or a 412.

    They're new enough so as not to require restoration work (if they've been cared for, but that's the only kind you would consider anyway) and of course, they've got the V12!

  12. F SPIDER

    F SPIDER F1 Rookie

    Jan 30, 2002
    NYC, A'dam, W'stock
    Full Name:
    rijk rietveld
    Go for the V12 if you can. The 365gtc/4 has basicly the same engine as the 400i (a de-tuned Daytona engine) with an incredible sound. If can get a good one, maintenance does not have to be a problem.

  13. Varenne

    Varenne Formula Junior

    Nov 8, 2003
    Full Name:

    Thanks Rob (and everyone else)...this is exactly the type of input and advice I was hoping for. I'll continue to watch the poll and everyone's comments with great interest). I love this board !
  14. charliek

    charliek Karting

    Nov 9, 2003
    Marlboro, New jersey
    Full Name:
    Charles Krop
    When I first started looking for a Ferrari many people told me I should start with a 328. I was thinking Boxer. Again I was told that the Boxer is not a good "first" Ferrari. I bought a boxer anyway because that is the car I fell in love with as soon as I sat in one. I plan to keep my Boxer for a very long time and because I can't have a harem of Ferraris I am glad that I went right for the beast. I do not understand the idea of a beginning Ferrari. I did not want to get the "starter" Ferrari knowing that in the not to distant future I would want to sell it and step up. I hate the process of selling a car and the search for another Ferrari can be scary. I feel that when you have the car you love you get a feel for it and feel comfortable with knowing exactly what you have. I'm sure 328 owners dont think of their cars as beginner Ferraris but feel the same way about them as I do about my Boxer, ditto for any other Ferrari whether 8 or 12 holer. Just my 2 cents.
  15. LouB

    LouB Formula 3

    Apr 15, 2001
    FL, OR
    It depends on how big your budget is , doesn't it?
    For 25K or so, a 308. For 40-50K a 328, for 75 or so it gets interesting, 348, TR or ?, for 100k a 355 or 456, maybe 550, 125-150K or so a 360 or 550.
  16. bkaird1

    bkaird1 Karting

    Nov 7, 2003
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Full Name:
    I'd also like to know people's opinions on the topic. I don't have an F-car yet and am trying to learn as much as I can until I have the oportunity to get one.

    Aslo, for the owners out there... if you could do it over, what would YOU buy as your first ferrari (not limited to an "intro" ferrari)?
  17. Attitude928

    Attitude928 Formula Junior

    Nov 1, 2003
    330GTC (great drive) > 365GTC/4 (great sound) > TR(TRemendously ostentatious, but a great engine) > 328 (great looks/relative reliability)
  18. PeterS

    PeterS Four Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Jan 24, 2003
    Goodyear, AZ
    Full Name:
    I bias on the 'purest' side. I searched two years for a very low VIN # '77 308 and found it. I think the 308 is the best looking car ever built. I just wanted a very early 308!
  19. 134282

    134282 Four Time F1 World Champ

    Aug 3, 2002
    Full Name:
    Carbon McCoy
    Mhauler, welcome to FerrariChat... :)

    For a first-time owner, i wouldn't recommend one of the cars you've listed; although they're two different animals, i would recommend a 355 or a 550; maybe even a 360... i know, i know, they're beyond the apparent price range subtlely indicated in your list of choices, but i do believe the 355 seems to be more practical/reliable than a car 10+ years older than it...

    ...of course, Jim Spiro drove an F50 to work everyday, so...... :)
  20. Ontogenetik

    Ontogenetik Karting

    Nov 2, 2003
    The most affordable Ferrari is one under warranty.

    The most desirable Ferrari is one not yet understood/desired by the community.

    Desire is a perfect start.
  21. Wayne 962

    Wayne 962 Formula Junior
    Rossa Subscribed

    Nov 27, 2003
    The neat thing about Ferraris, is that there is always an upgrade plan! There's never a lack of $million+ cars to drool over. :)


    WILLIAM H Three Time F1 World Champ

    Nov 1, 2003
    Victory Circle
    Full Name:
    Usually the newer the better, less problems. But comparing the 328 to the 348 the 328 wins cus Ive heard the 348 is a problem child + the 328 has classic Ferrrai style while the 348 ?
  23. peterp

    peterp F1 Veteran

    Aug 31, 2002
    Full Name:
    Looking back at the original post -- the primary emphasis seems to be reliability and maintenance. Given this, the choice has to be either the 328 or the Mondial 3.2. These models are easily the most trouble-free of the older Ferraris. The electrical issues are minimal, no carb or ignition tuning is required, there are no rust issues, and they are reasonably fast. The newer models (348, Mondial t) are, well, less old -- but they are more complicated and more difficult to maintain. If you don't have a family, get the 328. If you have a family and want to enjoy it with them, get the Mondial 3.2. If you plan to drive it daily, the Mondial might be also be a better choice to live with because it has more room and you can carry 4 people when needed. I think that choosing the right starter Ferrari is important, even if cost isn't an issue, you probably want to drive the car rather than worry about service or fiddling with the tuning. After you've owned the conservative model for a while, you can learn more about the marque and take a measured leap to something a little less practical. Starting with a higher maintenance model, since minimal maintenance is very important to you, could unjustly sour you on the brand.
  24. flyingboa

    flyingboa Formula 3

    Nov 27, 2003
    Full Name:
    Having just bought a 328 (first Ferrari for me), I do guess that my position is clear.
    But my point is different. I bought it just because I love it. It is not a matter of money (even if certainly I could not afford tobuy a F40...) or performances or techniclities, I simply want a 328 because I think it is a piece of art and one of most beautiful cars ever designed.
    It is my impression that when you buy a Ferrari, you just buy what you are in love with.
    Perhaps you will change your mind in time, and your second Ferrari will be different, more performing, more modern etc.
    But will be the love of your life in that specific moment.
    As far as technical aspects are concerned, I fully agree with PETERP
  25. robert biscan

    robert biscan F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Jan 17, 2003
    Nashville and Palm b
    Full Name:
    robert s biscan
    I think the most reliable F car is a red Honda accord with badges on the sides. Now if that doesn't get a reaction , I'll be surprised. I think any 10 plus year old car made by any manufacturer could be problematic. Actually the more milage the better in that everything on the car has been working and not just rusting. I agree with the 355 comment or a newer car. Don't spend all your money on the car. Hold back about 5k or so for maintenance items. Other than all this good advise, get the car that turns you on the most and worry later if it was the best choice. The most important thing is to just love your car and then the issues of ownership don't seem as big. F cars do need a good bit of maintenance. Get the one you dream about. If you can't afford it just like many of us, get the next best one.

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