Last post on Sep 29, 2010 at 8:31 PM
You are in the Ferrari
What is this discussion about?
#1 of 736 Let's talk Ferraris
Apr 11, 2002 (8:29 pm)
I've spent a great deal of my life thinking about a car I'll never have, probably never even sit in but I've devoured books on them and filled my basement with scale models of them.
Let's talk about the Ferrari mystique, the cars, the racers, the people who made it what it, the future of Ferrari and of course the late Pope of Automobilia, Il Commendatore, Enzo Ferrari.
Let's hear your opinions--
Are you a tifosi? Do you have a favorite? Do you prefer Maseratis or Lambos? Who was the greatest Ferrari race driver? Do they have to be red?
#2 of 736 My favorite
Apr 12, 2002 (1:38 am)
would be the Ferrari 365 GTB4 Daytona coupe. Something about the styling and overall proportions, that great V12, the whole package. I always stop at Ferrarri of Los Gatos, Ca when I visit my friends there. I went to high school in Los Gatos, but they didn't have a Ferrari dealership then. Now, I stop and drool at the selection. And, they have actual Ferrari mechanics working there, so while you're browsing the lot you can listen to mechanics taking those twelves out on tune-up runs and winding them up. Great-both the sights and the sounds. I was looking in the latest issue of the Dupont registry yesterday, and in the Ferrari section, there was a beautiful 73 Daytona coupe, in kind of an okra yellow. Looked great. No, they don't have to be red [although that's my favorite]-this yellow would do just fine-for 109,000 bucks. Now, what would it be like to drive and maintain this 73 Daytona if I were to take out a home equity loan?
#3 of 736 Andy...
Apr 12, 2002 (7:28 am)
I recgonized my own love of cars in your post,only I really love Mercedes sedans.
The English magazines have so many articles about how suprisingly obtainable a Ferrarri can be.
In fact,my favorites tend to be the apparently unwanted,cheapest ones.
The 2+2s from the sixties are my favorites-330 GTCs(?). Espically the ones with the quad headlights,which many must think gsrish and "American". There's a really sharp one in ther classifieds of this month's Road & Track.
And probably the least I also think has some appeal. It's the mid seventies Dino GT4(?)-the one right before the '77 308 GTB.Not the beloved late 60s Dino;the later,angular one.
And the first,2 valve Mondials are slow and now unwanted.
But rather than just dream,I bet many of us could afford these bottom-feede Ferraris.
The two place ones,to me,have a "door-stop" wedginess to them I just don't respond to.
So think about these 2+2s.
Apr 12, 2002 (8:11 am)
It's not just the buying, it's the maintenance that keeps me in check. One thing many people simply don't understand about Ferraris is that they are "narrowly engineered" to give fantastic performance, but in a very narrow band of specifications. You go out of those specifications, and it can get ugly.
So buying a "beater" Ferrari is a fool's choice. I've passed on a few very very cheap ones for that reason. With all the special tools and expertise needed, I'd be lost without some help, and that doesn't come cheap. (Same with a '71 Rolls Royce Coupe I passed on for $7,000. Nice car, but right hand drive, needed brakes/hydraulics, tires and tune up/major service---that was it. Best estimate from a FRIEND was $10,000 for "starters").
But I love 'em, the Ferraris, not because they are perfect, but because they are so different from any other car. You'll find many people who have some gross misconceptions about Ferraris, such as:
They are fragile (WRONG!)
My Corvette is faster (yes, maybe, depending, but it's a Chevrolet, and sounds and feels like one)
They are owned by poseurs who don't know how to drive them (WRONG again. I would guess more Ferrari owners track their cars than most exotic car owners, if not more than all exotic car owners). Most Ferrari owners are good drivers, certainly better than average.
#5 of 736 Roller Coupe
Apr 12, 2002 (8:16 am)
Sure,$7,000 is way too little to spent on a Rolls. I can understand your temptation,though. You hardly ever SEE those 2-doors. i think they're really interesting-one for $25,000 would be fun.
Apr 12, 2002 (8:21 am)
That's about the going rate, $25K. But you don't want a RHD car in America. That kills value enormously. Eventually a Rolls mechanic bought the car and shipped it to England to make a killing. He fixed it all up himself and then drove it off the boat...and the transmission failed! Man, was I lucky.
I'd say buy the best used Ferrari you can afford and avoid shabby cars completely.
This is SHOCKING, but some Ferrari experts really and sincerely believe that a very high mileage Ferrari, if it is one of the more unloved modern ones (Testarossa, 400i, 2 valve 308s) is really only a parts car and should be purchased as such.
And they don't mean shabby either. Even a clean one with 75K is such a risk financially that you should treat it as a parts car.
#7 of 736 Mercyx, I'm glad you mentioned the 2+2s from the '60s
Apr 12, 2002 (10:02 am)
The 250GT 2+2 was one of the first Ferraris ever got loopy about. I remember a rather elaborate sketch of it I made on the front of a notebook.
I like the 330 as well and I actually prefer the four headlight model which I think has stood the test of time rather well. If I could find one cheap....it's like Shifty sez, if you haven't got an expert, fuhgedaboutit!
I see you like myself find the nomenclature of these cars confusing. The 330 GTC was a two seater with a nose identical to the 2+2/2-headlight model.
If anything the 2+2 was a 330GTE. The 250 2+2 is also known as a GTE. I'm not sure where the GTE designation came from because until about 10 years ago I'd never heard of, they were always just 2+2s
#8 of 736 Took the plunge
Apr 12, 2002 (2:56 pm)
Ever since I was a kid I have been in love with Ferraris. I think it may have been watching Phil Hill throw the 156 around Monaco but I'm not sure that was the exact moment the affair began.
In the early '70's I bought a 250GTE. It was never right and I couldn't afford to make it right. No one wanted 2+2's and I sold it cheap. It was the biggest mistake I ever made.
After several Alfa's, Lotuses (crazy or what? I was actually dumb enough to buy another), and a Jag I started buying sedans (Benzes).
In 2000, my mid-life crisis caught me up and I bought a Toyota MR2 Spyder. It's a Lotus that starts and runs everyday. Great car, a blast to drive.
But last year my wife (bless her) convinced me to follow the dream. I looked at a lot of Ferraris in "my price range" Mondial coupes, 308 GTB's and GTS's. Every one I looked had problems and I wanted every one of them. Fortunately, memories of the 250 and common sense prevailed. there is no bigger or more expensive nightmare than a bad exotic.
Last August I finally bought. Through a very reputable broker, Boston Sportscar in Weston MA (are we allowed plugs?). They found me a beautiful black/black 308 Dino GT4, 1979.
The car has been impeccabley maintained, which makes it easy to keep up with. I use it as an almost daily driver. Obviously in good weather only. It is stored over the winter with the MR2.
Because I put miles on it, I've had to do some maintenance. First the good news. Ferrari's are as solid as can be. It starts and runs everytime. No shakes, rattles or rolls that you wouldn't expect in a 23 year old car. There is enough easy do-it-yourself work to keep the owner involved and happily puttering. Over about 5000 miles of mixed driving I have not had any real problems except a broken shock. The koni's appeared to be original.
The bad news. Well, bad is the wrong word. Be forwarned. Just as Mr. Shiftright says, repairs are expensive. Shocks are $500, a piece. This spring I put a clutch in. I knew going in it would have to be done. That's around $2500 parts and labor.
Knowing this, I put money aside in a Ferrari maintenace account. My service provider says to plan on about $1200-$1500 per year and about $5000 every 15, 000 miles for the dreaded belt change.
The bottom line is this. This car gives me and my wife, an indescribable thrill everytime it fires up and the Tubi exhaust starts that symphony. I have no regrets what so ever of buying the car. Until you actually have one, or the use of one, you simply can't imagine what it's like to drive a Ferrari.
Sorry if I'm gushing and sorry for the very long post.
Apr 12, 2002 (4:54 pm)
Yep, that sounds about right, Tom. To do right by a Ferrari it ends up costing about $1 a mile once you average it all out over a few years.
I know some folks like to criticize Ferrari maintenance costs, but as you say, if you haven't driven one hard yourself, you aren't in a position to judge whether $1 a mile is worth it or not.
When I was a younger man, I used to have this smug attitude "So what's the big deal about a Ferrari?" One day I had a Ferrari mechanic take me out on the back roads. He was a former amateur racer in Italy and a very solid, fierce driver. It was unlike anything else I'd experienced in a road car. I remember thinking, after the ride "Surely, this cannot be legal." It was like owning your own fighter jet.
My friend has a Daytona and I take it around once in a while. It's a somewhat harsh and stiff car on city streets but it is amazing what happens about 80 mph on up. The whole machine just changes personality, as if it were saying "Oh, yeah, now I'm starting to feel the sweet spot. Keep scratching right there. Now a little higher. And a little higher"
On a Daytona, "higher" can get you up to 170 MPH (theoretically--this is not a car that has been tech-ed!)
#10 of 736 Scratch me higher, Shriftright
Apr 12, 2002 (9:03 pm)
thanks for the response about the Ferrari Daytona. I've been a Ferrari enthusiast ever since I started reading about cars in 1957. Not long after that, I learned about Ferraris, as a twelve-year-old.