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360 There are many build threads. This one is mine. Tubi Style, Novitec KW, and Mase, oh my

Discussion in '360/430' started by Performify, Nov 19, 2020 at 9:58 PM.

  1. Performify

    Performify Karting
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    #1 Performify, Nov 19, 2020 at 9:58 PM
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2020 at 10:06 PM
    Rather than continue to clutter up the "today..." thread I thought i'd start my own as i've got a bunch of new content to share.

    And since I'm going to do that, I figure i might as well go back and start at the beginning.

    There are many build great threads, better than mine (Randy and RBM are absolutely amazing, but also -CD- and Scottslaw and Ferrari360FW for starters).

    But I think do have a couple interesting things to share and a couple important people to thank, so I thought this might be a good idea.

    I thought i'd chronicle my entire journey with the car so far and then outline some key lessons learned and unveil it's final form -- which should be complete sometime around turkey day.

    Starting picture tax: current state as she sits today:

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    Next up: Day zero. Decision to purchase, initial mistakes made, initial lessons learned - and first massive refresh project
     
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  3. Performify

    Performify Karting
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    #2 Performify, Nov 20, 2020 at 12:11 AM
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2020 at 12:30 AM
    A short word of relevant background - I'm a lifelong auto enthusiast - a lot of very interesting cars in my life, mostly in the BMW and Audi world, and have seen the Ferrari 360 as one of the absolutely pinnacle most beautiful cars of all time since I first read about it.

    My closest friend was able to make the leap into Ferrari ownership last year, and has been pushing me and pushing me to join him.

    I had been researching the hell out of the purchase process, including reading many times over the absolutely excellent purchasing guide in the FAQ and the resources in the technical thread. And every article on Aldous Voice's excellent site, but especially his buying guide.

    I'd been lurking the forum here quite literally for a couple years, watching some cars come up for sale and thinking of making a move. In January I made the decision to go forward in earnest, built up a short list of prospects and began interrogating their history. I was sold on an F1 (if I was going to stretch for the 6MT I felt I'd have to just go ahead into the F430, even though i believe the 360 to be a more pure car I recognize the 430 is arguably better in almost every way than the price).

    I set up several automated searches on most of the car buying sites. I was looking for an F1 in TDF, Silver, Grey, or Red, in that order. I had a strong preference to shields, a fan of bold interiors, and wasn't scared of modifications (especially exhaust and challenge grill, which would be immediately in order on a stock car). More importantly, i was mostly fixated on price, and much less on mileage.

    I was of the strong opinion that the 360 market had bottomed, or was close enough to the bottom to count, anyways. I also found that there were a lot of sellers that were widely out of touch with current market conditions at the time. You'd regularly see driver quality cars with deferred maintenance selling for 60's and even 50's but then see the same condition cars with no better records being listed by dealers in the 80's, and some even more, so it was going to be a little bit of a hustle to work through the market and find the right value.

    After this process, i had landed on two top contenders:
    - a TDF in Florida sitting at a Mitsubishi dealership. a 2000 with 24,500 on the clock asking $68k but showing some early flexibility in price. Had some decent service records and a couple upgrades but showed multiple issues from the last service 7-months prior including weeping rollover valves that were not addressed
    - a "bare bones" TDF in California a 2000 with 15,400 on the clock asking $75k. This car had barely been driven in it's recent life and was optioned with virtually nothing from the factory - no shields, basic seats, completely stock.

    One of the things I considered key to my results - I had a bit of pre-existing relationship with someone who is widely considered one of the top master Ferrari mechanics in the US. Vince at Black Horse Motorwerks was kind enough to spend several sessions with me on the phone and by email consulting on the 360 platform, what to purchase, what to worry about, etc. He was also willing to interpret several car's history and records for me remotely, e.g. reviewing the listing and documentation I was able to assemble on each car and making recommendations.

    Some of the advice that I got from Vince that didn't always match to conventional internet wisdom:
    (disclaimer - i'm far from an expert, just an obsessive researcher. Any errors are likely misunderstandings on my side vs. something wrong Vince said).

    - A PPI is a great thing but is really more to validate that what the seller is telling you about the car is accurate, versus trying to find a car with no issues. Vince's take was virtually every 360 of this age that's not been already restored or aggressively maintained is going to need some significant work - e.g. unless the common failure points have been for sure addressed (documented variators, ball joints, clutch, suspension, rollover valves, etc), that you're almost better in most cases buying a car that had a great life and was extremely well maintained early but is due for a major, as you're going to need to get in there anyways and you might as well do so much at once. Basically, his summary was either you are going to have to spend for a really really well maintained car (e.g. where the owner can show you several significant bits of documented work in the last year, and you can then validate that with a PPI) or you are going to find something that's going to need moderate to significant work -- and there's unlikely to be anything magically in between.

    In other words, as Aldous puts it on his site: "There are a lot of cars out there that have not been serviced annually" -- and in my opinion those cars should be aggressively avoided, unless direct and thorough evidence can show otherwise.

    - the obsession with low miles generally does more harm than good, and unless you're looking for a concourse car you're much better finding something that's been driven a lot than something that's sat. This principle (and some much deeper dives into what it mean) is what ruled out the "bare bones" TDF from my list -- Vince's take from the documentation on the car and the lack of miles that it was actually much riskier than the car with 25k on the clock, for example, and definitely not worth the premium especially when considering the other had modifications that I actually wanted and would have to pay for on the lower miles car.

    I thought i understood him, and understood what it meant to buy a high maintenance car (i own an extremely modified 2003 Audi RS6 that's in almost all ways other than part prices higher maintenance than the 360). But i truly didn't understand until getting into it and seeing how the tolerances and capabilities of this car, the exceptional Ferrari tax on parts, and just what it meant to truly refresh a car of this caliber.

    But most especially, it was coming to understand putting these two points together -- that a PPI can only really find problems that exist today, and can't find that the parts that are at risk because they haven't been driven enough (e.g. gaskets that are drying out inside a compressor) and are really only going to show themselves after you take that car that's been driven only hundreds of miles in the last year and put a thousand on it.

    - finally, a conclusion of my own, hard earned mostly on the Audi world but also found it translated well to Ferrari -- a car maintained by someone that could do their own work can be a much bigger red flag than you would think. I used to think that if I was buying a car from a shade tree mechanic that it was going to be a lot more likely that the car was better maintained -- e.g. you'd demonstrated that you could do your own major service, you'd surely do other little things that needed doing, or otherwise the car would likely be better maintained than someone who just had the minimum factory paperwork or no history at all.

    I would say pretty conclusively my experience is the opposite. LIkewise, with buyers that advertise that a car is "exceptionally well maintained" or "needs nothing" without being able to conclusively prove those statements are a red flag. Less so for the seller of my 360 (who was a one-time Fchatter and might still be reading this, and whom I believe had nothing but the best intentions in selling the car and attempting to describe it reasonably, and was very clear that it needed a major and ball joints and...), but especially for one of the sellers of a rare Audi i purchased a few years back -- i would say it as i've found that, more often than not, most amateurs doing their own maintenance are likely to cut corners significantly more so than a professional, and oftentimes are going to massively overestimate their abilities and/or maintenance levels.

    Obviously there are complete exceptions -- people like @RANDY6005 i'm pretty sure could run circles around most everyone getting paid to spin a wrench at dealerships. But in general, i would say that I will never again buy a car with significant "self service" records, or at least I will significantly discount the value as a result.

    Anyways - after ruling out the "bare bones" car due to lack of maintenance and mileage and value, i was really close to an agreed offer on the other TDF 360 when a buyer walked onto the lot and scooped it from me at their asking price. I'll probably always wonder if that car was the deal i thought it was, because I am a big fan of TDF.

    It was around this time I contacted Mike (@Yellow Compass) based on the information in this fantastic buying service review thread. Mike was fantastic and I wouldn't hesitate to engage him again to buy or sell a car, although he was unable to find a match for my exact specifications before I was able to locate one through a WTB thread here on Fchat.

    Here's where i love this storybook journey.

    Back in 2018, a Silver 360 with black 430 wheels and a few tasteful modifications (challenge grill, carbon fiber air boxes, Tubi Style exhaust) came across Fchat for sale. Most notably, after not selling in the mid-60's, it was dropped for to $55k for a very quick sale, which in 2018 was definitely very aggressive.

    I was on Fchat at the time, and saw this exact car come up for sale, and absolutely agonized over the decision. I knew this was a great price. The timing wasn't bad, it was in reasonable distance to me in the midwest. I literally have email logs of discussing this car with my aforementioned friend and discussing if I should do it. I ultimately didn't... until the car popped back into my inbox, almost exactly two years after i was considering it as my first Ferrari.

    Long story somewhat shorter, at the height of the initial wave of COVID-19 in March, the current owner of the car (not the person who bought it from @Indy360silver, but the person who bought it from them...) reached out and met the terms of my ad. I was floored to find that it was this exact vehicle i'd come so close to buying two years prior. Now it had 32k on the clock, was running moderately long on the clutch but wasn't slipping, and was due for a major. But the price was right, the modifications were what i wanted, there were some nice spares included... it was fate, a second chance at a great car at a fair price, and one that especially met the criteria i was going for: was reasonably well documented throughout most of it's early life, had been a bit neglected later in life, but looked to be an excellent driver class car at the right price.

    After a tough but fair negotiation, I signed a purchase agreement to buy the car sight unseen with some contractual caveats. Given everything going with COVID lockdowns at the time, and the uncertainty, it was virtually impossible for me to get a PPI on the car especially where it was located in the east coast. So instead, we came to an agreement -- the car was pretty extensively documented remotely in video and via facetime, and i would have a few business days to do a PPI once I received the car and could send it back and only pay return shipping (we split it on the way out).

    Buying the car, i knew it was due for major service. We knew there were miles on the clutch but did not expect it needed immediate replacement (and in fact the purchase order specified that as a specific condition of purchase, if the clutch reading said it had to go, that was immediate grounds for return). As an early 1999, unfortunately we were also unable to find evidence the variators had been changed, so we very much assumed that would be part of it.

    I couldn't wait to find out if it was everything I'd been dreaming of, or a nightmare in waiting. Thanks to COVID it wasn't easy to get here, but it ultimately did:

    This is what the car looked like before i bought it:

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    as loaded for transport, including included spares in the frunk and in the passenger floorboard:

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    And as delivered: my first official Ferrari smile -- you'll have to trust me it's hiding behind the pixels.

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    up next: the post-delivery PPI results, the go/no-go decision, and the first major major...
     
  4. clean512

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    Looking good. Should be a fun build. That is what I'm doing to mine.
     
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  5. ckrescho

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  6. RANDY6005

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  8. RANDY6005

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    Look just like mine wend I bought it same exhaust wheels and interior and color .
     
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