prospective owner questions

Discussion in '348/355' started by bavareze, Feb 15, 2017.

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  1. bavareze

    bavareze Rookie

    Feb 15, 2017
    10
    Hi!

    I have always wanted to own a mid engine fun car... I test drove some Mondials, a 328 and a 348 and I liked the handing and looks of the 348 a lot. However, I do not intend to buy one to take selfies with it but to drive and enjoy. I can pretty much go any moment and fly my single engine plane or drive me 88 Carrera without worrying about cost in terms of maintenance, repairs and depreciation, but would I be able to afford a 348?

    how much more money would be (per year or per mile) the 348 compared with a '88 911?

    I can pretty much find 911 parts everywhere, including at junk yards or online. But no store that I know has 348 parts available. Am I asking in the wrong places?

    How much (and how hard to source) would be a fender, or a headlight, or a windshield?

    what about wear items, such as a radiator with some hoses, a motor mount or an axle? Can some of these be cross referenced from other italian cars?

    I am sure there are a lot of dudes who borrowed $25k to buy a cool looking car but got stuck with the first repair bill... trying to see where I am.

    Cheers!
     
  2. yelcab

    yelcab F1 Veteran
    Consultant

    Nov 29, 2001
    7,521
    San Carlos, CA
    Full Name:
    Mitchell Le
    BMW maintenance, little league.
    Porsche maintenance, big league
    Ferrari maintenance, Major League.

    Windshield is $3,000
    Foglights close to $1,000
    Radiator, $2,000 for the set of 2
    Motor mount is $1,000 or more for that hard to find top one
    Tune up is $10,000 every five years.

    Learn to do somethings and you can save a lot, but if you rely on mechanics, it is Major League.
     
  3. Wade

    Wade F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Mar 31, 2006
    19,657
    East Central, FL
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    Wade O.
    You fly a single engine airplane "without worrying about cost in terms of maintenance, repairs and depreciation"? In other words, you own and pay for all of that without worry? If so, then a 348 is nothing. If not (not the airplane owner), then see Mitchell's post.
     
  4. schnazzy

    schnazzy Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Mar 31, 2008
    375
    Seattle
    So I'll do a different comparison as I have owned all 3 brands. I currently own 2 of them. When I was in my 20's I had an M3. The money I made was considered the average for a household income in my area (so comparing me with no dependents to the average household). I got a $1300 bill for a waterpump and and other things. It was tight for me. I had that car for 5 years and besides dumb "upgrades" I spend less than 5k in maintenance. I felt at the time it was an expensive car.

    Then on to a 996... I had that for about 2 years. It was about as useful as an F355 in that it wasn't useful. I ended up not driving it much but that is a different story. A brake sensor going off ended up being $2100 for new rotors, pads, and a litany of other items.

    The "purchase" price of the Ferrari is really not what you budget. You budget for maintenance. Before buying my car, I was told by a well respected guy here that has quite a few cars and probably more dollars what I should expect. He said have at least $15k dedicated to the car in cash. After a year or two you will know what you need per year. Most likely there will be a big inrush of fixes and then you will settle in.

    I can only speak to F355. It should cost $5,000 per mile if you drive 1 mile a year. Or maybe, it will cost $.50 per mile if you drive 10,000 miles per year. It isn't so much the miles as is the time, the way you drive, the environment (rain, snow, cold, hot,etc.) as well as how it has been treated in the past.

    I am assuming you don't do any maintenance. The retail cost of the parts to do an annual "fluid" change is about $350. Add labor. This really should be done every year. Not doing this can reduce the value of your car when you go to sell it (or to be able to sell it), let alone it is just a good thing to do to keep your car in good shape.

    Every 3 years per Ferrari, 5 years per most enthusiasts and for sure no more than 7 years (assuming you drive the car), you need a Major. This is $9k plus tax and plus extra items that may need to be replaced that are not the standard belts, plugs and seals. Water pump, engine mounts, missing bolts, whatever...

    So figure $700 a year (at best) for a qualified person to do your annual and $9k every 5 years. So that is $2,800 + $9,000 for 5 years. That assume you drive mostly moderately (not thrashing the car every second), the car has been well cared for and driven often in the past and you are doing something like 500-3000 miles a year.

    This doesn't include wear items like brakes, tires, clutch, bulbs, etc.
    This doesn't include breakage like glass, tires, or other parts prone to failure.

    348 and 355 seem to be well sorted with the known issues having many options for longer term fixes and OEM equivalent parts. There are also multiple breakers and parts companies of which many advertise here.

    The amount of knowledge on this board with all of the hints, tips and money saving options is much greater than I have seen on other boards for different cars like BMW and Porsche.

    If you singularly own a plane and fly it and keep it for a long time (through re-certifications) then a 348 or 355 shouldn't keep you up at night.

    If you can do some or most of your maintenance and fixes (maybe not the major but at least the annuals), you will save probably 60% as most of cost is labor.

    If you plan to drive it and not leave it sit for 6 months a year the car should maintain well and you will be fine with OEM replacement parts for some items where logo parts are unobtainable or cost a bunch.
     
  5. Drock28

    Drock28 Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Jan 13, 2013
    998
    Montreal
    Full Name:
    Tony
    if youre worried about the finding parts.. there are plenty of resources..

    no question.. there are harder parts/pieces to find.. sometimes

    but for your usual things.. new/used.. theirs plenty of supply..

    here are some suppliers.. who amongst will have almost anything youd need for a 348.. in terms of maintenance. as for aftermarket parts there is a whole slew of other vendors..

    here is a list of most common sources for parts/maintenance etc..

    Ricambi America
    FerrParts
    Exotic Auto recycling
    Hill Engineering
    Eurospares
     
  6. yelcab

    yelcab F1 Veteran
    Consultant

    Nov 29, 2001
    7,521
    San Carlos, CA
    Full Name:
    Mitchell Le
    Just to give some credo to my statements. These are the cars I have owned or still own.

    BMW: E30 M3, E36 M3, 530XiT
    Porsche: 1980 SC, 1984 Carrera, 996 GT3, and a 997
    Ferrari: 308GT4, 328, 348, 355 Berlinetta, 355 spider
     
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  8. AceMaster

    AceMaster Two Time F1 World Champ

    Feb 6, 2009
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    Mike
    Mitch, I respectfully disagree about BMW being minor league - the repair bills on some of my friends' BMW's are beyond ridiculous.
     
  9. itsablurr

    itsablurr Formula Junior
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    Dec 9, 2005
    793
    Carlisle, MA
    Full Name:
    Matt
    It can get quite high when unibodies and subframes start shredding themselves, or rod bearings or VANOS units start going. ;)
     
  10. Dave rocks

    Dave rocks F1 World Champ
    Sponsor Owner

    Nov 23, 2012
    10,802
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    Dave Lelonek
    Well, I must say my 2008 BMW 335xi (ordered new) has had the following problems:

    - A bunch of blow bulbs - most under warranty, a few out of warranty and the dealer covered them gratis

    - Brakes & Tires - normal wear items

    - a high pressure fuel pump - recall and covered

    - failed water pump ($2000 - out of warranty)

    - 2nd failed water pump - many miles later - parts covered by prior repair warranty - only paid labor

    - Failed spark plug - fixed myself

    - Washer fluid level sensor - still have not fixed...

    The car has 130K miles, it's now just my winter car. It's like the energizer bunny - it keeps going and going and going...

    Most reliable car I have ever owned. So, aside from wear items, I'm about $3K out of pocket since I bought it new. Darn good if you ask me.
     
  11. yelcab

    yelcab F1 Veteran
    Consultant

    Nov 29, 2001
    7,521
    San Carlos, CA
    Full Name:
    Mitchell Le
    The newer BMWs are getting ridiculous, especially with those turbo engines. My experience with the E36 series were quite good. The E30 is a money pit but it is a race car.
     
  12. bavareze

    bavareze Rookie

    Feb 15, 2017
    10
    thanks for the input!

    I do my own maintenance on cars, bikes and planes. But none of those is a highly expensive item. On the plane, which is by far the most expensive, I budget about $80/hour all inclusive costs, which includes the $35/hour fuel allowance. So flying for about 100hrs per year usually sets me back up to $4000 not including fuels. I made this average over an ownership of 2 airplanes over 5 years. There was always a rush of investment after purchasing that is not factored in. (btw, if anybody is here in SoCal and wants to fly I would happily fly with you and teach you some aviation and then, hopefully, get the same treatment with your Ferrari - just PM me)

    So I am by no means a rich person as $4000/year for a hobby is something most people would afford.

    I am asking these questions because I am expecting a sudden devaluation of Ferraris once the next economic recession hits so I want to be prepared to pick one up when the time is right.

    Now how is 348 operating cost compared to the first generation NSX? Anybody had one of those? Would that be a "big league" item that gets you 90% of the driving sensation of the 348?

    Because I have bunch of bikes and the 911 and the plane I guess I will be using the 348 for no more than 3000 miles / year, if that, and go to track no more than once per year.

    Thanks again!
     
  13. flat_plane_eddie

    flat_plane_eddie Formula 3
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    Mar 30, 2013
    1,603
    Los Angeles
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    Eddie
    +1
     
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  15. schnazzy

    schnazzy Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Mar 31, 2008
    375
    Seattle
    BMWs - I have had -
    E36 M3 (highly modified)
    E60 535i
    F10 550xi
    F82 M4

    My BMW dealer charges $192.50 an hour for labor. The Ferrari dealer charges $165 and discounts the hours in a "package" for a major service. So.... there's that.
     
  16. bavareze

    bavareze Rookie

    Feb 15, 2017
    10
    #14 bavareze, Feb 15, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017
    thanks for the input!

    flying single engine complex airplane is about $55/hour all inclusive rate (insurance, parts, repairs, parking, inspections). add fuel around $35 and I'm at $80. which I share with other passengers when going cross country. So flying around 100 hours per year with friends costs me no more than $5000. which is something an ordinary guy could afford as a hobby.

    now what I see is that most of these 30+ year old porsche 911s (including mine) have 100 to 200k miles on the odo. that's a good 5000 miles/year or more in average. If I drive around LA, I can usually spot 2-3 classic 911s per day in traffic.

    however, most ferrari cars I checked show 20-30k miles, no more than 50k... that's 1000 miles/year average.

    what's the catch? if ownership cost is not prohibitively expensive and cars are cool, why are they merely garage queens?

    I'm looking to buy a 348 to drive and enjoy... do they break a lot when being used in daily routine? are they so impractical? is there a lot of stress for the owner to leave it parked at the supermarket?

    Another option I'm considering is buying a NSX... any thoughts on that one? Can i get 90% of ferrari excitement with maybe 50% costs?


    one last thing to add: if any ferrari owner is in LA area and would like to come with me and enjoy some flights and then maybe do same thing with his ferrari I'm interested. I fly usually at least once per week. I can also teach a bit about aviation in exchange for some ferrari inshights.

    cheers!
     
  17. Dave rocks

    Dave rocks F1 World Champ
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    Nov 23, 2012
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    First posts need to be approved. Since your second showed up, I'm guessing you are now approved :)
     
  18. schnazzy

    schnazzy Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Mar 31, 2008
    375
    Seattle
    The original NSXs are great. It's like a honda prelude on steroids. You can drive it like a honda and expect similar maintenance (very little). It however is not the same as a ferrari and a 355 as an example would be similarly priced to a quality NSX but you will get more people chatting you up with a Ferrari etc. It isn't an exclusive club by design and anyone can join it's just having a Ferrari is harder than an NSX and if you just want want a cool car the NSX is that and low maintenance which seems to be a worry for you. I feel that owning a ferrari is also about the experience and friendships with other people in the same boat as you. I don't think you will find that with the NSX.

    So it depends on what you want.

    Also, the NSX sounds nothing like a ferrari with a capristo!
     
  19. flat_plane_eddie

    flat_plane_eddie Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Mar 30, 2013
    1,603
    Los Angeles
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    Eddie
    Since you mentioned the NSX I'll tell you my take on it. When I graduated college and got my first real job I started saving up to buy either an NSX, 911 or a Z06. At the time my daily driver was an Integra. When I drove the NSX for the first time it felt like I was driving my Integra but just a tad faster, there was literally nothing exciting besides the look and better handling. Granted with an exhaust some can sound decent but they're nowhere near a Ferrari exhaust.

    I'm in the LA area and you're more than welcome to come see my 355 and I'll give you a ride too. Mine has a full exhaust set up so once you hear it I'll guarantee you won't look at anything else but a Ferrari.
     
  20. Yassa

    Yassa Formula Junior
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    May 23, 2011
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    Dr Yassa Hughes
    Ferraris are amazing cars... Buy one, if you don't like it...you can always sell it. Yolo :)
     
  21. AceMaster

    AceMaster Two Time F1 World Champ

    Feb 6, 2009
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    That's only the tip of the iceberg
     
  22. 05011994

    05011994 Formula 3
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    May 1, 2004
    1,467
    Golden, Colorado
    +1, I had an E30 M3 and that thing just ate money and was not near as much fun as either the NSX or the F355 that replaced it.
     
  23. gobble

    gobble Formula Junior
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    Jan 29, 2010
    883
    Milwaukee, WI
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    Mark
    Try the Ferrari. I had a 92 NSX and would get bored with it in an hour today. Even after installing a supercharger it was sloooooow. I had an 88 911 Carrera coupe and would get bored with it in about 30 minutes today (used to have a picture of it sitting next to my Cessna 152 but it's in a box at home somewhere). Even my old 911 Turbo compared to the Ferrari was sterile. Fast but not that exciting. You won't look at a Porsche again after owning a Ferrari.

    Why not spend a little more and buy a 355 though?
     
  24. yelcab

    yelcab F1 Veteran
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    Nov 29, 2001
    7,521
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    NSX? Not even close.
     
  25. fedgery77

    fedgery77 Karting

    Apr 18, 2012
    56
    Atlanta, GA
    Full Name:
    Jeffrey
    I am actually a fairly new 348 owner (as of 10/2016) and so far my car has been very reliable. I try to drive it every week or every other week worst case scenario. I live in GA so the winters aren't too harsh. From everything I researched before buying the car, these cars break when you let them sit. Don't drive them and that's when things start going wrong and seals drying up. And honestly, whenever I drive the car, the longer I drive it the better it gets.

    I'm still in that phase where I'm paranoid to park it anywhere. I have only driven it and parked it at a restaurant once. It was a little nerve racking to say the least. I'm sure I will get over this at some point. If you're past that stage, you would probably be fine driving it to the grocery store.

    For me, I can't imagine getting in the car and driving the grocery store. It's not that kind of car for me. I'm sure there are people that do that. But it's a little overwhelming for me still to get in the car and drive it someplace so it's typically a special trip for me when I'm in the car. Which is usually just a fun type drive wherever I end up going. And if you like attention, this car gets attention. I would say most people couldn't care less, but a car enthusiast will know what it is...and it gets attention from 911 owners as well. ;)

    I personally don't drive my car in the rain and the previous owner didn't either. I also don't wash mine with water I use waterless wash and spray detailer. These cars have grounding issues, so I'm hoping not having to deal with moisture in the car will help with this. Who knows though.

    As someone else mentioned above, if you can do some of the work yourself, it will save you a lot of money. I am a pretty big DIYer and have done the oil and gear oil myself. It's no different than any other car. I cannot do the major service myself so I will have to spend the money to have someone do that. The well respected guy in town charges around $5500 for this...but again, if you take into account that's every 5 years, it's not really that much money. Also, I am not rich. Far from it. I'm an enthusiast so I have to budget to be able to maintain the car properly.

    Also keep in mind that you're buying an older car...mine is 21 years old...things will go wrong...weird little things. This is to be expected.

    Just my .02....
     
  26. gobble

    gobble Formula Junior
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    Jan 29, 2010
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    Mark

    I've done things like drive my Lamborghini to Menards and it's not unusual to get a message from someone saying that pictures of the car in the parking lot ended up on facebook.
     
  27. fedgery77

    fedgery77 Karting

    Apr 18, 2012
    56
    Atlanta, GA
    Full Name:
    Jeffrey
    Ok...that would be pretty cool!
     

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