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First Ferrari Purchase

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by s420merc, Dec 7, 2003.

  1. s420merc

    s420merc Rookie

    Dec 7, 2003
    43
    I have been lurking these boards for a while, so here goes my first post.
    I have just sold my 2000 Carrera 2 and looking for a new Sports Car.
    I am in between a AM DB7 and a Ferrari.
    I have some questions regarding purchasing a Ferrari first time.
    What is the best first time Ferrari not crazy maintenace.
    a 308 or 328 or a 348 or a 355. I love the look of the 355 next would be a 348 are there any major problems with the 348 what year cars are considered the best.
    From what i understand a PPI is a must with an F-car who should do this a Authorized F dealer or are there independent people.
    As the 328 and 308 are much older cars, is expecting a Full documented history not realistic. I read the post earilier about a car on ebay that had its milage rolled.
    Should i consider purchasing a car of ebay.
    Forgot to Add that i am 6,2 215lbs would i have fitment issues in any of these cars.
     
  2. scott63

    scott63 Formula Junior

    Nov 1, 2003
    393
    I would go with the 355. You can get a great coupe for around $80K. That would be a car with service history, low mileage and recent engine out service. I just sold mine... A good friend of mine who is 6-4 and 225 fit in my 355 with no problems (much to his surprise).
     
  3. wazza

    wazza Formula Junior

    Oct 9, 2003
    614
    My first was a 355f1. Loved it.
    Would highly recomend it as a first.
    I think it was the first Ferrari which was reasonably easy to drive and reliable.
    The earlier models can be a bit quirky in some respects ( sorry to guys with older models i'm sure you love 'em ); heavy clutch and not so realiable.

    And definately DON'T buy on ebay.
    Go to a good dealer where you can get some good advice and field your million dumb questions once youv'e dealt and may offer some warranty.

    It's not the same as owning other cars but i'm sure you'll enjoy it.

    Have fun

    Wazza
     
  4. wazza

    wazza Formula Junior

    Oct 9, 2003
    614
    Oh BTW.

    Your size not an issue.
    I'm the same.

    Wazza
     
  5. WILLIAM H

    WILLIAM H Three Time F1 World Champ

    Nov 1, 2003
    34,891
    Victory Circle
    Full Name:
    HUBBSTER
    In general newer cars have less issues than older cars & by the time the 355 rolled around Ferrari had learned a lot from the Acura NSX & much improved the 348 that the 355 is based on. I would suggest a 355 with a regular trans. 355 was the first Fcar with the F1 trans & that could turn into a maintenance hassle down the road. Make sure you put a Tubi exhaust on it so you can really hear the engine :)

    AMs are nice too, I would wait for the DB9 cus the DB7 is not that hardcore & old ladies drive them in Palm Beach, its based on the 1970 something Jag XJS while the DB9 is a totally new car. If you can handle the $ a Vanquish would be very , very nice :)
     
  6. TigerAce

    TigerAce Formula 3

    May 29, 2003
    1,793
    Dallas, TX
    Full Name:
    Yoshi Ace
    I bought my first F-car in May, too, and this is what I was advised by majority of f-car owners & service people.

    Best FIRST F-car to own is 328. 328 is the last hand- assembled 8 cylinder which carries both original (old) & modern feel of Ferrari. (I summarized their advise!) 328 is easiest to maintain w/ low cost. It is also bottomed out its price, so no need to worry about depreciation.

    I intend to add or change to 355 or 360, 512M or 550 in the future, and hope to appreciate new additions.

    Based on my experience, I will recommend to buy from reliable source (or w/ good recommendation by other owners, and you can ask on your source on this board, and someone will comment) Don't be frustrated on a price. YOU decide what you want to pay for your purchase (of course, you need to do some research first, but, hey, people on this site even help you on that, too!)

    Some people really likes 328, as they used to own 328 in the past and moved onto newer F-cars, but then they moved back to 328 again. At least, I don't know yet anyone doing that with 308, 348, Dino, or 355.

    Try driving as much as possible for all considered models. They are all different.

    Looking forward to see your photos when you buy your first F-car!
     
  7. VS1

    VS1 Karting

    Oct 16, 2002
    197
    Beavercreek, OH
    Full Name:
    Vishal Soin
    I have a 328 and my Dad has a 355. I would absolutely recommend either. The 355 is a much more modern car. Easy to drive [like a C5 Corvette or 911-996], pretty spacious cockpit [compared to the older cars], and possibly the best sounding engine ever.

    The 328 is an all around classic. Fun to drive, cheap to keep [especially compared to the 355 - great car but be prepared to part with some $$$ for the belt service]. The 328 is a bit more intimate feeling [feels more like you are wearing the car]. Great fun and much easier to climb in and out of [the 355 has a door sill that seems like it's an acre wide].

    You wouldn't go wrong with either - so it totally depends on what you want. From a reliablility standpoint we've had no issues with the 328 over the past few years and the local import shop works on it - which is a bonus. We've had a couple of electrical glitches and one hydraulic gremlin in the 355. Nothing major - but a pain since the closest Ferrari dealership is over an hour away. We also had a dead battery in the 355 from not driving or charging for about 4 weeks [the fun of modern electronics] and replacing the battery [due to it's location] is not something you'll want to do on a regular basis.

    I wouldn't rule out finding an older car with a fully documented history. I have a file with every service record & invoice for my 328. My buddy just sold his 328 and he also had a file with every service record. I'm not sure E-bay would be the best place to find a super clean car though. But - it sure is a fun place to shop.

    If you are interested in a more info on either the 355 or 328 - send me a note [vsoin@soinintl.com].

    I'm selling my 328 and would love to chat with you about a 911 because that is what I'm looking to get in it's place. My wife is due with our first child next month and I think we'd get more use with the 911's jump seats - so I'd love to hear your thoughts on the 911s. Particularly 996 vs. 993s.
     
  8. Juice It

    Juice It F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 22, 2002
    3,233
    Maryland (DC Suburb)
    Full Name:
    Jeff
    It depends if it is going to be a daily driver or not. If it is, I would go with the AM. I have a 355 and though it is reliable I would not consider it a daily driver. I know many would disagree but it is too low, needs warmed up every time you drive it to shift properly and the engine is basically exposed in the rain.(Don't know if it does anything but it can't be good).I think its a great car but if I were to only have one, it wouldn't be a Ferrari. I agree with William though, wait for the new AM or check out the Bentley Cont. GT.
     
  9. bobafett

    bobafett F1 Veteran

    Sep 28, 2002
    9,193
    Find a 550 maranello. They are getting cheaper by the minute. I drive mine ~1500 miles / month, rain or shine.

    --Dan
     
  10. Robertb

    Robertb Formula 3

    Nov 19, 2003
    1,330
    South Oxfordshire, U
    Full Name:
    Robert
    I've just sold a 328 and bought a 355. The 328 is a more characterful car, more of a challenge to drive- you need to 'learn' it. It feels like a classic Ferrari- don't forget it is based on a 1976 design. You would not want to use it for day-to-day driving. It will feel a step back in time dynamically from your Carrera.

    The DB7 is a beautiful car. It is more of a luxury GT/cruiser, but if you are looking for a real sports car it will probably disappoint. Think up-market Jag XKR without the technical sophistication.

    The 355 is staggeringly quick and easier to drive on first aquaintance. The engine is fabulous, although too quiet when cruising through towns. I suspect a Tubi exhaust would fix that! The 355 is a very complete car- seats, steering, brakes etc are spot on, and air-con and wipers work well in real-life driving. The manual six-speed box is quite simply the best I've ever used. It won't have the day-to-day usability of the Porsche, but it is a much more exciting proposition.

    I think you might have trouble fitting in a 328 with your height- try one with the roof on! The 355 is considerably more comfortable.

    Cost wise, I suspect the 355 costs marginally more to run overall. No Ferrari is cheap to run.

    You will love either. Happy hunting- the choosing is almost the best bit!
     
  11. mrmckay

    mrmckay Formula Junior

    Jul 14, 2003
    488
    MD, USA
    Full Name:
    Chris
    I'd say go for a 355 but I'm a little biased :). Make sure you get the tubi exhaust if you go the 355 route.
     
  12. Tom S

    Tom S Formula Junior

    Jan 2, 2003
    293
    Northeast
    Full Name:
    Thomas Saupe
    You may have some size issues in a 328. I'm 6'1" and fit comfortabley but the roof is very close. I always know when I need a haircut. Try one on and try all possible seating positions. I found that one that seems like it shouldn't be comfortable is actually the best.

    My 328 is a daily driver during good weather and I've had no reliability problems for two years. The one exception to this was a blown coolant hose due to a combination of ill considered design on Ferrari's part and age of materials.
     
  13. Dr Tommy Cosgrove

    Dr Tommy Cosgrove Two Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    May 4, 2001
    28,475
    Birmingham, AL
    Full Name:
    Tommy
    If you are used to a 2000 Carrera 2 you will be very unhappy with the 308, less so with the 328, and basically happy with the 348 from a performance standpoint. I don't think you will have a complaint in the world with a 355 - that is until the 348 or 355 goes in for service and the bill comes in. It's a "less less, more, more" thing:

    308, 328 = less performance and less maintenance costs
    348, 355 = more performance and (much) more maintenance costs

    The higher costs are due to the longitudinal positioning of the engines. The 308/328 do not need to have the engines pulled to do some basic jobs.
     
  14. TimF40

    TimF40 Formula 3

    Nov 3, 2003
    1,031
    Seattle/Bay Area/NYC
    Full Name:
    Tim
    Make sure you check the fit. I'm also 6'2" and did not fit. Not even close. I looked "over" the front window. If you have long legs, short torso, you might fit better than me. I had to go to a 360...
     
  15. ze_shark

    ze_shark Formula 3

    Jul 13, 2003
    1,270
    Switzerland (NW)
    I'd go for a 355 too, F1 or manual depending on your taste and driving habits, but I suggest not to listen to the Tubi zealots (sorry guys): buy a GTS (or a spider) instead and you'll enjoy the beautiful original noise and the sunshine at the same time.
    GTBs sound boring in comparison, and I am not sure that a Tubi compensates.
    There is nothing like the burbles, howling then incredible high rev rage, right behind your ears, untamed, but not tweaked either. Sounds much better in my opinion than a 308, 328, 348, 360 or 550. Even a Modena CS, although stunning in its ways, is not a subtle, rich and diverse as the 355.

    Other than that, the 355 handles beautifully, is fast, and is decently built. Surf the forum, you'll find plenty of stuff about the seminal problems with 355s: exhaust manifolds, C-pillar cracks and valve guides.

    Disclaimer: all of the above reflect my opinion/perception, other individuals are fully entitled to disagree :)
     
  16. parkerfe

    parkerfe F1 World Champ

    Sep 4, 2001
    12,887
    Cumming, Georgia
    Full Name:
    Franklin E. Parker
    While the little v8s are great cars, you never get the true feel and sound of a Ferrari until you own a 12 cylinder. Flame all you want, but I have owned 2 v8s(328GTS and 348 Spider) and 4 12s(400GT, TR, 330GTC and BB512i), and I assure you its the case. I suspect that the ones that disagree will have only owned v8s .
     
  17. ze_shark

    ze_shark Formula 3

    Jul 13, 2003
    1,270
    Switzerland (NW)
    Nope sir :) I have a 550 & a 355, and the 355 wins the sound contest without the shadow of a doubt, at least to my ears.
     
  18. parkerfe

    parkerfe F1 World Champ

    Sep 4, 2001
    12,887
    Cumming, Georgia
    Full Name:
    Franklin E. Parker
    ze_shark, my comment was in response to the first post as to what is the best first Ferrari purchase, not which Ferrari sounds best. However, I have heard a 355 and while they sound great, I still prefer the sound of the 12 cylinder cars such as the 330GTC, 400GT, TR or Boxer. And, the 550 is too quite to compare. I have heard a 550 with a modified exhaust and it sounded sweet !
     
  19. TigerAce

    TigerAce Formula 3

    May 29, 2003
    1,793
    Dallas, TX
    Full Name:
    Yoshi Ace
    Parkerfe.
    I know few people who has Ferrari history like you, and 3 of them currently own 512BB. It looks like 3X8, and I haven't heard the sound of an engine yet. These 3 of them are modifying their exhaust with steel pipe as they said it sounds much better.

    I am curious what made you to go back to 512BB from newer cars. What was your attraction?

    Yoshi Ace
     
  20. parkerfe

    parkerfe F1 World Champ

    Sep 4, 2001
    12,887
    Cumming, Georgia
    Full Name:
    Franklin E. Parker
    Tigerace, for an exotic, I like the older cars that give you the total experience when you drive them. The modern exotics have became so good that they're almost like driving a Bimmer or something, although I do love the 550. I have my M5 for a modern high tech daily driver. For my toy, I want a car that you have to learn to drive and gives you the sound and smells of an exotic. As to the looks, the Boxer looks nothing like a 3x8 if you know your Ferraris. It is longer, wider, has a different shape, different front, different rear, different side view, different interior, different everything. While I have had people ask me what it is, I have never had anyone think it was a 3x8 ? My car already has the Ansa euro-sport exhaust and it sounds great . My next toy will be another mid 60s Ferraris most likely.
     
  21. TigerAce

    TigerAce Formula 3

    May 29, 2003
    1,793
    Dallas, TX
    Full Name:
    Yoshi Ace
    parkerfe,
    thanks for your post. I didn't want to budge in other's post, so I sent PM.
     
  22. s420merc

    s420merc Rookie

    Dec 7, 2003
    43
    thanks for all the great posts still tryin to make up my mind,
    finally got dug out of the snow here in Staten Island NY so will head down to the Aston Dealer this Sat, what is a good Ferrari dealer in the NY area.
    I have a Question about the 456 GT its a V-12 and if i get one with the manual gear box no probs since i hear the Auto trans is $23k to replace.
    Does the 456 GT need engine out service. It seems this car gets no love, lol would i fit in one, would apreciate comments from owners of this model. I saw one on Autotrader for $89k with a 6 speed 12k miles on it i believe it was a 1996 model.
     

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