Ferrari buying experience observations..

Discussion in '360/430' started by Comprador, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. Comprador

    Comprador Karting

    Feb 4, 2009
    Boston MA
    Full Name:
    So this is a bit of my observations with some minor rants about my last 6 weeks of shopping for a F car..

    As I have posted before, I have never owned a Ferrari before but many other top end cars.. I won't boar you with details.. My first observation is how different this experience has been vs. the researching/looking at/negotiating and buying experiences in the past.. Most of you probably know this as most of you have been through it but I am hoping this post will get my brain/heart in the right place for this week..

    I started off this winter looking for a low mile 360 coupe with 6sp.. I found a few of those and then, like an IDIOT, drove a 430.. night and day. I LOVE the lines of the 360 but LOVE the power of a F430.. SO now I am hooked on the 430.. I drove a few of those and really loved the power/ride.. so now I am ready to go forward with a blk 06 430.. then Miller Motorcars has a yellow Scuderia show up in the window and now I am freaking.. orignially looking at spending 100-125 for a 360 and then moving to 160ish for a 430, the $300K Scud is now a potential target.. thank GOD they sold the Enzo that was there the month before.. I would have sold my ex wife into slavery to buy that car (actually that's not a bad idea on its own..)

    So then I drove 3 Scuds in the last 2 weeks and that's the only car I can think of at night.. I post a few on my blk berry so I can see them all day long at work.. then the thoughts of my girls both getting braces this month, private school bills showing up and a host of other expenses, the NEED to buy a Scud has somewhat waned.. So how can I get the lines of a 360 and the power of a 430.. a 360 CS!! But no 3 pedals exist for this beast..

    SO I am back to a 360CS or a 6 sp F430.. decisions, decisions.. six speed or F1? A CS with a 6sp would be a lock.. but of course no Ferrari didn't want to make any of those.. what to do?

    So then there is the whole Ferrari shopping experience.. "Sir, can we get you a drink while you wait for XXXXX?" Strangers at dealerships chiming in on their favorite F cars and why.. Mechanics telling me why the CS is a better car to buy than a 430.. salesmen telling me that if I buy the car from them, they will put me into the "system".. the mysterious system.. defined by some as a client list that is given loaners/detailing priority when services/campaigns are needed and yes the coveted slot for a NEW Ferrari!! Wait, Mr. Authorized Dealer, do you mean if I buy a car from another dealer, I won't be able to get a date for a service? Girls I am dating telling me that I don't want a red car.. too flashy!! ummm, wait a bit honey, are you buying this car or am I ? Other girls who I am not dating telling me what they will do to me in the car once I get it.. NOW you have my attention!!!
    All these issues lead to me to think that if you don't buy a car from your local dealer, you will be osterized like the red headed step son.. I have learned that Ferrari sales people all know each other.. when I wanted to buy a Porsche, it didn't matter what dealer I bought it from.. it was such a commodity.. ok, so Ferraris are not a commodity (by definition they are but in reality they are not) What premium do put on buying a local car from a local dealer?? What premium do you put on buying a car from an auth dealer vs another shop or private party? Yes I get the whole PPI thing..

    PRICE, PRICE, PRICE.. To hear certain salesmen tell me that they can't sell their car for $160K.. they have much more than that in the car.. $182K will buy the car.. sorry Mr P, we can't sell the Scud on the floor for less than $310K.. you know it did have a MSRP of $318K!!! My reply "I have 3 other Scuderia's with the same options/miles that you have offered to me at $270K.." their response "Really?"
    well, ummm, you bought the car at a wholesale price 8 months ago.. unlike other pre-owned shops who puke the car after 60/70 days of initial floor space to turn over inventory, you have decided to keep the car for 240+ days.. bottom line Mr. Salesman, it doesn't really matter what amount your shop paid.. it's what the current market will fetch for your fine car.. and when I tell them that, they look at me like I have 4 heads..

    SO onto my F Car checklist:

    Make the decision to but a Ferrari over the Porsche, Lambo and Aston.. that was tough
    Then research which F model I want - which one and why
    Go to the Chat boards and ask opinions
    Go to the dealer and ask stupid questions.. try to look like I know everything about Ferrari's of course.. Mr Dealer can see right through my BS!!
    Transmission choice?? Flappy paddles or gated shifter.. a no brainer.. 3 pedals of course.. oh wait some cars don't ever have that option.. damn
    figure out what color exterior and interior.. hate red cars and want a black or grey car.. time to learn about all the code names.. Siverstone or Grigio? but the Corso is a SICK color.. Damn again
    Ok go to the Ferrari pre owned site.. who has what and how much are they?
    Fight snow storm to see a few cars.. better luck shopping for Snomobiles in this weather
    How is the inventory level in the winter.. better prices maybe but less stock.. should I want for warm weather here in the Northeast?

    Finally, the introspective questions rattling around in my head..
    what will quench my thirst for this very special spot in my garage?
    will I buy the right car and not have any regrets?
    for someone who makes decisions VERY quickly on a daily basis, why am I such an idiot when it comes to this process?

    SO where does this leave me? It looks like I will buy a car this week.. I have offers out on 3 CS's and 1 F430.. it's been a really interesting experience.. after buying and selling 60 plus cars, it is one of the most interesting times I have had..

    At the end of the day I know I will have a blast driving whichever car has my name on the title.. NOW how do I stay away from Mr. State Trooper??
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  3. rodsky

    rodsky Formula 3

    Mar 24, 2003
    Los Angeles
    Cool - best of luck! Post pics and info when you land one.
  4. GG

    GG Formula 3

    Feb 21, 2008
    What are the colors of the CS's you placed offers on?
  5. losang

    losang Karting

    Feb 11, 2005
    Everyone goes through this. As difficult as it may be, try to think about how you are going to feel a few months from now (IF not braces then something else). My advice would be to go with a red/tan F1 360 2002-2003 with 5-10K miles with a solid service history. It will be more car than you have ever owned, you'll actually DRIVE IT, and you'll have a chance to enjoy a low risk investment at a Porsche Turbo price or below. Trust me, you will love the car and a year or two from now when you are ready to buy the 430 you will offset any depreciaition with an unblieveable deal on the 430 of your choice at far below where they are selling today.
  6. hardtop

    hardtop F1 World Champ

    Jan 31, 2002
    Full Name:
    I'm guessing that given your car buying history, you will become a "serial" collector. No worries, lots of us do or have done serial collections.

    As for the troopers, get a V1, you will need it.

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  8. mousecatcher

    mousecatcher Formula 3

    Dec 18, 2007
    san mateo, ca
    haha, i enjoyed reading this.
  9. carcommander

    carcommander Formula 3

    Sep 28, 2006
    Full Name:
    If you can afford a 430 buy a 430.
  10. losang

    losang Karting

    Feb 11, 2005
    Oh yes and one more thing. Take the car to the track and avoid those ugly citations and more important, safety issues. I was stopped on Christmas Day 2 years ago in my 360 Coupe by a State Trooper while going 125 in a 55 on a very isolated Colorado back road. He couldn't have been more understanding, checked me out, wished me Merry Christmas, and asked me to open the bonnet to have a look at the engine. Fortunately I have a clean driving record. That was close.
  11. JoesFun

    JoesFun Karting

    Oct 2, 2006
    Lockport, IL
    Full Name:
    Buy a Rosso Corsa F430 three pedal car. Of course I'm biased!
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  13. Senna1994

    Senna1994 F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 11, 2003
    Orange County
    Full Name:
    Anthony T
    That is a good choice if you must have a 3 pedal car, in fact two f-chatters have prime examples listed in the Ads section. Dave and Luis have beautiful examples.
  14. anunakki

    anunakki Five Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Oct 8, 2005
    Las Vegas Nevada
    Full Name:
    My $.02.

    Unless the extra $$ between an 430 and a Scud is nothing to you I would stick with the 430. You wont get twice the enjoyment out of the scud...the 430 will definitely suffice.

    But if that extra $100k+ isnt a big deal...then get the Scud.

    I wouldnt get the CS because its not a 6spd. but thats just me. If you can be happy with padles the CS is probably your best bet.
  15. mkultra

    mkultra Formula 3

    Nov 3, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    Full Name:
    MK Ultra
    my $.02, if you can get a Scuderia for $270k, take it. i haven't seen any private sales, eBay listings or dealers selling for that amount. the first batch of cars were $267k with nothing on them and that didn't include the gas guzzler, freight, etc.
  16. thoang

    thoang Formula 3

    Apr 12, 2004
    SF Bay Area
    Full Name:
    Tuan Hoang
    Ah yes, the mysterious system. That may have been true in the past, when there was easy money, easy credit and high demand. Now a days, in this economy, dealers are sitting on largely unsold stale inventory. But wait, Ferrari has reduced production. Surely, that will maintain prices? New cars are being offered to anyone who will take them at MSRP. Used F430s, just like other luxury products have taken a beating and are accumulating at dealer inventory. Here's a new paradigm for Ferrari, it's called a buyers market. As you know, the number of capable buyers in this recession are rapidly diminishing.

    Couldn't have said it better myself. Dealers holding onto cars because they have too much into the car is a poor business strategy. It's gets pretty expensive when your inventory is rapidly depreciating while carrying costs are increasing. Let them hold on to their inventory, that will exacerbate the price decline when they realize at year end that they're way into the red on their balance sheets. They will either blow out their inventory, or go out of business, or both.

    As for the 6spd dilemma, go with the 3 pedal car if you go with the 360 (I own one and I love it). If you go with the F430, the F1 is excellent, but you already knew that.
  17. SrfCity

    SrfCity F1 Veteran

    Nov 1, 2003
    Orange County, CA
    Just buy based on the best deal.(providing it's what you're looking for) The whole "list' thing is out the window right now anyway as cash is king. For me the process was lightening fast, maybe there weren't so many options at the time. Enjoy your F-car and check back with us later and let us know if it's all that?
  18. cat1pro

    cat1pro Formula Junior

    Jan 3, 2009
    Deerfield Beach, Fl
    Full Name:
    #15 cat1pro, Mar 9, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2009
    I started my search for my first f-car looking at the 360. I ended up with an 07 f430. It is a six speed and I am very happy I stepped up to the f430. I would not be so focused on buying from the ferrari dealer. There are many honest people on this forum who would be more than happy to vouch for a dealer or fellow f-chatter. Good luck and post pics when you pick up your new baby.
  19. Swiss Frank

    Swiss Frank Karting

    May 6, 2008
    Hong Kong
    Comprador, excellent post.

    I think you mean ostracized. Osterized is putting something in a Oster-brand blender.

    You should consider spiders too. I got a grey manual F430 spider and it rocks. Only second-thoughts is that I should have gotten Abu Dhabi Blue. I think its a real daily-driver and actually quite nice roof-up too.

    How did you do 60 cars? I've only owned 7, which includes two Pintos and two E39M5s, so its really more like 5...
  20. cookdesk

    cookdesk Karting

    Oct 17, 2006
  21. gadgetman

    gadgetman Formula Junior

    Dec 21, 2008
    Westlake Village, Ca
    Full Name:
    Curt W
    I also started my search looking at a 360 or a 575. The '07 430 i wound up with was sooooo much nicer. Went F1 as I've grown tired of 6 speed. Went Coupe because i like the lines better. Went Blu Pozzi because i wanted to avoid the 'flashy' red as you mentioned. All personal choices. Frankly, IMO, ANY choice you make is a good one. They are all amazing cars. It's just what level of amazement for the price do you want.

    Also......if you are a car flipper like i have been over the past, you may consider the 360, enjoy it, and eventually trade up as 430 prices come down....or as the new replacement comes out. For Example, i'd love a 599, but i can be patient for prices to come down.

    Anyway, best of luck. I'm sure you'll enjoy whatever you pick......and i'm sure you will always be second guessing it as well.
  22. eddipoco

    eddipoco Rookie

    Oct 22, 2004
    Blue Ridge Mountains
    Full Name:
    I had a 360CS for over 3 years and replaced it with a 599.
    The 599 was in the garage for 1-1/2 years before it was replaced by a Scuderia in January.
    The Scud is my 360CS on steroids.
    The 2004 360CS was my favorite Ferrari owned over 20 years of Ferrari ownership (V12's and V8's)...but...the Scuderia has traveled over 900 miles in the first 10 weeks. It rocks!!!! It IS what a Ferrari should be.
    A used 360CS would be a wonderful "first Ferrari" (subject to all the Cost & PPI considerations).
    All new Ferrari's (in this market) depreciate.
    Let your budget be your guide but let your heart decide your purchase.
    Everytime you climb in the Ferrari that has YOUR interpretation of "The Right Stuff" will collect the dividends on your purchase decision.
    The Scuderia does it for me (right now).
  23. Woojer

    Woojer Karting

    Feb 23, 2009
    No offense but listen to yourself :)

    You lengthened the process because you enjoyed doing so and you had a bunch to learn. Ask yourself, in your daily work, do you carry emotion into the office? Bet not. Bet it's straightforward dollars and cents.

    Treat this as the same. When you save your emotions for your driving, and you have clearly thought through and bought the right car, then you will maximize your enjoyment.

    If you goof because you got carried away, then you will know it, trust me, you will know it and you will cost yourself a great deal of enjoyment.

    Focus past the sales experience.
  24. $$$=SPEED

    $$$=SPEED F1 Veteran

    Aug 18, 2004
    Portland, Or. USA
    Full Name:
    Depends who's asking
    Excellent Post. I would say this, keep loooking, driving, testing all the modles you are interested in. The 360cs is a very special car. I loved mine I wish I never sold it. Then I bought a F430 Spider. The power and torque so much better. Almost that the next time I drove a CS something was missing POWER. So what of course is the perfect pit....enter the Scud. How to justify $270-$300k for a car in my current position is the tough part. Is the Scud $150k better than a 430, a Superleggera, a CS. I do not think so but still doesn't mean I would not bleed for one!! :)

    Ferrari Dealers typically are 10-20% higher price than a used or unauthorized dealer. If you find a reputable unauthorized dealer you can get a great car at much lower premium most times, if you do your due diligence of course. Yes the Ferrari dealer will be more than happy to service your car if you do not buy from them.

    As for being part of "The Club" or being a Ferrari dealer customer, yes it feels good to buy direct, yes you get latte's, water, invites to events and offers to get on "the list". This is all a good thing. The only down side once again is most times their cars are 10-20% over market. But for that extra premium you do get that warm fuzzy feeling. Not saying some F-dealers do not have good deals in todays market but you can always find a less expensive like car.

    Now having said that I personally think that the relationship with an F-dealer can be a pricess thing. I have access to my service manager 24-7 and I own a Murci and Bentley now. They always answer the phone and cell phone to help me out. Also all the sales people, even though I do not own Ferrari currently, call me with deals on new and used cars events etc.

    Remember the hunt for that first F-car may seem tiresome but looking back you will have found memories :)

    Good Luck!
  25. cat1pro

    cat1pro Formula Junior

    Jan 3, 2009
    Deerfield Beach, Fl
    Full Name:
    I haven't seen a "list" in my life that a hundred dollar bill can't get me on......I am only half kidding about this. Hooking up the service advisor at the local dealer will definitely get you a cell number and lots of lattes....just my two cents

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