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To buy or not to buy? Ferrari 512 TR / TR

Discussion in 'Boxers/TR/M' started by MaseratiMike, Jul 24, 2017.

  1. MaseratiMike

    MaseratiMike Formula Junior

    Mar 15, 2016
    251
    UK
    Full Name:
    Mike
    I could do with a sanity check please.

    Over the weekend just gone I have been to visually inspect in detail a Ferrari Testarossa, 2x 512TR and 2x 512M cars. Engines running, lights, windows, switches, door seals, body work etc.

    My original plan of buying a F360 or F430 spider has changed, due to a load of tatty examples and reading about horror stories, high prices etc.y

    Budget wise I have a maximum of £95k to invest in a decent car before they become unaffordable if they continue to rise.

    Here's my dilemmas/choices:-

    1) A LHD Testarossa with full service history, 30K miles, complete toolkit, fuse box bypass done, major Engine and cambelts all done 2 years ago at cost of £11K plus. Body work has a few dings and chips - would need respraying, Aircon not working, cracked headlight. Interior all good. Needs around £5k spending to make perfect. Car retailing for £90K. Otherwise nice looking and not that bad for a 25year old car

    2) 2x 512M cars - lovely condition both of them but way above my budget at £180K+ each (Totally ruled out)

    3) 2x 512TR cars, both LHD and circa 15K miles each retailing at £100k each. Both cars are missing their toolkits and complete owners manuals plus missing service records! Just imported, manuals and kits lost in shipping apparently.

    1 car doesn't look well looked after, scrapes and chips, damaged front spoiler, cam cover leak. (Ruled out on condition alone).

    2nd Car is visually a lot better, all electrics work fine such as Aircon and switches, engine sounds fine etc. Not perfect but much better condition than the Testarossa I inspected.

    I phoned around for major service and cambelts costs near to where I live, all around £2500k mark. Replacement toolkit I can get hold of and a blank Ferrari service manual for its major service should I buy one...

    ----
    Questions:-

    1) Is it worth a punt at either the Testarossa or the 2nd 512TR, or are both car values at their peak/over priced?
    2) Will the 512TR be worthless or difficult to sell in 10-15 years time? Even after a major service from now onwards and starting from fresh with a new service book?

    Are the prices going to drop?, I have a Mondial QV coupe and Maserati GranCabrio so not scared of "reasonable" service costs and typical wear items like tyres etc.

    The next purchase would be stored away, little use.

    I would of course get a PPI, but not if either car is overpriced / would not touch with a long pole....

    Many Thanks
     
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  3. MS250

    MS250 Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    Dec 10, 2003
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    In a nut shell the testarossa is the last full 12 cyl available at an affordable price. The fact that this engine is from the old race engine the 312T and in a street car, built by Enzo Ferrari himself. It's a no brainier to get a testarossa.
    If you jack the budget, and you think the premium is worth to to get the 512, then that's a personal decision.
    Couple this with the low production numbers of a testarossa compared to 360/430 etc make it a more unique car, and the old school technology make it a treat to drive. The car works well for heating and a/c and is comfortable to drive. Many upside to it .... At least to me ;)
    Life's too short not to try a 12 if your a car guy. And the testarossa is a bargain in that department as a coupe with that mid engine configuration. Look for a better example of a TR that you mentioned, if you can find one.
     
  4. Natkingcolebasket69

    Natkingcolebasket69 F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed BANNED



    I'd go with the 512TR and service it. Ur other TR seems way too overpriced I bought mine for 100k usd all serviced with no issues at Ferrari....and only 22kmiles. I don't need respray and have maybe one minor chip on the car even my front lip is perfect.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  5. turbo-joe

    turbo-joe F1 Veteran

    Apr 6, 2008
    6,356
    southwest germany
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    romano schwabel
    mike
    you stay in UK, right?
    then try to find a RHD car

    the M is out of your range, but also the 2 512 TR are high priced and too much to do as you describe them
     
  6. MaseratiMike

    MaseratiMike Formula Junior

    Mar 15, 2016
    251
    UK
    Full Name:
    Mike
    Thanks folks and big red you are right, there is a bit of magic with the TR/512 cars which the more modern Ferraris lack. My Mondial QV reminds me of the more raw driving experience that modern cars can't give you, with their fancy electronics etc.

    I also saw a beautiful very low mileage 575M which the wife loves, but doesn't blow me away.

    NatK. Thanks for the checkpoint, there doesn't seem to be many decent examples in my price range at the moment...

    Turbo-Joe. Unfortunately the rare right hand 512TR cars are carrying at least a 50% premium in price, again not worth the premium over a LHD and way above my budget.
     
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  8. Themaven

    Themaven F1 Rookie
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    Nov 2, 2014
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    Hi Mike, I am in the UK also and owned a Testarossa and own a F512M. I also own a 430 Spider. And a 575.

    All great cars. The 430 and 575 have power steering, if that makes a difference for the driving you will do. The TR series does feel more special, crazier. But they are less practical, again, if that matters.

    On price, I would hesitate about the lost service book cars. It means you have no idea of what happened to them in the last 25-30 years. Service books can get lost for a reason. Prices have come down but are still a lot higher than they were in 2013-14.

    I would bide your time. You can get a really good Testa for that budget, LHD. Or a decent, higher miles RHD in a less desirable colour, perhaps a need to sell. Maybe a good, well documented, higher miles LHD TR, there a few swimming around from when exchange rates were favourable. I wouldn't buy either of the particular Ms you are talking about.

    You can also get a decent LHD 550 for that budget, higher miles. Unlike the 575 it's a manual. But they don't quite have the magic of a Testarossa, great cars though they are (I have a 550 too.). Although they have other upsides.

    Take your time and speak to good specialists. I don't think values will go down more, but nobody knows the answer to that, of course.
     
  9. MaseratiMike

    MaseratiMike Formula Junior

    Mar 15, 2016
    251
    UK
    Full Name:
    Mike
    Hi Darius

    How do you find the 575M? As that does look like a lovely car too, which car for you Prefer?

    I have a very low mileage 2010 Maserati Gran Cabrio, dark metallic blue body eith blue hood, with cream leather interior and wood trims (Stunning GT car, fantastic exhaust roar). Not many around and are reliable strong cars, with 2year service intervals depending on mileage.

    To be honest the lack of service history and owners manuals does make me nervous, but the better Condition 512TR you can instantly tell is reflective of its low mileage condition.

    Looks like from the comments the Testarossa I will not go any further with.

    What makes me nervous is buying now then seeing the prices tumble again back down to previous years, or the other way I leave it another 12months and find the prices have risen substantially. I know a lot of classic car dealers in the UK (Gray Paul, HR Owen, Slades, etc ) have said the classic market and prices have stalled because of Brexit. However newer Ferrari & Maserati car sales have gone crazy.... I noticed some of the same cars have been advertised for several months, maybe a time to negotiate hard or as you say bide my time?

    Hopeful we don't see another 80s type financial crash with Brexit!
     
  10. dradambbb

    dradambbb Karting

    Apr 24, 2016
    106
    London
    Full Name:
    Adam
    #8 dradambbb, Jul 26, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Hi Mike

    I was in a similar position to you 18 months ago. I am also in UK and had a similar budget. In the end I went for a 1987 LHD TR. A Japanese import but Euro spec. It was the best car for the money available at the time. I paid £86K and bought a garage for it in London. All in at around £100K.

    Mine has sparse history. It's done around 44K miles. I bought this car to drive and not just admire so higher mileage was in fact preferable as TRs need to be driven to work well. Bodywork - the condition is near excellent. It needed a new clutch but as I like getting my hands dirty (home mechanic as a hobby) I was looking forward to the challenge. I had the car inspected independently by a Ferrari dealership. There was nothing significantly wrong and I'm not bothered about the discharged air-con as it's never hot enough anyway.

    Since becoming the owner I replaced the clutch. The car came with an OS Giken light alloy flywheel and 3 plate clutch, which is strong, long lasting but sporty. I chose not to return the car to original so have kept the flywheel and housing. So I replaced only the friction disks and the pressure plate. A replacement came from Japan and it cost around a grand.

    The alternator went late last year. It's not Ferrari specific. The replacement was so cheap that I am embarrassed to say how much. Though the job was a pig as it's at the front of the engine by the bulkhead.

    Following a minor service at an independent I've rebuilt the front calipers. One was binding. Now I am busy enjoying summer drives around the countryside. Like with any classic there are always things to improve but I'm gaining confidence that I had a successful purchase.

    Who knows about the prices day to day. Long term this TR will maintain the value for sure. One day it will pass on to somebody else and I hope that they also want to take it for a drive and not just keep it polished.

    I recommend you take a punt but make sure you get a second opinion.

    Adam
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
  11. wda24729

    wda24729 Formula Junior

    Sep 22, 2014
    965
    Devon, UK
    Full Name:
    Graham
    Hi Mike - Ive been on the same trail as you for the last couple of months. Looked at lots of TR's with 'low' mileage but missing history which in my book means nothing. Who's to say the speedo hasn't been disconnected, etc. No history or MoT's to back up the mileage claim!

    In the end I opted for a higher mileage car (70k) but complete history with the same main dealer from day 1 with only 3 owners. Main dealer in Europe also confirmed this with me prior to purchase with print out of history, owners and invoices.

    Its got gremlins with AC and heater fan speed, but happy to DIY in order to get the car as I want. Good luck with your search.
     
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  13. Themaven

    Themaven F1 Rookie
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    Nov 2, 2014
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    Mike, I love the 575M and the F512M; they are very different cars, particularly considering the 575 is a direct descendant, successor to the 512's successor.
    There is so much personal preference going on that it's impossible to say which is better, it really depends on the driving experience you want. The 512Tr/M is more dramatic, more memorable, more exciting, but it's less smooth, less competent, less refined. The 575 with a manual gearbox and Fiorano Handling Pack is a gem, but it's also a car you appreciate with a deep satisfaction, rather than savouring the thrill every minute.
    On a perfect driving day on twisty empty wide roads - the M is unbeatable. But life isn't always like that..
    The 575 is much nicer inside.
    As to prices, obviously I am an interested party, being a current owner. Lots of people here predict what will happen with prices and they are all right around 50% of the time! My personal view, which is just that, is that actual sale prices are flat and will sag a little more then rise, but the problem is that many who own really good cars simply won't sell now or until prices rise again. So, the poor cars will go down, the great cars will be snapped up and will always be strong.
    A decent looking TR sold for a good price (for the buyer) via this dealer recently
    https://www.pistonheads.com/classifieds/dealer/611246?Page=2
     
  14. Themaven

    Themaven F1 Rookie
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    Nov 2, 2014
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    I like the Gran Cabrio, particularly the MC version. The 575, being a powerful front engined Italian, is more similar to this than the TR, mid engined 12 cyl, is...depends what you prefer. The TR has non-assisted steering and its heavy unless you are really motoring. I know the GC has that very sharp Maserati turn-in, very different to either.
     
  15. Natkingcolebasket69

    Natkingcolebasket69 F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed BANNED



    Fully agree with u price wise. Cars don't sell these days at the advertise price


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  16. MaseratiMike

    MaseratiMike Formula Junior

    Mar 15, 2016
    251
    UK
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    Mike
    Hi All

    I spent some time researching the 512 TR which was imported from Japan and even test drove the vehicle, 2 long 120+mile each way visits to the dealer. Also proposed a deal, but got let down / time waster by the dealer.

    Suddenly said has accepted a higher offer out of the blue at full asking price, although car has sat in their showroom for over 18months. Hmmm....

    Maybe a blessing in disguise as could have hidden massive maintenance bills, for starters needs full service + Cambelt + replace word front discs+pads, rear calipers seized etc...

    Best avoid Khan Automobiles in UK, Bradford/Leeds/London.

    Not impressed with being mucked around.

    The search continues....
     
  17. dradambbb

    dradambbb Karting

    Apr 24, 2016
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    Adam
    I would not recommend buying a car unless it's had a recent full belt service. Go for the best you can. In my opinion low mileage is not a good reason to buy a rough car in the current market.
     
  18. turbo-joe

    turbo-joe F1 Veteran

    Apr 6, 2008
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    I don´t agree

    if the seller says to the garage only to do a belt service because he wants to sell the car then he is not willing to pay much and so the mechanic(s) only doing this belt service. all other they don´t care.

    better would be to buy a car without this belt service, reduce the price and let this service do by your own mechanic you trust
     
  19. JB833

    JB833 Karting

    Jan 3, 2015
    106
    London
    I have today agreed to buy a Testarossa and the garage will now fit new cambelts, service the car, fit a new clutch and a few other bits and pieces. I negotiated the price to include all these items and will pick up the car in a few weeks after the work has been done. That works for me as I get to see the car with the engine out etc. and the work will be fresh.
     
  20. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Jul 19, 2008
    32,187
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    Terry H Phillips
    Congratulations, hope you enjoy her. I still have an OEM Ferrari TR poster framed on my wall. Very few cars have that kind of visual impact.
     
  21. MaseratiMike

    MaseratiMike Formula Junior

    Mar 15, 2016
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    UK
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    Mike
    Congratulations. I was doing the same for the 512 TR but obviously the dealer (more so the owner) being too greedy and not acknowledging the huge risk for me not having any service history etc. Plus the expense of all the major items like what you are doing.

    Enjoy the car!
     
  22. Themaven

    Themaven F1 Rookie
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    Nov 2, 2014
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    Mike, personally I think you had a lucky escape with that car. I would not buy it. Keep looking, there will be a good LHD 512TR around that price range, maybe a little more.

    I only know the dealer by the cars they have advertised; a mixed bag. But poor dealers sometimes sell good cars.
     
  23. turbo-joe

    turbo-joe F1 Veteran

    Apr 6, 2008
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    gradulation to the car

    and good that you can look around at the shop when they do the work
     
  24. ross

    ross Three Time F1 World Champ
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    long story short.....buy the best 512tr you can afford, and then drive it!
     
  25. JB833

    JB833 Karting

    Jan 3, 2015
    106
    London
    Thank you everyone for your good wishes. I am looking forward to it!
     
  26. MaseratiMike

    MaseratiMike Formula Junior

    Mar 15, 2016
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    UK
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    Mike
    A quick update, after looking at lots of cars and disappointing experiences over the months hopefully I have found 'The one'

    A 1992 512TR, LHD, Red & Black Interior. Full service history, recent complete service+clutch+recommissioning work £10k+ cost. 33,000 Miles. Very good condition all round, complete manuals and toolbag etc.

    I know not a low mileage at 33,000miles, but I have seen quite a few low mileage ones in poor condition and needing expensive 'catch up maintenance and body work bits'

    Going to view the car in person in a few weeks time, lots of photos already viewed and questions asked (warts n all). Fingers crossed
     
  27. wda24729

    wda24729 Formula Junior

    Sep 22, 2014
    965
    Devon, UK
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    Graham
    Nice one Mike. Which part of the country is that one in?
     
  28. MaseratiMike

    MaseratiMike Formula Junior

    Mar 15, 2016
    251
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    Full Name:
    Mike
    . Fingers crossed, this car is in Hampshire and another couple have popped up in Kent. All of them including the ones up north were imported from Japan, strange to see several on the UK market have come from Japan...
     

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