Good car to learn on....

Discussion in 'Vintage (thru 365 GTC4)' started by widdlewade, Mar 27, 2005.

  1. widdlewade

    widdlewade Formula Junior

    Sep 24, 2004
    Bay Area/NYC
    I see that you guys do alot of your own work on your cars here. Very cool!! As someone who wants to join that fraternity, and eventually wants to restore a classic Ferrari, what are your stories and recommendations on getting started? Any recommendations for a good first car to try???

    P.S. I want to hear the horror stories to. I want to make sure I'm not too ambitious in a potential new passion!!!!
  2. Peter

    Peter F1 Veteran

    Dec 21, 2000
    B.C., Canada
    A carbureted 308 is perfect for the first-time, DIY Ferrari owner. Lots of them around, they're cheap and parts are avaliable.

    If you can successfully fix a carb 308, you can have any other Ferrari after that, pre-328, or models built before the 308, including V-12 cars. All the same under the hood. Anything after the 348, you need special diagnostic equipment.

    Horror stories? Do we have enough room here to list the potential poblems? ;)
  3. Bryan

    Bryan Formula 3

    There is nothing mystical about Ferraris, they work just like other cars. I fully agree with Peter that a carbed 308 GTB or GT4 is a good place to start, if you eventually want to try restoring a vintage car. The 308 GT4 is no different mechanically from the GTB and good cars are lower cost than a GTB. Many think it is actually a better driving car, as well.

    Carbed V12 2+2s are good candidates too, but parts are much more difficult to find ($).

    If you aren't interested in the older cars, however, then a fuel injected car removes one source of headache, but also one source of learning.
  4. Glassman

    Glassman F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Apr 23, 2002
    I have a little bit of disagreement here. if I were going to start all over and have thoughts of restoring a Vintage Ferrari, I would start with an older inexpensive Fiat or Alfa. Something in the 1959 to 1965 range. This would give great experience in all things Italian from body to engine and all points in between. The ultimate would probably be rebuilding a Fiat Dino for hands on experience.
  5. Dino 208gt4

    Dino 208gt4 F1 World Champ

    Jun 24, 2003
    European Union
    Full Name:
    I think I'll have to agree on that!! It's much less expensive!!
  6. jsa330

    jsa330 F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Oct 31, 2003
    Full Name:
    I find my 330 2+2 non-intimidating to work on, in the sense that it is 40-year-old, non-computerized, non- Federalized technology. There are many repair, reconditioning and maintenance items that I have successfully handled and can continue to do myself. I also am very aware of the dividing line between personal capability and what needs to go to the pros.

    When it does need to go to the pros, I take it only to the best, and have enough knowledge to discuss, comprehend and approve any job that is proposed before getting out the Visa. In that sense, I personally supervised the reconditioning of the 330, because it was a joint effort invoving a couple of first-tier shops, sweat equity, and the ability to make confident decisions regarding shop-done work. In retrospect, I could have saved 5 grand plus by deferring quite a few non-essentials and electing for a couple of less expensive major replacement parts. No regrets!

    Didn't mean to rattle on--I guess I'm trying to illustrate that a person with some do-it-yourself automotive repair experience and mechanical ability can handle an early, carbed 308 or vintage 12 as long as they're fully aware of their personal limits and are willing to spend the money when pro work and parts are needed.

    I haven't found parts availability to be a problem. They are out there, some at a very steep price, some surprisingly reasonable. It does take some phone and online time to chase down what you need.

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