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Critical things to know in buying or owning a Mondial

Discussion in 'Mondial' started by snj5, Jul 31, 2008.

  1. paulchua

    paulchua Cat Herder
    Moderator Owner

    Jul 1, 2013
    6,789
    Menlo Park, CA
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    Paul Chua
    hahaha! Love that photo! I felt that at first, but I've concluded that people will denigrate the Mondial, 400, 348 (all of which I also love) for whatever personal reasons. Mongo, Mogol, Moo Moo, Moncha, whatever people call a Mondial enthusiast don't matter to me anymore. I will however debate folks on anything objective about it.

    Most have never experienced one, let alone driven one first hand. Also, some folks only read/experienced the Mondial 8 - which we all know was the lowest performing model. They only imported 147 in the USA/CA, I would be willing to bet 10% are already parted out. Which would probably leave around 100 drivable models here in the United States.

    It's akin to somebody pontificating on the character of a F22 fighter jet vs say an F35. "Really?" you really know huh? You've 'flown' both and can really give an accurate run down?

    I'll give more weight to folks that own, drive, and maintain these cars over some armchair automotive blogger regurgitating what another armchair automotive blogger wrote.

    I'll cast my lot with John Pogson, a 6 time British Ferrari Champion, that has driven and worked on practically every Ferrari for 40 years. When he says he loves his Mondial QV coupe with a passion and doesn't understand why the negative views on it, I couldn't agree more.

    Let the haters hate, let the drivers drive!

    Cheers
     
  2. bartzagato

    bartzagato Formula Junior

    Aug 7, 2010
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    Belgium
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    Bart


    Beautiful conclusion.
    Well said.
     
  3. Mondi88

    Mondi88 Karting

    Aug 4, 2014
    208
    South West, UK
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    Dave
    I watched my 4 year old son today do the sack race at nursery sports day.
    He fell over and came last.
    He costs me a fortune and lots of people say he looks like me (which is not beautiful!).
    But I still absolutely love him to bits :)
     
  4. Russ Gould

    Russ Gould Formula Junior

    Nov 8, 2004
    925
    Your here, the car must of meant something to you?

    Did you mean to write "You're here, the car must have meant something to you?"

    Here's what the car meant to me:

    I had high hopes for the car when I bought it sight unseen at an FBI auction in Ohio. Dennis McCann did an engine out major, clutch, and gave entire car a once over. That cost me $12.5K back in 1992. I vividly remember the price of the new water pump. I flew out there and drove it home to CT. Ran out of gas on that initial journey at night because the gas gauge had no "reserve", when it hits zero the motor stops. And for a small car it guzzled gas even cruising at speed limit on highway. Leaked oil from rear distributor, took me three tries to get that fixed. First time with Bill Pollard, who cursed the car for being a Fiat POS. Twice at Ron Tonkin. Clutch shimmied but that eventually settled down. Hand brake pin came loose for no apparent reason got mangled in rear drum, damaging shoe. Twice this happened. The hand brake was very weak despite attention so I stopped using it. Warning light for "Lucci Esterne" came on and stayed on no matter what I did. Had to replace plug wires with about 3,000 miles on them. Tonkin quoted me $800 for a set of plug wires. I made a set myself using the correct spiral wound Taylor wire. That was around the time the (new) oil filter blew up spraying oil in a wide stripe down the road and all over the motor. Fortunately I noticed before the oil pressure went to zero. Tonkin, who had installed the filter, said they had a bad batch and offered to clean up the mess. Oil pressure sender malfunctioned. Tonkin said they had to make a special tool to replace it. Once the clutch stuck to flywheel, took some doing to get it unstuck. Clutch slave leaked. Learned the intricacies of Mondial clutch hydraulics that way. Could they have made the access any worse? Header tank came adrift while cornering and air pump pulley cut a hole in it. Dodgy mounting arrangement, they use bolts cast in rubber to mount the darn thing. Cold start acted up, made motor sound like it had very bad knock, so I disabled it and it proved to be unnecessary after all.

    Interior problems: head liner sagged; window motors were barely operable; had to replace a switch that stopped working. Vinyl shrunk away from defogging vents and leather shrunk on console exposing raw edge despite regular Hide Food. Did not drive the car much as it was no fun to drive. I think I did 5000 miles in it mostly taking it in for servicing or repair or DMV or once-a-month around the block. It used oil, was told "they all do". Steering so heavy, car heavy and slow off mark, door lock was awkward had to rebuild it twice. Since it was clearly designed for cruising I installed an expensive stereo. Found it too noisy to listen to music. Preferred to drive my other cars (had a GT4 and a GTSi at the same time, as well as 2002 Turbo).

    Body had rust problems when I got it mainly in sills. Had that all cut out, welded etc. Later the door bottoms bubbled thru the paint. Had that cut out, welded and redone. Later still bubble developed at bottom of pillar.

    I would have sold it sooner but for a long time you could not give these cars away. I moved to TX and did not trust the car to make the trip, so fortunately, since the market had perked up, I was able to sell for about what I initially put into it including the McCann bill but not the subsequent bills. I think it cost me about $6 per mile driven over the course of my ownership, excluding gas and insurance.

    Well since you asked, this is what the car meant to me: a waste of good parking space and money. Fortunately I had plenty of both.
     
  5. Statler

    Statler F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Jun 7, 2011
    13,541
    Wait... The guy who didn't like his trashed unkept unloved and unmaintained Mondial is the same one arguing in the OJ thread?

    Ok, I can ignore both threads and that user now.
     
  6. Wade

    Wade Two Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Mar 31, 2006
    28,031
    East Central, FL
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    Wade O.
    Sorry to say Russ, but there are good and bad examples of every [mass] produced car that was ever built. Based on what you've said about yours, it should have been a parts car right from the beginning.

    My first wife left back in 1999 after 13 years of a truly horrible relationship (got worse with each and every year). You don't hear me whining about Dutch women (still fond of them, even with their idiosyncrasies... the one's I've known anyway :) ).
     
  7. Meister

    Meister F1 Veteran
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    Apr 27, 2001
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    The Meister
    Holy black cloud batman... Explains a lot
     
  8. Mfoncerrada

    Mfoncerrada Formula Junior

    Dec 20, 2009
    414
    Monterey, CA
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    Miguel Foncerrada
    Russ,
    Thank you for your entertaining diatribes...LOL
     
  9. paulchua

    paulchua Cat Herder
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    Jul 1, 2013
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    #84 paulchua, Jul 7, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2016
    Thanks Russ for taking the time to talk about your experiences. I believe many things had the deck stacked against you.
    First, you bought the car sight unseen; that's a big no-no. A PPI was imperative! I'm assuming it was a drug/tax evasion bust, most likely it was neglected for quite some time!

    In regards to your specific points, I want to separate things that are "Mondial specific" and things that are common to all Ferrari. You said you liked your 308, what I want to mention is the things that you itemized that failed you are parts/systems that use the exact same parts as the 308/other Ferrari.

    Parts that 'broke' on you

    Plug Wires (#114474 same for 308)
    Oil Explosion (#116953 same exact oil pump as 308) - and damaged oil filter (strange, but independent of the 8)
    Oil Pressure sender (#114927 same as 308)
    Used lots of oil - (same motor as the 308)
    Clutch Slave leak (#107867 same part as the 512BB)
    Clutch Disk (#110296 same as 308)
    Rear Distributor Leak (#119396 same casing as the 308)
    Hand Brake System (#116397 same as Testarossa)
    Header tank 'rubber' mounts (#102947 same as 308)


    Problems that are common to ALL FERRARI of the 80s
    Slow window motors (common to all 80's Ferrari)
    Loud (yes, and thank Enzo for that!)
    Gas Guzzler (it says 13 MPG right there on the purchase sticker)
    Goofy Gas Gauge (common to all Ferrari of this era)
    leather/dashboard shrinkage (common to Ferrari 80s/90s)
    headliner warpage (yup, even my Honda has warpage after 10+ years)
    Rust - common for 308 GTSi as well
    heavy steering (yes, that's what no power steering means)
    Cold Start Problem (could be anything under the sun)

    Part unique to Mondial 8 ONLY
    Door Locks (#60634400) $155 new.

    I agree, if I spent 12K on initial maintenance the car and what sounds like maybe another 18K ($6 x 5000 miles) = $30,000 for a grand total of 30K + Purchase price = ~what? around 50K?

    I would be pretty angry too. But as pointed out above (with part numbers) most of the things you said that failed are cross parted with the 308 and other Ferrari. You also mentioned you barely drove it. I imagine the previous owner probably didn't either, and sitting in an FBI parking lot waiting for auction is brutal for a car.

    Russ sorry you got a lemon, but that's why proper PPI and maintenance is imperative to not only a Mondial, but all exotics.

    Not to offend, but I believe your experiences mirror that cliche of buying a 'cheap' Ferrari is the most expensive Ferrari you will ever own.
     
  10. Sfumato

    Sfumato F1 Veteran
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    Angus Podgorney
    #85 Sfumato, Jul 7, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2016
    OK, a guy buys an FBI auction car sight unseen, no cursory walkaround alone PPI, pays a pittance, needs lots of work, and he's butthurt he didn't have a gem? Bwahahahahahahahaha.
    Cue teeny tiny violins. Every tight-fisted bottom feeder wants something for nothing. $6/mile? Boohoo. My 599 cost me $29/mile. If you had "plenty of money", why didn't you buy a good example, or fly to look at it?

    News flash-confiscated cars haven't had great care, and usually sit for years. My old SWB comp sat in a EU warehouse after confiscated from guy I sold it to for tax case. 13 years later it came out, needed everything. It was a great survivor going into custody.

    IMO, only a fool would buy an exotic, or any car from government auction without looking at it in person. Sour grapes surliness and arrogance over their poor judgment is hysterical.

    I know two guys with Mongos named Russ. Both Mongos have toolbags, but only one drove ;)
     
  11. kitreid

    kitreid Karting

    Feb 7, 2012
    103
    Thanks Russ Gould for the spelling lesson, it's just as impressive as your need to tell us you sell gun's for a living....
     
  12. bartzagato

    bartzagato Formula Junior

    Aug 7, 2010
    610
    Belgium
    Full Name:
    Bart
    It seems you had bad luck with your car.
    But, these all are old cars. They need maintenance, and everything is (at that time) 20yrs old. Parts resources weren't as available as now in internet-times.

    I bought myself a new hobby. I can wrench & I can drive. And then wrench again. And I like it.
    I can assume, if you are not a wrencher, things easely get out of control if you need to frequent a dealer/workshop every single time.

    Perhaps some reading in the mondial threads would give you a new vision on how wonderfull our cars really can be.

    If you want a new Mondial, try to search for the best you can find and enjoy it to the max.

    In the meanwhile, I will stay wrenching on mine. ;)
     
  13. Russ Gould

    Russ Gould Formula Junior

    Nov 8, 2004
    925
    That would be "guns" not "gun's" ... someone questioned my motive for posting negative comments about these cars and theorized that I was a dealer so I set that straight. Not sure where this person is going with that comment. If you don't like gun's vote for Hillary.

    My experience not atypical from my research. Reading this thread you see clearly documented the common faults of these cars .. electrical gremlins, windows, sunroof, a/c, starter motor, hood struts, rust prone (at least the earlier ones), rubber parts, etc etc. That would not be such a big deal if the parts and associated labor were not so egregious or in some cases unavailable; or if the car were a thoroughbred and not a nag. The problem is you are paying Ferrari prices but not getting what to my mind is the essence of the Ferrari experience: an exceptionally fast car with looks and finishes to match.

    I don't believe my experience was atypical. The white T on Ebay right now had $50K worth of mechanical and electrical repairs at the last visit to the dealer. The Ts are known for blowing up transmissions. There is a car for sale in the classifieds that has $25K of recent work. It seems these egregious repair receipts are considered by sellers to be a strong selling point. But in my eyes they just make the point I am trying to make: these cars have flaws and require supercar-priced parts and labor but they are really sedan-like in their performance. I think anyone contemplating purchasing one should know that. After all the title of the thread is "Critical things to know in buying or owning a Mondial". To that list we should probably add, as Bartz posted, that you should probably have the time, tools and ability to work on the car yourself. If you can handle a belt change, then you are way ahead of the game, at least to the extent that you will not be paying $120 per hour for labor and you can buy some parts at less-than-dealer prices.

    To those who conclude that my car was a neglected mongrel, let me point out that it fetched a record price for a Mondial 8 in this century: $36K.

    To those who think I should shut up/man up and pay, I think it's particularly important to point out the financial responsibilities to a potential buyer, since these are the cheapest Ferraris extant and thus attract many potential buyers cannot really afford the upkeep. If you are in the 599 or SWB league, then this point is not applicable to you. I could afford it but it still bothered me.

    To those who have had nothing but joy from their cars, I am happy for you. On the whole I enjoyed my 308 GTSi and my GT4 both of which I owned for many years. Mondial not so much.

    I think I have run out of things to say on this subject now. That will be a relief to some of you. I hope I have educated at least a few potential buyers. Bottom line, again these are the cheapest Ferraris in the marketplace, and there is a reason for that. Caveat emptor.
     
  14. moysiuan

    moysiuan Formula 3
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    Nov 1, 2005
    1,663
    Toronto, Canada
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    Andy
    I think these are very low volume, hand built cars, and it is not unfair to dispassionately identify the potential costs and frustrations re parts availability and price and such of dealing with an exotic car. I think cars of this age, that are actually driven, are best in the hands of car enthusiast/handymen who can deal with the smaller and preventative things, and enjoy the overall experience from hunting down the right car, preening it and enjoying the privilege of being the custodian of rolling artwork. Being able to afford the upkeep is also fair warning to those who are stretching for the dream. If it goes badly, the market is thin and you can not unload an unsorted car easily for a reasonable value.

    But this is not unique to the Mondial, all these comments apply to many desirable classic cars. I can't even find 13" correct tires for my father's 1979 Fiat X1/9 without a major effort and cost, so all the caveats apply to older cars, perhaps other than very common American musclecars which by their nature and popularity have tremendous aftermarket support.

    Also, many of us have had exceptional experiences with the Mondial, I have enjoyed 10 years+ of my 3.2 cab with no reliability problems at all (ok, I had a battery go flat after 7 years). There is some luck in getting a great car in the first instance, but again, that goes for any classic.

    As for whether the car is a thoroughbred or a nag, the classic car market is not exactly rational, and there are plenty of niche vehicles that have a hard core following, some that are worth very little and others worth millions. I chose the Mondial because I liked how it looked, sounded and felt while driving, probably in that order. I also liked the idea of tinkering on a highly engineered, hand built car. It has since chosen me as a committed owner. We get along quite well.
     
  15. Sfumato

    Sfumato F1 Veteran
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    Angus Podgorney
    I'm quite confident Dr. Turner's 8 crushed the "world record", So at least you had the Russ part right.

    Cars that have had a lot spent on them, documented, will sell because the work is already done, hopefully sorted. Wise buyers know old cars need parts, lots and lots of parts, and labor. BMW, MB, Lexus all charge 130/hr labor for your out of warranty Camry/3 series/whatever.

    I'm fortunate to play in a league that many can't. That said, I've spent similarly on cars, and did it because I wanted to. Don't like spending the money, don't. Sell it. Can't do the work, play the game in the Ferrari world, DUH, don't try to get in for cheap. The problems pointed out are common to any old car. Stuff has a half-life. Try to restore an E9 CS, or find proper dash trim for a W107 SL. It costs time and money. Buy a restoration, get car free.

    No physical examination or PPI on car with minimal to zero history buys ALL problems. Idiotic. Complaining when one is made whole, or not losing much, is also idiotic.

    Enthusiasts WANT to take on problems, WANT a Ferrari, and come to threads to learn to examine a car before buying one. Exactly what you did NOT do. So only ONE person in this thread didn't do due diligence, was lucky to recover $$, and craps on serious thread, started by someone who has PERSONALLY built the NICEST Mondial on the planet, with meticulous care and engineering. Teaching the board along the way.

    Until one can claim that, they're a troll, and an imperious, "wealthy" and whiny oozing boil on the ass of the hobby.

    BTW, it's "If you don't like GUNS.... Hysterically, in same paragraph you "corrected" another for similar error.
    Also, "My experience not atypical from my research" is missing a verb. Glass houses and stones rarely mix.

    To the rest of the Mongoes here, keep on. Mondials handle better than 348's, the cab is a very nice car and again the only 4 seat cab from Ferrari. The strakes were subdued, the car was handsome, and they age well. Forza.
     
  16. Russ Gould

    Russ Gould Formula Junior

    Nov 8, 2004
    925
    Actually I had Dennis McCann look at the car before I bought it. I assume you have heard of him? He actually bid on and bought the car for me. But don't get me started on Dennis.

    And shove your hysteria, the "gun's" error was deliberate.

    I may be the boil but YOU take the prize for being the ass, and an arrogant one at that.
     
  17. El Wayne

    El Wayne Global Moderator
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    Aug 1, 2002
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    User banned for a week.
     
  18. John Hasty

    John Hasty Rookie

    Jul 16, 2019
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    John H. Hasty
    Dose the 1989 t have a glove box? I wondered what the insert on the dash was but couldn't see that it opened.
     
  19. Wade

    Wade Two Time F1 World Champ
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    #94 Wade, Feb 14, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020
    Critical? You know there are two kinds of 1989 Mondials, and each one has it's differences. ;)

    What does your Owner's Manual say?
     

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