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F355 w/quick change owner history-opinions needed

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by Dono, Mar 25, 2005.

  1. Dono

    Dono Karting

    Feb 27, 2004
    86
    USA
    Full Name:
    Don Neumann
    I've been searching for an F355 for a few months now and I've come across a few 1997 cars where, according to car fax, the last one or two owners have owned the car for as little as 3 or 6 months. Prior to this, the cars were owned for an average of 2 or 3 years.

    This smells like a red flag to me. I'd do a PPI on any car I would consider purchasing but before I get that far, I'd like some opinions as to this matter. Do any F Chatters think these samples are worth my time?

    Also, how many owners is too many for a 1997 F355 Spyder?

    I've been looking for a '98 or '99 in Rosso Corsa w/Tan hides, a manual 6 and at a sane price but good luck! They don't exist.
     
  2. richard_wallace

    richard_wallace Formula 3
    Rossa Subscribed

    Feb 6, 2004
    1,947
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Full Name:
    Richard Wallace
    Don,

    Just thinking about you - wondered if you were still looking or if you found your car yet... We should be going out on a drive in the next 3 weeks or so - I will make sure you get the e-mail invite and your are welcome to join in!

    On your question - If the service has been done (and WELL documented) and the PPI checks out - I would say you are probably ok. If you are looking at the car fax report - I would guess you are looking at a car that has been to auction a few times - if a dealer gets it and can move it - they will sell it at auction - and there are many cars like that out there. But I am with you - Red Flags do go up when it has switched hands many times - just be cautious and do the dilegence if you go that route.

    Couple of things I would do - I know GHOST (Vik from NY) has a terrific 355 B for sale for a very good price - I think it is in Ferrariads (I know you are looking for a Spider)- I was just talking to him the other day about his next potential purchase - thus I put in a plug for a friend :)

    Also you could give Martin a call - www.4ferrari.com I think he may have a spider or 2 - he is a member and well respected.. I looked at a car from him many moons ago - and he was very very helpful (which he probably doesn't even remember because it was so long ago).

    Keep up the hunt and don't settle - there are many out there - yours is somewhere out there too!

    Rich
     
  3. vincent355

    vincent355 F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed

    Apr 8, 2003
    5,624
    Wine Country
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    Vincent
    riverflyer also has one for sale.

    Tell us more about the car.
     
  4. Dono

    Dono Karting

    Feb 27, 2004
    86
    USA
    Full Name:
    Don Neumann

    Rich,

    Nope...still have not found a car. After you sold yours, I went looking to North Carolina and that guy sold his the day before I was due to arrive. It's been the story of my life.

    If I were in the market for Giallo Modena, I'd be in the pound seats. I'm still actively looking though. Thanks for the tips on additional sources for cars. I will check them out. If you know of a sweet Rossa Corsa GTS or Spyder for sale, pass that person my info.

    Also, thanks for the invite to the drive. If I have a car by then, I will look you up.

    As always, thanks for your help.
     
  5. Dono

    Dono Karting

    Feb 27, 2004
    86
    USA
    Full Name:
    Don Neumann
    Car has 13K miles on the clock and "4 estimated owners". The 3rd and 4th owners were in KY and OH respectively and the change of owners happened within 7 months. Rich's theory of an auction is starting to gel in my mind, especially given the close proximity of owners.

    But I keep returning to the question, "Why does a Ferrari need to go to an auction?" Either you can afford the car or you can't. If you can't, you probably will not take care of it like it should be and this is a bad thing on a car that costs $100K (used)! If the dealer wanted to unload it so quickly that too would make me concerned.

    If I could trace the previous owners and perhaps talk to them, I could get a better feel for the matter. Does anyone think it is out of line to ask for contact information of a previous owner? What are my odds of getting that info if the car is at a dealer?
     
  6. vincent355

    vincent355 F1 Veteran
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    Apr 8, 2003
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    Vincent

    Doesn't hurt to ask. what's the worst that can happen.

    Some people buy but can't afford, go ahead and ask. When you're about to spend that kind of cash no question unreasonable.

    you could always discount for what it would take to make the car right.

    recent purchases may mean a recent ppi, ask for it.


    I don't think this is the right car but push them a little maybe a diamond in the rough.
     
  7. M.James

    M.James F1 Rookie

    Jun 6, 2003
    2,720
    Worcester, MA
    Full Name:
    Michael.C.James
    "Flipping" cars, for profit, is quite common for the early runs of popular models, especially Spyders.
     
  8. 911Fan

    911Fan Formula 3

    Apr 15, 2004
    1,291
    Southern California
    If you're planning to buy one for a short term, this questionable history probably won't matter, other than to complicate the resale issue later on. But if you're thinking of hanging on to it for a few years, I think you'd be better off waiting for a car with more stable ownership, if there is such a thing in the weird world of Ferrari.

    Buy from a private party directly instead of through a dealer or broker. Then you can at least try to get some feel for what kind of care that owner has given to your prospective new car. Of course, full service records and a PPI are always a must, no matter who you're buying it from.

    Good luck!
     
  9. Dono

    Dono Karting

    Feb 27, 2004
    86
    USA
    Full Name:
    Don Neumann
    I visited the dealer today and boy was I disappointed. The interior was in terrible condition and the owner had less than acceptable documentation. The carfax did not even match his service records and the correct period for which he had owned the car.

    I could see the service nightmares flashing before my eyes. Whoever owned the car previously, had no concept of what a great machine they had. Instead, they left it to decay. It was so bad, I didn't even waste my time asking for a test drive.

    Thanks for all the responders. It's back to the internet to search some more.

    Regards,
     
  10. SrfCity

    SrfCity F1 Veteran

    Nov 1, 2003
    9,842
    Orange County, CA
    Sounds like you're searching for your car the right way. This careful process will certainly pay off and you'll avoid a lot of pain down the road.
     
  11. Gershwin

    Gershwin F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Feb 21, 2005
    5,974
    Kentucky
    I too took the day off Friday to drive 3.5 hours to look at a 98 355 spider at Nelson Auto Group. After announcing I would arrive around lunch and arrived promptly. The car had not been turned over in months and waited an hour before the car would run. After taking a brief drive learned the car had virtually no service documentation and only one major receipt from an independent mechanic. Top did not operate and numerous other little issues made the experience depressing yet informative. My hunt goes on, now for better than 6 months.

    I feel your pain.
     
  12. ferrarivegas

    ferrarivegas Rookie

    Mar 27, 2005
    7
    dono, before i bought my 01 spider, i had a ferrari mechanic do a full once over on the car. The only reason i would say that its not odd that the car has been with so many owners, is simply people buy the car just to experience, dont drive it much.. then dump it; or they but it just for summer and spring and get rid of it... hope that helps a little

    Paully Ferrari
     

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