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New guy here to learn about Ferrari

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by thr_wedge, Dec 7, 2007.

  1. thr_wedge

    thr_wedge Rookie

    Dec 5, 2007
    16
    Not buying yet, just another FNG here to learn about Ferraris. Right now I drive a 2005 Subaru Legacy GT and will be trying out some high performance driver's ed in the spring, which is pretty exciting for me. I don't know what model I am looking for yet, though I do drive by a cherry 1991 Ferrari 348 every day on the way home, asking price of $60k. Considering a fully loaded F-250 diesel runs about that, and there are probably 50 of them in my neighborhood, I think that is a great price. Where I live isn't "Ferrari" territory but every house seems to have a couple of diesels or suburbans running at $50k a pop not to mention daily driving something that gets 12mpg. So as far as I am concerned dropping $50-60k on a weekend sports car that shouldn't lose value nearly as quickly almost makes it financially responsible to buy a Ferrari! Well that is what I keep telling my wife :)

    Anyways, I'm here to learn, see if an Italian would be a good fit for me and if it is figure out what model I would like to get...
     
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  3. Bullfighter

    Bullfighter Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Jan 26, 2005
    20,696
    Fullerton, California
    Full Name:
    Jon
    Welcome. I've been through the same car math you mentioned, and have also been appalled at the prices of SUVs/trucks: they do make the '80s/'90s Ferraris seem like a bargain.

    Maybe the first thing to know is that dropping $60K on the car is kind of the entry fee, and that service and parts prices on these cars can still be eye-watering. For example, a $5000 service on a 'normal' car would be the kind of thing that would have you sending the car to the crusher. On a Ferrari V8, a $5000 service bill could mean that everything is just fine and bunch of routine items were just replaced.

    Also, different Ferrari models vary (quite a lot) in driving experience and ownership costs. I'm a fan of the 308/328 models, because of their 'purity' (no computers, built largely by hand, no power steering, simple clutch/manual gearbox, cool targa top convertible, etc.) But in performance terms a 360 or F430 would leave those for dead, and have more comfortable cockpits for the big-and-tall sort.

    You might start by figuring out how much you want to spend, and then whether a nimble V8 mid-engined car or a big brutal V12 (Boxer, Testarossa, etc.) is more your style.

    Happy exploring. Once you've driven a Ferrari, everything else does tend to feel like 'everything else'.
     
  4. thr_wedge

    thr_wedge Rookie

    Dec 5, 2007
    16
    The 308/328s are fairly appealing to me, especially since I am mechanically capable and always looking for an excuse to buy new tools :)

    Also well aware that the "majors" are not cheap. But it IS a lot cheaper than wheel to wheel racing...my buddy spends $12-15k a year on his racing problem...er...habit :)

    I would probably put 4-5k a year on the car, just driving it on weekends, so at that rate a major might only come up every couple of years too.
     
  5. 2000YELLOW360

    2000YELLOW360 F1 World Champ

    Jun 5, 2001
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    Art
    You'll spend at least $1/mile, depending on how much you drive it. at 4 - 5k per year, I suspect you'll spend quite a bit more than that. I have yet to see the 5k major service on one of these cars. More like 10k, if you do it right. An example is the 348 (car your looking at): A simple belt replacment runs about 4 -5k. However, if that is all that you do, you're asking for trouble. The water pumps are trouble, and since they can't be replaced without pullling the motor, you should replace them at the service: $1200, You will also need new tensioner bearings: another 1k. I haven't seen one of them that didn't need a clutch throw out bearing: $1200. The list goes on and on. Expect that you will pay 5 - 6k per year, every year that you own the car, but an occassional bit of extra money if something important breaks. The emissions controls weren't the best on these, so expect that you'll have some of those problems.

    If I were you, I'd spend a few extra bucks, and get a 96 or later 355. You'll pay high 60s, low 70s for a real good one, but they can be driven without the grief of the 348, and are a little less expensive to drive. DON'T try to service these on your own. There are too many quirks, and pitfalls that can cost you a lot. An example, a service bulletin requires a clamp to be positioned a certain way. If done improperly, you'll get a fire. Only dealers and those who work with these cars are familiar with those sorts of trouble.

    However, it isn't my intent to discourage you. These are fun cars, and you should enjoy them a lot.

    Art
     
  6. Newman

    Newman F1 World Champ
    Professional Ferrari Technician Consultant Owner

    Dec 26, 2001
    13,672
    Canada
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    Newman
    welcome aboard, lots to learn here for sure. As usual, solid advice from Jon. I like the 308/328 as well for the nimble feel, easy to fix and very reliable if not the most reliable ferrari to own. If you put yourself in an 88 328 for example you wouldnt have rust to deal with, a clean 328 isnt hard to find compared to the older 308's, hop in and drive basically. Any of the older 12's can kill you financially and are much harder to work on in your home garage but with a hoist and some more specialized equipment (and some mechanical knowledge) anything is possible. Ive always heard that new-comers should try an 8 cylinder first like a 308/328 before jumping into the 12 only because of the cost of up-keep, it can take the fun out of the experience especially if you have a $20K surprise a month after buying. Ultimately its your choice, a TR is an affordable supercar to buy but not to repair and of course the 12 cylinder sound and thrust is hard to beat :)
     
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  8. thr_wedge

    thr_wedge Rookie

    Dec 5, 2007
    16
    Hey Guys, thanks for all the tips. Good to know that $5k a year is about average. Not completely unreasonable compared to other hobbies, obsessions either. Just something that needs to be accounted for.

    I just happen to drive by the 348 everyday, not necessarily sure that I love it...or don't love it :)

    I really like the 308/328s a lot, really great lines on the car. I wouldn't be surprised if I picked up a 328 when the time comes. Again, that is a ways off...

    But as was said, money spent upfront can make for a more enjoyable experience. Would hate to spend $40k on a car and find out that it needs $20k in work when I could have just bought the newer 355 in the first place.

    Only time will tell, until then I have a lot to learn!
     
  9. hardtop

    hardtop F1 World Champ

    Jan 31, 2002
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    A 328 should cost 1000-1200/year average for maintenance. I've had mine for 6 years. Most years, just change oil and brake fluid. A thorough major every 5 years might run 4-5K depending on many "while you are at it's) there are how much your shop charges.

    Dave
     
  10. thr_wedge

    thr_wedge Rookie

    Dec 5, 2007
    16
    Cool. Much cheaper than I thought. Nice to know about the Ferrari 328.

    A lot of great info just in this thread. You guys are great.

    I need to really start diving into the threads.

    Nothing like changing the oil and brake fluid on a car. I am pretty close to OCD about maint. and find a brake flush to be a fairly rewarding experience. I think I have a problem...
     
  11. Bullfighter

    Bullfighter Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Jan 26, 2005
    20,696
    Fullerton, California
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    Jon
    #9 Bullfighter, Dec 7, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Make sure you drive one. Probably the prettiest and most reliable modern-ish Ferrari, but the cockpit is a tad tight and the ergonomics are -- well, amusing. ;)

    Hardtop's numbers feel about right. My last major service was $4K, but other than that I probably haven't spent $1500 a year in maintenance/repair (and I pre-emptively replace stuff that looks like it could fail...)

    It's good to have $10K in the emergency Ferrari fund, but with a 328 you have a good chance of not needing much of that.
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  13. curtisc63

    curtisc63 Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Dec 13, 2005
    2,267
    Maryland
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    Curtis Campbell
    I am newer to Fcar ownership with just over a year bliss behind me. Read as much as you can. Visit as many shows/gatherings as you can. Check out the regional forums here and get involved with coffee meets, drives, etc. (BTW - fill in your profile to let us know where you are.) Get some rides - if you are nice about it I do not know anyone that does not like to introduce their car and take it for a drive. Find the model that speaks to you. For me it was the Testarossa. From the first picture I ever saw of one; I had to have one. I searched out the best I could find/afford and then spent another 20% of purchase price on a major for piece of mind. One year later and I have only had to do a fluid change and replace a connector on the fuse box - more preventative than anything else.

    Do I regret anything about my experience? Only that I did not do it sooner.

    Go in with you eyes open - as it seems like you are trying to do - and you should be fine. Read read read - and then, read some more.

    Enjoy!
     
  14. toggie

    toggie F1 World Champ
    Owner

    Nov 30, 2003
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    #11 toggie, Dec 7, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    My first Ferrari was a 1988 328 GTS, red/tan in color. It had just had the major engine service done and everything was working fine when I bought it. I kept it two years and only did oil changes and brake fluid flushes to it. If you get one that has been recently serviced and driven 2000 or more miles in the previous year, you're likely to pay a little more but reap the savings over the first couple years of ownership.

    Be careful when you first test drive a 328. The floor pedals are offset to the right to make room for the driver's side front wheel well. The 3 pedals are so far to the right that the clutch pedal is straight under the center of the steering wheel. Make sure when it's time to hit the brake pedal that you aren't accidentally putting the clutch in instead.

    Plus the 328 has a good size trunk in the rear of the car. Just don't try to carry ice cream home in it.
    I traded-in my 328 about 4 years ago. Some day I'd love to own another one.
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  15. BT

    BT F1 World Champ
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    Mar 21, 2005
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    Bill Tracy
    #12 BT, Dec 7, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    I'd say to go for it when you are comfortable. The 348 is also a great bargain in the mid engine V-8 line. I like it because it looks modern but is still a pretty raw driving experience compared to the newer models. All 348 cars come with a great network of friendly and supportive owners (referred to ehre as 'The Brotherhood'). The maintenance is not that bad and because the car initially got bad press they are really a good value. I like the looks but it is not for everyone. Do your research and you should be fine.
    Welcome!
    BT
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  16. Bullfighter

    Bullfighter Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Jan 26, 2005
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    Well, the 328 has 'The Syndicate'. Mostly we hang out at Lexus corporate doing consulting on automotive reliability, but drop in here sometimes to answer questions.
     
  17. alessiogiorgio

    alessiogiorgio Karting

    Nov 24, 2007
    136
    Italy - Sweden
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    alessio giorgio
    i have used my Mondial 3.2 for 8 years. this car has the same engine and mechanical parts of
    loved 328. I spent very few about 2000 per year maximum. no problem il 8 years. These cars are the more reliable Ferrari. and I see that the price of 328 is increasing a lot il last 12 months (in Italy) Maybe it will explode as the DINO 246 ???
    on other end, if you like a modern car my suggestion is to drive a 360
    and see the differences....!!!
    ciao
    alex
     
  18. wetpet

    wetpet F1 World Champ
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    May 3, 2006
    10,151
    here is your first lesson on ferraris. 348's aren't worth 60k.
     
  19. Spasso

    Spasso F1 World Champ
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    Feb 16, 2003
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    Han Solo
    I have to disagree.

    You can still have the bad valve guide issues in the '96 355's. 20k head job
    The headers WILL crack- on ALL of them. 3k to replace
    The exhaust diverter valve is a bad design and fails by jamming. 1500/2k fix.
    Catalytic converters melt on occasion-3k for starters.
     
  20. NOWANNABE65

    NOWANNABE65 Formula Junior

    Nov 22, 2007
    726
    Midwest, U.S.A.
    Full Name:
    GLC
    I bought my very first Ferrari in April 2003. It was a red/tan 1988 Testarossa for $56,000. I did not know anything about Ferraris nor did I ever see one in person. I was reading the Old Car Trader magazine and saw a testarossa listed for $59,000.00. I negotiated down to $56,000.00 and had the vehicle transported to Chicago from Atlanta. The moment it arrived, I loved the car. I drove it couple times a week and cleaned it every day. In July 2004 I wrecked the testarossa. I have not bought another Ferrari until February of this year (360 Modena Coupe). I started a whole Ferrari and Lamborghini collection this year. I own 5 Ferraris and 6 Lamborghinis. My fifth Ferrari was another 1988 Testarossa . I had to get the car I wrecked back. It is the cheapest Ferrari that I own but yet, it is my favorite. I bought the car for $60,000.00 and spent $15,000.00 on punchlist items (seat belt motors, weatherstripping, stereo system, radar detector/jammer, etc.). In my opinion, you get so much car for the money. I would have paid three or four times what I paid for this car. My 2006 Lamborghini Murcielago Roadster cost well over $300k and comparing the two, I prefer the Testarossa over all of my cars. Email or call me if I can be of any help in you buying a new Ferrari.

    Gus
     
  21. thr_wedge

    thr_wedge Rookie

    Dec 5, 2007
    16
    LOL

    I laugh because that is exactly what two of the guys at work said. One is obsessed with Ferrari and the other just all around knowledgable about cars. Said that $60k for a clean 348 was at least $12k too much if not more. I didn't believe him and thought it was a good price, so I checked around online and sure enough the buy it now's were around $49k on ebay and the buy it now button is always a little high.

    I'll fill in my Profile...but I am in Austin, TX.

    Thanks again for the tips. Some really great looking cars.
     
  22. Bullfighter

    Bullfighter Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Jan 26, 2005
    20,696
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    Jon
    I think you've received good advice on the pricing, but definitely don't limit yourself to eBay for Ferraris. Some good cars are sold there, doubtless, but it's also a dumping ground for the not-so-good.

    You'll likely be happier in the long run buying from a reputable dealer (Ferrari or highline specialty) or through the FCA or Ferrari Market Letter classifieds.
     
  23. alessiogiorgio

    alessiogiorgio Karting

    Nov 24, 2007
    136
    Italy - Sweden
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    alessio giorgio
    it s very good the suggestion to read a lot. but i suggest you to read and after to drive your favorite Ferraris.
    for me buying F. we buy emotions
    not cars !!! In fact the collector of F and Lambo still prefers Testarossa
    because this car delivers to him more emotions than other cars...
    ciao
    alex
     
  24. hardtop

    hardtop F1 World Champ

    Jan 31, 2002
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    Dave
    I think the ergonomics are perfect. Look, the shift knob is inches from the steering wheel and the pedals are perfect for heel/toe shifts and the brake pedal is firm, linear and easily modulated. Did I miss something?

    Dave
     
  25. Bullfighter

    Bullfighter Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Jan 26, 2005
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    Jon
    All stuff you get used to: pedals are off to the right; clutch pedal is very close to the dead pedal; interior door latch pre-88.5 is hidden better than Iranian nuclear facilities; climate control system is overly complex (a/c is a separate fan) and knobs are poorly shaped; steering wheel requires tools to adjust; and the dashboard was covered with the most reflective material ever conceived short of a disco ball.

    That said, yes, I like the position of the shift knob and the brakes feel great.
     
  26. Spasso

    Spasso F1 World Champ
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    Feb 16, 2003
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    Han Solo
    Probably the best advice I have ever seen regarding Ferrari purchases, "The most expensive Ferrari to buy is a cheap one"
     
  27. thr_wedge

    thr_wedge Rookie

    Dec 5, 2007
    16
    Great point.

    I have always found that when I buy cheap I end up buying it at least twice. Never fun...

    Tools being the prime example. Cheap tools cost SO much more than a good tool. They break, strip screws, don't work right, aren't right for the job, etc. etc. I can see the same thing buying a "bargin" Ferrari.
     
  28. Spasso

    Spasso F1 World Champ
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