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My 550 search

Discussion in '456/550/575' started by rivarama, Sep 28, 2019.

  1. rivarama

    rivarama Rookie

    May 18, 2017
    45
    London
    As some of you might remember, I toyed with the idea of owning a Ferrari about 3 years ago, having owned several sportscars prior to that, including Porsche 911s, Maserati granturismo etc...

    After doing much research, I embarked on a search process that would lead me 6months later into buying a lovely F430. My worries at the time were about cost of ownership - not so much about affordability - but because considering myself a frugal person, I was really scared (as most misinformed people) by the horror stories circulating on the net.

    Fast forward almost 3 years of absolutely delightful ownership, many european and English miles on the clock, and very reasonable running costs - I decided to add a second Ferrari to the garage. Just writing this down, makes me smile, as I would have thought I was crazy for saying this 3 years ago!!

    Anyway - after wondering what could possibly sit next to my V8, I initially narrowed it down to 3 V12’s. A 599 (for its stupid performance and great looks), a 612 (mostly for its amazing value) and the 550 (for... well, it’s a 550!). To cut a long story short, I zeroed in without too much effort on the 550. Owning a modern F1 V8 (and red) already, it was only natural to go for the future classic, classy and analog feeling car.

    So here I am, early September 2019, officially kicking off my search for a 550 maranello.

    Here are some of the things I am looking for:
    - Color: silver, grey or blue (tdf or pozzi)... potentially black though not my first choice
    - Seat: black or tan. Not creme or bordeaux
    - Mileage: anywhere between 35-50k Miles. Given that I really want to drive the @@ out of the car, I would rather not pay a huge premium for a low miles model and worry about depreciation too much. Without mentioning problems associated with garage queens.
    - Driving position: I am not fussed about RHD vs LHD as most of the miles will be driven over Europe.
    - The car must already be located in the UK, as I am not considering importing from EU at this stage.

    - Budget: I know it’s a buyer’s market at the moment, but who knows how far the prices will go. I don’t need a concours car, I just want a well loved and well maintained car. I believe a 5-figure budget starting with a ‘6’ (in GBP/£ that is) gets me in an honest RHD, and a budget starting with a ‘5’ in a LHD. I am in no hurry but equally have the cash to jump on the right car.

    So very much like I did 3 years ago, I am starting a thread, hoping for more invaluable contributions from you, good people of this forum, in furthering my journey in the Ferrari world.


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  3. Patek

    Patek Formula 3
    Rossa Subscribed

    Mar 24, 2006
    1,723
    Georgia
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    John Milton Denton
    There is a car on the For sale page for $96,000 it is a 550 with 50,000 miles. I don't know the car or the person, but just saw it.
     
  4. Bluebottle

    Bluebottle F1 Veteran
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    Oct 15, 2012
    6,725
    Exeter and Cirencester
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    John
    Good choice, but I think you might be a bit optimistic on your budget, particularly for a RHD car. If you do find a car to buy at that level, you would probably also have to have something in your budget for immediate expenditure. Good luck with your search.
     
  5. rivarama

    rivarama Rookie

    May 18, 2017
    45
    London
    I am in the UK so unfortunately the US cars are out :)
    Blue bottle - the last 3 cars sold by KHPC sold for about £3-7k more than my budget - all in very good nicks and towards the end of summer.
    Unless prices start to go up this winter, which is u likely given the economic and political environment, I am hopeful I can find another sorted car over the next 6-12months. Mileage isn’t a big deal for me as long as the car has been well maintained.


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  6. 21ATS

    21ATS Formula Junior

    Dec 10, 2016
    638
    Kent, UK
    Full Name:
    Alan
    I've been on a similar search for the last 2 years. However I always felt everything was a little overpriced. Hindsight proved me right - but I've spent 2 years not driving a 550/575, so the feeling isn't exactly smug.

    What you need to remember when thinking about values of cars like Ferrari is whilst they are subject to swings in sentiment like many other assets, their owners on the whole often don't need to sell.

    In the UK the average Ferrari is the 4th car owned by any particular individual. The willingness to let it go cheap (in their eyes) is not really present especially having recently seen so many ludicrously high prices in the not so distance past, leaves us in a vacuum or a non market where only cars that really need to be sold are being sold.

    Genuine bargains only ever really tend to be bought in the wake of worldwide economic corrections (the credit crunch being the last) when distressed sales are created.

    I think KHPC are realistic numbers in todays market. Mid £70k seems to about where a good RHD driver 550 is with 35,000 miles or so and solid history. It's then plus or minus from there on mileage and condition.

    What has become noticable though is the lack of new listings. There are a lot of the same cars, many on SOR with asking prices no longer reflecting the market price. That could be the season, it could be the economy, it could be owners just thnking "I'll just keep it".

    My intention is to buy one that I never intend to sell, I'd hazard a guess that makes up a reasonably large percentage of 550's.

    I doubt there are more than 200 RHD 550 Maranellos in the UK. Lets say 30% of them will not be sold until they are estate sales, then you reduce the number left by colour preference, mileage and condition. You're at a pretty small pool of cars to start with, then you have to find someone willing to part with the one you want at the price you want.

    You can see how easy it is to arrive at a stalemate.

    Outside influences (brexit nonsence) have sidelined me - but I watch the market constantly.

    Personally I like the look of the car at Forza 288:-

    https://www.pistonheads.com/classifieds/used-cars/ferrari/550/ferrari-550-maranello-uk-rhd/9697619

    It's been on the market for a while, it's an unusal attractive colour - Grigio Alloy (that hasn't photographed particularly well to show the blue element) and it has sensible miles for a driver. No sheilds, silver calipers - a lovely subtle spec right up my street.

    I don't like blue interiors though so I'd be budgeting to have it re trimmed at some point in the future.

    I'd say high £60K's to low £70's for that car is the number - what it comes down to is how much the owner wants or needs to move it on. I'd assume that's a SOR arrangement.
     
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  8. Bluebottle

    Bluebottle F1 Veteran
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    Oct 15, 2012
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    John
    Probably about right IMO.


    So buy it then! If you have to pay a few £K over what you perceive to be its true price, that will soon be a distant memory and you'll be enjoying 550 ownership at last - life is too short to waste time studying the adverts and wishing you had one in your garage.

    That's what I did, for the same reason, though mine was actually black. this is how it looks now:

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  9. 21ATS

    21ATS Formula Junior

    Dec 10, 2016
    638
    Kent, UK
    Full Name:
    Alan
    I'm not wealthy but I do ok. I'm an entry level Ferrari owner, this will be my first and I'll not be claiming it'll be any sort of "collection".

    I'm currently more nervous about the economy than I am worried about the values of 550's dropping further. So what I'd be spending on this car is currently a nice safety net for me should some poo hit the fan with the current political nonsence we're going through.

    Don't think I'm tempted daily to just go and buy it. It's that my comfort zome has moved recently and I'm being a bit more conservative with "stuff" and more inclined to make sure nothing can go wrong with the basics of life and business.

    I still look every day though.

    Can I ask what your re trim cost? I had a number circa £10K in mind for a colour change.
     
  10. Bluebottle

    Bluebottle F1 Veteran
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    Oct 15, 2012
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    That makes sense. The immediate future has never been more uncertain, so it is as well to have an emergency fund available should the need arise. My retrim was around £5K I believe, 7 years ago. As you can see, it was not a full retrim, as I kept a fair amount of the interior in black. Having said that, I did have some of the black bits done, too - fascia and driver's airbag cover, I think.
     
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  11. rivarama

    rivarama Rookie

    May 18, 2017
    45
    London
    Lovely trim. I cannot believe you only paid £5k for it back then. It looks top notch, certainly would be more expensive now.

    Regarding car value, I do get everybody’s point, but let’s also not forget where prices were in 2013/14. The LHD 550 from KHPC was bought from a well know specialist for €44k back in 2014 (I personally saw the invoice)... and I am sure nobody would have dreamt for prices to skyrocket close to 100k 3 years later; they probably found a way themselves to justify that low price at the time. Bottom line, nobody knows where prices go next. Even for super small production cars (3.4k 550).


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  13. jtremlett

    jtremlett F1 Rookie

    Feb 18, 2004
    4,114
    You're way out. But you're also in luck because I have the numbers: As at 16 August there were 377 RHD 550 Maranellos registered in the UK.
     
  14. 21ATS

    21ATS Formula Junior

    Dec 10, 2016
    638
    Kent, UK
    Full Name:
    Alan
    Wow that's more than I thought. Where do you find that information?

    I had a look on How many left and the breakdown of Ferraris pre 575's is pretty sketchy to non existent. SO i figured it would be a few more than 575's but I didn't think it would be that many.

    I'd still like to buy your green 550 Jonathan!
     
  15. Jroe550

    Jroe550 Karting

    Sep 10, 2015
    177
    Austria
    Full Name:
    Jason
    That colour is Grigio titanio. It is a great colour in person. Especially combined with Bordeaux.
    Good choice as your second car. Next to my 328, they compliment each other well.
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  16. jtremlett

    jtremlett F1 Rookie

    Feb 18, 2004
    4,114
    The DVLA don't split Ferraris by model pre-2003 (and post-2003 isn't very accurate either). I only have the numbers from hard work matching data from different sources to the DVLA data.

    Sorry, love my car too much to part with it.
     
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  17. 21ATS

    21ATS Formula Junior

    Dec 10, 2016
    638
    Kent, UK
    Full Name:
    Alan
    Initially I thought it might be Titanio.

    Have a look at their website images:- https://www.forza288.com/ferrari/arriving-shortly-ferrari-550-marinello-uk-rhd/

    Combined with the description "finished in metallic silver blue, 1 of only 8 in this colour" I think it's Grigio Alloy with slightly washed out photoraphy.
     
  18. jtremlett

    jtremlett F1 Rookie

    Feb 18, 2004
    4,114
    Yes, it is Grigio Alloy. I've seen it a few times and, co-incidentally, the same vendor from whom I bought my 550 also had it for sale when I bought my car.
     
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  19. Bluebottle

    Bluebottle F1 Veteran
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    Oct 15, 2012
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    John
    I'll have to check the invoice, but I am pretty sure it was about that. It was arranged for me by a friend in the trade, so I may have got "mates rates".

    Prices have been all over the place in the last few years. I paid £45K for mine in 2012 and when I used it to fund the purchase of my Dino in 2016, FFS lent against a valuation of £140K. Maybe worth £75K now? Not, however, for sale!;)
     
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  20. rivarama

    rivarama Rookie

    May 18, 2017
    45
    London
    Anybody knows this car?

    https://www.duntbarn.com/Car-Sales/1998-S-Ferrari-550-Maranello/13

    Interestingly it was advertised for £69k until a few days ago.

    That car hasn’t been MOT’d for the past 2 years and has only covered 1,000 miles over the past 9 years (supposedly owned by an older gentleman living abroad 6months a year). Would you even consider it? Or sitting still for that long a recipe for trouble?


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  21. jtremlett

    jtremlett F1 Rookie

    Feb 18, 2004
    4,114
    I can't say I know it but I've seen it a couple of times although the last time was back in 2012.

    Do you mean £69k? It was first listed at the beginning of May at £79,995 then reduced to £74,995 in July.

    Sitting still for a long time isn't good, although it has been used a bit. But if it meets your requirements otherwise it must be worth considering, allowing for having it checked over by someone who knows what they're doing - especially if you were planning to set off straight to Rome or somewhere with it for a fortnight just after buying it. I note it does say it will be serviced, MOTed etc. upon sale.
     
  22. rivarama

    rivarama Rookie

    May 18, 2017
    45
    London
    Speaking w the seller, the car will receive a major inc belts, new upgraded cooling silicone hoses (surprised the car hasn’t received it already) and replacement front bushes that came up as an MOT advisory for the past 8years... it also received a full respray back in March.

    I am not sure how the first 7 years of the 9 were spent under the same owner, but it looks like it’s been stored properly for the last 2.

    The asking price was £69k until last week and it got bumped to £75k over the week end - which completely unrealistic on the back of the history, mileage and where other UK car are currently being priced at.

    Quite hard to price a car in the current market pre-winter and pre-brexit too


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  23. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Jul 19, 2008
    33,076
    Clarksville, Tennessee
    Full Name:
    Terry H Phillips
    He wants the buyer to pay for the work being done, apparently.
     
  24. jtremlett

    jtremlett F1 Rookie

    Feb 18, 2004
    4,114
    I have only looked at the price on Pistonheads where it went from £79,995 to £74,995 in July and that was the only price change since it has been listed (although I don't look every day). The advert does invite "sensible offers". If you don't like the price and the seller won't move it to where you want, then move on.
     
  25. rivarama

    rivarama Rookie

    May 18, 2017
    45
    London
    Well - it’s been at £68,990 on their own site for the past month and the owner acknowledged by email he’s raised the price by mistake... I am just sharing this out of transparency in case anybody is interested, as I am going to personally walk away from it. I am not sure that’s the right car for me. I still can’t get used to the 1k miles over 9 years.


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  26. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob Two Time F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Aug 10, 2002
    20,007
    socal
    For all the mechanical chickens the 550 is the last v12 analog enough to be 95% worked on my diy'er. Granted I'm pretty advance but I'm no pro. Anyone willing to learn can do a $5000 major service for maybe 1000 bucks.
     
  27. Ferrari 308 GTB

    Ferrari 308 GTB F1 Veteran

    Feb 21, 2015
    6,572
    See how Brexit goes,looks like it will at least drag out over winter, however i think these are a good long term buy.Sure they might drop another 5-10K but that is peanuts considering it's V12 n/a manual that does +/- 200 MPH .
     
  28. rivarama

    rivarama Rookie

    May 18, 2017
    45
    London
    Totally fair point!


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