Help me purchase my first (pre-owned) Ferrari

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by ChimpanZed, Jan 3, 2021.

  1. ChimpanZed

    ChimpanZed Rookie

    Oct 11, 2015
    Hey all, I‘m looking at buying my first Ferrari and would love some advice from you all. First, perhaps a bit of an introduction is warranted to inform your recommendations.

    I’m (nearly) 44, married and have a 7 year old daughter with no more kids planned. I live just outside of Boulder, Colorado and have access to many wonderful mountain and canyon roads. I’m a former NASA ISS mission engineer, current business consultant. The car will be used for weekend canyon drives, maybe some rallies as well.

    My enthusiast car history goes back to before I could drive:
    • 1956 Chevrolet Bel-Air - first car in High School
    • 1968 Ford Mustang Convertible - second car in High School
    • 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback - took auto body classes after college and restored it
    • 2003 Subaru WRX - my first experience with a car that’s actually fast
    • 2005 Saab 9-2X Aero - essentially just a WRX wagon with a Saab fascia - LOVED working on this car
    • 2006 Porsche Cayman S - a magical driving experience
    • 2016 Shelby GT350R - an incredible machine on the road and the track - that flat plane crank sound is intoxicating.
    I’m looking to replace the GT350R with something else, probably a Ferrari or possibly a 991.2 Porsche 911.

    What I’m after:

    A pre-owned Ferrari that’s around $100K. I am not afraid of high miles, but I am looking for a car with a solid service history. I live less than a mile from Scuderia Ramparte so I’ve got one of the best shops around for planned, and unplanned, maintenance. I’m not buying a car as an investment, but I’d like to not take a bath in valuation in a few years. I’m 6’4” 220lbs so fitting in the car could be an issue. I’m not against installing aftermarket seats if needed.

    There are 3 Ferraris that “speak” to me that I think fall into the aforementioned criteria. I’d love your opinions on what I should take into account.

    Testarossa - This was THE childhood dream car. At 10 I bought a Tamiya plastic model kit and obsessed over the building and painting of it. I had a poster of a red one on my wall. When I see one the 10 year old in me comes out. I understand that these cars are polarizing in the Ferrari community, but to me it’s the epitome of cool in 1987 and I’m cool with that. I love the idea of driving my childhood dream car, the dog-leg 1st gear and gated shifter, and the sound of a flat 12. I don’t love the idea of servicing such a vehicle, however. I’m a pretty good wrench and could handle some stuff myself, but I’d probably send it to Scuderia Ramparte for annuals and majors. Hagerty is bullish on Testatrossa valuation which is a plus.

    F430 - The 430 Scuderia I drove years back has left a lasting impression. I can’t afford a manual in my budget which is a bummer, but I see the F1 as something I could learn to appreciate. I’m a big fan of the looks: more “beautiful” than a Testarossa, and more “exotic” than a 360. Probably the cheapest to maintain as well.

    360 - This seems to be the most... pragmatic? A 360 with a manual is within financial reach, it’s more reliable and less expensive to maintain than the Testarossa. It was on Hagerty’s 2020 bull market list. With Challenge wheels these cars look wonderful IMO, but most have the “starfish” wheels which really date the platform. Might be harder to find the right car.

    My heart says Testarossa, my head says 360, and I’m somewhere in the middle on the F430. I don’t think I could go wrong with any of the above, and I believe I’d having a wonderful ownership experience with any of them.

    I’d love to hear from you all, based on personal experiences and things you’ve learned from being in the Ferrari community. What am I missing? What else should I consider?
    paulchua, EnzoItaly and Boomhauer like this.
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  3. Dave Bertrand

    Dave Bertrand Rookie

    Dec 24, 2005
    Castle Rock, CO
    Greetings from a fellow Coloradan, formerly from Thornton and now Castle Rock. I'm also comtemplating my first Ferrari, but fortunately we're looking at different models so we won't be competing for local cars :)

    The first thing that leapt to mind as I read your post is that Ferraris are about passion, not going with your "head". Get the Testarossa because that's the one you really want, and you know it. Talk to Dave Helms at Scuderia Rampante and see what he says about the cars you're considering. He may also know of a local car you could purchase that isn't advertised.

    Can 100k really buy you a sorted and documented Testarossa? I'm thinking you'd better be prepared to expand your budget a bit, but I haven't paid that close attention to prices on those.
  4. jimpo1

    jimpo1 Two Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Jul 30, 2001
    Dallas, TX
    Full Name:
    Jim E
    Testarossa as a first Ferrari is jumping head first into the deep end. A 30+ year old 12 cylinder has serious potential for a maintenance nightmare, All of them have the ability to whack your checkbook unexpectedly, but the TR has a 50% greater chance.

    I’d vote the 360 with a stick mainly because it would be glorious fun on the mountain roads near you. My $.02 based on no personal experience with any of them. :D
    EnzoItaly, Zanny1 and EastMemphis like this.
  5. wareaglescott

    wareaglescott Rookie

    Jul 19, 2020
    Auburn, AL
    Full Name:
    scott spencer
    991.2 is going to get you better performance per dollar with substantially less chance for high ownership costs. It isn't a Ferrari though!
    EnzoItaly likes this.
  6. 19633500GT

    19633500GT F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Silver Subscribed

    Nov 9, 2010
    Full Name:
    I vote Testarossa. A nice “higher” mileage example could have most major issues kinked out.

    it sounds like you’re reasonably versed in DIY and not afraid to get dirty so worse case you can handle some surprises.

    Your fit I’m not sure. At 6ft 210 I fit well in one. Remember the pedals are a bit offset and close (not MGA close but still :)

    Happy looking. PPI it, and cannonball in.
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  8. ChimpanZed

    ChimpanZed Rookie

    Oct 11, 2015
    Great to meet you. Once this pandemic nonsense is behind us we should meet up at a C&C event. I was a regular at the Lafayette C&C Banc in 2019.

    Agree that Ferraris are about passion. The smart money is on a Porsche 991 or 992, but the thought of that just doesn’t wind my clock like the idea of a Ferrari does. I’m not sure about $100K being enough. The BaT auctions recently make me think that the Testarossa market may have cooled in the last few months, but with all the craziness of 2020 it’s hard to say. I’m confident that a Testarossa would be more significantly more expressive than the F430 and 360 to acquire and maintain, at least in comparable condition.
  9. ChimpanZed

    ChimpanZed Rookie

    Oct 11, 2015
    Quite right you may be. If I go the Testarossa route, it’ll be one that’s well-maintained and known to the local experts. Obviously that’s no guarantee, but hopefully it’ll minimize the risk.

    My head (over heart) says that same—grab the keys and go and not worry too much.
  10. F612

    F612 Formula Junior

    Feb 5, 2018
    Full Name:
    David D. Hood
    I have a 991.1 S convertible and a 575M Ferrari.
    For reliable high performance transportation, the Porsche is the ticket.
    For big grins when looking at or driving, the Ferrari can’t be beat.
    I don’t know about the TR but any Ferrari can bite you in the purse Big Time.
  11. Mighty Joe

    Mighty Joe Formula 3

    Sep 3, 2010
    Atlanta, GA
    Full Name:
    360 or F430. I'm 6' 2" tall and 230lbs and fit in both cars with plenty of room to go. I've owned both of these cars. They provide a great Ferrari experience. And don't sky away from the F1 transmission. They are just as much fun to drive as the stick imho...

    Enjoy your search!
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  13. Dave Bertrand

    Dave Bertrand Rookie

    Dec 24, 2005
    Castle Rock, CO
    As it happens, I've spent the last 15 years owning 911s from the 80's , 90's and 2000's. They are superbly engineered cars that don't usually break, so I wouldn't discourage you at all from keeping them on your radar screen.

    I used to go to the Lafayette CnC too. It got too big IMO, but I do look forward to heading back there when things open up again. Maybe we'll have our cars by then!
  14. ChimpanZed

    ChimpanZed Rookie

    Oct 11, 2015
    Regarding Testarossa prices, I pulled the following from BaT for 2020. I excluded Euro cars and anything in the Canadian market.

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  15. buddyg

    buddyg F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed Silver Subscribed

    Sep 20, 2004
    West Michigan
    Full Name:
    Doubt you will fit in a Testarossa
  16. drcollie

    drcollie Karting

    Dec 15, 2013
    It's not the purchase price of the car you have to be concerned with, it's the cost of maintenance. That's the area you need to read into and I would suggest you study the posts here on F-Chat for Ferraris and Rennlist for Porsche. The Ferrari experience can be significantly more costly post-purchase and you want to have funds to be able to do that.
    jimpo1 likes this.
  17. NYC Fred

    NYC Fred Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 28, 2010
  18. m5shiv

    m5shiv Formula 3

    Feb 25, 2013
    SF Bay Area
    Full Name:
    Get the car your heart desires. But I think you mean Scuderia Rampante ? Dave Helms and family ?
  19. Glassman

    Glassman F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    I'd take the plunge..........I bought a 1959 Ferrari.............and loved that experience.
  20. hardtop

    hardtop F1 World Champ

    Jan 31, 2002
    Full Name:
    Another Coloradan here in the Collegiate Peaks area. I've owned Ferraris for 25 years now. Currently have a 2005 F430 3 pedal in the garage that I bought new. Great car, cheap to maintain, reliable, etc. However, they are now pretty pricey. I think the best bang for the buck in today's market is a manual 360. I understand your need to scratch the itch for a TR but I don't think it is a good choice for a 1st timer. You will find the expense of owning one is truly eye watering and the reality of driving one may fall short of your dream. TRs have been coming down in price recently, so no hurry there either. Whatever you choose, don't be in a hurry. Patience pays dividends buying Ferraris and the search is half the fun.

    paulchua, EnzoItaly and jimpo1 like this.
  21. LightGuy

    LightGuy Three Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Oct 4, 2004
    Full Name:
    People buy Ferraris for emotional reasons.
    If the Testarorrasa does it for you then the the Testarossa it is.
    Dont settle for less .Afterall it WAS the supercar of its day.
    Then 360 or 430 were never that.
    Dont over think it
  22. vandevanterSH

    vandevanterSH Formula Junior

    Jan 27, 2005
    Full Name:
    Stephen Van Devanter
    "A pre-owned Ferrari that’s around $100K. I am not afraid of high miles, but I am looking for a car with a solid service history."
    I've owned my 575 for 17 years and also 6 Porsches. The Porsches, including 911 Turbo, are great cars; the Ferrari is a great car plus a difficult describe emotional attachment. I've gone through the thought experiment of buying another Ferrari based on my long term ownership experience. If you plan on keeping the car long term, don't underestimate the cost of ownership. Th cost of even minor problems can make your eyes bleed. The cost of Porsche service and repairs is a bargain in comparison. FWIW, I would trade higher milage for newer car and would take the bet of higher purchase price for newer as a hedge against future repair costs. I personally wouldn't go older than a 430 and preferably look for a higher milage 458 Italia as the best compromise.
    Themaven likes this.
  23. Themaven

    Themaven F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed

    Nov 2, 2014
    Full Name:
    What about a 575? The F1s are at the bottom of their curve around now. More space than a 430 (I have both).

    430 is more exciting but less classic.

    I had a Testarossa, that’s a brave idea. It’s also the hardest to get in and out of.

    991.1 GTS manual is a great car that ticks lots of boxes for you. So is a 991.2 GTS but it may be out of budget. But they don’t have the emotional attachment or sense of occasion and attention as a Ferrari. Still great though and much cheaper to maintain.
  24. ChadR

    ChadR Karting

    Jun 19, 2019
    Central Florida
    Full Name:
    Tajil Black
    I think you'll like the F430 or the 360, but the F430 a little more.

    Porsches are great for their price point and the 997 is my personal favorite after the 993.
    With the power fully on, Rear engined rear wheel drive cars need a different approach to corner entry and exit, and are even less forgiving than a mid engined car. But I believe the GTS is awd (not really sure)? Opting for a 2wd will cost less money.
    EnzoItaly likes this.
  25. syata

    syata Formula Junior

    Feb 23, 2017
    I would recommend test driving what you are considering first. I too was looking at a TR but as others said, it’s difficult to get in and out with the steering wheel and the Seat was it was too low for me to get and out too. And maintain on them seems higher.

    Sent from my iPad using mobile app
  26. mswiek

    mswiek Formula Junior

    Jan 5, 2004
    Oh, apparently you were looking for information and advice. From the title of your initial post, I thought you were starting "Go Fund Me" page.

    Best advice I can offer is to sit in and/or test drive several models and several example of each model. Read a lot of background as well, especially on maintenance costs and requirements. You will then overcome the starry-eyed wonder, and being to get a feel for which one may suit you best. At some point, it will all feel right as to model, actual car, price and other factors. Don't rush, but be ready to commit when you feel the stars align.
    EnzoItaly likes this.
  27. jimpo1

    jimpo1 Two Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Jul 30, 2001
    Dallas, TX
    Full Name:
    Jim E
    Not exactly sure how he'd make that happen with these cars, it's not like every car lot has a few of them sitting around. If he's lucky he might get to drive 2 of a particular model. The TR isn't exactly common.
  28. kes7u

    kes7u Formula Junior

    Oct 18, 2017
    Shorewood, MN
    Full Name:
    I must admit I'm always a bit surprised by these threads. There is a ton of information on all of these cars right here at your fingertips.

    Then, I figured my budget. Then it was simply a matter of what made my heart race and head spin. I chose my 360 without hesitation, and have never regretted it since! I know the 430 is a better car, but the looks of the 360 made the difference, in my mind.


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