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How many Fcars did you look at and test drive before buying?

Discussion in '360/430' started by SeaNile, Feb 9, 2010.

  1. SeaNile

    SeaNile Formula Junior

    Jan 25, 2010
    677
    West Chester, PA
    Full Name:
    John
    I've never even ridden in a Ferrari and now am considering buying one in the upcoming months. How did you become familiar with a car you are interested in buying? Here is my reference in shopping which came from boats. I had a 25' boat and always wanted a particular 31' model, a classic if you will. I knew, even when going to look at the 31' boat, it was better in all aspects to my current boat and would more than likely buy it. Never compared it to 10 other 31' models, etc. Just knew this was the boat I always wanted. Turned out to be a great buy, great boat and I never regretted anything about the boat or buying process. Fast forward 10 years and now I am almost ready to start 360 shopping. I see a lot in common with my boat purchase. 360 is a dream and to me all around better than my current car. So, how do I go about looking at these cars when I am pretty unfamiliar with them? How can I be aware of the minute details of the car on my first test drive? How do you sort through the perm-a-grin on the face when just seeing the car? I can't see how a 360 could let someone down on the first few rides. Took me years to become completely familiar with my boat and yet am going to buy a 360 after just a few test drives?

    TIA.

    --JK
     
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  3. m.roberts

    m.roberts Formula Junior

    Nov 2, 2009
    907
    USA
    Well, here is my story. I have loved F cars since I was old enought to remember. Something about the name, the symbol, and the color (red). It just made me fall in love ever since I was a little boy.

    About 2 years ago I started seriously checking them out. I played on eBay several times per day. I also bought every magazine that either sold or had write-ups on the F430.

    Once I finally felt like I knew what the options were, and what reasonable prices were, I started going to the dealerships and checking out the ones that were available (typically they were there on consignment).

    Well, almost every single dealer/dealership treated me like CR*P because I was a 27 year old 'kid' and thinking I was just a bug-eyed tire kicker.... No test drives, no serious info, NOTHING. I found a company in Dallas/Ft. Worth called 'Drive your Dream' This service allowed me to pay about $750.00, and get to drive a F430, Gallardo, Bentley GT Coupe, Porsche 911, and Audi R8 for about 1 hour each.

    I got a good hour in each car and really got to drive them just about as hard as I would feel comfortable driving anything other than something I owned.

    This gave me an excellent opportunity to experience the cars, and really determine what my likes, dislikes, and interests were with respect to the cars.

    I knew by the end of the day the either the F430 or Gallardo were for me.... and was leaning heavily towards the 430 because it just gave me a much more confident feeling in the handling on fast corners and such.

    For the next month, I looked at every single 430 that was for sale online... compared the details, options, etc. I then found FChat.... Within about a week, I found one that seemed just about perfect.. so I pulled the trigger.

    Since then, I couldn't be happier. My only regret is that I didn't have the money to hold out for a 16M!

    Best of Luck!
     
  4. blackbolt22

    blackbolt22 F1 Veteran

    Sep 25, 2007
    5,480
    Boca, FL
    Full Name:
    Mr. Anderson
    If you are in a position to buy, go to any dealer or independent and tell them up front that you are a serious buyer and they will treat you as such.

    I had never driven a Ferrari but loved the sound, the look, everything about them. I drove an 6 speed 430, then an F1 430, then a 6 speed 360 all in the same day. I definitely knew I would not be disappointed with ownership when I hit the start button and the engine fired up. You'll see what I'm talking about.

    Learn as much as you can here by doing a search, then figure out model and options that are important, locate car and get a PPI.

    You will not be disappointed.
     
  5. FerrariDublin

    FerrariDublin F1 Rookie

    Jun 14, 2009
    3,446
    Dublin, Ireland
    Full Name:
    Greg
    Read the sticky at the top of the forum as a good starting point. Haggle to beat the band, ideally get a bit of warranty, get your PPI done, haggle again depending on results of PPI and then jump in and enjoy!

    I did all my research on the e-classifieds only inspected two vehicles. Bought the second one and haven't stopped grinning since!
     
  6. SeaNile

    SeaNile Formula Junior

    Jan 25, 2010
    677
    West Chester, PA
    Full Name:
    John
    I have looked at the sticky and searched on here a lot but was curious how other owners did it. Afterall, I doubt everyone has extensive experience driving Fcars and had the opportunity to look at 10+ cars before making a purchase.

    I've looked online and know the right car will pop up with my options, color combo, etc. I'm a few weeks from being given the official go ahead for the car.

    --JK
     
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  8. andrew911

    andrew911 F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 8, 2003
    2,868
    Northern NJ
    #6 andrew911, Feb 9, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2010
    I drove in a 360 when it was new once (a friend got one). Prior to my car coming off the transport truck I never drove a 360 myself, let alone my particular car. I researched the heck out of the model, then the particular car I wound up buying, researched the dealer, spoke to the mechanic, hired an independent mechanic to do a PPI and waited for my car. I did as much diligence as I could excluding my actual drive (the car was located too far away). Not too many local 360's for sale that were stick (I'd never waste someone's time who was selling an F1 or a different color or something I just didn't want just to see how I liked a 360)

    Basically, the car came and was EVERYTHING I had imagined and then some. My cheeks hurt that first day from smiling so much ;)

    Anyway, prior to this I had NEVER bought a car sight unseen or not actually driving myself, but then again with such as relatively rare car and with the power of a PPI and internet pictures and the excellent reputation of the selling dealer to be upstanding, I was as comfortible as I could have been. I made an exception, ironically with the most expensive car I've ever purchased...

    I know it's frustrating, but the rarity while making the buying process a little harder is of course one of the attributes that make these cars so special of course.
     
  9. SeaNile

    SeaNile Formula Junior

    Jan 25, 2010
    677
    West Chester, PA
    Full Name:
    John

    I have a feeling that is exactly what will happen to me if I decide to buy. Local C&C will help but I don't expect to be driving anyone's car. Hope to know if I am proceeding within the next 3-4 weeks. If it is a go I will advertise my Boxster S and as soon as that sells I will be ready to buy!
     
  10. Oengus

    Oengus F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed

    Sep 29, 2004
    8,409
    Between timing belts or FL, SC.
    Full Name:
    Chas
    bought my 308 after a 10 minute drive :)
    bought my 348 without driving it
    bought my 355 without driving it
    bought my 360 after a 10 minute drive:) (had driven others)
    just bought a stradale without driving it:):) (should be fine, 360 on steroids) :)
     
  11. Hawkeye

    Hawkeye F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Sep 20, 2009
    5,326
    Put that Boxster S up for sale now and start flirting with the next love of your life, you won't regret it.
     
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  13. SeaNile

    SeaNile Formula Junior

    Jan 25, 2010
    677
    West Chester, PA
    Full Name:
    John
    Need about 2-3 weeks for the accountant to look at taxes, etc., then I will know where I stand on buying my 360. If no green light in the next month then I will shoot for summer.

    --JK
     
  14. allen_993

    allen_993 Karting

    Jul 3, 2006
    179
    Alabama
    Full Name:
    Allen
    For you guys that bought a 360 6-speed without ever driving one...had you ever driven a gated shifter before? How was that for the first time, and what were your impressions of it compared to a "regular" 6-speed?
     
  15. Oengus

    Oengus F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed

    Sep 29, 2004
    8,409
    Between timing belts or FL, SC.
    Full Name:
    Chas
    I love the gated shifter.......the click click click is music to my ears :)
     
  16. away

    away Formula Junior

    Aug 5, 2004
    633
    Lansdale, PA
    Full Name:
    Andrew
    You get used to the gated shifter just like anything else. After a few minutes into the test drive it was second nature. But what do I know, I ended up with an F1. ;)

    As for driving before you buy, for me it was simply just to confirm what I already knew. I'd wanted the car for years and driving one only increased the speed of my purchase. I can't imagine anyone who, having researched the car, would come away dissappointed after a test drive.
     
  17. Oengus

    Oengus F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed

    Sep 29, 2004
    8,409
    Between timing belts or FL, SC.
    Full Name:
    Chas
    I hope your accountant is passionate about fcars ;)
     
  18. blackbolt22

    blackbolt22 F1 Veteran

    Sep 25, 2007
    5,480
    Boca, FL
    Full Name:
    Mr. Anderson
    I had no problems at all. I heard reports that it was difficult to adapt to but didn't have any issues. Love it.

    It is unique to Ferrari and now sadly is gone, at least in future models.
     
  19. jjsaustin

    jjsaustin Formula Junior

    May 11, 2008
    579
    Austin, TX
    Full Name:
    Jim
    Like others here, I always wanted to have an Fcar. I love the 360 and I was lucky enough to have driven a friend's 360.

    As for my car, I did not buy it from a Ferrari dealer, but I took it to a Ferrari dealer to have the PPI performed. I went for a ride with mechanic and drove the car. Ofcourse the car felt awesome to me, afterall it is a Ferrari! I then had the mechanic drive it and asked him to push the car. Since all they do is fix and drive Ferraris everyday, I valued his opinion on how this 360 felt compared to other 360s. I thought they offered an unbiased opinion since I was not buying the car from them and the car was not serviced at that particular Ferrari dealership either. I also spoke with the dealership where the 360 was serviced, just to get as much info on it as possible.

    Good luck!

    -Jim
     
  20. Maximus

    Maximus Formula Junior

    Jun 12, 2009
    821
    Assen, NL
    Full Name:
    Jurgen
    Too bad I'm not his accountant ;) As I'm studying to become one and have a passion for Fcars ;)
     
  21. FerrariDublin

    FerrariDublin F1 Rookie

    Jun 14, 2009
    3,446
    Dublin, Ireland
    Full Name:
    Greg
    Jezz! When you mentioned getting the green light I presumed you were talking about your other half!

    But your accountant? You're kidding me! You shouldn't be telling him what you're doing never mind asking for his consent!

    Go get the car!
     
  22. forgeahead

    forgeahead F1 Rookie
    Owner

    Sep 16, 2008
    4,326
    Rocky Mount, NC
    Full Name:
    Ray
    I drove a few different cars. As others, I did an extraordinary amount of research (the internet is a wonderful thing). I drove the 612 for about 30 minutes before pulling the trigger. I had previously driven a 550 and had a 911 so I knew what I was looking for.
    I am very fortunate to have a local dealer that is very accomodating. I have had the opportunity to test drive several Ferraris and even compare one model against the same model, different car. Definitely get to know your regional dealer. Figure out what days are slow, pre-pick a good test route, and go down and spend some time with several cars. You may even want to pre-plan this with a salesman so they can get the cars moved around and ready. Once the salesman sees that you are serious, they should be all over you. I now have a 360 Spider with a California on order.
    Good luck!
     
  23. SeaNile

    SeaNile Formula Junior

    Jan 25, 2010
    677
    West Chester, PA
    Full Name:
    John
    No, no, no. Not looking for the accountant's approval, just need to see what the taxes look like. I can't think of anyone, except my wife, who would agree with this idea of getting a 360!

    John
     
  24. dc-spyder

    dc-spyder Rookie

    Jul 16, 2009
    47
    Washington, DC
    I get the impression people are referring to loving a Ferrari after test driving it so not to worry about it.

    But I think the concern about driving a car while shopping for one is not a question of whether or not they will love a Ferrari, but whether the one they are thinking of buying is "right" compared to other cars on the market. Being in the market for a pre-owned car without any sort of warranty myself, one wants to avoid getting caught with a car that ends up being a ticking timebomb of things that aren't right with the car and that will need to be fixed. Things that I can think of that would be hard to know about without an extensive history of driving that particular model would be tire/wheel/suspension issues like alignment, balance, worn shocks, bushings, etc., engine/transmission mounts causing unusual vibrations, clutch takeup feel at the point of engagement, steering wheel play, source of "unusual" clicks, taps, whirs, etc. coming from the engine compartment. I would think that someone who is not familiar with the way these cars are "supposed to" work will have a hard time evaluating these factors on their first or second test drive of that model.

    If I'm in a similar situation I'm going to have to rely on some "locals" to recommend an independent person to do a PPI and give me a evaluation of how this particular car compares to others of similar vintage.
     
  25. jtremlett

    jtremlett F1 Rookie

    Feb 18, 2004
    4,186
    I bought my 348 without driving it and without having driven any Ferrari. What for? I knew I wanted it. Ten years on I still own it and still adore it.

    I also bought my 550 without driving it. Again, I knew I wanted it. What are you supposed to tell from a test drive anyway? Much more useful having a short passenger ride where you can concentrate on what the car is doing rather than other traffic or whatever.

    Jonathan
     
  26. dustman

    dustman F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jun 12, 2007
    6,596
    Like so many of us, I found the 360 Spider to be the ideal dream car based on looks, reviews, videos, comments here and elsewhere by owners...looked for years for the right car and nearly bought after PPI w/o driving. Finally went and drove an 03 Spider and was so disappointed in the experience, glad I hadnt bought. Drove the F430 a few minutes later and it was a much better experience. But not enough to warrant purchse.
    Bought a GTR the month they came out, had it shipped over...and hated it. A test drive (not that they were available) would have solved that problem.

    Now, I'd like to get a ride in a CS or Scud in the SoCal/Santa Monica or Thousand Oaks area! I have a feeling I will like the more raw experience those two cars provide.
     
  27. fc2

    fc2 F1 Veteran
    Owner

    Nov 2, 2006
    5,136
    Silicon Valley Ca.
    Full Name:
    Frank C.
    I drove a Testarossa years ago when I had a 911 Turbo. The 911 Turbo was so much faster I decided to not buy the Ferrari. I know they're different etc etc, but the performance difference was so noticeable I just couldn't do it.

    Years later I decided to get a 360. Did a lot of research and found the one I wanted. Test drove it and got a PPI which was bad, so I didn't buy that one. Found another, clean PPI and I bought that one.

    A couple of years later FoSV let me drive an F430... I immediately sold the 360 and bought the F430.

    I have decided to NOT drive a Scud b/c I know I'll just want one and won't look at my F430 the same way ever again.

    We'll see what happens when the 458 is available...

    Frank
     
  28. pmotoring

    pmotoring Formula Junior

    May 8, 2009
    690
    HONG KONG
    Full Name:
    PAT PAT
    Test drive a F430 F1 didn't like it at all. and bought a F430 M/T without test drive it. Love the car since then.
     

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