F car for "normal" uses?

Discussion in '360/430' started by srwhitman, Mar 31, 2005.

  1. srwhitman

    srwhitman Karting

    Mar 15, 2005
    Saratoga, CA
    Full Name:
    Scott Whitman
    I am in the market to buy a 355. I've taken it for a test drive. I like the car, the lines, the uh, shall we say, cachet. Obviously, for less money I could buy a higher performance car (Corvette) but its not a Ferrari. I was speaking with a Porsche owner today - he pointed out that he can leave his 911 just about anywhere and not worry about it getting dinged or stolen as no one really pays attention to it (presumably since there are tons of them out there and it is not "unusual"). I currently have a Lotus Elan - I used to worry about it but now that its 13 years old I don't care as much anymore. I take it everywhere and anywhere.

    But people are always saying - you can't take a Ferrari anywhere. You would be scared to leave it some place as someone might do something to it (or steal it). Obviously, you get the good with the bad (its unusual, its unusual) so people are naturally attracted to it. I'd like comments from others on how they feel about their F car. Seems most owners don't drive them very much and/or only use them on weekends. I drive my Elan all the time - its got 81K miles on it now. I just got back from the track in fact! Actually, after that I noticed tons of bugs and some tar on the car and I was wondering how I'd feel if that had been a Ferrari. I'd hate to mess up the paint job on a Ferrari and I'm sure some of these bugs are causing nicks/scratches. Yet, at the same time, I do want to "use" the car. I'd love to take it to the track. I'd like to drive it everywhere I take my Lotus.

    The Lotus is small, the Ferrari is bigger although not a big car but it is wide and the doors seem like they would be a problem in tight parking spaces.

    Here's me by the way:

    Anyway, enough rambling - send me your comments!

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  3. gougoul

    gougoul Formula 3

    Nov 25, 2004
    Geneva, Switzerland

    to address your issues :

    - Parking is always a problem with a ferrari. The car is rather wide and attracts lots of attention (even if it's an older model, a ferrari is a head turner).
    - It's true as well that a Porsche is less of a head turner, but then again, if you're in the market for a Ferrari, it means you also somehow want this attention, no ?
    Still this doesn't mean you can't take it anywhere (well, unless you really want to go into some big troubles, some areas should be avoided anyway), simply i don't know if you'll be as calm as with another car.
    - You can use it daily, but running costs will be in a very different league from your lotus (cambelts, clutch, servicing, brakes etc), as the later uses mainstream parts.
    - Same applies for track days.
    - For daily use, if you live to close from your workplace, it's a pain, since the engine/gearbox will never get warm....(but it doesn't mean you can't do it...)
    - For the dirt, even if it's a ferrari, it's still "only" a car, and cars are meant to be driven -by any weather. I got my 550 very dirty (salt, snow, mud etc), and it looked really cool like that, but maybay it's weird.
  4. Wiseguy

    Wiseguy Karting

    Apr 25, 2004
    Englewood, NJ
    Full Name:
    Mr Bill
    I don't have one at the moment (Unless right right manual 456 pops up.. Im looking) but I always drove mine daily, Heck, I may be the fchat high-mileage king,. if not I'm close.

    I've used them as trucks, hauiled stuff, commuted into Manhattan, done huge cross-country road trips (ok, cruise would be nice) and never had a problem.

    If you use them daily, you will get dings, chips, etc... just like I get on my BMW or Volvo..etc. Heck, It's a car. A very expensive to maintain car, but just a car at the end of the day. OK, well a very special car that's amazing to drive, etc.. but it is still just a car.

    Funny, everyone seems to think they're unreliable, finicky..etc... not me, these are solid and reliable cars IF YOU USE THEM!.

    The only "exotic" I ever owned that was a real pile of junk was a countach.
  5. donv

    donv Two Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Jan 5, 2002
    Portland, Oregon
    Full Name:
    From a practical point of view, it's fine. I don't worry about it getting stolen-- that's why I have insurance. As for door dings and whatnot, get it detailed once a year. You'd be amazed at what a good detailer can do. Of course, there are things I don't do-- it's not a very good snow car, for instance, and it's not my first choice to park at the airport for a week. But for general use, it's great.

    My 456 is bigger than a 911, and the 911 is easier to park. However, the 456 is no bigger than my wife's Lexus, yet I don't hear much complaining about the difficulty of parking those.

    And, from a maintenance point of view, it's pretty reasonable as well. Figure most guys recommend changing the belts every 5 years or 30,000 miles. So, if you drive 6,000 miles per year you will be right on schedule. If you drive less than that, you're not really saving anything.

    Ah, but things will break if you drive it, right? My opinion, after ten plus years of Ferrari ownership (and 15 years of Porsche ownership) is that if you drive them, yes, things will break. If you let them sit, things will break. So, might as well drive them and enjoy the benefits of ownership.

    The one place where mileage makes a difference is depreciation, at least on a late model Ferrari. If you plan on selling it fairly soon, that could be an issue. If you are going to keep it for 10+ years, it will probably not make much difference, especially amortized over the years of ownership.

    Now, the "attention" factor is really up to you, and only you can figure that one out. I'd say go for it, and if it bothers you then sell the 355. It won't depreciate much. Good luck!
  6. Steve R

    Steve R F1 Rookie

    Sep 15, 2004
    MeSoNeedy, CA
    Full Name:
    TorQ Master

    Normally I'd write a passionate novel about how much I love my 355 and how it's soooo worth it. I'd include all sorts of references, statistics & info....but there's no need to here.

    Everything you write & express has some basis of legitimate concern. You could buy a cheaper car that's quicker, one that's not going to make you worry when you park it and one that may cost less to maintain.....sure, you "could" do that...follow the path of the many thousands.

    But I'll make you a promise: when you own your 355 and drive it....the sound, the thrill, the handling (that no GM product will ever own) and the overall sensation will overwhelm you. The price tag is higher on all counts....but it is absolutely thoroughly worth it. It's both an addiction & an affliction. It's real and it's just something you'll have to experience: I've never met an owner who didn't agree. The question isn't "is a Ferrari right for you"...but rather, "are you right for a Ferrari".

    And the answer is; it's right and it don't get no righter!

    You can't rationalize it...just have faith that you'll likely regard it as one of the most satisfying purchases you'll ever make. Ferrari IS the mountain top, everything else is a placebo.

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  8. vsnqust

    vsnqust Karting

    Mar 28, 2004
    Next to roland
    I have a 456 and a 355.. Just buy a ferrari and realize it is not an investment..
    but something to be enjoyed.. so buy it drive it and enjoy it and do regular
    maintenance and you will have a great car to enjoy! And remember to wipe the
    grin off your face after parking it..
  9. Wiseguy

    Wiseguy Karting

    Apr 25, 2004
    Englewood, NJ
    Full Name:
    Mr Bill
    Just a thought on Mileage and depreciation.

    I figure that driving my old 550, say, 40k miles versus 4k miles during my course of ownership cost me an extra $35,000 in depreciation. Had I driven it 4k miles in 2.5 years instead of 42k miles I'd have lost $30,000 or so in depreciation.

    Instead it cost me about $60,000 in depreciation.

    Wait a second... 10 times the use out of the car for twice the money? It sounds sick, but I think that's the bargain of the century! :D

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