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Sanity check prior to first purchase...

Discussion in '456/550/575' started by Aerosurfer, Jan 13, 2022.

  1. Aerosurfer

    Aerosurfer Rookie

    Nov 21, 2020
    38
    Indianapolis
    #1 Aerosurfer, Jan 13, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2022
    In the works to purchase my first Ferrari. Not new to the sports car world, but getting here has been a long time coming. The 456 has been my wishlist car since they were still in production.

    I’m looking at a 95 456gt with a 6 speed. The car has about 22k miles and has been a southern car most of its life. The seller is asking what I feel is high retail, but not too far ahead of the latest sales trends I have been able to find. Hoping to come to terms in the mid to low 80s.

    I had a Prepurchase inspection done last week at a shop recommended from on here. Overall a good process with a generally clean bill of health, strong compression #s and the only main fault uncovered was both inner half shaft boots need replacing. I have not seen the car yet, I did have a friend meet at the shop to get a second unbiased opinion. Cosmetics and other ancillary items were good as reported by both of them separately. Some shrinkage just above the airbag cover, rest of the dash, ceiling, door cards and rear deck were reported in good condition. Comes with a full tool kit and two keys.

    The wild card being lack of records. I found from a VIN search and previous listing archive the car has had more than 1 major service and transmission and clutch services. As well as windows sorted. However all of this happened before 2016. According the the sellers current vehicle history report, I only see 2 references to any maintenance/emissions service (car was in Houston at the time). It doesn’t look like it’s been driven more than a 2000 miles since 2016, 1000 miles in about 3 years, and only 100 miles in the last year. Seller claims more came with the car but hasn’t provided anything yet. Certainly by time interval I’m due for Belts and other service. Whats a real world consensus on whats needed.... for negotiation, for immediate use, and what get done in the near future when you can type items.

    Conveniently work has me going to the same area tonight and will be seeing the car tomorrow. I have spent countless hours reading and learning about Ferrari ownership, both the expenses and experience. I feel I have done my due diligence on this particular vehicle as well. I was planning to stop by the shop that did the PPI and both thank them but also see if there was anything else they can tell me. Then drive it for 30+ miles or so to see that it functions and drives well.

    I’m prepared to make a deal, but what else am I missing or need to be better aware of going in? Make my offer and be prepared to walk?

    About me, I have always been a DIYer when it comes to my vehicles. I have a home lift and have done engine building thru suspensions. Current stable among collectibles is an e46 M3 and a MB w140 CL500. Trying to get a feel on these cars what I should consider home maintenance vs find the right person and build a relationship with.

    I have meter paint and temperature gun for my own piece of mind with me. Haven’t found what factory Ferrari paint specs should be?

    The last 456 I looked at had great A/C. Not sure if that’s standard or lucky, what output should I see regarding the Climate control? Same goes for heat, I’ll be taking the car to Indiana, how is the heaters in these in cooler weather?

    Plans would be to reasonably use the car, not have it sit for another decade. Ill have plenty to talk about if this goes thru

    Thanks for any help
     
    paulchua, F456M and Ferrari55whoa like this.
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  3. rhern213

    rhern213 Formula Junior

    Jan 8, 2021
    462
    Miami, FL
    Full Name:
    Richel
    #2 rhern213, Jan 13, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2022
    A few suggestions apart from the standard stuff you probably already know;
    1. Ask them to please not turn on the car or warm it up tomorrow until you get there, so you can see how it starts, acts, and idles from a full overnight cold start. You can easily pop the hood and touch the manifold to check if they started it or not.
    2. Check the battery voltage when off and then after starting to check the battery and alternator are properly charging.
    3. The gearboxes are known to be stiff when cold, this is normal, but after about 10-15mins of driving and oil circulating up to temp it should get noticeably smoother. If it remains stiff as when cold it could be an issue.
    4. While driving monitor the oil pressure gauge, it should idle around the lower 1/4 of the gauge, and even under full acceleration should not go past 3/4. If it goes up to max pressure then the pressure sensor is probably bad. At an indy shop it will probably cost upwards of $1k to replace, but a few hundred dollars DIY job.
    5. Immediately after test driving check the oil for proper level, many people improperly over fill the oil causing high oil pressure.
    6. Gas smells, while you're driving be aware of any fuel smells, particularly coming from the A/C vents, then after driving and turning the car off open the hood/trunk and smell around.
    7. Look for the suspension warning light on the dashboard, this could mean failing actuators that are very annoying and very difficult to actually find replacements.
    8. Sticky buttons are always a good thing to point at for negotiation :)

    If you already know you'll need a major service that's the biggest primary starting point. A lot of potential issues will be taken care of by that work.
    If any of the above comes up as an issue you can use it to negotiate more since these are jobs mostly unrelated to major belt services.

    Paint meter readings for Ferrari's of that era are fairly useless, the factory paint jobs are not that good to begin with.

    For the A/C, if the ambient temps are over 90 degrees any Ferrari A/C of that era will probably be inadequate, as long as the temps are in the 80's or lower then it should work plenty well. Not sure if the 456 suffers from the same issue as the 550 where fan settings 1/2/3 are like getting coughed on, and then suddenly setting 4 is hurricane blizzard?

    Good luck! I got my first Ferrari last year, a 550, and went through all of the same.
    I'd say if you think the color combos are fairly standard then I'd probably be prepared to set a number and walk away. However if the car is your perfect spec it might be difficult to find a similar one down the road, it would be difficult for me to walk away.
    But even checking through everything, your gut instinct based on the seller and what the car just looks and feels like is a big deal.
     
    F456M, Ffre92, Themaven and 4 others like this.
  4. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob Two Time F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Aug 10, 2002
    21,812
    socal
    Welcome and hope to see you posting on your 456 sorting. We have a great 550 sorting thread and could use a great 456 thread. While the cars are cousins they are different. I'm a long time owner multiple models and DIY'er with home lift, fabricate and race cars as a hobby. I have never had my Ferraris at a shop.

    IMO records are next to worthless. At best you can get some history but they don't mean you don't have to do certain services because the records prove those service have been done. As an example there is no definition of "major service" from Ferrari. Yet the term is used everyday on this forum. There is a famous turd polisher in my State that sees many ferraris destine for resale with "major services" that are little more than belt swaps. I have owned 2 550's and still own one. My current 550 I purchased from another fchater who had nothing but problems with it and it finally had a small cat fire and that was the end of his ownership despite me telling him he has a great car just wrong service people. I knew him and bought the car from him. Reading the records his cat was replaced twice and the 3rd one burned. Of the 2 different service guys each fixed the result bad cat but neither fixed the cause bad mixture and thus fire. So others will read the records as cool brand new cats. I read it was why brand new cats? Sine I have owned his car it has been perfect and never let me down. I know exactly why. I'm the guy fixing it.

    Hope for the best and expect the worst. DIY is a great thing. It means you can spend more for good parts and change more things because your labor is free. If you have 5k that might mean 1 k in parts. If you have 5k as a DIY you got 5k for parts. Don't buy a Ferrari if you are stretching to buy it. Ricambi America is the best parts supplier especially for newbies because they will hand hold you on what you need and be honest and not sell you stuff you don't need. You might be able to find 1 or 2 items cheaper somewhere else but you can also be fooled by someone else because you are new. An example is ricambi sells the right valve cover gaskets with the red seal goopy ring thing on them. Others sell in house cut reproductions at 1/2 the cost and still call them 456 valve cover gaskets and you are none the wiser until you post back on fchat, "hey why are my valvecovers leaking?" When other supplies were selling the defective Ferrari timing bearings Ricambi refused to sell any bearings until their supplier Hill engineering built the bullet-proof 170787 bearing. I'll say that again, "RICAMBI."

    What I have done with every Ferrari I have bought is ignore the service records except to read them for entertainment. I do a major service regardless of what the records say. Resists the urge to just enjoy the car and then have your 1st week of ownership second Fchat post be, "Help, I'm stuck on the side of the road in my new Ferrari." You can read about what most consider a major service. I'm more extreme and I think that is the reason for my success. I'm a cam timing guy always, I'll look over everything including suspension from nose to tail. I send out fuel injectors to be cleaned and balanced. I walnut shell the intake. I use fresh cherry picked Ferrari timing belts from Ricambi. I'll finish my service with 4 wheel alignment done racecar style. Have a few extra $1000 to do a good service and ensure your car can run well. It isn't complicated. It is just a motor but does require you pay attention like not dropping nuts down an intake runner and changing a waterpump "while you were in theres."
     
    LVP488, F456M, vonbeeler and 4 others like this.
  5. Everettpa1

    Everettpa1 Karting

    Apr 7, 2021
    55
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Full Name:
    Everett Burns
    Good luck. I think your target price makes sense for the current GT market. In the darker blues or red and lighter interior this is where the value is, less for Nero interior, or gray/silver/tan exterior. More so than anything color is in the eye of the beholder.

    Plan to address items susceptible to water like the speed sensor and main circuit board. Mine fried at the dealer due to the ac pump dripping on it (I think). Fortunately the dealer picked up this $4k cost. Suspension will need money, shock, actuators, mounts, bushings.

    Before I put the car in storage for winter I was unable to fully sort the ride. It is still rough. In the spring I’ll replace the 11yo tires and go from there, actuators were replaced but made no difference in ride quality.

    try to drive it if you can. It’s a real treat and so relaxed and sedated and unstressed. The V12 is begging for a long drag strip! But if you want a sports car this isn’t it. But for what it is it’s awesome.
     
    rhern213 likes this.
  6. Auraraptor

    Auraraptor F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Sep 25, 2002
    11,782
    MO
    If I was in your shoes I would buy the car, get a major in the next 12 months.

    In Indiana you have one of the best indys, Brian Stewart
     
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  8. Aerosurfer

    Aerosurfer Rookie

    Nov 21, 2020
    38
    Indianapolis
  9. Auraraptor

    Auraraptor F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Sep 25, 2002
    11,782
    MO
    Congratulations!! If you are ever near St. Louis please drop me a private message. We can grab a bite/drink
     
  10. Themaven

    Themaven F1 Rookie

    Nov 2, 2014
    3,872
    Eastdown
    Full Name:
    Darius
    Congratulations! That is a gorgeous colour combo. Enjoy many great gated miles with her
     
    EnzoItaly likes this.
  11. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob Two Time F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Aug 10, 2002
    21,812
    socal
    great color! 95's had the best looking hoods
     
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  13. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Jul 19, 2008
    34,705
    Clarksville, Tennessee
    Full Name:
    Terry H Phillips
    456s look great in Verde. Enjoy driving her.
     
    EnzoItaly likes this.
  14. Laserguru

    Laserguru Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Aug 7, 2016
    1,164
    New Hampshire
    Full Name:
    Eric
    Excellent looking in Verde and Tan. Enjoy. And well done. Welcome to the community. The support here is unparalleled and the technical help and info pays for site membership the first time out.
     
    Mirek likes this.
  15. SteveVT

    SteveVT Karting
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 30, 2019
    89
    Vermont
    Full Name:
    Steve
    Love the color! Congrats!!!
     
  16. Ferrari55whoa

    Ferrari55whoa Formula Junior
    Rossa Subscribed

    Dec 21, 2005
    992
    Los Gatos, CA
    Full Name:
    Eric
    Super rare color
    Awesome
     
  17. rhern213

    rhern213 Formula Junior

    Jan 8, 2021
    462
    Miami, FL
    Full Name:
    Richel
    Congrats! Great looking car!
     
  18. Il Tifoso

    Il Tifoso Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Oct 22, 2013
    1,173
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Full Name:
    Ruben
    Beautiful! Enjoy in good health!
     
  19. root

    root Formula Junior
    Rossa Subscribed

    Nov 28, 2012
    354
    Bay Area, Ca
    Congratulations! Very nice color combo. Love the 456 in Verde.
     
  20. Mirek

    Mirek Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Oct 20, 2019
    576
    Los Angeles, CA
    Full Name:
    Mirek
    You are gonna LOVE it !
     
  21. EnzoItaly

    EnzoItaly Karting

    Sep 29, 2016
    198
    Welcome: enjoy it… even just staring at it is great. Be careful before applying full throttle as it’s a mighty powerful engine.

    One of the best conour combos for a 456
     
    F456M likes this.
  22. bracketz

    bracketz Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jul 19, 2019
    46
    Charleston, SC
    Full Name:
    Michael
    Beautiful car and colors! Congrats!!
     
  23. Aerosurfer

    Aerosurfer Rookie

    Nov 21, 2020
    38
    Indianapolis
    Il Tifoso, LVP488, Auraraptor and 5 others like this.
  24. SteveVT

    SteveVT Karting
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 30, 2019
    89
    Vermont
    Full Name:
    Steve
    Looks gorgeous!
     
  25. F456M

    F456M F1 Rookie

    Jan 8, 2010
    3,123
    Oslo
    Full Name:
    Erik
  26. Davidspop

    Davidspop Formula Junior

    Dec 23, 2019
    333
    Full Name:
    Lance Malcolm
    Love, Love, Love that color! Nicely bought! Congratulations!
     
  27. rhern213

    rhern213 Formula Junior

    Jan 8, 2021
    462
    Miami, FL
    Full Name:
    Richel
    That's a heavy car up on that lift :)
     
  28. Aerosurfer

    Aerosurfer Rookie

    Nov 21, 2020
    38
    Indianapolis
    It is indeed, but the lift has a 6500lb capacity
     
    rhern213 likes this.

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