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Optimal Miles Driven for Used Ferrari

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by lkstaack, Dec 28, 2020.

  1. lkstaack

    lkstaack Karting
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    I'm researching 20 year old or older (non-investment) Ferraris for a future purchase. Some experts note that low miles contribute to higher pricing. Others point out that low usage and extended periods of inactivity contribute to seal and gasket failures. So, where is the sweet spot? To minimize mechanical failures, should a Ferrari be exercised once a week, or is once a month ok? Is 350 miles a month about right, or too much?

    I note a few F355s and 360s selling with less than 15k miles on the odometer. They seem to command higher prices. Yet, that would imply that owners only drove them an average of about 50 miles a month. Is that healthy? All things being equal, wouldn't a Ferrari driven 100-300 miles a month be healthier than a low mileage one?

    On a slightly different subject, what is the average milage on Ferrari engines requiring rebuild? Is 100k miles the norm?

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  3. EnzoItaly

    EnzoItaly Karting

    Sep 29, 2016
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    Older garage queens are a perfect recipe for big bills.

    Most important is the maintenance done in the last 5 years and good history + a thorough PPI.

    Buy the one that sets your heart on fire.
     
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  4. greyboxer

    greyboxer F1 World Champ

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    You are trying to empiricise (is that a word ?) something that ultimately is emotional

    Come the day you will have a budget and you will see a car that you want - til then there are too many variables

    You mention the 360 & 355 so spend some time in their respective sections assessing what has made others buy and what they've sought
     
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  5. lkstaack

    lkstaack Karting
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    Respectfully, I disagree. One can fall madly in love with a woman, but would be ill advised to marry her if she is a crackhead. With cars and girls, I believe one should use both their heart and head (after 26 years of marriage to the same woman, I claim some success in this area). Yes, there are many variables involved when choosing, but that shouldn't prevent anyone from reducing those they can. And yes, I have spent some time on the 348/355, 360/430 boards.
     
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  6. EastMemphis

    EastMemphis Formula Junior
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    I was beset with this same question when I was shopping for my 360 gated Spider. The answer for me was a healthy 20k +/-5k miles as a benchmark. I got one with 17k and it's a nice car. Still in great shape and according to Carfax, driven regularly over the years.

    I agree with @lkstaack in regard to the crackhead analogy. Where you should allow your heart to interfere is with the price, not the actual car. If you have to pay more to get the car you want, at least she's not a crackhead.

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  8. ttforcefed

    ttforcefed F1 World Champ
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    25 to 35k miles for best bang for the buck...doesnt mean zero headaches either btw. no ferrari is cheap to own.
     
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  9. sixcarbs

    sixcarbs F1 Veteran
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    It's highly unlikely that they got driven regularly for 50 miles per month. Someone may have driven it 4000 miles per year for a couple of years, then it sat, then someone drove it 2000 miles per year for a couple of years, then it sat. You see where I am going here?

    Bottom line, get a PPI. These are just cars. Rubber and seals can be replaced.
     
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  10. Husker

    Husker F1 Veteran
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    I bought my mint 360 with 39,500 at a deep discount, and I’ll sell it eventually at a deep discount.

    I would rather do that than buy one at a premium, drive it a bunch, and THEN have to sell it at a deep discount. :D
     
  11. ginoBBi512

    ginoBBi512 Formula Junior
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    I bought my 89 328 in 1999 with 20 K miles , 20 years later , the mileage is 102,000, and its good for another 100 K . I paid 47,900 for the car . I dont actually know how much I have spent on maintenance , repair, and restoration to keep it up to my standard, its got to be at least 50k over 20 years of ownership. Im ok with that , if I went and added everything up, maybe the yearly cost would go to to 3000 per year, I think that would be a good guestimation . At this point for me, it does not matter, I will never sell it.

    Thank you.
     
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  13. lkstaack

    lkstaack Karting
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    Wow, 102K! Have you had the engine rebuilt, or head/cam work?
     
  14. lkstaack

    lkstaack Karting
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    Yes, getting a PPI is good if you are able. However, I don't think that's an option with BaT and other auctions. While seals can certainly be replaced, I would rather purchase a Ferrari without surprises. Eyes wide open.
     
  15. ginoBBi512

    ginoBBi512 Formula Junior
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    NONE ,but I replaced a lot of stuff, some needed some elected , look up my posts on the thread "what have you done to your Ferrari today, I have it all listed so you can see .

    Thank you
     
  16. Themaven

    Themaven F1 Rookie
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    I have/had two Maranellos simultaneously.

    550 garage queen bought in 2015 with 4000 miles. It had been sitting as bait in a Fiat dealer, indoors, for years

    Gated 575 bought the same year with 29000 miles. Driven pretty consistently and serviced every year, with everything that went wrong attended to, according to the records.

    The 550 cost me more than £15,000 over four years til it was hit by a falling tree and written off last year.

    Outside of routine maintenance, the 575 has cost me pretty much zero.
    That is not a scientific survey by any means! Also the 550 was seven years older than the 575.

    But I would buy a car that has been consistently driven throughout its life, which you should be able to glean from service records. In many cases, cars will not have been driven in winter, but still. 2000 miles a year over 20 years equals 40,000 miles which I think would be a good starting point.

    But I am just another layman. What we need is one of the mechanical authorities on this board to pop up. @Rifledriver ?
     
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  17. lkstaack

    lkstaack Karting
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    Yes, your experience is aligned with mine, though I don't have the technical education/experience to back it up either. In the Army, we used to "exercise the iron" every other week when in garrison, to keep seals soft and fluids circulated.
     
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  18. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

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    #15 Rifledriver, Dec 30, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2020

    Give me a low mile little used car anytime. I take good care of my stuff to a degree very few others do. If I am going to sleep in an unmade bed it better be I who slept in it prior.
    Replace some perishibles because it sat? BFD. Small time compared to curb damage on wheels, worn out clutches, worn, sun damaged leather and worn carpeting. We bought a TR with 900 miles that was 10 years old. Did a major and has been perfect since. Got it for about 1/3-1/4 of the market price when new and it looked like new. Show me a 10 year old Ferrari regularly driven that is as good a condition. I work on them every day, they do not exist. At 30 ours has a little patina....My patina.

    I don't even see 10 year old Ferraris without sundamaged leather on the dash. Every single time our TR is parked outdoors it has a sun shield. Its interior at 30 years old still looks brand new. At 20 years old it won the national preservation award for the most perfect and original car.

    You want to shop for clothes at a thrift store and look like an unmade bed knock yourselves out.
     
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  19. Themaven

    Themaven F1 Rookie
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    Can’t argue with this, and that’s why low miles cars are worth more!
     
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  20. lkstaack

    lkstaack Karting
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    I understand what you're saying. However, replacing a clutch on a mid milage Ferrari may not be as bad as having to replace the main and cam seals of a low milage example that had been stored for the last ten years.
     
  21. Zanny1

    Zanny1 Formula Junior
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    My '99 gated coupe has 24K miles on the odometer.
    I drive it once a month. No major repair costs other than routine maintenance. It's been the most reliable Ferrari I have owned. I've had 3 V-12's and 6 V-8's over the years, ranging from 1962 to 1999. In terms of reliability, this car is in a league of it's own.
    348 and 355 models..... that's a different case.
    Take the car at face value and don't shy away from a low mileage example. History and inspection are everything.
     
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  22. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

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    Thats getting done on any car I buy anyway so who cares?
     
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  23. lm2504me

    lm2504me Formula Junior
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    I totally agree with Brian.
    I bought a 1978 308 GTS with only 16k miles in 2017. I was looking for a low mileage 308 carb'd with all records from new. Excellent original interior and exterior.
    The 1st owner put 13.5k miles and previous owner only drove it 2700 miles in 34 years, but he had it serviced routinely. I have all the receipts from Hollywood Sports Cars during original ownership and from 2nd owner, the service shops showing replacement of seals, belts, plugs, hoses, etc.
    When I got it, I spent several months to replace any original hoses with like, hose clamps, brake hoses (still 1978 - scary), tires (original tires 1978 - scary), had all brakes rebuilt , new belts, tensioner, etc. It has all the original equipment and won 2018 Platinum Award at Concours Italiano. I now have over 22k miles and drive it weekly. I treat the leather, vinyl, and keep the seats covered with tan Ferrari seat covers. I love the smell of the Connolly leather when I get in.
    This is 5th 308, I have own. I have my keeper now. Owner dropped his asking price by $25k, when I told him I was going for Platinum Award and I got it in 9 months.

    Buy the best, low mileage Ferrari with records from new.
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  24. lkstaack

    lkstaack Karting
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    Well then, that's different. I've never been one to replace a main seal prophylactically. If it don't leak, don't mess with it.
     
  25. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

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    Buy condition. An odometer is the last thing I care about.
    I have fixed Ferraris for over 40 year and have no idea what a main seal is.

    Correct nomenclature goes a long way.
     
  26. lkstaack

    lkstaack Karting
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    I've never worked on a Ferrari, so I wouldn't presume to teach you anything. However, here is a generic description of a rear main seal: https://www.cars.com/auto-repair/glossary/rear-main-seal/, and here is "ernie"s mention of it during his "348 engine out major" post:
    https://www.ferrarichat.com/forum/threads/348-engine-out-major.438576/page-21
     
  27. darkkaangel

    darkkaangel Formula 3
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    My 1995 348 Spider has a little over 60k miles now which gives it an average of about 200 miles per month.
    When I bought it 15 years ago it had 20k miles in the first 10 years from the previous 2 owners and I have put 40k miles on it over the past 15 years.
    My car is not a concourse car as I replaced the headers, exhaust, added a stereo system and replaced the stock wheels with 360 wheels, but you would be hard pressed to find a better sounding, nicer or more well maintained/taken care of 348 spider then mine.
    In my opinion, miles do not matter. What matters is has the owner taken care of it, if so the car will reflect that as mine does even though I drive the crap out it whenever I can.
    I did not buy my 348 to sit it in a garage and look at it and they do not do well when treated this way, I bought it to drive it and enjoy it.
    So I would not concern myself much with miles and instead focus on how well has the car been taken care of and driving them is part of taking care of them in my opinion.
    A well driven and maintained car trumps a low mileage one that just sits like a photograph as photographs fade.....
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