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The Journey

Discussion in '456/550/575' started by bracketz, Apr 5, 2021.

  1. bracketz

    bracketz Rookie
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    Jul 19, 2019
    30
    Charleston, SC
    Full Name:
    Michael
    It's finally time for a formal intro to my new to me 550. Since it was quite the journey, and since this forum has been so incredibly valuable to me on said journey, I wanted to share in hopes that someone else could pick up something from my experiences. The arrival today of this car marks the closing of a nearly 2 year process. And, because of all of the relationships and just simple introductions along the way, the story must be told.
    So, in May of '19 that I made the decision. A 550 was going to be my first truly "exotic" car purchase. Many BMWs, a P-car, a few modern muscle cars, a couple Jeeps, and lots of trucks had all preceded this decision. But none influenced it really. This just was the car that if my perceived top five keys were on the table, time and time again I'd pick up the 550 key. After all, you can only drive one at a time and I knew that from the lines, to the manual only box, to the Jaeger dials, to the V-12, and to just the absolutely understated nothing-to-prove cool the car has.....it was it.
    I found the first car held by a private seller in Texas. Due diligence told me that if all checked out it wasn't a bad deal. If. So I sent it promptly for a PPI to Norwood's. And that was the first of my positive experiences in Ferrari world. It's no longer surprising to me at this point, but unless you've been in this world, coming into it you have no idea what to expect. And what did I get? I got James Patterson explaining "what to look for in these cars." Got his lead mechanic explaining to me how he prepped the car for Richard and Dennis for the Cannonball. Never in a hurry to get off the phone. Always thorough. And of course I also got an honest review of the car. Nevermind these guys didn't know me from Adam. Lots of paintwork done, some more needed, and a rather long list of both small and large items undisclosed by seller. Needs major. Needs tires. Needs about a 100 hour detail (sorta kidding). Finally, I plugged the VIN into FChat and found an old thread describing it unfavorably at an auction. Pass on that.
    Found the second car at a dealership in Upland CA. You may have heard of it. Been getting lots of press these days and none of it good. But at the end of 2020, none of these things had come out and I was just a guy looking at a car. Called and spoke to Larry at Ferrari Technologies who serviced it when it lived near to him. Larry, I owe you a fishing trip if you're reading this so don't be a stranger. Then sent it promptly for a PPI to Fastcars with Larry's blessing. Thanks to FChat for the rec. Craig got back to me quickly and he goes through the list and again it has undisclosed paintwork along with a small litany of issues. None awful but all needing addressed if it was to be sorted to my standards. And again I've got a guy (Craig) who has a relationship with the seller doing nothing but being honest. And thank goodness he was, because as much as I loved those red inserts in what are some killer Daytona seats, I likely would be typing a different thread now had I "purchased" that car. But they weren't budging on the price and I wasn't paying top dollar for anything that wasn't in my mind. So on I went.
    And then very soon after, I see THE car hit the ads on a Friday evening. Monday morning I'm on it. No pictures in the ad yet, just a description but the colors are good, and it's getting a major and new tires. One owner. 20.1k miles. The price is correct. Again I promptly send it for PPI this time to Anthony at Scuderia Performante.
    And after some really good teamwork the rest is history.
    So thank you to Anthony for a thorough, honest assessment along with some truly top notch work on the car while it was in your care.
    Thank you to Patrick at Algar for addressing every issue as you promised and for getting the car both to Anthony and down to me. You made the deal right.
    And thank you to FChat for helping me know what to look for..... I knew to address the thermocouples, the fuel filters/pumps, the cooling system, the droopy visor (thanks ferraridriver), and many other things. List on request for anyone interested.
    So here she is, fully sorted and ready to drive enthusiastically and often.
    Thanks again to all. Michael
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  3. stoked_7

    stoked_7 Rookie

    Nov 9, 2020
    13
    A lot of care was taken by the technicians doing the PPI's for you. Kudos to them for doing such a good job and helping you find a great F car.
     
  4. NE550

    NE550 Formula Junior
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    Mar 23, 2017
    256
    Omaha, NE
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    Dave
    Looks terrific! Congrats on your new ride and welcome to the club!
     
  5. bracketz

    bracketz Rookie
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    Jul 19, 2019
    30
    Charleston, SC
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    Michael
    Absolutely. I would have been completely lost without them.
     
  6. bracketz

    bracketz Rookie
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    Jul 19, 2019
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    Michael
    Thank you so much
     
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  8. Ferrar55whoa

    Ferrar55whoa Formula Junior
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    Dec 21, 2005
    605
    Los Gatos, CA
    Full Name:
    Eric
    I have LOVED the hunt and I so genuinely enjoyed our back and forth's during the search process. Your birddogging skills were very robust! ;-)

    The real solid message about your story (for some of the new guys) is PPI.....PPI.....PPI.......some of the best money spent upfront to save on the other end. Must feel awesome getting the car in "fully fettled" form. Really happy/excited for you!

    Going to look forward to more photos with your upcoming adventures.

    The Grigio really calls out "shark"! Love everything about it, especially the wheels.

    Can we get a photo of your bordeaux interior? I think I mentioned that @white out might have the same color combo in 575. I'd admit readily that Grigio/bordeaux is real handsome....is yours similar to this photo with the black dash over bordeaux? Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
    VColin, white out and docapl like this.
  9. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Jul 19, 2008
    33,606
    Clarksville, Tennessee
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    Terry H Phillips
    Michael- Looks great, congratulations, especially since she came with modulars.
     
  10. bracketz

    bracketz Rookie
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    Jul 19, 2019
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    Charleston, SC
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    Michael
    You're correct. She's Bordeaux/Nero inside with a quilted Nero parcel shelf and bordeaux leather headliner.
    As an aside I highly recommend the myferrari app as it will give you the original spec of your car if the window sticker is missing (as mine is). I wasn't sure the quilted Nero shelf was as delivered but it was. Overall, it took a couple weeks for Maranello to get back to me and update my data but they did send a confirmation email which was beautifully written in broken Italian English.
    Thank you so much for all of your contributions and support to me and others while "bird dogging" the right car. Your efforts are thorough and admirable.
    I'll get those interior pics posted tomorrow. Many more adventures to follow.
     
  11. bracketz

    bracketz Rookie
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    Jul 19, 2019
    30
    Charleston, SC
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    Michael
    Well she didn't come with modulars. She's a 1999. But she did come with quite a few North American 1999 options. Sorry I didn't clarify.
    But Anthony helped me source an NOS set. I'm thinking I'll do a couple of drift videos on the old rubber for grins because the pedals are perfect for heel/toe...... and why not. If something breaks I'll ask you and all the others to help me figure it out. :)
    Also, thank you for all of your contributions. I've lurked on way more of your posts than I care to admit. Priceless.
     
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  13. Ferrar55whoa

    Ferrar55whoa Formula Junior
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    Dec 21, 2005
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    Eric
    I'm going to also be frustrated if sometime "post-covid" I don't find my way to Tennessee so I can buy @tazandjan a dinner and say thanks in person for all the tuition I have received! Very grateful.
     
  14. Ferrar55whoa

    Ferrar55whoa Formula Junior
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    Dec 21, 2005
    605
    Los Gatos, CA
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    Eric
    @bracketz I also forgot to ask....do you plan on doing paint protection of any kind?....and if so, film, ceramic or other?
     
  15. bracketz

    bracketz Rookie
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    Jul 19, 2019
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    Michael
    Yes sir. Paint correction, film and ceramic coming this week along with rationale for products used. Will post up for discussion because there are a lot of ways to look at these decisions with not a necessarily "right" answer for all.
     
  16. motts

    motts Karting

    Sep 1, 2015
    137
    Denver
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    Alex
  17. pkl03

    pkl03 Formula Junior
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    Nov 29, 2004
    340
    Australia
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    Peter
  18. SteveVT

    SteveVT Rookie
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    Nov 30, 2019
    40
    Vermont
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    Steve
    Michael - love the car and the journey! Congrats on a wonderful purchase and look forward to hearing more in the days ahead.
     
  19. Ferrar55whoa

    Ferrar55whoa Formula Junior
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    Dec 21, 2005
    605
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    Eric
    @pkl03 03 .....how many miles on yours.....do those seats have 2k miles on them . #YesPlease. Gorgeous. p.s. if its many miles what are you treating/maintaining them with "product wise".
     
  20. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Jul 19, 2008
    33,606
    Clarksville, Tennessee
    Full Name:
    Terry H Phillips
    Michael- Modulars were optional on 550s by 1999, part of the Scaglietti options introduced in the 97/98 timeframe. I love Bordeaux interiors, ordered a new Corvette once with a red interior and really liked it. Bordeaux is actually a richer color, though. Some Ferraris have too much red, but yours is just right.
     
  21. bracketz

    bracketz Rookie
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    Jul 19, 2019
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    Michael
    Terry, Thanks for the clarification. I thought modulars didn't come to NA until 2000 but now I know! App screenshots.......
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  22. bracketz

    bracketz Rookie
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    Jul 19, 2019
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    Charleston, SC
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    Michael
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  23. Ferrar55whoa

    Ferrar55whoa Formula Junior
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    Dec 21, 2005
    605
    Los Gatos, CA
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    Eric
    It's neat how you get things like that black piping and then the black quilted shelf....and I thought I learned from Terry the quilting was something special "off menu" so your car could reasonably be a 1-of-1.......
     
  24. Themaven

    Themaven F1 Rookie
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    Nov 2, 2014
    3,645
    London
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    Darius
    Stunning car. Congratulations. The Bordeaux/Nero interior really suits the 550. It brings out the classic nature of the design and dials on the dash beautifully. My 550 was all Nero, and less interesting. Enjoy!
     
  25. calder1

    calder1 Formula 3
    Sponsor Owner

    Aug 26, 2006
    2,363
    Redondo Beach
    Full Name:
    Craig
    Congrats. I knew eventually you would end up with the right car.
     
  26. bracketz

    bracketz Rookie
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    Jul 19, 2019
    30
    Charleston, SC
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    Michael
    Thanks man. You'll know the next time I'm in your neighborhood.
     
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  27. Ferris Bueller

    Ferris Bueller Formula 3

    Mar 23, 2004
    1,733
    New Jersey
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    Dominic
    Michael
    You had a top notch all star team working with you.
    Craig from FastCars saved me from buying a real bomb of a 550 years ago when I was first on the hunt. He strongly advised me not to buy it so passed on it.
    Patrick from Algar has been in the Ferrari business long enough to know how to treat a customer right and is a first class, knowledgable guy.
    Tony and Anthony from Scuderia Performante are simply the best when it comes to servicing these era cars . They were the top techs at Algar back in 2000 when these cars were new .
    Just got my 575 back from them getting my yearly service and timing belts. I can’t say enough good things about these 2 guys.
    Good luck with your 550. The car will constantly impress and never disappoint you
     
  28. bracketz

    bracketz Rookie
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    Jul 19, 2019
    30
    Charleston, SC
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    Michael
    Thanks so much. First drives are done and I'm completely hooked. And you're right I really did. Time and again life shows that with some patience and persistence the right people end up coming into the picture to help put the story together. And at the end of the day all of the people, whether those already close to you or those you meet along the journey, are always really the point.
     

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