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Still looking for an ultra low mile 328

Discussion in '308/328' started by tiredtom, May 24, 2012.

  1. Robz328

    Robz328 F1 Veteran
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    I have to agree with the general sentiment here...

    driven enough = likely maintained.

    A car in storage rots all by itself.

    (I liked that so much, I made it my signature...I can be funny sometimes;))
     
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  3. Robz328

    Robz328 F1 Veteran
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    That's as fresh as you can get...

    It looks like it did the factory test drive, the drive to the boat and the drive from the boat to the hermetically-sealed storage unit encapsulated in Nitrogen (air in tires N2 as well, right?).

    Definitely buy this one!

    I'll guess on the sales price: $125K US
     
  4. Dino944

    Dino944 Formula 3

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    #28 Dino944, Jun 5, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017

    My car has been in our family since new. It sat in the garage undriven for 10 years (my Father and Mother became ill around the same time so no one was using it).

    The cost of bringing it back to life was around $12,000. That included new tires, a major with (belts, bearings, gaskets, seals, hoses, fluids, battery and maybe a few smaller things) etc. I've seen the transmission and motor partially disassembled and everything looked like brand new. $12,000 certainly is not cheap, but I've seen other cars with much more mileage undergoing majors, replacing gaskets, shift shaft seals etc. Afterall in 2006 these cars were at least 17 years old. The difference is the cosmetics and originality of the car. One can easily spend several thousand dollars redoing the interior. My seats have also had custom sheep skin seat covers on them whenever driven so there is no wear on the bolsters.

    I probably have time now to drive it once a week, twice if I'm lucky. I enjoy driving it and I've brought it to Tutto Italiano in Brookline MA several times, and I bring it to my local cars and coffee events in Taunton, MA once or twice a month. So my car has been seen locally. Below are some photos.

    As for not posting seeking advice on maintenance my Father and I dealt with the service departments on the car since it was new. So we learned a lot about the service needs of a 328. I also read the posts here, and I follow the advice of the techs that work on the car so I didn't have a reason request advice on maintenance.

    Owning these cars whether they sit or whether they are driven is costly. But I've enjoyed owning and experiencing a 328 that is as close to what new owners experienced 23+ years ago. Maybe I look at it as low mileage hasn't saved me from the car needing maintenance, but I haven't seen higher mileage cars avoiding costly maintenance. In addition, I have not had to redo my interior or paint work which can cost tens of thousands of dollars. If I were considering any pre-owned car I would search for one in exceptional condition and low mileage but thats just my preference.

    Best regards,
    Dino
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  5. Dino944

    Dino944 Formula 3

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    Driven enough = likely maintained? Not really. There are plenty of average and higher mileage cars with deferred maintenance waiting for the next owner. Not to mention, the person who does the maintenance is as important to me as how the car is maintained. Lots of people that turn wrenches think they are great with any car, including Ferraris. However, I've seen a few very costly mistakes at the shop after a "home mechanic" showed off his talent or lack thereof.

    I think Napolis still has the best saying about people not driving their Ferraris.

    Best regards,
    Dino
     
  6. Tod328gts

    Tod328gts Formula Junior

    Jul 23, 2003
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    Well, i will throw in my two cents here on low mile cars.

    I bought my 328 GTS back in 2003 and it only had 5K miles on it. I was looking for a low mile car because of what everyone was saying, less maintance issues with a low mile car. There are pros and cons to that though. Don't get me wrong, i love my 328 and i am still driving it today.

    This was my first F-Car, after i got it, i had to drop another $11K into it to bring it back to life. Major service, most all hoses and a few rubber gaskets not included in the major had to be replaced. The tires were original and needed to be replace and the A/C was shot... A couple years after that two of the Crown bolts in the differentail sheered off. Luckily i was pulling into my drive and not running at high sppeds on the highway. My mechanic said this was a Ferrari deffect and he called his contacts in Italy but becasue of the age of the car, they couldn't do anything. So, if the original owner drove the car while it was under warrenty, it would have gotten fixed.

    But since 2004, all i have had to do is oil and filter changes. I have my second major happening currently and of course the A/C is messed up again and will cost more....

    I have about 28K miles on my car now, i bought it to drive it....
     
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  8. Andrewo

    Andrewo Formula Junior

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    I bought a 87 328 GTS with 14,000 miles a few months ago for $53,500. Other than regular maintenance, I have had no problems.
     
  9. Robz328

    Robz328 F1 Veteran
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    Dino,

    You have a beautiful car...I'm glad you spent the 12K to resurrect it. Later, after all my 328 developmental work, and when I do engine-out and proper paint, I will likely use white leather vice the tan.


    To respond to your comments:

    I didn't mean "over-driven" or "driven into the ground" or "driven until the wheels fell off"

    I meant "driven enough" as congruent to "enjoyed the car" as should any owner in this forum.

    Rob

    BTW, I wouldn't mind having a "home mechanic" quilifier discussion. I do feel that DIY-ers need a bit of training sometimes. I don't exempt myself from professional development either. I do, however, feel that I am qualified to do any variety of work on any mechanical or electrical/electronic product (not just cars...I'll work on anything that has molecules and is not alive). All it takes is persistent, pateint effort, good training and adequate publications.

    FYI to FChat: I will certainly postpone any further posting of my RobzWorkz 328 efforts if I am not seen as useful to the community. Not only does it take real work to bring a vehicle to being safe and functionally reliable, but it takes (personal) hours to prepare, take pictures and document my efforts for EACH thread I present in the forum.
     
  10. fastradio

    fastradio F1 Rookie
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    Care to join forces and write a book on this subject? At the very minimum, it would make a great thread!
     
  11. Dino944

    Dino944 Formula 3

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    Not sure how many miles you had on the car, but even back when these cars were new the warranty was only 2 years and many of these cars were not driven enough miles to sheer off the bolts.

    The first time I heard about this issue was when the local Ferrari dealer mailed us a post card about the issue around 1997. So the cars were no where close to being under warrant. It was not technically a recall and therefore it was not covered by Ferrari. The post card offered to open the transmission/diff and look to see what was happening, and charge I believe something like $500 or $700 (when their labor rate was only $85/hr). I'm not sure what the charge was if anything needed replacing. I had the bolts replaced as a precaution when I had the car revived in 2006.

    Best regards,
    Dino
     
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  13. Dino944

    Dino944 Formula 3

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    #35 Dino944, Jun 5, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Hi Rob,

    Thanks for the kind words about my car. My interior is actually crema (cream), but with the lighting it sometimes looks white in photos. I've seen a 328 with white leather but it seemed a bit too severe. The cream is a bit softer against the other colors inside the car.

    I never said that you were suggesting cars that were driven enough are driven until the wheels fell off. Your original statement was "Driven enough = likely maintained"
    I just did not see how driven enough equals likely maintained? Hence I mentioned I've seen plenty of average to higher mileage cars with deferred maintenance. The amount a car is driven is not directly related to how well a car is maintained. Thats more directly dependent upon the owner and how important proper maintenance is to them.

    As for the home mechanic qualifier discussion, I see it as pointless. My comment about home mechanics was not directed specifically at you. You will tell me you are great at it and I'm sure others will too. Many people out there that turn a wrench think they know the ins and outs of working on Ferraris, and all the nuances that come from years of training and/or working with someone that has done this for a living since the days when these cars were new. In addition, just as there are techs at various dealers and indy shops that are more experienced and more qualified to do tougher jobs there are going to be home mechanics that are more qualified to work on the cars and some that I wouldn't want to have changing the tire pressure in my car.

    To those that enjoy working on their cars its their car they can do whatever they want with it. However, if I were buying a car, the only maintenance records of any value to me would be those from a dealer or a highly respected independent. If I were buying a car from a home mechanic that had done a major on it 2 months ago, it would be nearly meaningless to me as I really don't know whether the home mechanic is really good with Ferraris or whether he doesn't know jack! I don't turn wrenches and so I sure as heck don't hold myself out there as a maintanence expert. I simply follow the advice of those that have solid reputations for their skills with these cars.

    Below are a few photos demonstrating a home mechanics skills. I've also seen something similar involving a Mondial that had a major done by a place specializes in Audis, BMWs, and Porsches.

    Best regards,
    Dino
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  14. Dino944

    Dino944 Formula 3

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    I think we would have home mechanics writing daily hate mail to our publisher and agent.
     
  15. hardtop

    hardtop F1 World Champ

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    I bought three very low mileage cars. The first was a '94 348 in 1998 with 1500 miles. I drove it 3 years, 16K miles----no problems. Subsequent owner did have problems though. so much for a "driven" car. In 2001, I bought a '89 328 GTB with 7K. It was a great car. Never needed anything other than routine maintenance. I sold it in 2009 with 24K on it. I did replace the original tires. In 2008, I bought another '89 GTB also with 7K. Same deal. No problems. I just sold it recently because I wasn't driving it much. It had 10.5K on it.

    PS: I don't advocate buying a car that has been sitting untouched for 10 years. But the idea that a low mileage car has not been maintained or be a great car is simply not true.

    Dave
     
  16. Robz328

    Robz328 F1 Veteran
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    #38 Robz328, Jun 5, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2012
    I'll be happy to participate.

    I'm actually starting to make this happen with my series. That's why I post all I can at once in one thread, instead of doing the "post-often over time" approach that is more common. The inputs that you, and other pros make are part of the intended peer-review on the subjects. All inputs are welcome, and I have even made changes to my own descriptions to accommodate them (even to the point of having Rob Lay make changes after the fact).

    FYI, a proof of myself: I'm a scientist by trade: I analyze and build/test items for paying customers. Thus my effort on my 328 is an extension of that experience. I have no doubt that I can learn (and have learned) from the pros. That's part of my SOP...that is, gaining expertise not only of my origin, and allowing all to benefit with proper credit rendered.

    David, one of the reasons I'm doing this is because you, and other pros, are not. If you and Rifledriver, et.al. would publish methods here (in English, not in 4 languages, like the inadequate available F-Car literature), then we would reference them as gospel most often. For now, I reference as many pros as I experience (examples: Birdman, Verrell, Rifledriver, Steve Magnusson, and Dave Helms thus far). One day, we should all give kudos to the veteran DIY-ers in FChat; many have done some incredible work, especially for amatures.
     
  17. Robz328

    Robz328 F1 Veteran
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    Dino,
    I do not disagree with anything you said here. The damage becomes obvious when a DIY-er makes poor repairs. Thus, if I were to sell my 328 after doing all the work published, to get a good price (not a great price...that's for the original cars), I would include an inspection made by a Ferrari-sanctioned shop; or even have a shop do a major (God forbid...I have seen/heard of shop ****-ups...I generally trust myself more); otherwise, I would sell as a project.

    FYI, I will possibly get a shop inspection just to see if I learned enough...it would be a cool resume' point, eh?

    I've also discovered that skills are present regardless of the vehicle make. Ferraris may be special in some departments, but, in most, they are just like any car (in fact, most 308/328 work can be directly referenced to German car procedures...about the only thing special is final engine tuning, and, of course, replacement part cost, which is, to me, an insulting racket). If someone works on a car and sucks at it, it will fail, even if it's an old Chrysler.

    BTW, that engine rebuild failure is hideous; do you have a reference as to the cause?

    Enjoying the words, Dino,

    Rob
     
  18. Robz328

    Robz328 F1 Veteran
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    You are quite fortunate to have had 3 excellent cars with minimal issues.

    The problems we are facing with today's inadequate fuel mixtures is becoming a serious concern for 308/328 owners, regardless of vehicle condition at near term (recent) purchases. Even the 64-mile garage-encapsulated 328 above will have serious issues if not driven enough or if the fuel system is not improved immediately.

    Almost every other system on a 308/328, save well-worn electrics (the "demons" addressed in my RobzWorkz 6(66) posts...more to come, I'm certain), are easily negotiated with ample preparation (i.e., time before mean repair procedure), adequate inspection and common maintenance.
     
  19. nerofer

    nerofer F1 World Champ

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    The cost of bringing it back to life was around $12,000. That included new tires, a major with (belts, bearings, gaskets, seals, hoses, fluids, battery and maybe a few smaller things) etc. I've seen the transmission and motor partially disassembled and everything looked like brand new. $12,000 certainly is not cheap, but I've seen other cars with much more mileage undergoing majors, replacing gaskets, shift shaft seals etc.

    If I were considering any pre-owned car I would search for one in exceptional condition and low mileage but thats just my preference.

    Best regards,
    Dino[/QUOTE]

    Dino,

    Thank you for having taken the time to answer my questions; the great thing is that you have kept a car that is in your family since the beginning. As for the expenses, of course this is not cheap, but it doesn't look crazy considering that what you got today is indeed a car as close as possible to what a brand new 328 was 23 years ago. And I like the crema leather a lot.
    As for 328s, I have no objection to cars that have low-mileage (well, "faible kilométrage" would be more appropriate...) but I was wondering about cars that have not been driven at all. Now I know that next time a "brand new 328" with about 100 kms on the odo will appear, I would be even more tempted to have a look...
    I'm supposed to have a look at a very low mileage '89 GTB for a friend, and with him, next week, by the way...8.000 miles, Yellow / Black leather / Black carpets, (and withthe "extended leather" option: parcel shelf and roof liner in leather). Hope it has not been sold in the meantime...
    I love these cars!

    Best
     
  20. 166&456

    166&456 Formula 3

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    #42 166&456, Jun 6, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2012
    An original car with nice patina can be just as nice as a genuine low-mileage one; only nice in different ways. As for wanting - what do you want it for... that 64 mile Ferrari is unique but would you dare to buy it and break that virgin state? That one is likely to remain a timecapsule.
    As for useability of a low-miileage one, it really depends on how it was stored or maintained, and also how many miles it had when it went into storage, etc. Mine was not used for years before I bought it and a lot of rubber bits needed replacement, those bits just go regardless of mileage, especially fuel and cooling related.
    And the tyres, of course.

    BTW, that piston failure, was that the result of a home mechanic? How I wonder, forgotten or mis-mounted a small-end pin circlip is the only thing I can think of to cause that? Could equally well be a material defect or driver abuse ("money shift"), though.
     
  21. nerofer

    nerofer F1 World Champ

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    Rob,

    Your work is very valuable, and always eagerly awaited; even if I don't work myself on my cars, it makes a very interesting reading and helps me to understand my cars better.
    And I think I have some appreciation of the time and efforts it takes you to do these. So a big thnk you for the RobzWorkz

    Best
     
  22. conan

    conan Formula Junior

    Nov 13, 2011
    382
    I did not expect so many good articles and explanations on how to work on the 328 when I first bought mine. It has been of great help when I have done work myself. I thank you and all other people on FChat who are sharing their knowledge of these cars!
     
  23. TacElf

    TacElf Formula 3
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    I don't think anyone is making any judgement about your value to the community. While I might not personally agree with some of the methods employed to fix your car, you do document everything you do rather well and seem to welcome feedback. Just as I'd expect from a scientific background.

    I think this is unwarranted. These "pros" have been instrumental in keeping these cars alive; running safely and well - and have posted countless times about the right way to do one thing or another. To expect them to post in a public forum the exact steps and procedures to do some task is asking a bit much, though. We're talking about their livelyhood where experience over a lifetime sets them apart from others. Also, every car's situation is different - what applies to one might not apply to the other (just look at all the variations of the 308). Such documentation (as you've seen) also takes a great deal of time, and these folks are likely insanely busy...

    There have been some shining examples where one pro has partnered with someone else who took the time to fully document what they've done. The CV joint write-up is one such example. So to say the processes aren't made public is a bit short-sighted, don't you think?

    My own experience has been great: Many of these "pros" have answered a ton of questions and given me the guidance I've needed to perform one task or another in what I would consider the right way. Not a single one of my questions have been ignored, so perhaps just asking more questions is the feedback I can send your way, Rob.

    Jeff

    Full disclosure: I'm not a mechanic nor do I play one on TV. I do like learning about all of my vehicles (cars, motorcycles, lawn mowers) and have some small experience fixing/replacing simple stuff or doing routine maintenance. I know what I'm disinclined to work on - I'll leave those to my mechanic.
     
  24. Robz328

    Robz328 F1 Veteran
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    I guess our current discussion amounts to an unexpected hijack of the thread. I apologize for that one. Perhaps we should start a sticky thread on the DIY mechanic's issues. There are many to navigate.

    We could call it the "Backyard Mechanics (BMs): Issues and Emanations" :D.

    Tom (tiredtom), I wish you excellent luck in finding a low-mile 328. Definitely inquire about the 64 mile one...it may really be a great buy and you can have a dealer vet it out and FCA/Classiche-it for you.

    Enjoy...
     
  25. Dino944

    Dino944 Formula 3

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    Hi,

    No one is saying an original car with patina is not a nice car. There are certainly a good number of cars out there that have patina and generally they will have a lower selling price. Maybe the buyer just wants to experience what a 328 is like in "nearly new condition." As for the rubber bits hoses etc needing replacing, as the newest cars are 23 years old, there are lots of items that probably should be replaced. Whether a previous buyer had the work done or left this for the next buyer to deal with is something one would find out through a review of records or maybe a PPI. Either way, through years or mileage or both certain things should be replaced.

    When I saw that blown up engine it was about a year or two ago. I'm not sure what the guy did wrong, but yes that was the result of a home mechanic's handy work. The tech's eventually got parts necessary to essentially make a new engine (it was an ealy 308)...and I've seen the original engine being uses as a coffee table with glass over it.

    Best regards,
    Dino
     
  26. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    Really rare 328 with Boxer trim just listed in FerrariAds, maintained by Tim Stanford, it won't get any better than that, no matter what miles are showing.
     
  27. fastradio

    fastradio F1 Rookie
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    Thank you, but...

    Agree. Thank you. As well-stated as Jeff's statement is, there's much more to this story. Here's a snippet.

    I got "started" in the Ferrari world nearly 30 years ago. A lot has changed through the years, but the one constant is the accumulation of knowledge and experience.
    Despite all I could write and have written in the past about these cars, it is extremely difficult to document the experience of feel, touch and sound. Although I've done a few PPIs over the years, 10 minutes behind the wheel typically tells me more than any owner or service records could possibly do. Again, difficult to document. So, briefly...here are some significant differences (that I see) between pro care and DIY care. Just to clarify; this is not to say that DIY workmanship cannot be world-class, it can and often is. The problem I see over and over again is folks exceeding their capabilities. Although I can read a book, or go online and research brain surgery, I leave that to the pros, despite the expense.

    Tools: A total non-issue. I have 99% of every possible tool I need for what I work on. Factory-specific tools; no problem. Fabrication of one-off tools for that "odd job," not an issue.
    Parts: With 50+ sources worldwide, years of knowing what fits what and who to call, this rarely is an issue.
    Shop supplies: 100% on hand (hardware, clamps, copper sealing washers, cotters,etc. The cost of materials is not an option, only quality. No NAPA here!
    Technical info: WSMs, TSBs, relationships with "Ferrari-people" that span centuries and years of experience from other pros or first-hand experience.
    Experience: Many, many cars...I, like most pros, know what to look for.
    Reputation: A fair amount of the cars I see have been "trouble-children" or "deferred maintenance queens". There are "those cars" that create the posts "it cost me $15K to do a major." In reality, the cars, once sorted, run as new for the first time in many years. Quality never comes quickly or inexpensively...

    The Internet has unfortunately created many "experts" that have gained their knowledge by reading and rehashing service procedures based on a single car. The inherent dangers are obvious, although frequently ignored. Some can recite the factory WSMs , but still can fix jack! (No surprise here, as the WSMs are merely a collection of specifications, or perhaps guidelines. Remember that experience we talked of earlier?) I recently posted information about Ferrari's tappet design and the use of low-Zinc oils. A few folks told me that what I said wasn't true, despite quoting oil engineers from the manufacturer. Then again, a few folks called or sent emails asking for further information. Frequently, I hear how expensive it can be to own these cars...and that expensive professional care can be expensive. True on all counts... I also read that some folks find these cars needing all sorts or care...and reliability is of concern. As tough as this might be to hear, once these cars are sorted (which can be costly, initially), the cost to run in future years is dirt cheap. My daily summer driver in past years has been a 365bb. She's been with me since 1984. Once sorted, she's been quite reliable. Of course it was expensive; I bought a Ferrari. Why should I expect anything different?

    Rob, in reality...there are/were a handful of pros on this board. A few are gone, while others are quite selective on what topics they will engage in. At times, this environment can be a tad hostile and the risks of sharing knowledge far outweigh the rewards.

    Perhaps further food for thought...?
     
  28. joe marino

    joe marino Rookie

    Jun 6, 2012
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    I agree that low miles on a 328 does not necessarily mean trouble. I have had my 1988 328 GTS (black/black) for over 10 years and it only has 14,800 miles on it. I drive it about 200 miles per year. I bought it because I thought it would be fun to work on, but nothing EVER goes wrong. In ten years of very low usage I have only had to replace a fuel pump and filter, and a rear hatch strut. Otherwise it is just oil changes, occasional freon and the usual. From time to time I read about low mileage car nightmares but that has not been my experience by a long shot. Love the car!
     

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