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Discussion in 'Vintage (thru 365 GTC4)' started by MotorMouth, Jan 27, 2010.
Any tips you can offer on finding these cars for sale?
Ferrari Market Letter
Ads in various magazines, such as autoweek, sports car market
Dealer web sites
FCA, FOC classifieds
google searches for specific model
even cars.com ebay and autotrader.com!
Fantasy Junction always has interesting cars, as does Mike Sheehan and Tom S.
I have used information from all of the above in prior searches for cars. Whatever the source, don't buy a car unseen or un-PPI'd
The vintahe Ferrari world is relatively small, and cars for sale are often quite widely noticed, word spreads fast.
Whereever you find what you are looking for, one thing is more important than anything else: Do your homework on that particular chassisnumber and make sure that it represents what you expect from it and what its' price suggests you should expect from it. Caveat emptor.
It takes footwork to find a decent Vintage Ferrari, IMHO. You can use sites like mentioned above to find out which dealers/specialists are out there, and you can go and look at the cars. Sometimes there's good ones amongst them, but more often than not I think you just run into a great car through your contacts. And it takes time to build those up. Nowadays I get contacted if there is a nice one for sale because people are starting to know me in the Ferrari circle. That is really the way that you want to buy your vintage, because the car you get that way has a known history and you deal directly with the owner, even though the specialist that introduced you will get a commission. I don't like just buying the car, the owner will tell me how he cared for it better than a PPI, if only by body language. And if he cares for the car he won't just sell it to me because I've got the money, he'll want to know that I'll take good care of his baby.
Of course - if you're buying a restoration project the above doesn't apply. And YMMV anyway - this is just the process that I've grown into over the past 2 years and I really like it. But it may not be for everyone.
I always wonder why people buy cars cars from auctions? They end up paying more and do not have time to really check out the car. In many cases auction get cars that would not sell in dealers shops. Nowadays it seems people think buying a car at auction gives them a sense of security.
On sources, I can't add much to Tederling's post, other than to say that the journey is as much fun as the destination.
Hemmings online and in print is another good standard source.
Not stated was how vintage you are looking for. Daytonas, C4s and the other of other similar vintage will be one level of search - all mentioned so far should get you there. As you get to the older, rarer and special histories then you may need to talk with those that are deeply connected in that rarely publicized world.
What are you looking for?
I've never bought a car at auction and have no connection to any such business, but can see that auctions make great sense in certain cases. With especially rare or unusual cars, it might be the only way to establish a correct price.
Speaking from a buyer's perspective, I am totally frustrated with European dealers that from time to time have the relatively scarce cars I seek. They set asking prices well above any auction record price they can find, and generally seem perfectly happy to wait until someone with an excess of enthusiasm and relative lack of market knowledge comes along. It's sensible for the seller of a luxury good to behave this way, but I've lost patience with the game. Dealers in the US are more businesslike but rarely have the cars I seek. I anticipate buying at auction in the future.
For a seller that actually desires to sell within a finite period of time without the risk of seriously shortchanging themselves, a well-publicized international auction is the only way to be confident about the correct price. And remember that many valuable cars are sold to settle estates, etc. where fiduciaries are quite uncomfortable about potential error or accusation of bias in a private sale.
I agree that private sales can have many advantages, but only if there are many similar cars available among which one can compare, or if circumstances somehow allow one to make a killing.
All good advice posts here. Like JazzyO I learn of cars for sale and also hear from would-be buyers of vintage cars. It really is an inside circle of knowledgable dealers and brokers complemented by owners of AND mechanics for vintage cars. If you are looking for a specific car you contact as many of those that might be in the network. This would be for Daytonas, C/4s, Dinos, 330s, 275s and Lussos. When you go for older cars the ring of knowledge gets smaller. This is because before the 250 GT the cars were produced in very small numbers.
As an example I knew of a nice local 330 GTS for sale for the past 9 months....just sold. And I am also familier with a newly restored Lusso......gorgeous car. So cast out the net on FChat and guys like me might surface knowing something about the car you seek.
Some of the excitement is in the hunt...........but that is dwarfed by the fun of driving and owning these special cars.
Thank you. And thanks for the tips.
What I'm looking for depends on interpretation of "looking"... but I keep track of the bottom of the market. Pre Fiat 2+2 cars.
A 330 2+2 will give you the great V12 experience at a reasonable entry price.
A 250 GTE will do the same, but the price of admission was half again as much as the 330's last time I looked.
The GTE is a much more refined and classic design, slower because of the high weight to displacement ratio...big car, 3 liters. The 330 2+2 is often a subject of controversy on the aesthetic end, but with the 4-liter 209 engine, is appreciably faster, with plenty of lowend torque.
Keep in mind that these cars can cost as much to restore, maintain, and repair as seven-figure Vintage cars. Spending $100K on your Vintage 2+2 after you've paid the purchase price in full is much easier than shooting fish in a barrel.
250 GTE's and 330 2+2's have often been through numerous owners and suffered levels of neglect and abuse that the more desirable Vintage models didn't. I see this changing now, as many of these 2+2's are coming to rest in the hands of caring end-user owners who are willing to spend what it takes.
Good luck, PM if you have more questions.
Good advice. I really like both, and taking the 4 liter into consideration is the reason I look at both models, because the GTE really gets me from an aesthetic standpoint, the interior as much as exterior. Guess I need a GTE America : )
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If you favor the GTE aesthetically, then a 330 America (GTE body, 330 209 engine and drivetrain) is your deal.
Unfortunately, only 50 were made, as the interim model between the end of GTE production and the introduction of the 330 2+2.
When you find one of the original 50, it will set you back the cost of a GTE and a 330 2+2.
That's right, 330 America, not GTE America. That's the model I was referring to. But you are right, not very attainable.