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Looking for some owner feedback...

Discussion in 'Mondial' started by JessN16, Sep 20, 2019.

  1. JessN16

    JessN16 Rookie

    Sep 20, 2019
    25
    Full Name:
    Jess Nicholas
    Hello all,

    I wanted to say hello to the community, as I'm doing my due diligence prior to making a purchase.

    First of all, I have no personal experience with these cars, or Ferraris of any kind. While I have always admired from afar, issues of budget and practicality always made Ferrari the car that I could appreciate, but never really consider having.

    While financially, things have improved as I have grown older, I now have a 5-year-old son whose presence in the household puts new demands on practicality. No 2-seaters for us. My family is my greatest treasure, and what can't be enjoyed by all three of us, just can't be.

    I've actually been fond of Mondials for some time. I never looked down on the car or thought lesser of it, and was surprised a couple of years ago to find that some observers were critical of it. I've seen one in person my whole life and loved it immediately. So imagine my surprise to find that a Mondial was not just one of my favorite Ferraris, but also within the confines of my budget.

    My goal is to find a mid-engined performance car with seating for at least three, that I can afford, and that's a pretty small world. The population of that world, for that matter, is maybe 1.

    What I most need to know from owners is how much use I can reasonably expect to get out of one of these cars, and whether the maintenance upkeep is so great that I should look elsewhere. To help you answer that question, know that I have plenty of experience with older (and fickle) cars. I daily-drive a Jaguar XF (which has been, ironically, one of the most reliable vehicles I've ever owned) and have two other Jaguars in the household, both antiques. My family has had a total of 11 of them over the years. I also have a pair of Mitsubishi Starions, which probably doesn't impress anyone here but they are neat little sports cars with turbocharged engines and near-perfect weight distribution -- as well as fuel injectors that will run you about $800 apiece (if you can find them), so they're a good primer for odd vehicle ownership.

    (Also, I've owned a Bricklin before -- and shouldn't have.)

    But Italian cars ... no experience here. Closest I ever came to owning one was being the runner-up bidder on eBay once for a Series III Maserati Quattroporte.

    My goal for a Mondial would be as a weekend car or for special occasions with my wife, but I do intend to drive it. I don't do cars-as-art. I'm also not scared of, nor put off by, cars that aren't 100% factory-correct. My XJS V12, for example, is being fitted for an upgraded transmission option (GM 700R4 + a Kilduff Lightning Rod shifter system, versus the factory GM400) not for performance reasons per se, but so I'm not turning 3000-3500 RPM on a V12 motor at 70-75 mph anymore. The last time I changed jobs, five years ago now, I actually commuted four hours round-trip in my XJS every day for about a month because my other options weren't running at the time. Cars are meant to be driven and I'm not scared of doing it.

    One of the main factors, for that matter, is not the performance of the Mondial's engine, but rather its HVAC system. We live in south Alabama. Winter is theoretical. "Summer tires" is redundant. My XJ6, for instance, has to sit out the months of July and August, except for nighttime drives. Its A/C simply can't keep up with the heat. This becomes a complication if stuck in traffic. So one of my first questions to current owners of cars I'm considering buying is, "how prone to overheating is this thing?".

    Now that you know a little bit of why I'm here, I would love to hear your experiences, advice, pros and cons. And thanks for having me.

    Jess
     
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  3. AlfistaPortoghese

    AlfistaPortoghese Moderator
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    Mar 18, 2014
    3,759
    Europe, but not by much.
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    Nuno
    Hi Jess and first of all, it is my pleasure to welcome you to Ferrarichat!

    The Mondial was also my first Ferrari. It is a terrific gateway to the Ferrari ownership experience, precisely because it’s affordable, reliable, family-friendly and fun. I think it’s perfect for the use you’re planning to give the car.

    I had a 1988 3.2 convertible, bought with 44.000km. Performed all yearly scheduled maintenance in a timely fashion at an independent Ferrari specialist. Never had an issue whatsoever: just gas, tires, fluids and filters.

    Controls are typical of the 1980s: heavy and not precise by modern standards. Brakes also don’t have the modern bite and power we’re now accustomed to, namely when cold. All of little importance, once the Mondial in my very humble opinion, is made to enjoy at “civil” and law-abiding speed, it’s a dignified grand tourer and not a supersports car you’d take to the racetrack.

    Engine power engine is quite enough, engine sound is very nice and nostalgic. I predict you’ll have plenty of fun with your family.

    If considering a convertible, beware of the roof cloth condition and condition of the mechanism. The roof may not get cleanly down and that’s a big pain in the neck to tune. Also, cloth may tear/shrink over the years, meaning you may need a new soft cloth roof, at a hefty price tag.

    Have you found a car that you fancy yet?

    Kindest regards,

    Nuno.
     
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  4. AlfistaPortoghese

    AlfistaPortoghese Moderator
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    Mar 18, 2014
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    Nuno
    Jess,

    One more point, if I may: it’s old and italian. It will overheat at one point. Always ask for fans and coolant to be checked/topped up at your yearly maintenance.

    Also: when you try to restart the engine after it has reached its designed operating temperature, expect some difficulty to start, as if you had a battery dying on you. This however is normal: if you pump the accelerator pedal while turning the key in its last position, it should start everytime.

    AC can be asthmatic over time, but not a source of discomfort. Again: my humble two cents based on my biased and personal opinion after owning one.

    Kind regards,

    Nuno.
     
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  5. JessN16

    JessN16 Rookie

    Sep 20, 2019
    25
    Full Name:
    Jess Nicholas
    Nuno,

    Thanks for the response and the kind welcome.

    To answer your questions for me, I would be looking only at hardtops. My wife likes convertibles but I am too skittish of rollover situations. Plus, I just don't like having to maintain a cloth top and I despise leaks. Both my old Bricklin and an old Corvette (1970 Stingray) we had used to leak profusely from door or T-top seals and that was enough.

    Also, you brought up an important point I missed in my original post: "Independent Ferrari mechanic."

    That's probably my biggest challenge where I live. My town is small (6,500 population) and we're 1.5 hours away from Mobile, Ala.; Montgomery, Ala.; and Pensacola, Fla. Of those three cities, I'm aware of only one independent European exotic mechanic and if he hasn't already retired, I wouldn't use him again based on some prior firsthand experiences with him and one of our old Jaguars. To service the two old Jags I currently own, I've had to basically "train" an independent hotrod shop here to not be scared of the cars (and I need to note, this is a good shop with a talented owner). In the Jaguar world, at least, service on the older cars is actually very easy, especially on the six-cylinder cars. What I can't do myself can easily be done by any decent-to-good shop.

    I'm not sure I could say the same for Ferrari, though. Certainly if I ran into an internal engine problem, that would need to go a specialist. What I don't want to find out is that my nearest service center would be in, say, Atlanta. I do recall that Birmingham (2.5 hours away) has a shop that at least potentially would work on them (HESCO; they even have a Ferrari parked outside the shop on the promotional pictures on their website). But what of normal fluid changes and belt (non-timing) services? Can that be done either by myself or by a *good* local shop?

    Jess
     
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  6. 19633500GT

    19633500GT F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Silver Subscribed

    Nov 9, 2010
    7,821
    Blueberry
    Full Name:
    Muffin-Tops
    Are you a masochist? A SIII QP?!?!

    :D

    I jest.

    But seriously, good on you for the early diligence. As with anything "antique" checks and balances of service, receipts, and a proper PPI will likely put you in a car that is fun and can be worry free if all the issues are at least known...Enjoy.

    Ps. HESCO in Birmingham is a great service place for FCars
     
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  8. AlfistaPortoghese

    AlfistaPortoghese Moderator
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    Mar 18, 2014
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    Nuno
    Jess,

    I can only imagine the peace and tranquility of living in a 6,500 soul town in Alabama. That sounds like quality of life to me, and a great place to raise a family.

    Plus: the 1970 Stingray for me personally, in terms of design, is one of the most beautiful cars ever made by Man, alongside the Jaguar E-Type and the original Mustang fastback.

    Indeed the drawback is how far away you are from major service suppliers. To try and better answer your question:

    One of the reasons why the Mondial is so popular is due not only to its reliability, durability and sturdiness, but also that in terms of engine/electronic complexity, it is pretty straightforward. No complicated gizmos, electronic control units, etc. In most cases, the most advanced thing is the ABS sensor and the only digital bit of the whole car is the clock. It has no significant added difficulty just because it has a Ferrari badge.

    Most owners I know/knew worked themselves on the car. In terms of regular maintenance, changing fluids and filters should be no more difficult than any other car of the same period, italian or not, supercar or common daily driver. I think it’s perfectly within reach for a mechanically savvy person which, I’m sad to say, isn’t and has never been my case.

    However, you will need to perform an engine out maintenance from time to time, due to the life expectancy of the rubber timing belt and tensioners. That is a serious intervention, and time consuming. I seem to recall Ferrari recommending a change every 3 years or 30.000km (whichever occurs first), but over time that has been deemed far too zealous and aimed to increase revenue from dealers. Most owners perform that profound maintenance once every 5, 6 or 7 years.

    In terms of how friendly these cars are in terms of DIY, it’s generally accepted by the community that the best all-rounder all things considered, is the 3.2.

    Mondials share engine layout and other stuff with the 308, 328 and 348. Some parts from later BMW and Fiat cars can also be fitted, namely brake pads and key locks. Finding parts isn’t a hassle fortunately.

    May I ask which Mondial are you considering? Do you have a favorite already? The 8 (1980-1982), the 3.0 Quattrovalvole (1982-1985), the 3.2 (1985-1988) or the T (1988-1993)?

    Kind regards,

    Nuno.
     
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  9. 2cam

    2cam Formula Junior

    Aug 28, 2014
    630
    Austin, Texas
    Full Name:
    MikeS
    #7 2cam, Sep 20, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
    Welcome Jess!

    Your situation sounds very similar to my own - multiple car owner, kids, and a long-term lover of the Mondial styling (in Coupe form especially!). I began looking for a Mondial in 2014 and found the "right" car about a year ago. I love it! After reading and doing a bit of research, I narrowed my search to a 3.2 Coupe. They seemed to have the greatest degree of reliability, development, and ability to service the cars yourself. Plus, they still had that cool, Enzo-era 80s feel to them without the degree of refinement that you find in the Mondial t. However, narrowing the scope of my search to a 3.2 Coupe definitely extended the length of the search as there were less than 100 of them formally brought into the U.S. over their 3 year run - there just weren't that many to choose from. I came VERY close to buying a couple of other Mondials (3.2 Cab, Mondial t Coupe, and Mondial t Cab), but am glad that I stayed the course and held out for the 3.2.

    As for potential issues, the cars actually have fewer documented issues than many more modern European performance cars. Electrical problems seem to be the biggest recurring theme. However, an upgraded fusebox usually addresses most of those issues. Everything else tends to be age-related maintenance and repairs that you'll have on any other car. Fortunately, many parts are easy to find and can be cross-shopped with others used on a variety of other cars. If you're accustomed to working on Jaguars, I think the Mondial would be easy in comparison. OK - one of the items that you asked about - A/C. Ummm, yeah. It's about as effective as most European sports cars of the era. There are things that can be done to improve its performance, but it will never be the equivalent of a modern Japanese or American vehicle. However, the A/C on my car worked quite well until it encountered an issue while being serviced by a local Ferrari tech.

    So, to summarize, I say - go for it! The Mondials are cool cars at a surprisingly reasonable price.

    Good luck in the search!

    2cam

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  10. paulchua

    paulchua Cat Herder
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    Jul 1, 2013
    9,162
    Menlo Park, CA
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    Paul Chua
    Hi Jess, a very hearty and warm welcome to you. THANK YOU for your excellent post and detailed background. It really helps us get a feel for what you're looking for.

    I am biased of course, but let me say your profile sounds to me like a perfect Mondial steward.

    To your first question, overheating - this is one of the things I hear very little about in regards to the Mondial. Mine overheated once when the fan fuse blew, but a 25 cent remedy was all it took to get it back on the road. That said, if temperature is a concern, making sure your radiator is in good shape and all the hoses and lines are replaced would be first order of business.

    Again, welcome!
     
  11. JLF

    JLF Formula 3
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    Sep 8, 2009
    1,159
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    JERRY
    I’ll admit I never ever liked Mondials and I’ve been a Ferrari nut since I was a little kid. I was looking for another Porsche 964 but the market has become so absurd on those cars. I became really turned off looking at those cars so many of which were pure junk but their owners thought they were made out of gold. I started looking at 308 gt4’s which I think are beautiful but they seem pretty antiquated even by my standards. So a week into looking at GT4s I discovered the Mondial T coupe and was floored! There was only one for sale at the time and a very high price relatively speaking. But I flew up and looked at it and bought it on the spot. It came out of a major service the day I picked it up and today...next to my old 964 turbo it is the coolest car I have ever owned. I truly thinks it’s gorgeous and I love driving it. Personally I don’t really view it as a sports car because I’m just happy cruising in it and listening to the tubi exhaust. Everywhere I go it turns heads and gets comments which is kinda fun. Having said all that it’s a 30 year old Italian car and it won’t be cheap to own. In the year I’ve had it I had to replace the fuse box, put a tubi exhaust on and now the air conditioning is acting up but no different than any other 30 year old car you would buy. It seems pretty solid overall. The air conditioning is actually pretty cold but there isn’t enough flow to match a modern car. It’s a little better than adequate I would say. Don’t know how it would be for a back seat passenger. I don’t think I could put my kids in the back till they are older because my interior is in such great shape I don’t think I could handle the damage little kids would do to it.
    I can do most maintenance on my cars so I’m not really concerned too much with maintenance costs. Just make darn sure you get a really thorough pre-purchase inspection before you buy.
     
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  13. paulchua

    paulchua Cat Herder
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    Jul 1, 2013
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    Paul Chua
    Hi Jess,

    I sounds like you have a good background in wrenching, much of the things that go wrong are readily owner doable propositions (8,qv,3.2) relative to your comfort level. The "t" variant requires an engine out for major service which is a much more involved task.

    I would not worry about miles at all, the biggest thing I would look for is a Mondial that was owned and maintained well. Many of the Mondials I see for sale were in 'storage' for quite some time. I can guarantee they will have problems. A well loved driver is the ticket. Ironically, the higher mileage (but maintained) car being cheaper to buy, and cheaper to drive right off the bat then a garage queen.
     
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  14. paulchua

    paulchua Cat Herder
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    Jul 1, 2013
    9,162
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    Paul Chua
    #11 paulchua, Sep 20, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
    I've heard your story so often from other Mondial owners. A well sorted one is really one of the exotic world's best kept secrets. Funny enough, there was a article recently on Jalopnik about the Mondial. On the comments section, many folks said to buy the 456 instead. I can say (owning both) the Mondial is still my favorite, and is much more a "Ferrari" then the 456 which seems to have much more esteem from the "Fast and Furious" crowd. My neighbor who is a Porsche enthusiast drove both back to back. He whole heartedly agreed with me after the session. Also from a public response, the Mondial gets a lot more attention then the understated 456.

    I've only received thumbs up, smiles, and good vibes. A vintage Ferrari often removes that "more then you can afford pal" stigma, one of the big pluses!
     
  15. JessN16

    JessN16 Rookie

    Sep 20, 2019
    25
    Full Name:
    Jess Nicholas
    First of all, I sincerely thank you all for the hearty and warm welcome. I admit I was not expecting this, certainly not the volume of responses. I won't say I'm unaccustomed to such hospitality from a car forum, but it is rare. Some cars have great communities and others do not.

    In fact, the extent to which I have been welcomed and my newbie questions tolerated have cinched it for me that I'm on the right track. Old cars are only as good as their owners.

    I'm going to go through these responses one at a time to answer the questions because there are so many and I'll start here: Until I just decided that I was going to eventually get a mid-engined car, I was between a Maserati SIII QP and a Biturbo. I do love an underdog. I actually really like the understated styling of those cars, the seats look comfortable (and durable, surprisingly) and for the Biturbo at least, I had heard good things about the enthusiast nature of its transmission and general handling. What scared me off the Biturbo was actually the brake system more than anything else (and yes, overall build quality).

    On HESCO, I once had a Ford Taurus SHO (1st gen, fantastic underrated car with the Yamaha engine) and sort of designed my own braking system because the factory setup on the SHO was too prone to warping, as they didn't vent well. To complete it, I needed drilled rotors, which didn't exist for that car. So HESCO custom-drilled them for me. Well, in the course of doing so, they damaged the blank rotors I'd brought them not because of their actions, but because I bought the wrong rotors. HESCO went out and bought new rotors and drilled those totally by hand rather than by using a template. And because it had added an extra day to the job, they overnighted my the rotors at their cost. They apologized profusely for the delay even though they didn't cause it. I'm sure they lost money on that deal. But I have never forgotten their kindness.

    Jess
     
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  16. JessN16

    JessN16 Rookie

    Sep 20, 2019
    25
    Full Name:
    Jess Nicholas
    Nuno,

    Thanks again for having me here, and for the compliment of my little town. It is my hometown, I moved away for 25 years and have returned here, originally to care for an ailing parent who has since passed, but also to give my son an upbringing similar to my own. If you have ever read the book "To Kill a Mockingbird," my town (Monroeville) is immortalized in that book as the fictional Maycomb, Ala. I do love it here.

    The 1970 Stingray we owned, my father had for 34 years until Hurricane Ivan spun off a tornado that hit the garage it was being kept in. The car was flattened but has since been restored by the person to whom we sold the remains.

    The car Dad traded in to get the Stingray? A 1963 Jaguar XKE 3.8 coupe.

    As for your comments/questions on the Mondial, it is good to hear of it being mostly an analog car. Modern computers are not my friend when it comes to cars.

    It's also nice to hear the cycle of the timing belt service (which, more than anything else, is why I've hesitated pulling the trigger on one of these cars) can be put off a bit. And while I do enjoy enthusiast driving, I am very cautious in how I approach it. One of the reasons the Mitsubishi Starion has been such a good match for me is the G54B powerplant in those cars, even though just 4 cylinders, operates sort of as a mini-big block (i.e., torque peak of 2500 rpm, compared to how Japanese engines usually like to be revved to infinity). If you see me driving close to redline in a car it's probably because I missed a shift. :p

    As for what I'm considering, I like the early cars better than the late cars due to the maintenance issues. I would say the 3.0 QV is my favorite era, with the 8 and the 3.2 sort of tied for second. There's nothing wrong with the T cars, but if the engine has to be brought out for the belt service, that's certainly a factor in my purchasing decision.

    Jess
     
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  17. JessN16

    JessN16 Rookie

    Sep 20, 2019
    25
    Full Name:
    Jess Nicholas
    2cam,

    Thanks for the input. I hope I find one in less than 5 years but I'm going to do it right the first time, for sure. One of the things I haven't had to worry about during my Starion- or Jag-swapping years has been availability. While neither of those cars is going to be found on every corner car lot, compared to a Mondial they're as common as bar soap. I've got the resources to do this one right the first time or not at all.

    As for A/C, I was afraid of that, and I expected it. I just hope Ferrari's approach to A/C is at least less-buggy than Jaguar's. Jaguar subbed out its HVAC to a company called Delanair, which I've become convinced is an archaic Welsh or Scottish word that translates to "you really don't have HVAC." In addition to the regular limitations of a 70s/80s HVAC system, the general bugginess of a Delanair system means the inefficiency of the cooling/heating is rivaled only by the inability of the system to deliver it.

    Jess
     
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  18. JessN16

    JessN16 Rookie

    Sep 20, 2019
    25
    Full Name:
    Jess Nicholas
    paulchua,

    That's great news about overheating issues. Fortunately, even if the car did have the propensity to overheat, the proliferation of custom aluminum radiator shops out there right now has rendered that problem a lot less dire than it once was. Both my old Jaguars and my primary Starion have custom-built aluminum radiators and overheating (so long as the fans work) is a thing of the past. I just knew it was an issue on some other 70s/80s Italian mid-engine exotics (Pantera for one).

    As for my wrenching background, well, it could be better. I'm pretty good diagnosing and fixing electrical problems. Mechanical issues, I tend to farm out.

    I do definitely agree with your summation that low mileage cars aren't the way to go. If any of you are ever interested in old Jaguars, the same thought applies. I have a theory on that: As old as those cars are, if they have 150k, 175k, etc. miles on them already, it means they were built well from the factory and previous owners have already figured out that particular car's demons. The ones to be wary of are the ones with ads that say, "only 50k miles, turns over but doesn't start," or "garage-kept and not driven since 2000." The best thing for an old Jaguar, especially the V12 models, is to drive it. And if you don't, they get jealous. I suspect the same holds true of the Mondial.

    Jess
     
  19. JessN16

    JessN16 Rookie

    Sep 20, 2019
    25
    Full Name:
    Jess Nicholas
    I'm going to see if I can get some pics up here of what's in the toybox currently...

    Also, the garage under construction in the pictures of my XJ6 is a four-car garage with work benches that we're adding to the two-car garage that was already in place.

    Jess
     

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  20. AlfistaPortoghese

    AlfistaPortoghese Moderator
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    Mar 18, 2014
    3,759
    Europe, but not by much.
    Full Name:
    Nuno
    Jess,

    Thank you for being a gentleman.

    To Kill a Mockingbird is a classic of the utmost relevance, not only in terms of literature, but also culturally, socially, morally and historically. To live in such a place must be idyllic.

    All this talk has actually made me regret selling my Mondial a bit. Truth be told I rarely drove it and I was happy with the terms under which I sold it, but still... Most things that matter in life aren’t measured in numbers, but in memories and thrills. It was my very first Ferrari and for that alone, it has a very special place in my heart.

    I would like to add the following, if I may:

    - The Mondial spreads joy among those you pass by. I got a lot of thumbs up, burst of genuine happiness from children, and a lot of nice people coming to talk to me for nothing more than a nice conversation and a couple of pictures. I can assure you none of this happens when I take my 458 out of the garage. All I get are ill-conceived invitations for a race on public roads.

    - I’m sure you’ll have wonderful drives across Alabama and beyond, with your loving family and you’ll be able to get great photographs. Your son will remember your Mondial with great affection, just like you remember your father’s cars. Cars are a very nice way for memorable father/son moments.

    - Check for rust and/or rubber seals around the windscreen. Over time, water may puddle and accumulate there.

    - Check wheel arches. Sometimes if a car has been hit in an accident, that concealed area may tell a tale of if and how the repair work was performed.

    - I had the original rims and the infamous Michelin TRX tires. They can be hard to find and expensive to find. If you can, find a Mondial with modern wheels, measured in inches.

    - If you’re allowed to test-drive the car, check if going from 1st into 2nd (dogleg gearbox) is smooth and effortless. If not, at the very least you’ll be in need of a gearbox oil change (I recommend Redline).

    - Ask the seller for the original tool kit. It’s definitely a plus.

    - The more maintenance history you can uncover, the better. A PPI (Pre-Purchase Inspection) in my very humble opinion, is always advisable.

    This is all I can’t think of off the top of my head, although I’m pretty sure I’m forgetting something... It’s late night over here in Europe, and I’m not as sharp as I was a couple of hours ago! I’m sure you’re more than familiar with these recommendations, so please accept my sincere apologies if I was completely and hopelessly redundant.

    Anyway: the Ferrarichat community is here to help you the best way it can. I hope you find your Mondial very soon and be very happy. If we didn’t have the whole of the Atlantic ocean between us, it would be a privilege and an honour to invite you to a cup of coffee and talk about all things Mondial.

    Kindest regards and have a wonderful weekend,

    Nuno.
     
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  21. JessN16

    JessN16 Rookie

    Sep 20, 2019
    25
    Full Name:
    Jess Nicholas
    Nuno,

    Thanks again for the information, and for the compliments. I wouldn't say it's always idyllic here but it is a pace of life that I enjoy. The best part, for me, is being relatively free of the light and noise pollution at night that comes with living in larger cities. I have what I need here, and when I need to go out of town, it's 40 minutes to the surrounding towns (a perfect drive length for older cars) and if a trip to a truly large city is needed, it's the aforementioned 1.5-hour drive. And thank goodness for Amazon Prime.

    On those Michelin tires, I searched them on Google and as soon as they popped up, I recognized the tread pattern. I'll never forget those tires on all the performance cars of my youth. The tread pattern is iconic. Too bad they're $330/tire on TireRack right now. I'm currently fitting custom CCW wheels on my XJS because of tire availability, but that's an investment I'd hate to have to make twice.

    If you're ever over here, I'm sure there are several members here who would love to have you in for coffee. We surely would in our household. As for the car, I'll let you know when I begin the search for the car in earnest. I do love that blue-gray color I see on some of them (not that I have anything against Ferrari red).

    Jess
     
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  22. davem

    davem F1 Veteran
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    Jan 21, 2002
    6,250
    Stepford, Connecticut
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    dave m
    Image Unavailable, Please Login Jess, some nice cars you have there.
    Bought my first Mondial coupe weeks after my first was born. Like many here, wanted to share my passion with my kids. The drone of the exhaust helps them fall asleep too!
    Have an 88 3.2 coupe. The AC compressor is a York unit. Fully capable of cooling the interior. The issues are the duct work, and blower motor are less than optimum. Here in CT its fine. there are numerous threads on this. Many speak of switching to a Sanden compressor....again its what happens after the compressor that seems to be an issue.
    The 3 or 5 yr belt replacement is just propaganda imo. Sure things break.....but numerous stories abound of 10, 15 yr and longer belt changes. When you do yours. Make sure to use Hill engineering bearings, and check the date code on the belt.
    What other cars insist on this regimen of 3 to 5 yrs!? I just did my third change, had to change out leaking cam seals and valve gaskets anyways. 17 years an owner.

    View attachment 2829089
     
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  23. JessN16

    JessN16 Rookie

    Sep 20, 2019
    25
    Full Name:
    Jess Nicholas
    davem,

    Love the car in black. I'll always have a soft spot for black sports cars given the first car as a kid that I ever fell in love with was a black Starion. It was wearing Chrysler Conquest badges (what most were sold as in America) but the "Chrysler" was nowhere in plain view, so all I saw was "Conquest." No internet in those days (1987), so I kept scanning car magazines in vain trying to find the elusive Porsche Conquest or Ferrari Conquest.

    Our big issue down here in Alabama is the humidity. Air conditioning in my '87 XJ6, for instance, has duct issues (vacuum solenoids break in almost all cars around 20-30 years old, as the diaphragms or the bellows give out), so air ends up spraying out everywhere but without force. The conversion to R134a ends up giving a duct temperature of around 50-55, but even with the car's windows tinted to maximum legal spec, weak flow plus duct temperatures above 40 degrees means the first time the interior gets heat-soaked (say, when you leave it at a store or a restaurant for an hour in direct sun), you'll never get it back the rest of the day. The tipping point seems to be 91-92 degrees F. Under that, the Jag can hold its own. Above that, no chance. My Starion can keep up until around 95. If the Mondial can do any better, I will be pleasantly shocked.

    As for the belt service, I probably won't hold to 3-5 years but I don't know how much further I'll go. I know a couple of guys who have bent up an Alfa 164's engine and a Mitsubishi 3000GT's engine pretty badly trying to elongate the cycle. I did something similar to a 98 XK8 by trying to extend its bad-from-the-factory timing chain tensioner service. I didn't even get to 80k before I cracked one (no warning, no slap-rattle, nothing) and the car never idled well after that. Much will depend on the car I eventually find and how well I think it's been cared for up to that point. I'm sort of a sucker for buying another man's trash and saving it from the grave, but I have been bitten badly in the butt more than once.

    Jess
     
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  24. greatscott73

    greatscott73 Karting

    Sep 1, 2017
    228
    West central Florida
    Full Name:
    Howard Scott
    I drive a triple black 87 3.2 Cabriolet around here in Florida, so I can appreciate your A/C concerns. For the driver and passenger, I think the system is more than adequate for comfort, but it won't freeze you out. I have never carried rear seat passengers, so no idea there.
    If the car hasn't already been converted to R134, I wouldn't do so. My car was in dire need of some good old R12 when I bought it, and a simple recharge has gotten me through the summer just fine so far. The stuff is still available on places like ebay for not-totally crazy money. It just cools better, IMHO.
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
  25. Drewbdo

    Drewbdo Karting

    Apr 8, 2016
    189
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Following this thread. In a similar situation, ownership requirements, interests, etc. Mondial is the "right" Ferrari for me. Looking at a two year horizon for purchase.

    This is a great group for support, learning, DIY ideas, etc. Very welcoming members, and full of knowledge.

    Good luck with your search! :)
     
    AlfistaPortoghese likes this.
  26. ATLdoghouse

    ATLdoghouse Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 3, 2016
    353
    Atlanta
    Full Name:
    Cody L
    Jess,

    If you are ever in the Atlanta area and would like to see and drive a very well maintained and sorted out '89 Mondial t coupe let me know.

    Best,
    Cody
     
  27. Drewbdo

    Drewbdo Karting

    Apr 8, 2016
    189
    Atlanta, Georgia
    ATL rise up! ;) lol
     
  28. Drewbdo

    Drewbdo Karting

    Apr 8, 2016
    189
    Atlanta, Georgia
    By the way JessN16, the two door Jag in your photo has always been my favorite model. I knew a guy who had a Chevy V8 in one, I guess due to reliability and DIY potential. I think both the hardtop and convertible look sooo good! :cool:
     

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