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Buying, owning and selling a 360 Modena.

Discussion in '360/430' started by Kram, Oct 25, 2005.

  1. Kram

    Kram Formula Junior

    Jul 3, 2004
    867
    Park bench, Canada
    Full Name:
    Mark
    So, my 360’s gone, and here’s the story:

    I bought it on an impulse. I was at a dealer getting a horrible mess of a car fixed up (they were actually really kind to work on it, most folks would have turned away when they saw me roll up, shedding parts on their forecourt) when I saw this red/black 360. It was beautiful.
    “What’s the story?” I asked.
    “Not sure, it only arrived ten minuets ago, I’ll go see.”
    I had bought a Mini the day before so I half wondered if I was becoming an automotive shopaholic. Is there a Jungian therapy for that? Is buying cars cheaper than the therapy? If so it would that would explain why you Woody Allen isn’t known for his automotive skills.
    Still, the twin purchases worked out well: There is a guy in the same office building who mentally weighs your wallet every time he meets you, his estimation of folk is almost linked to the Dow. I ran into him in the elevator two days later.
    “So you’ve got a new Ferrari I hear,” he said, briefly rotating his mobile away from his chin.
    Christmas! I thought. How the hell did he know about that? I only just darted in with it this afternoon.
    “Sure, it’s great.”
    We walk out together and pass my parking space where the 360 sits, exalted by the dealer’s detailing.
    “Christ! It’s a Ferrari!”
    “Well, er, yes. That’s what you said.”
    “I’d heard that you’d got a Mini! I was just saying that to......I didn’t think that...... that you were.... So, how’s business going?”

    It was a good example of the model. The last owner had loved the for its untouched Ferrariness, perfection to him was a lack of human stain. The manuals were still covered in plastic and everything extra had been thrown at the car, right down to an exhaust that was LOUD LOUD and some after-market chips for the motor and gearbox. (A standard silencer soon went on. If Ferrari got the shock absorber settings right then they probably got the exhaust right too. Ask any judge.) CSI would have had a hard time finding anything about the last owner, the car was clean-room clean, save for two Polaroids. They were pictures that a couple of girls had taken of themselves and probably slipped through the driver’s window where they had fallen into a seat/floor crevice. Just shots of girls with their phone numbers written on them. They flew nicely into a bin.

    First the good things. The car was easy to drive - at any speed, other than in reverse or moving off from a stop, but more about that later. It looked great from the inside, it looked great from the outside. It was fast, and it lifted its skirts and ran without the engine sounding as though you were doing bad things to various moving parts. It started, it stopped, it was easy to park, and it got good parking. The F1 Tranny was great once you were rolling, allowing you to concentrate on braking and steering, rather than right-angling through the traditional Ferrari gate for the needed gear. While it didn’t handle that well the car gripped the road with overkill. Anyone who spins a 360 on a dry piece of public tarmac is doing something that deserves jail time, or at least a spell in the boobie hatch, white coat and syringe supplement included. For that I loved it.

    Next the *****ing: The Daytona seats never fitted me very well, the driver’s chair sort of hunched up my shoulders no matter how I adjusted it or wiggled about. The passenger seat was marginally better, but just marginally.
    The F1 gearbox drove me mad in slow traffic. It would burn the clutch every time I pulled away, no matter how I fed in the throttle, and I’m fussy about things like that. ‘Go to the dealer and have the computer adjusted,’ this site advised (others), but I was reluctant to go. I was unimpressed with the dealer in that whenever I checked his work I found it lacking. When a panels had to be unbolted it came back missing bolts. When electrical components had to be changed the replacements came scarcely grounded, they were only hand tight in their brackets. Once when the car was returned the fuse covers were misplaced, one was soon found in the glove box and the other emerged from under the driver's seat, odd places for plastic shrouds that should live under a cover littered with Allen screws. It struck me that perhaps the dealers tend to play on the owners’ belief that a Ferrari is so at the edge of performance it can’t be reliable. If it is badly serviced - but always washed - the owner won’t complain about poor reliability, he will put it down to the nature of the product. Did I mention any of this on FerrariChat at the time? No way, with such a small pool of cars where I live I think the dealer could work out who the whiner was and cut him off, and with even the oil car specific, who would want that? If nothing else it might suddenly take three months for the service department to do the smallest thing..... They were nice people, but they were so caught up with the image of the product they forgot to check the work.
    While the car had bags of grip it perhaps didn’t have the best handling. It was a heavy creature, prone to understeer when one overstepped the charity of the tires, not the sort of machine that danced from corner to corner, more of a point and squirt machine. Mind you, I’ve happily driven much worse, and I’m sure I will again.
    The very worst side of owning such a machine? Some of your pushy friends. On a long car journey when they took the wheel they became cliché type A males, the bad Ferrari driver, flashing headlights lights at slower cars, overtaking on the inside, even giving the finger as they motored past innocents who were just trying to get from A to B before this loud car came along. I hated that. Why were they good drivers in their own cars?

    So, why did I sell? I took my family abroad for a year, and before I left I looked at this machine in the garage. Would it become more valuable sitting there for a year? No. Would it become mechanically more reliable? No. Would they never make anything as beautiful or powerful again? No.
    So away it went.
     
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  3. goldyF355

    goldyF355 Formula 3

    May 30, 2004
    1,408
    Toronto
    Full Name:
    Steve G.
    I really enjoyed your style of writing....although I have no relevant comments of my own to add. Best of luck in your future endeavors!
     
  4. Qksilver

    Qksilver F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Feb 11, 2005
    3,792
    Philadelphia
    Full Name:
    Joe
    THAT was a story of epic proportions. Thank you.
     
  5. patpong

    patpong Formula 3

    Jul 6, 2004
    2,170
    Bangkok, Thailand
    Full Name:
    Patpong Thanavisuth
    I think for that reason alone it's a good idea to let it go...
     
  6. riverflyer

    riverflyer F1 Rookie

    Nov 26, 2003
    3,560
    Mendocino, Ca
    Full Name:
    John
    Mark, excellent read. So tell us, did you keep the Mini?
     
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  8. surfermark

    surfermark Formula Junior

    May 19, 2004
    317
    Mill Valley, CA
    Full Name:
    Mark
    Great story......I think you did the best thing by letting her go to another home.....I bet you had just as much fun (or even more fun) with the Mini!

    ......Mark
     
  9. GordonF355

    GordonF355 Formula 3

    Aug 13, 2005
    1,004
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Full Name:
    Gordon
    yes, great writing skills, but sort of a sad story. What are you going to buy to replace this wonderful beast?
    gordon
     
  10. j15

    j15 F1 Rookie

    Jan 5, 2005
    2,597
    Sydney Australia
    Full Name:
    Jeh
    Challenge Stradale time for you sir
     
  11. teterman2004

    teterman2004 Karting

    Jan 15, 2005
    244
    Eielson, Alaska
    Full Name:
    BriBud
    I think this guy needs a 456M with a manual transmission, that should cure the melancholy :)
     
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  13. SrfCity

    SrfCity F1 Veteran

    Nov 1, 2003
    9,842
    Orange County, CA
    That dealer is sure to cut you off in the future after this.......;)
     
  14. Kram

    Kram Formula Junior

    Jul 3, 2004
    867
    Park bench, Canada
    Full Name:
    Mark
    Good Lord! The typos - I blame the red wine; sorry.
    I love the Mini! I have ended up with two in Canada and one here. Pretty women in matching cars smile at me, kids on the street wave, and I tell myself that it is really me they are looking at. Not the cardboard cutout of Orlando Bloom glued to the windscreen. Not that.

    As for the Ferrari dealer, good luck to him. If he wants to find me well, no problem; I’m only eight or twelve hours away by jet and the front door is sometimes unlocked. If he wants to cut me off right now then I guess he had better buy the local Mini dealership. If I get a 430 and he has a long memory then I’ll wear a dress and use the wife's credit card at service time. Hey! It's covered.
     
  15. bottomline

    bottomline Formula 3

    Mar 10, 2004
    1,144
    Denver, CO
    Full Name:
    Bijan
    Great read... love your writing.
     
  16. GCalo

    GCalo F1 Veteran

    Sep 15, 2004
    7,007
    Northern California
    Full Name:
    Greg Calo
    "So tell us, did you keep the Mini?"

    Never mind the Mini, did he keep his wife?

    Great story, however!
     
  17. isellpower

    isellpower Formula Junior

    Nov 30, 2003
    882
    Midwest
    Full Name:
    Jason

    Get a used SRT10 Viper. They've taken a large hit already and your loss would be minimal if you ever sold it. Mechanically they are tanks and the maintenance is just like a regular car, except rear tires. When the small bits and allen head screws start to fall out you'll just laugh and set them on your tool box.
     
  18. Francesco_Baracca

    Francesco_Baracca Formula Junior

    May 18, 2005
    367
    Superbly stated. Nice work.
     
  19. jaturon

    jaturon Formula 3

    Oct 25, 2004
    1,599
    Bangkok Thailand
    Full Name:
    Zane
    Interesting read.
     
  20. c_snapper

    c_snapper Karting

    Mar 16, 2004
    80
    Toronto, ON
    Full Name:
    Collin Ng
    you bought a mini one day, and a FERRARI the next???

    way to go you!!!

    sorry to hear that you had to let it go...but good read
     
  21. Kds

    Kds F1 World Champ

    You threw out the pictures !!!! Shoulda posted them here.................heh.
     
  22. andrew911

    andrew911 F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 8, 2003
    2,868
    Northern NJ
    If it had a 6-speed, non-daytona seats, and you had a good shop to fix it would you have been more inclined to keep it? I love the lines of the 360- more than the 430, 612 scag. or any of the current crop of lambos/supercars. And I'd only get a 6-speed myself... Just curious....

    -Andrew
     
  23. Ken

    Ken F1 World Champ

    Oct 19, 2001
    16,078
    Arlington Heights IL
    Full Name:
    Kenneth
    As for the mechanics, I'm a litany of disgust for my ex-Lotus guy so you're not alone.

    I'm with the others that perhaps you chose the wrong car? I mean, if the car was more to your liking and you had better dealership support, would owning a Ferrari be a concept you embrace? Maybe you'd prefer an Aston Martin or a more "refined" exotic, or go the other way and get a Lotus which is much more of a driver's car than a Ferrari, but at the expense of comfort? You write far too well to be a Lambo guy ;>)

    Ken
     

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