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What “starter” Ferrari should I purchase?

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by MaranelloDave, Apr 28, 2010.

  1. CornersWell

    CornersWell F1 Rookie

    Nov 24, 2004
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    Ergonomically, I think the 288 is pretty similar to the 308/328 series, and even though I'm less than 6', I didn't fit it well. The seats were very narrow and not exactly comfortable to me, and the off-set pedal positioning was a PITA. That said, the OP should sit, drive and only then buy.

    CW
     
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  3. Imola82

    Imola82 Formula Junior

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    I'd consider a 76' Fiberglass Drysump 308 Vintage. A good driver could probably be had for around $50k.

    (Locating one might be a challenge though)
     
  4. Bradley

    Bradley F1 Rookie

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    ANY 308 makes a great "starter" Ferrari. GTB is rarer and stiffer if you can fit; if you need actual interior cabin cooling and/or exceed 6'0", get the GTS.

    OP wanted good handling, fun to drive, not to exceed $50k to buy.

    My advice to him: Spend a bit more than half that amount to buy a good driver 308; bank ~$10 - 20k for maintenance, upgrades, and emergency repairs.
     
  5. jsa330

    jsa330 F1 Veteran
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    $100K will get your foot in the Vintage door.
     
  6. MaranelloDave

    MaranelloDave Formula 3
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    #55 MaranelloDave, Apr 30, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    $50k was just a ballpark number. I can put more in if/when I find the right car. From the sound of it, I probably will need to if I'm going to buy a nice example.

    On an unrelated topic, I have a few more attachments I thought you guys might enjoy. These are shots of the 1961 Ferrari GT Comp./61 Short-wheelbase Berlinetta currently on display at the High Museum in Atlanta. So many gorgeous cars at their Allure of the Automobile exhibit!
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
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  8. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    That IS a marvelous display!!

    Figure on about $14 million, for that one!

    No sound deadening either, you'll here every piece of gravel hit the floorpan, as you roll down those country roads......

    That's a very nice choice though, good decision!!!!! :D :D :D

    I like a guy, that just jumps right in........
     
  9. MaranelloDave

    MaranelloDave Formula 3
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    Yeah, I think it'll make a good daily driver.
     
  10. whart

    whart F1 Veteran
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    I owned a bunch of these models over the years- subject, of course, to condition, needs, history, and all the other things that distinguish one particular example from another,
    328 -too small for you, underpowered by modern standards. the 308 has the cleaner line to my eye, and the coupe, rather than the targa has the real eye appeal, but you'll never fit.
    348- much unloved, tranny is agricultural, cheesy dash fittings, otherwise nice car.
    355- probably the most desirable of the entry level 'modern' cars. Most of them have to be a little long in the tooth, even if queens, they're gonna have needs. (Somebody was commuting in one today with temp plates- sort of a boy's first ferrari image- not a bad way to go). I still found the power steering distracting and would avoid the tubi exhaust. too boomy.
    Me- I'd rather have a Dino, but it's out of your price range.

    My choice, for twice the price, would be to buy a Berlinetta Boxer that somebody has really gone over and don't look back.
    Way more fun in my book than the later cars, and it has the cachet of almost vintage without the price. And you'll have a ball driving it. Not as tossable as an 8 but the 355 is already getting a tad chunky. And the BBi is far more classic.
     
  11. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

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    That car was restored under the ownership of a former client. Very nice car.
     
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  13. cscott

    cscott Formula Junior

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    I have a 308 gtb and 355. At 6'3", I find the 308gtb has plenty of room. Seat all the way back, leaned all the way back, long armed just liked the Italians. 355 has no more room for the driver, although the cabin overall has more room. I am not sure one is more expensive to keep than the other at the moment although time will have a effect. My 308 is over 30 years old so you start getting into paint, interior, suspension bushings, carbs rebuilt, etc....that can run up in a hurry. 355 issues are the cost of engine out servicing and the header risk. The 308 is more fun to drive under good conditions because its more communicative and a rawer, more vintage feel. I like the slower car because you can push it and use it's performance more often. 355 is the one to take a trip in. My wife does not really want to go anywhere in the 308 but likes the 355. I have taken it on several 1000 mile plus trips. 75K miles on the 308, 65K on the 355! Buy the one you are really passionate about vs. a logical choice.
     
  14. AceMaster

    AceMaster Three Time F1 World Champ

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    Sounds like there are three models you should consider: 348, 355, or 360.

    Those are some excellent options ;)
     
  15. whart

    whart F1 Veteran
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    Well, I stand corrected by CScott, who at 6-3, says he has no problem in a 308. I am 6-1ish and over 200lbs, and found that I could not drive the 328 with the roof on.
     
  16. MaranelloDave

    MaranelloDave Formula 3
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    Hi all,

    I recently saw this article about the Concorso Ferrari in Pasedena. There are many pictures from the event of 308s, 328s, 360s, and 430s. However, I only saw one 348 and no 355s. I'm not sure if those cars just weren't there or if Autoblog just did not post pictures of them. Either way, I come back to the question of the perceived desirability of the 348 and 355. Are those cars generally less in demand? I realize this can be a tough one to answer because of concern of offending the 348/355 owners out there, but your insights would be appreciated. Thanks!

    http://www.autoblog.com/2010/05/17/parade-of-rosso-ferraris-take-over-colorado-blvd-for-concorso-f/
     
  17. lung7707

    lung7707 F1 World Champ

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    My first Ferrari was the 328GTS. I loved it to death. It was the car that set me on the Ferrari addiction trail. It was a low maintenance car. Maybe it was because I drove the car everyday. :)
     
  18. DonJuan348

    DonJuan348 F1 Rookie
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  19. pvanosta

    pvanosta Rookie

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    To MaranelloDave:

    I was at the Pasadena concours. There were 3 or 4 348s and more than half a dozen 355s.

    I'm in a similar position to you and I'm thinking of waiting a little bit until I can go for a low mileage 360 (6 speed manual)...
     
  20. Rubi

    Rubi Formula Junior

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    Really? Do people really ask that question? I fear for our republic.

    True dat. What was the old ad? "It's a Jeep thing, you wouldn't understand" or something like that. Maybe Harley---CRS. Any rate, there is simply something about a Ferrari, it doesn't matter which one. And everybody does know and understand it.
     
  21. MaranelloDave

    MaranelloDave Formula 3
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    Thanks for the info. I saw a 355 today on the drive home and it looked beautiful! Let me know if/when you pull the trigger and what you went with. I think I've got it down to a 328, 355, or 360 now.
     
  22. shmark

    shmark F1 Rookie

    Oct 31, 2003
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    Hi Dave from a fellow Atlantan. Everyone seems to jump on the purchase price and buy the best you can afford, etc. Always good advice, but I haven't seen much here on the resale/trade-up questions you posed. So let's see if I can irritate anyone. :) 430s and 360s are still on the depreciation curve and in five years will be worth considerably less than they are today. 355s are close to the bottom but still have a little ways to go. 348s are a wildcard with some thinking they will be worth more than a 355 at some point, but others saying they will always be worth less - that's a crapshoot. At any rate they are cheap right now. But all 4 models are a good bet to be worth less than you paid in five years.

    328, now there's a tempting car. They are just about the only "modern" model that has held value pretty well through the downturn and are already worth more than 348s and even some 355s. Really nice late '88 and '89 models can almost compete with 360s pricewise. Definitely a great buy and IMHO they will climb in value over the next five years, making them a great candidate for a "trade-up" in that time.

    308s are in a similar boat to the 328, relatively stable values that are looking good to increase over the next 5 years. Probably not quite as much as a 328, but another excellent candidate for trading up.

    You didn't say much about the 12-cylinder cars but personally I think the TRs will increase at some point. Not sure about the other 12s, but there are some great values out there.

    BTW I'm 6'1 and fit just fine in a 308/328. True the GTS has 93 million miles of headroom with the top out, but with the top on I think you'll find more room in a GTB. All that said, buy the one that makes your heart skip - great advice. FWIW I've been shopping seriously for months now, toyed with a few different cars from 308 to 355, but never found the one to make me pull the trigger. Then I saw *the* car that rendered me speechless. Within a day had the PPI arranged, and a gentlemen's agreement to buy it. Ever since that day I can't make it 10 minutes without thinking about it, and I'll see it in person for the first time on Tuesday. Keep looking, it will happen.
     
  23. AEHaas

    AEHaas Formula 3

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    I am 6'2" and am not comfortable in older cars that are clearly smaller. The 360 and later models all have much more head and leg room than previous cars. Maybe you should save a little longer and get something modern, less to maintain and much more comfortable.

    Go to a few dealerships and sit in several cars. You may be surprised which ones are actually fitting for your liking.

    aehaas
     
  24. MaranelloDave

    MaranelloDave Formula 3
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    Hi shmark,

    Thanks for the detailed info! I didn't really think about it that much before, but I suppose that the 360, while the most modern and fastest car I'm considering, would also devalue the most and therefore may be worth significantly less in a few years. I recently sold a 2001 BMW M Roadster for $24,750 after having bought it in 2006 for $27,500 and it was really gratifying to have enjoyed the car for that long and nearly selling it for the same price at which I purchased it.

    So, what is *the* car you are about to buy??? You've obviously given this decision a lot of thought and I'd love to hear your choice.

    And yes, I will go with the "skip a beat" car in the end. Before I buy though, I want to collect as much information I can. Along those lines, do you know the most common problems with each of the cars (308, 328, 348, 355, 360)? I've read about issues with the 355 (e.g., headers) but haven't heard much about the other cars.

    Thanks,

    Dave
     
  25. pvanosta

    pvanosta Rookie

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    And with regards to height: I am almost 6'5" and I fit comfortably in a 360 (have not tried 328 or 355).

    I hear you on depreciation. My current daily driver is a 2002 Porsche 996TT with all the upgrades I wanted (Bilstein suspension, X50 package, chip tuning and a lot more). The previous (original) owner bought the car new ($130K or so) and put another $60K in to it.

    I bought the car from him in 2009, with only 36K miles for $40,000. It's safe to say that car will not drop much further.

    The 360 has a ways to go, but I'll keep my eye on them for the next year or so...

    I'm also tracking prices on the 575M and the 612, just in case I have a good year :)
     
  26. krasnavian

    krasnavian Formula 3

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    I'd go for a P3/4 just to test the waters. Fools rush in, they say. :)
     
  27. shmark

    shmark F1 Rookie

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    Lots of info on this forum about all the models, and lots of great people here willing to share information. They are all great cars, make no mistake. I was just putting the 5-year spin on value without regard to the car itself. Early 355s have the header and valve guide issues and most will have those rectified by now...and some don't seem to have the problem. Seems like a roll-the-dice choice with a $15k hit if you come up snakeeyes. Pre-92 348s are known for gearbox issues - seem to go boom around 50k miles and aren't cheap to fix. Later 348s seem a lot better and heaven knows there are a number of very reliable cars out there. Early 360s also have some troubles but most were probably addressed under warranty. There don't seem to be any "known" issues for 308/328s other than they are getting older and lots of things tend to need maintenance - cam seals and bearings come to mind, and the a/c just plain sucks. Early 308s can have rust issues, mid-year injected cars are down on power. Main change in the 328 was the anti-lock brakes in '88, and the convex wheels they required. Mechanically they seem very solid.

    For me, I just found the needle in a haystack that made me drop everything. It's a last-of-the-line euro '85 308 GTB in exactly the color combination and condition I thought would be impossible to find. I was floored when I saw the pictures and couldn't grab the phone fast enough. That's what makes the search so much fun!
     
  28. MaranelloDave

    MaranelloDave Formula 3
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    Congrats on the 308! Would love to see it in person once it's in your possession -- still have yet to sit in a 308/328. Almost afraid to out of fear I won't fit. :)
     

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