Dealer won't start or allow test drives for an 89 Testarossa in Clearwater, FL

Discussion in 'Boxers/TR/M' started by atomsrock, Mar 26, 2004.

  1. atomsrock

    atomsrock Rookie

    Mar 21, 2004
    I'm looking at an 89 Testarossa with 11,000 miles here in Clearwater, Florida, but the dealer won't start the car nor will he allow test drives.

    The car is on consignment, the owner resides out of the country.

    I guess that this must be a good sign to walk away, any thoughts?
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  3. Varenne

    Varenne Formula Junior

    Nov 8, 2003
    Full Name:
    Walk away, and don't look back. There are lots or these out the for sale.

    Take a look at Martin's inventory. He's got two TRs (including a gorgeous silver one along with a 512 TR just a couple hundred miles away in Miami.
  4. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ

    Dec 6, 2002
    Houston, Texas
    Full Name:
    Well, you could see it from their side, too.

    Did you establish yourself as a qualified buyer? They are all maybe gun shy after the F50 was stolen on test drive.
  5. Spasso

    Spasso F1 World Champ

    Feb 16, 2003
    Land of Slugs & Moss
    Full Name:
    Han Solo
    If you are indeed serious about investigating this car, show up with proof of finance and verbal intent, inspect all of the records (if any) then have the dealer make arrangements with the owner of the car to have a PPI done and allow a road test. If the dealer or the owner refuses then they are not being forthright in THEIR intent to sell the car. More than likely they are looking for someone with money making an impulse/emotional buy.

    Without some considerations from the dealer and owner I would walk away.

  6. atomsrock

    atomsrock Rookie

    Mar 21, 2004
    I haven't provided them any proof yet since I only visited them once. However, they asked me to return during the week for a test drive, just around the block in downtown Clearwater, Florida, where the posted speed limit is 35 mph and the roads are narrow and congested (during spring break no less!). I explained to them that I would need to drive in on the interstate. This is when they refused.

    I then told them that I wasn't interested and they asked me to make an offer.

    They then told me that they have never allowed a test drive, and, I'm not making this up, for the the year and a half that they have had this car on consignment!

    I then spoke to one of the one of the sales guys told me that they are charging the owner storage for this vehicle and that the owner uses it when he visits the U.S., so, I'm not really sure that the owner is too serious about selling it.

    Additional thoughts?
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  8. formula1joe

    formula1joe Formula Junior

    Nov 3, 2003
    Atlanta, GA
    Full Name:
    Joe Bennett
    Sounds like they are not that interested in selling it to me.
  9. Spasso

    Spasso F1 World Champ

    Feb 16, 2003
    Land of Slugs & Moss
    Full Name:
    Han Solo
    Back to the guy with money and the impulse buy...............................
  10. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ

    Dec 6, 2002
    Houston, Texas
    Full Name:
    Storage Fee AND consignment commish!!!! That's a sweet deal.

    They hope they NEVER sell it. Hel_, if it racks up a big enough bill and values continue to tank, they'll own it themselves!!!!
  11. tifosi69

    tifosi69 Formula 3

    Dec 23, 2003
    Atlanta, Ga.
    Full Name:
    Al-Al Cool J
    That is, no offense Spasso, a bunch of crap. See this is what we have talked about on other threads regarding problems with both FNA and the entire dealer network in general (bumping waiting list spots, selling deposit cars to others, shoddy service, etc.) Now I know there are exceptions to every rule but in the last 2 or 3 years I have noticed a marked decrease in the dealers levels of customer service, attitudes and general sense of caring about customer satisfaction. They have begun to think that Ferrari's **** don't stink and they can just run rough-shod over anyone, get **** on and they will say "thanks for the hat" Stolen F50 or not, there are PLENTY of assurances and precautions a dealer can take and let someone test drive a car. When I got my car I went into the dealer on a whim one Wednesday afternoon with a friend of mine, talked to the salesman or a few minutes and he took the car off the floor and drove it outside, warmed it up, gave me a few tips and answered questions and off we went. He made a copy of my driver's license and insurance card that was it. He came with me and we went on a nice DRIVE, not some driver's ed parking lot crap. When I bought my wife's mercedes they GAVE me the car and I drove around Decatur for over an hour and I was alone. Piss poor service IMHO!
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    WILLIAM H Three Time F1 World Champ

    Nov 1, 2003
    Victory Circle
    Full Name:
    Run away. A silver 512TR is a beautiful thing :)
  14. Tomf-1

    Tomf-1 F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Jan 17, 2004
    Leawood KS/ South FL
    Full Name:

    Or black..... Either way, it's all good as long as it's 512TR.
  15. TigerAce

    TigerAce Formula 3

    May 29, 2003
    Dallas, TX
    Full Name:
    Yoshi Ace
    Maybe you should work out a deal pending on the result of test drive. Since it is consignment, the dealer cannot make a sales decision unless your offer is above what the owner is asking for. If you are willing to pay for asking price, then you need to bring pre-approval for loan or proof of cash payment unless this dealer offers own loan. If a dealer still refuse for test drive, ask for the reason so you can negotiate. Dealers should understand you as a buyer cannot make a final decision unless you actually drive the car, so ask this to the salesman and see what his response would be. It is possible that the dealer is just putting a car for show and not willing to part w/ it since they are already making money for storage.

    There are so many teasers out there, so I can understand some dealers' stance (although I don't necessary agree w/ it) You take a car for test drive, and if gets in an accident, what'll happen? Even w/ repair, carfax will show accident on its record, and it will be a big ding for next sales.

    After all, Ferrari is not just transportation car, so the seller would be very cautious, which I can understand. And I'm sure most buyers don't want to be responsible for an accident which happens before the purchase, too.

  16. tbakowsky

    tbakowsky F1 World Champ
    Professional Ferrari Technician Consultant

    Sep 18, 2002
    The Cold North
    Full Name:
    You have to look at this from the dealers point of view.

    1. This car does not belong to them, it is owned by a customer

    2. The dealer is more then likely sick and tired of people coming in and
    kicking tires and never buying.

    3. They don't know you from a hole in the ground, why should they risk
    sombodies car so you can go for a test drive?

    4. If the car was in the showroom why would they want to start it up for
    you inside and stink the place up?

    5. The dealership already pays high enough insurance just to be able to sell
    and service these cars. Why would they take the risk for sombody who
    they are not sure can even afford to buy the car.

    The correct way to get a road test in an exotic car is to speak to the dealer over the phone. Make an appointment to come and see the car. Ask the dealer what they require if a road test is requested. Provide the information needed. You can't just show up out of the blue and expect a road test. It's not a Hyundi your road testing.

    Have a little sympathy for the dealer. They go through this stuff day in and day out. The salesman wants the sale, but you have to show that you are very serious about the car. When they know your serious, they will do anything to sell it to you.

  17. whart

    whart F1 Veteran

    Dec 5, 2001
    Grandview NY
    Full Name:
    Herr Prof.
    I'm not sure what a "test drive" accomplishes, unless the driver is sufficiently familiar with the overall performance of a particular model to judge whether this specific car seems underpowered, underbraked, misaligned or in overall poor mechanical running condition. Perhaps, if you as a prospective purchaser have enough savvy to make these assessments, you are entitled to a test drive. Honestly, though, i would rather have a competent mechanic who knows the model test drive it for me.
    If, on the other hand, you want to see if you like how a mid-engined 12 cyl. ferrari drives, assuming you have never been behind the wheel of one, i'm not sure its incumbent on any dealer to give you that experience. Better to get a friend, or other owner to take you out. Of course, if you have a relationship with a dealer, that's different. But, coming in from the cold, especially on consignment, i don't really see why a test drive should be made available, other than as part of a PPI by a competent party.
  18. billh

    billh Karting

    May 2, 2002
    central mass
    Full Name:
    Bill Henderson
    Well put Tom! I agree.
  19. ClassicFerrari

    ClassicFerrari F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    Jan 7, 2004
    Full Name:

    I agree 100%. I sell cars and I take everyone serious. The problem is, alot of tire kickers out there. I have seen some really big losers wanna drive a car just to say they drove it. They think they are being filmed for Road & Track TV - It's hilarious! I dread those people BIG time.

    Best to call, make an appointment and even have them right up a deal conditional to test drive with a deposit and's very common to do this. If they are for real, they wont have a problem.

  20. norm

    norm Karting

    May 30, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    If they won't even start the car, walk away. I can appreciate them not allowing a test drive. But, not starting it.....unf--g believable. But, if they have an unmotivated buyer, who needs a place to keep his car, and they're getting storage, sounds like a very nice deal for them. Plus, it adds nice window dressing to their lot.

    Way too many TR's out there to put up with this BS. Keep looking.
  21. yesod

    yesod Formula Junior

    Nov 2, 2003
    Full Name:
    Is the dealer PJ's?
  22. johnw

    johnw Formula Junior

    Jun 19, 2002
    Full Name:
    it's not a big deal. wait until the owner gets back. i have had my car on consignment before with specific instruction that the car not be driven by anyone, including the staff.

    as far as starting the car, what's the purpose? to rev up a cold engine so you can hear the sound? i don't see any purpose to letting someone start the car. it's a temptation to hear that ferrari roar.

    now if the owner gets back and u still can't get a tst drive, u got a problem.
  23. PBRacer

    PBRacer Karting
    Rossa Subscribed

    Nov 3, 2003
    Full Name:
    Before i bought my car i was in Greensboro for a funeral. Drove up in a rental, browsed the used F cars. I was looking for a 1989 328, which they didn't have any. Salesman offered me a test drive in a 355 Spider. I of course did not intend to spend that much money on my first F car. So, he warms it up as we walk around the car and he points out the finer styling points of the 355 versus the older 328. Shows me the condition of the vehicle and then we get in to go on the drive. Unbeknownest to me as the car was warming up the AC was also chilling the interior. It was a 90 degree day. He tells me he just wanted to make sure that i understood that even though it's a sportscar the AC does in fact work. anyway he drives then i drive, both in town and on the interstate, takes me to this back road with some twists. all in all a great drive. The point is here that i wasn't even thinking of buying a 355. I told them that before we went on the drive. I bought the car anyway!

    See, the drive was the thing. they took a risk on a self proclaimed "non-355-buyer" and got themselves a client.

  24. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

    Apr 20, 2002
    Full Name:
    My 2 cents: If you are TRULY serious about the car you ask for service records. You CAREFULLY look at the vehicle, THEN decide if she is worth a PPI. If it is worth a PPI, have your guy go there and do it. THEN with all this data you can have a good idea about it's worth and should also be able to test drive it. Any sane dealer would allow a test drive AFTER a PPI as it shows you have invested time/money into this purchase. If the dealer does not agree to these conditions then move on as they may have something to hide pertaining to the car.

    Jut my humble 2 Yen.


  25. isellpower

    isellpower Formula Junior

    Nov 30, 2003
    Full Name:

    What's the purpose of sarting or driving a car that's for sale? Wow! I sure am glad that I am not one of the poor souls who's life has to cross paths with yours. You must be a real pain in the ass. Why would you have it for sale and not even let anyone start it? You are a tool and I'm sure that you already know that, don't you?
  26. atomsrock

    atomsrock Rookie

    Mar 21, 2004

    Interstingly, one the sales guy told me tht the owner doesn't care about the test drives, but that it's the owner of the dealership that has the concern and hence no test drives. They've contacted me several times offering a test drive, but, like one of the posts above, the drivers ed version won't suffice.

    btw, it's a dealer specializing in american mucle cars, a good read for their cluelessness (PJ's Autoworld in Clearwater, Florida). Nice guys though, but, they're simply not in that business.

    As for proving worthiness, should I bring a bank print out showing the cash in the bank, or what? The local benz and jag dealers know me though neighbors of my with Fs, lamb, etc., so, they aren't worried, hence, theur willingness to just give me keys to new cars and stating "we'll see you tomorrow" or "in a couple of days".

  27. atomsrock

    atomsrock Rookie

    Mar 21, 2004
    I did all of this prior to visiting them:

    --> The correct way to get a road test in an exotic car is to speak to the dealer over the phone. Make an appointment to come and see the car. Ask the dealer what they require if a road test is requested.

    as for this:

    --> Provide the information needed.

    I asked them what they wanted and they stated nothing.

    My conclusion is that they either don't want to seel the car or, are looking for an "impulse" buy.
  28. atomsrock

    atomsrock Rookie

    Mar 21, 2004
    I prefer to test drive it myslef prior to hiring a mechanic for inspection. btw, I worked my way through college working for a jag dealership, I've worked on many exotics, and yes, I've driven the old 512, daytona, dinos, TRs, etc. as well as others.

    I totally understand the dealer's concern, but I did contact them several times and make an appointment.

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