Which Ferrari to buy on a 45,000 budget?

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by hallsdad, Mar 18, 2010.

  1. hallsdad

    hallsdad Karting

    Mar 6, 2010
    Cayce, SC
    Full Name:
    Hello Fellow Ferrari Enthusiasts,
    I live my life very frugal but have decided it's time to spoil myself and buy something non-practical. I believe a Ferrari fits the bill.

    My knowledge about the various models is limited but growing exponentially from reading online articles, postings, forums, and of course Ferrari chat. I realize my options are limited with my budget but have found several vehicles I really like the look of and feel I would probably be happy with any of them. These models include: Mondial t, 348 (ts, tb, or spider), 355, and Testarossa. The later of these will be hard to find at my pricepoint, but I'm in no hurry and feel with patience the right car will come up at the right price. I am not looking for a perfect car that will sit in my garage and be trailered around, but rather a car to drive around on nice Sunday afternoons or to club events (I just learned there is one nearby - along with an excellent mechanic).

    If you own or have owned one or more of these and would provide reason why I should consider one over another or if there are any reasons I should definitely stay away from a particular year or model, I would appreciate your thoughts. Also, if there are other models I failed to mention above (other than the 308 and 328 -which I'm not as keen on), let me know also.

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  3. butcher

    butcher Formula 3

    Oct 19, 2008
    Castro Valley, CA
    Full Name:
    In that budget the 348 would be my choice. More modern (although controversial styling) than 328. You can get a "good" 348 or a bad to below average 355 Or TR for that price range. A bad 355 or TR can break you if you are on a limited budget. 348 is sportier and quicker than Mondial t. Don't get me wrong though, as I love all of them.
  4. JoeZaff

    JoeZaff F1 Veteran

    Aug 5, 2007
    Philly suburbs
    Full Name:
    #3 JoeZaff, Mar 18, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2010
    Welcome aboard. This forum has a search engine function that will be of great assistance to you in your query as your question is one commonly asked.

    However, I would caution you, as I would any prospective buyer, to factor in what kind of budget you have for maintenance costs. With Ferraris, the purchase price is just the price of admission. Maintenance and repair costs can be staggering for the uninitiated--especially those coming from domestic manufacturers. Unless you are competent mechanically to do the work yourself, and not some shade tree mechanic, expect a major service on a Mondial T, 348, Testarossa or 355 starts in the 5K dollar range and skyrocket from there. Also, on some of these models parts may be unobtainable or extraordinarily expensive --ie a front fog light for a 328 or a center console for a Mondial T. IMHO, unless you are mechanically gifted, your first Ferrari should be the best example of the particular model that you can afford. I know plenty of people who got in cheap and spent at least 10G in year one in repairs and maintenance on a car that looked wonderful.

    Personally, I put 10G aside and anticipate spending 2.5K a year on routine maintenance and repairs. Unfortunately, because of my OCD, I have gone over budget every year in preventative maintenance. Some people will probably go a year or two, maybe more, spending 500 to 1K on maintenance and a couple of grand on majors. However, EVERY Ferrari is one heart attack away from a mid five figure repair. It is what it is.

    FWIW, in terms of ease of routine maintenance and generally accepted reliability, of the models you have proposed, it probably goes:

    308/328/Mondial 3.2
    348/Mondial T
  5. anunakki

    anunakki Five Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Oct 8, 2005
    Las Vegas Nevada
    Full Name:
    348 for me.

    Id pick one up for $35-$40k then spend the rest on a major.
  6. FBI

    FBI Formula Junior

    May 27, 2008
    #5 FBI, Mar 18, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    +348 all the way..

    First rule Dont get emotional..

    Research all you can and make sure your commited.

    Last rule get emotional on delivery day..

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  8. AceMaster

    AceMaster Three Time F1 World Champ

    Feb 6, 2009
    Calling a penalty
    Full Name:
    With your budget, it sounds like the 348 is the way to go. If you had $10,000 or $15,000 more, then I would have recommended the 355.
  9. blackbolt22

    blackbolt22 F1 Veteran

    Sep 25, 2007
    Boca, FL
    Full Name:
    Mr. Anderson
    I would try to find a 355 even if it meant doing without longer and saving a bit more money. Beware of huge maintenance bills for it however. I would not go with an F1 transmission.
  10. Bradley

    Bradley F1 Rookie

    Nov 23, 2006
    Lakewood, Colorado
    Full Name:
    I love the 348, and never understood why its styling was considered controversial: It's very well-proportioned (to those who consider it a "baby Testarossa: It's prettier), fast, fun to drive, reasonably easy to maintain.

    Downside: Sticky dash, poor fit quality of interior parts, mid to poor reliability.

    I also love the 308: Prettiest of them all, great handling, easier to drive than most other F-cars, prettiest of them all, easy to maintain, relatively inexpensive to maintain, prettiest of them all, better fit and finish than the 348.

    Downside: Not very fast by today's standards.

    Bottom line:

    If you have $45,000 in your budget JUST FOR THE CAR PURCHASE, and expect to have an extra $5k-10k more each coming year to spend on maintenance, buy the 348.

    If $45,000 is ALL YOU HAVE and all you foresee having in the near future, buy a 308 in the $30-35k range, and set aside the difference to pay for maintenance.
  11. Tony K

    Tony K Formula 3

    Jun 7, 2006
    Toledo, Ohio
    Full Name:
    Tony K.
    +1 what Bradley said.

    Or maybe a 328 instead of a 348 -- all a matter of taste/preference.
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  13. Jedi

    Jedi Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Mar 18, 2008
    Seattle Area
    Full Name:
    I'd go for a really priss 328 - with a little left over for service. Just be glad prices
    are so down right now. 2 years ago, $45k was average 328 price - now you can
    get into a 348 and pretty close to a 355 for that amount.

    But hey - they're ALL Ferraris = ALL good :D

  14. hardtop

    hardtop F1 World Champ

    Jan 31, 2002
    Full Name:
    328 hands down. 348 maintenance will eat you alive. There is a reason they are cheap. If you are a generally frugal soul, you will appreciate the realtively low running cost of a 328 and its overall reliablilty. I've owned both, there is no comparison.

  15. Jedi

    Jedi Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Mar 18, 2008
    Seattle Area
    Full Name:

    Golly I like posts like this :D :D

    For me, couldn't agree more (but I've not any other Ferrari than a 328)

  16. Bullfighter

    Bullfighter Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Jan 26, 2005
    Fullerton, California
    Full Name:
    What he said.

    Plus the 328 is gorgeous, even in red.
  17. davebdave

    davebdave Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Mar 18, 2007
    Northern VA
    Full Name:
    Dave W
    We were in exactly your position three years ago. We ended up going for a Mondial t mainly because we are a family of three. 355s were nearly 6 figures at the time also.

    Of the models you mention, I believe only the t and the 355 have power steering. Depending on how you want to use the car this might be a consideration.

    Enjoy the search,
  18. ztarum

    ztarum Formula 3

    Mar 30, 2008
    South Jersey, USA
    He already said he doesn't want a 308 or 328.
  19. Jedi

    Jedi Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Mar 18, 2008
    Seattle Area
    Full Name:

    Not quite:

    "Also, if there are other models I failed to mention above (other than the 308 and 328 -which I'm not as keen on)"

    it was a first post... we are trying to be realistic to the request at hand. Possibly
    given his budget, his "keeness" on a model might be enlightened.

  20. DGS

    DGS Four Time F1 World Champ

    May 27, 2003
    Full Name:
    You have to factor in how you plan to use the machine.

    I wouldn't go for a 12 cylinder unless you do a lot of highway driving. The maintenance will be higher, and it'll burn a lot of fuel just ticking over at stop lights. (I've been drooling over the falling 550 prices, but my commute is all city driving.)

    For around town, a 308/328 is a go-kart with leather upholstery. ;)
    A QV or 328 is the peak of the reliability. (The Camry of Ferraris. :p)

    If you need more than two seats, you're talking Mondial (or 456, although that's a bigger mill and a bit more pricy).

    I may be off on this, but it seems to me that the 348 was Ferrari's first foray into moving "uptown" from a race car for the street to a more feature-rich car. (Post Enzo era) Although, as noted, the fittings weren't really "there". And more accoutrements means higher service costs.

    For a more "country club" surroundings, the 355 was a better "upscale" effort, but the price plus maintenance will be higher.

    Most people, when first moving into Italian cars, fail to account for the service.

    Every car has a maintenance schedule in the owner's manual.
    On a top performing car -- you can't just ignore it.

    You can drive a ricer or a detroit road appliance with the "service" light on until it stops.

    When an Italian car fails in use, it eats a lot of other parts, and it gets expensive.
    You absolutely *must* service these cars religiously.
    It really is cheaper to replace the parts before they go kablammo.
    (And sitting by the side of the road doesn't really enhance the ownership experience. ;))

    (The flip side is that, properly maintained, they'll last roughly forever -- exclusive of rust or collision.)
  21. J. Salmon

    J. Salmon F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Aug 27, 2005

    I know two people with 348s, and lets just say I roll my eyes when people talk about the maintenance on a 355.
    And since I have a 355, I can tell you that - with your budget - you want a 308/328 ;)
  22. Newman

    Newman F1 World Champ
    Professional Ferrari Technician Consultant Owner

    Dec 26, 2001
    Full Name:
    Testarossa, its a no brainer. Flat 12 380HP and gobs of torque not to mention it was the supercar in its day. Your choices all have their issues, 348's go through gearboxes, timing belt setup sucks (which is why ferrari abandoned it) and build quality is not so wonderful. TR can have gearbox issues too and fuse box meltdowns stranding you. 355 eats valve guides and headers. 328 is a safe bet, wont break but isnt fast and doesnt sound like the others so every option has a big trade-off.
  23. PAP 348

    PAP 348 Moderator
    Moderator Owner

    Dec 10, 2005
    Mount Isa, Australia
    Full Name:
    Beautiful car!! :D:D

    Id get a 308, 328 or a 348 with that budget. :D:D

    All fantastic cars!! The 355 perhaps just a little out of the $45K budget IMO, especially when you have to spend the coin to maintain it. :D:D
  24. GatorFL

    GatorFL Moderator
    Moderator Owner

    Nov 18, 2005
    Wellington, FL
    Full Name:
    Steve, you're in NC. If you're close to Summerfield, I suggest you make an appointment to talk to Tom Jones at SportAuto. He's a factory trained Ferrari technician and he can give you some insight on the various models and pros and cons of each.

    I know you said you're not keen on a 308 or a 328, but you should keep an open mind. In your price range you can probably pick up a Mondial, 308, 328, 348 or a rough 355.

    Honestly you need to hold back $5k out of your budget for maintenance. Even a cherry car will need a major service and you need to have the cash on hand for that. Also, given your budget, you'll need some reserve to maintain the car. You're not going to be buying a new car and keeping a roughly 20 year old car up to snuff requires some $. Test drive a few, maybe the 348 is the place for you to start and see what you think.
  25. GrayTA

    GrayTA F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Jun 25, 2006
    Deep South
    Full Name:
    You are getting pretty solid advice in my viewpoint. Of course, many of the people here know a LOT more than I do.

    Having said that I would add my voice to the chorus and lean toward a 308/328 with your budget. You could get a QV, have the major done, and redo anything else you wanted to and likely still have some cash left for emergencies. The QVs are going to be pretty reliable and are an absolute blast to drive. It may not be as quick as many other cars out there, but the sound of the engine and such MORE than make up for it for me.

    The 348/355/TR all require dropping the engine for a major - the 308/328 do not. I dont think that the Mondials do either, but someone else with more knowledge can address that. That drives costs up significantly. Everything in my QV is laid out very well and even with MY novice mechanical abilities I am comfortable with getting out there and tinkering from time to time. I am not sure I would feel the same with the others mentioned (save the 328 of course).

    '85 308 GTS QV
  26. Brian Elliston

    Brian Elliston F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Oct 9, 2009
    Clermont, FL
    Full Name:
    Brian Elliston
    If you are in WNC pm me if you want to check out a Euro QV. Also, good looking Italian show tomorrow in Charlotte.
  27. Ricambi America

    Ricambi America F1 World Champ
    Sponsor Owner

    Hey, I think that death stare was pointed in my direction!

    Believe me, my 348 is basically approaching 458 levels of cost!
  28. SGM

    SGM F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Sep 27, 2006
    Northern VA
    Full Name:
    Which ever model you decide to go with I would try to keep between 5-10k for majors and repairs. I had a 355 for a very short period of time and the cost to repair the motor from bad valve guides was 21k. Luckily this was paid for by the dealer that I bought the car from.

    Personally the next Ferrari that I get is going to be one that needs a major, so I can have it done by Competizione.

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