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What does it take?

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by BassMan, Jun 8, 2009.

  1. BassMan

    BassMan Formula Junior

    Aug 14, 2008
    626
    Long Island, NY
    Full Name:
    Andy
    Well, I can't seem to catch a break. I am now 0 for 4 on buying a Ferrari. Can't believe that I have tried to purchase 4 cars over the last 9 months and not have one of them work out!

    1. eBay 328 GTS at a well known Fcar dealership. After I won the auction the car develops all sorts of leaks and mechanical problems that never presented before. After waiting for a month for dealer to fix, they said it wasn't fixed and they were not willing to put any more money into to fix it. It was half way across the country so I couldn't really do too much about it. Since car wasn't as described during sale and it had problems -- walked away.

    2. Won an eBay 328 at a known general dealership drove 4 hours on my anniversary with check in hand to get a PPI by a well known mechanic who found several significant undisclosed issues during PPI. Fcar mechanic recommended passing. Passed.

    3. Yet another eBay car. I know, I should have learned by now. Anyhow, I win the auction and when I call to ask about arranging for payment dealer says "there is some question as to who won the auction." WTF!! It was a best offer auction and they accepted 2 offers and "sold" it to both of us. Surprisingly, they gave it to the other guy who bid $200 more.

    4. Placed a wanted ad on Fchat got several good responses. Found a 328 GTS 30k miles, good cosmetics and mechanical history. Recent major. Scheduled a PPI.
    Drove down 3.5 hours yesterday to see it before the PPI. Car looks good. Go to start and it won't start. Turns over smell fuel but does not start. After some time and repeated tries it starts. Rev it a couple of times and then stalls out. My wife is looking at me in disbelief knowing what is going through my mind. Not again.

    After another 15 minutes of trying, it starts and we go for a test drive. Come back turn it off and it won't start again. Owner previously told me car was in great condition with no mechanical issues. Now he say - well sometimes it has some trouble starting but this has never been so bad. And he says to me you probably shouldn't buy it. So another 3.5 hour drive home empty handed.

    Now after 4 attempts, I got nothing to show for it and am starting to wonder what the helll do I have to do to buy a car. You would think that someone with cash to spend should be able to find something worthwhile.

    I'm avoiding eBay and trying to deal directly with sellers. But how can I weed out the good cars and sellers from the bad. I'm tired of wasting my time and money.

    Guess I will shake this off and keep working at it. Thanks to all the Fchatter that have been helpful along the way. Thanks for letting me vent.
     
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  3. Jedi

    Jedi Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Mar 18, 2008
    29,135
    Seattle Area
    Full Name:
    Jedi
    Patience. Or lots of money. Preferably both.
     
  4. sf_hombre

    sf_hombre Formula 3
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    Nov 22, 2008
    1,239
    Stimulus Bill
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    Don
    Think how much unhappier you would be if your had bought one of those on which you passed!
     
  5. TheMayor

    TheMayor Eight Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Feb 11, 2008
    83,493
    Vegas baby
    #4 TheMayor, Jun 8, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  6. Jedi

    Jedi Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Mar 18, 2008
    29,135
    Seattle Area
    Full Name:
    Jedi
    LOL!! "What can I do to get you into this car TODAY??"
     
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  8. furmano

    furmano Two Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Jul 22, 2004
    23,120
    Colorado
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    furmano
    What is your price range? Nice 328 in the mid to high $50k shouldn't be too hard to find.

    -F
     
  9. rcm360

    rcm360 Formula Junior

    Nov 16, 2003
    330
    Kansas
    Full Name:
    Reese
  10. 01bee

    01bee Karting

    May 23, 2005
    99
    Irvine, CA
    Full Name:
    Eric Frank
    Message sent.

    Eric
     
  11. Jeff328

    Jeff328 Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 5, 2006
    2,276
    WI
    A "no issues" 328 is going to cost you at least $50k one way or another. Either $50k for one all sorted out or $40k for one needing $10k worth of sorting.
     
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  13. st@ven

    st@ven F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Aug 4, 2008
    3,062
    Netherlands
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    Steven
    Sorry to hear your misfortune. However, you'll only find one investing even more time and money.....

    A good 328 is hard to find these days nomatter what they tell you..
     
  14. st@ven

    st@ven F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Aug 4, 2008
    3,062
    Netherlands
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    Steven
    Is that so?
    You can look for that one perfect find, and never succeed.
    Alterative you'll buy the one with some work and have it fixed.

    In both cases you'll end up happy.
    Bare in mind that that one "perfect" car could slip a belt too, even tomorrow!
    If you are not willing to take a certain risk, buy a toyota
     
  15. Bullfighter

    Bullfighter Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Jan 26, 2005
    20,700
    Fullerton, California
    Full Name:
    Jon
    #12 Bullfighter, Jun 9, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2009
    Agreed. Go to a reputable dealer, Ferrari or general highline. That 328 isn't cheap, but it looks like a very good car -- worth a serious look.

    Don't ***** around with eBay if you're serious about buying an exotic car. There may be the occasional good Ferrari listed there -- some reputable dealers use the site -- but it's also a dumping ground for problem cars intended for newbie buyers who won't be able to properly inspect the vehicle.

    If you really plan to buy a Ferrari, surfing eBay is not "doing the work" any more than surfing match.com is going to develop your relationship skills.

    Until you start looking at lots of whatever model it is you plan to buy, you're in no position to know a good deal from a bad deal. Odds are you will end up buying the cheapest example out there and begin writing large checks to get that 20 year old car roadworthy.

    As Jeff328 posted, it usually ends up taking about $50K to get into a decent, average mile 328 with services up to date. As you dip below that figure, the cars tend to get closer to 50,000 miles or more, have a to-do list that includes NLA parts, are past due on the 30K major service, have re-dyed or shabby interiors, have aftermarket mods, etc. You're usually just better off buying paying a fair price for the right car to start with.
     
  16. AceMaster

    AceMaster Three Time F1 World Champ

    Feb 6, 2009
    31,043
    Calling a penalty
    Full Name:
    Mike
    IMHO I believe the key is patience
     
  17. Robie

    Robie Formula Junior

    Apr 26, 2008
    331
    Hsiang Kang
    Full Name:
    C. Camillo Negroni
    As my buddy who got me into Ferraris always says: figure out the model & color(s) you want and then just buy the best one you can find.

    You are set on a 328?
     
  18. BassMan

    BassMan Formula Junior

    Aug 14, 2008
    626
    Long Island, NY
    Full Name:
    Andy
    1. I dealt with 2 "reputable dealers" they may even be sponsors here.
    2. As I said, I've figured that out the hard way and am staying away from eBay.
    3. I've personally inspected 10 cars and "Internet inspected" (Talked with owners, researched history, looked at maintenance records and photos, etc.) many others. Not looking for cheapest car with future headaches, otherwise ,I would have already bought one for $30k or less.
    4. I am willing to pay a fair market price. And I believe there are sub 50k mile cars out there worth buying below $50k.


    Not looking for perfect car by any means. Just a solid driver that is well sorted and is in good cosmetic and mechanical condition. Not looking to win Concourse competitions just enjoy driving it.


    I totally agree and that is what my wife keeps telling me. Unfortunately it doesn't really put a smile on my face like when I drive an Fcar.
     
  19. BassMan

    BassMan Formula Junior

    Aug 14, 2008
    626
    Long Island, NY
    Full Name:
    Andy
    Primarily looking for a 328 GTS - Rosso Corsa. Would also look at Argento and Nero.

    I would even consider a well sorted 308QV GTS. But prefer the 328.
     
  20. UpNorth

    UpNorth Formula 3
    Owner

    Sep 30, 2006
    1,740
    Quebec, Canada
    Full Name:
    Francois
    "Patience you will need my young Jedi" as someone else said here before...plus 10K$ for sorting it out after you bought it...Whatever you buy!
     
  21. Bullfighter

    Bullfighter Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Jan 26, 2005
    20,700
    Fullerton, California
    Full Name:
    Jon
    Just offering my advice as a 328 owner and someone who knows a lot of other current/former 328 owners.

    You asked in your initial post how to weed out the bad cars, which is why I suggested the $50K mark as a loose target for a very nice driver 328. You're welcome to see what you can find cheaper, but be prepared to look at a lot of dogs.

    As a benchmark, wholesaler Sports Car Company here in San Diego just sold a very nice locally owned '89 black/tan 328 with 31K miles, asking $49K, not sure what the final price was or if it needed a major service. You could PM FChat'er rimoore for info. I believe Hardtop Dave's red/tan '89 with 24K miles went somewhere in the mid $50K range, and 'knowing' him through FChat I would bet that car needed nothing.

    These would both be 328s that you could drive safely and be proud of cosmetically. In terms of the current market/mileages, these are the sweet spot in terms of value for money right now. That 328 at Motorcars, somewhere in the $50Ks, is one of the better ones out there, very low miles (<20K) and with the original concave-style wheels. If you want a really good 328, that looks like a good move. FChat'er and professional photographer Robb bought a stunning silver/tan 328 from them and last we talked he was a happy guy.

    The $62K '89 328 at Marshall Goldman with 25K miles looks slightly overpriced to me, but somewhere in the $50K range it starts to look better.

    It's a dream car. Buy a good one. ;)

    </rant>
     
  22. BassMan

    BassMan Formula Junior

    Aug 14, 2008
    626
    Long Island, NY
    Full Name:
    Andy
    Bullfighter, thanks for the advice. I do appreciate Fchat members' insight.

    I attribute not buying the "wrong" car to what I have learned thus far from fellow Fchatters.

    I know she's out there, just need to keep looking. : )
     
  23. BT

    BT F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    Mar 21, 2005
    14,841
    FL / GA
    Full Name:
    Bill Tracy
    Go for a 348. No starting issues...
    j/k
    It will all work out, but buying a Ferrari should be fun, not frustrating!
    :D
    BT
     
  24. MBFerrari

    MBFerrari F1 Veteran

    Jul 2, 2008
    6,050
    NoVA
    Full Name:
    Matt B
    BT, I wish you were right, but my search went from Fun to not so fun, and then to frustrating. The same is happening to Almost Retired right now as well. Bullfighter's point is well taken, and fortunately I was in the position to buy a 348SS that was in VERY good condition that had been serviced by Gary Bobileff and San Diego Ferrari, but if you don't have the money in hand, the amount of dogs you will look at will make you very sad.

    Heck, I had the money and I STILL looked at a bunch of dogs, and it really got frustrating that so many Ferrari's were left for dead. Now that I have a good one, keep letting them all rot away :p:p:p Kidding, take care of them or fix them up, there are not that many to begin with.

    To the OP, be patient (somewhat of a funny statement coming from me) and you will find the right one. I finally did. One last point on price. I paid $5k "too much" for mine, but to this day I am glad I did, because to me it was worth it to get "My" car. Don't go crazy, but when you find the right one, get it. Don't let it slip away.


    MB
     
  25. ZiFF

    ZiFF Formula Junior

    Mar 30, 2009
    323
    Sorry to hear about your difficulties. Although it seems like you are doing all the right things, which will pay off in the end.

    Unfortunately for buyers, the 80s Ferraris are now starting to get into the "old car" category. When that happens, the range of condition starts to vary more and more.

    These cars are of the age where it can be difficult to find nice ones. They are now old enough to have passed through a few hands, and have accumulated significant deferred maintenance. I bet there are plenty still running around on original timing belts, for instance. But outside of big things like that, a lot of "little things" accumulate over the years, and a lot of people aren't willing to pay to keep the car fully maintained.

    The economics of these cars makes the hunt for them interesting, and IMO fun. They are unique because there is a floor on even the worst examples (assuming running and complete) of maybe $20K for a really high mile one with issues. Then a ceiling of what, maybe $60K or so (not counting extreme, "top 1%" examples). Then the majority falling in the mid 30s to mid 40s. But the extreme costs of rehabbing these things really throws a wrench into the buying analysis. Major unexpected repairs can kill you, and even the routine maintenance items can be very expensive to bring up to date.

    When I looked for my current one, I was really looking for a "driver" that was mechanically solid. Some cosmetic issues, higher miles, some paint work, or small-ish mechanical needs would have been ok (less stress when driving it, parking it in a lot, etc.) But in the end, I bought a pristine, services up to date, "need nothing" car. I paid a premium, but to me it seemed like the best value. All the ones that I found that needed work just weren't even close to being cheap enough, to even address the known mechanical and cosmetic needs.

    Anyways, just some random thoughts. Keep looking, and IMO find the best one you can find, work out the best deal you can, and be happy. Good luck with the search, and try to keep it fun!
     
  26. ZiFF

    ZiFF Formula Junior

    Mar 30, 2009
    323
    That's about the same "too much" that I paid for mine. I don't regret it for a second. Given that I've not had to spend a penny on the car other than things like changing the oil, I think it was financially money well spent. And, as a bonus, you end up having a very nice/perfect car to enjoy.
     
  27. Saint Bastage

    Saint Bastage F1 Rookie

    Jun 1, 2007
    2,548
    Connecticut
    Full Name:
    Lane
    Theres a couple in the FCA site classified section. I can't speak for the condition but FCA members seem a competent bunch.

    Good luck
    and may your hunting be happier
     
  28. SrfCity

    SrfCity F1 Veteran

    Nov 1, 2003
    9,842
    Orange County, CA
    Some of the hardest cars to find are the one's you'll love the most. Trust me on that. If it's too easy there's a reason that you'll find out later.

    Sounds like you're sticking to your rules i.e. PPI etc. It's all a test to see if you start taking short cuts. As soon as you do you'll buy some clunker that'll come back to bite you. Just try to deal private party with a documented, regularly serviced car owned by an anal guy. Your car will just find you. Good luck.
     

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