Planning to purchase an F-car.

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by Snapper323, Apr 1, 2005.

  1. Snapper323

    Snapper323 Formula Junior

    Mar 12, 2005
    South Carolina
    Full Name:
    L. Lee
    Ok folks,
    I am planning on buying an F-car this summer. This will be my 1st one. I have never even owned a sports car before, so it is kinda exciting and scarey at the same time. My questions are, what would be an ideal starter F-car, as far as reliabilty is concerned? and should I purchase from a dealer or individual? Keep in mind, I don't plan for this to be an everyday car, yet I want to be able to drive it on Sundays, instead of having to stay in church all day praying it doesn't break on me! Thanks for any input I can get!
  2. Spasso

    Spasso F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Feb 16, 2003
    Land of Slugs & Moss
    Full Name:
    Han Solo
    For starters,
    The more money you have the easier it is to get a good car.

    The best bang for your buck is from a private party as long as the car has good records and is up to date.

    Low mileage isn't always the best way to go and accurancy of the "low mileage" may be suspect. A PPI (pre purchase inspection) will tell more of the story. Always get a PPI.

    A Ferrari dealership can offer limited warrantees depending on year and model. Sometimes they are the only ones that can fix the newer ones because of proprietary equipment.

    If you are mechanically inclined and want to do your own work then a 328/308 GTB/S or GT4 is a good bet. Unless you are under 6 feet tall the 308 can be uncomfortable. The clutches are stiff and the steering heavy at low speeds.

    I know of a brand new 612 that has had mysterious starting issues so even the new ones can cause you trouble.

    Get AAA
  3. venusone

    venusone F1 Rookie

    Mar 20, 2004
    Just purchased my 1st Ferrari a few months back & found my choices to be 308/328 as Spasso said. Could have bought a dirty TR or Boxer or a 348 but wanted reliability & simplicity. I own 3 other sportscars & like my stuff tight, low & lean.
  4. Bullfighter

    Bullfighter Two Time F1 World Champ
    Owner Lifetime Rossa

    Jan 26, 2005
    Fullerton, California
    Full Name:
    I'm hunting for the my first Ferrari as well, but I've had lots of sports cars. There's a difference. Remember, you can get a Miata, Z4 or Boxster, which are sports cars, and treat them pretty much like a normal car. I've had a Fiat X1/9, MGB, Mercedes SLK and some other "sporty" cars. The Fiat and MG required a lot of attention - they're not drive-it-and-forget-it cars, and Ferrari's (while much more exotic and entertaining) seem also to demand more attention than most of us are used to giving, as Americans.

    The 308 and 328 are almost universally recommended as good "starter Ferrari's", although those words look kinda weird next to each other. These are generally less fussy, and relatively inexpensive (by Ferrari standards) to maintain. You still have $3500 major services, $2000 clutch jobs and the other joys of Ferrari-hood, but for this marque that's really considered pretty tame. The comment about your body type/size is important -- you need to sit in and drive one before you buy. If you like the styling and 2+2 configuration, Mondials seem like a great value - but they're not as sporting as the 308/328.

    Search the 'Classic cars' section of Fchat - lots of posts on 308/328.

    For performance, the 308/328 aren't going to keep up with any newer performance cars. But most of us who own or plan to own them don't care.

    Find a mechanic near church. Then you can pray and have the car serviced at the same time, and then wash it with holy water.

  5. Webby

    Webby F1 Veteran

    Sep 12, 2004
    I'm planning on purchasing a 360 Modena this summer

    April fools

    Can't offer any advice but good luck Snapper!
  6. kimoSabe

    kimoSabe Karting

    Dec 7, 2003
    No CA
    Full Name:
    Ray C.
    If it's your first sportscar EVER!! Maybe you should consider a Porsche. More reliable, just as fast and fun. With less "wow" factor.
  7. Ken

    Ken F1 World Champ

    Oct 19, 2001
    Arlington Heights IL
    Full Name:
    You were considering a boxer?? That's about three 308's price wise but that's my dream Ferrari! I have a hunch it takes deep pockets to keep them running well I doubt I'll be shopping for one anytime soon.

  8. Gershwin

    Gershwin F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Feb 21, 2005
    I would go to and by a few books or purchase via Amazon a "buying report." They run about $5.95 for the report.

    If you get serious about any particular model they (Amazon) have informative reports on all positives, negatives, mechanical, cosmetic, characterisitcs and so forth with regards to a specific model. Again about $5.95, very informative literature piece.

    Otherwise, spend about hmmmm ...a good 6 months here learning. I'd pay to be a part of the informative world of F-chat, it's that good!
  9. Spasso

    Spasso F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Feb 16, 2003
    Land of Slugs & Moss
    Full Name:
    Han Solo
    The amount of information found on this site is priceless. Where else can you get technical information from professionals (and not so) for free?
  10. Cielo

    Cielo Karting

    Feb 3, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    Full Name:
    My vote, of course, 550. So far so good. As used F cars go, it is one of the more reliable. Gives you the V12 thrill and is very good looking. Oh yeah, it is really incredibly fast! I have put almost 900 miles on a 2000 550 that had about 9000 miles on it. A really fun car.
  11. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    Austin TX
    Full Name:
    Brian Crall
    To prevent another first timer sad story (I have one in the shop right now) go find a mechanic now. I don't know what part of the country you are in but the people here can help you do that. Use him as a sounding board for the various models and particular cars you are interested in and have him check out any car you might be interested in. Use him as the voice of dispassionate reason in what may become an emotion driven process. And if he says no walk away.

    I have a 412 here right now bought by a first timer that did not seek out advice first. It came here AFTER the purchase to be checked out. The car is so bad I told the new owner I will not work on it and that he should sell. I think he is determined to keep it and it will be a very expensive, unpleasant ownership experience. That is why I want no part.

    Don't be that guy.
  12. Dr Tommy Cosgrove

    Dr Tommy Cosgrove Three Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    May 4, 2001
    Birmingham, AL
    Full Name:
    I am just curious, what would be so bad that would make a Ferrari mechanic refuse to work on it? Is it worse then needing a total engine rebuild?
  13. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    Austin TX
    Full Name:
    Brian Crall
    It's going to cost him a large percentage of the cost of a good one to put it right and he's going to be wwwaaaayyyy upside down in it. At some point the whole process is going to piss him off (for good reason) and the word Ferrari and everything and everybody associated with the whole programs name will be mud. I've seen it happen a thousand times and I have no need to have my reputation down wind of that fan. You must have had people come to the office that for some reason you don't want as clients.
  14. shifty308

    shifty308 Karting

    Aug 7, 2004
    coulterville ca
    Full Name:
    steven schiffler
    all i can say is my 308 is almost as much fun to tinker with as it is to drive, which is immensly satisfiying, especially when the tinkering shows noticable results. i guess you can take the hot rodder out of the hod rod but you can't take the hot rod out of the hot rodder. can i get an amen?
  15. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    Austin TX
    Full Name:
    Brian Crall
    Place your hhhaaannnnnddddssss upon the injector stacks. AAAAMMMMMEEEENNNNNNNNNN Brother.
  16. jsa330

    jsa330 F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Oct 31, 2003
    Full Name:
    I had to have a vintage V12, narrowed my choices to a 250 GTE or 330 2+2, also was amenable to the idea of a very nice early carbed 308, ended up with the 330 2+2, and am happy with the choice. I'm not an expert mechanic by any means but have a decent knack for it and like to be able to jump in unencumbered by computerized and federalized junk.

    Once a hot rodder, always a hot rodder, Amen!

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