How to buy a used late-model Ferrari | FerrariChat

How to buy a used late-model Ferrari

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by Texas Forever, Jul 14, 2008.

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  1. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Seven Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Apr 28, 2003
    #1 Texas Forever, Jul 14, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2008
    The two Mantras that you must keep in mind are:

    1. If you can’t afford a good Ferrari, you damn sure can’t afford a bad one.

    2. There only three things that matter are - condition, condition, condition.

    About the first point, everybody knows that Ferraris are not Toyotas. What few understand is that Ferraris are not even Porsches. That is, while the Ferrari Dinosaurs gripe about Ferrari making too many cars, the truth is that Ferrari’s annual production amounts to little more than a spit in the ocean.

    Toyota, for example, makes almost 10 million cars a year. Breaking this down into a five-day work week, Toyota makes over 38,000 cars a day.

    Porsche makes almost 100,000 cars and trucks a year. If you assume that the Cayenne represents about a third of this number, this means that Porsche makes about 300 sports cars a day.

    Now, let’s assume that Ferrari makes 6,000 cars a year (which they never have done in the past). This means that they make 23 cars a day.

    Where am I going with this? Simple, with such low volume, Ferrari cannot afford to do the same amount product testing as the larger companies before they sell their cars to the public. As a result, Ferrari may end using a cheapo $10 hose that, 10,000 miles later, blows up causing $3,000 in damage. The sad part is that a $25 hose would have worked.

    While, compared to the past, Ferrari has beefed up its warranty program, you are on your own if you buy an out-of-warranty Ferrari. Perhaps now you understand why you should pay up for a good Ferrari. That is, even with a good car on which all the currently known goobers have been fixed, you still run the risk of running afoul of an unknown glitch as more and more miles get put on these cars.

    Given all this, I cannot understand why anyone would buy an unknown out-of-warranty Ferrari. Period. End of statement. Divide by zero. Maybe you’ll get lucky, or maybe you won’t.

    How do you find a known car? You best bet is to befriend the sales manager at your nearest Ferrari dealership. Because they sell the cars new and know which ones come back for warranty work, they are a tremendous resource when a known car comes on the market. Will you pay more? You betcha, but go back and read Mantra number one.

    Lacking this (and not all Ferrari dealerships are the same), you should get to know some of the independents who have been around a while. Let them know that you are a real buyer for a known car, and they will take care of you.

    Mantra number two comes from Gerald Roush at the Ferrari Market Letter. When looking at any used Ferrari all that matters is what condition the car is in today. It doesn’t matter whether it has too many or too few miles. It doesn’t matter whether a car has been wrecked. It doesn’t matter whether the previous owner didn’t know how to drive. All that matters is what kind of shape the car is in today.

    Yes, there is a mystique about these cars. And, yes, there is a passion. But, at the end of the day, they are just cars. Crankshafts spin. Pistons go up and down. Fuel gets into the chamber. Spark plugs fire and noxious gases go out the tailpipe. If you buy a used Ferrari without knowing as much as possible about its condition, you may get lucky; then again, you may not.

    Putting all this together, Mantra number one and Mantra number two say the same thing. You should pay up for a known good car and stay away from anything else. My guess is that it will take you at least six months to find a known car.

    Good luck.

  2. ronsupercar

    ronsupercar Formula 3

    May 2, 2002
    Orlando Fla.
    Full Name:
    Thanks for the time you used putting this together. I found it very informative. i can't speak for all that are wanting a Ferrari but one should never settle, but you find yourself doing things out of the norm just to bring yourself one step closer to a dream. You are correct but should one settle for a F348 in great condition or purchase a similar priced F355 spyder that had a great history but was wrecked on track day knowing that you always wanted the F355.

    I bet you this happens alot at both ends.

    Whats your take?
  3. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Seven Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Apr 28, 2003
    Again, what condition is the F355 in? If it has not been fixed, do you know exactly what it will take to make it up to snuff? Do you have the financial or personal resources to make the car right? I would not worry about the car being wrecked so long as I knew what it take to make it whole again.

    Then again, F355 prices are still going down. The early ones have bottomed out and the later ones still have a bit to go. Moreover, despite what some 355 homies might say, prices are not going up anytime soon. So, like yo mama said, it pays to shop around. You should ALWAYS buy the best car you can afford. Don't be afraid to pay up. It will save yoiu a lot of dough in the long run.

  4. Jedi

    Jedi Moderator
    Moderator Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Mar 18, 2008
    Seattle Area
    Full Name:
    Maybe for some folks it's all about PREFERENCE - 308, 328, F40, 250 - ALL quite well out of warranty.
    Some people just want the model they WANT and are fully prepared to pay for the repairs. Been
    quite happy with my 'out of warranty' 328, and have plenty of cash to keep her in top shape. So
    hopefully this will help you to understand 'why anyone would buy an out-of-warranty Ferrari'.

  5. Sfumato

    Sfumato F1 World Champ

    Nov 1, 2003
    Llanfairpwllgwyngyll, Anglesey, Wales
    Full Name:
    Angus Podgorney
    Key word was "unknown".
    Warranty irrelevant to overall maintenance, but useful for history on newer cars.
    Also, BTW, it depends on who wrecked the 355 at a track event ;)
  6. GeorgeSSSS

    GeorgeSSSS Karting

    Aug 12, 2004
    Dr. Who: Thank you for bringing rationality to a highly emotional subject.

    WILLIAM H Three Time F1 World Champ

    Nov 1, 2003
    Victory Circle
    Full Name:
    Thats what PPI's are for if you do a PPI then the car becomes more of a known quantity

    as for new Ferrari's, the only 1 I would consider is a 430, I dont really care for the rest

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