By on September 17, 2014

PCOTY 119

Let’s get this straight: when it comes to what the used-car manager at the Ford dealership where I used to work called “pointy-nose cars”, I’m a Viper guy. No street car has ever captured my heart the way the Viper did once they let the thing have six hundred horsepower, a little bit of aero help, and a VVT-extended rev range. So when I found out the lineup for Road&Track‘s PCOTY 2014, my eyes went directly to the line on the sheet that said “Viper TA”. I stole extra time in the Viper, both on track and out in the Hocking Hills. I probably drove it twice as much as anybody else did, and if they’d let me drive it more, I’d have driven it more.

Not that anybody I know cared a single bit about that. To a man (and woman), they had one question: “What’s that 458 Speciale like?”

PCOTY 055

“Well,” I’d respond, “in the context of the Viper TA, which by the way was just discounted to an even more competitive pricing strat—”

“Is the Ferrari really loud? Is it really fast?”

“I’d say it was louder than the Viper, which has a sonorous bellow much like an angry delivery truck. Now, as far as lap times go, when comparing a manual-shift car like, say, the Dodge Viper—”

“SHUT UP ABOUT THE VIPER!” Okay, I get it. You want to discuss the Ferrari. Well, it’s no PCOTY spoiler for me to say that the Ferrari was simply brilliant. To begin with, it extracts 597 horsepower from just 4.5 liters, which I understand is a bit of a record among production automobiles. In this case, however, the numbers are meaningless, although all of them, from quarter-mile time to lateral grip, are world-class. What matters is that hideous strength, the nightmare scream of the engine, the carbon perfection of the interior, the approachability of the sky-high limits, the wasp-waisted menace of a design that is somehow feminine and masculine at once, the, um, I should really stop now before this turns into the eminently regrettable “Automobiles” section of Guitar Aficionado.

The point is that the 458 Speciale, just like the F12berlinetta I drove during PCOTY 2013, satisfies at every level. It offers exactly what you expect both for the price tag and from the marque. It is excellence without excuse or compromise. It is exactly what a Ferrari should be.

As opposed to what Ferraris used to be: awful.

When it comes to laying down a solid multi-decade run of sucking wind, not even post-rehab Aerosmith can compete with Ferrari. Between the last Daytona and the first 355 the company seemed utterly without direction. This is not to say that cars like the Berlinetta Boxers, the 328GTS, and even the Testarossa were without virtue — but they simply didn’t stand out from the field the way that their pricetags suggested they should, not even against their lackluster Seventies competition.

Fussy, delicate, chock-full of parts that were an embarrassment to the Fiats from which they were sourced, and worst of all slow. It wasn’t just the C4 Corvette, which developed a remarkable appetite for Maranello-sourced scalps. The 944 Turbo and even, occasionally, the infamous 5.0 Mustang could humiliate the V8 cars. When Mazda introduced the FD RX-7 it was sexier and faster than the 348 at a fraction of the price. Even the 360 Modena was really no more than an even match for the humble Corvette C5 Z06 — and with just the most modest of speed-shop tweaks the thermoplastic terror would drop a 360 around a road course the way (insert your favorite edgy analogy here).

As my future third wife Este Haim would say, those days are gone. Today, the 458 handles the C7 Corvette with an aloof, offhanded double-clutched drop and Pac-Man dance of LED shift lights across the chunky manettino-ed steering wheel. The F12berlinetta fears no wheeled vehicle; the V12 under the sculpted bonnet combines the caviar thrill of aural insanity and the hyperspace drive of a Star Destroyer. This is the Ferrari that Luca di Montezemolo made, the purveyor of perfected product at eye-watering cost, each one pursued by potential customers like a stainless-steel Rolex Daytona but made in quantities that match in a year what Rolex could make in two days.

That last part will change now. Sweater Sergio says that the number will now be ten thousand. Few products could increase production volume by more than forty
percent and retain every penny of their current market value. Marchionne says that he is afraid that customers will lose interest while they are waiting for their Ferrari.

He’s wrong, of course, because the brand’s customers have already shown themselves eager and willing to grovel at the feet of the dealers with the abject humility historically associated with nouveau shopkeepers of the eighteenth century trying to marry into respectable titles. Some dealers require that you already own a Ferrari in order to have one, a seeming Catch-22 that can be ably remedied by your capitulative purchase of an overpriced lot-lizard F430 Spider or, G-d help you, a 550 Maranello in need of a major service. Others simply double the price on the window and take bids above that. The F12berlinetta in particular sells for more used than its original MSRP. If you can come up with $450,000 in cold, hard cash, you should inquire about a pre-owned opportunity, because that’s all the Ferrari to which your minor fortune entitles you.

This undersupply situation hurts Ferrari’s image not at all and further entrenches Lamborghini et al as the white-label Armani to Ferrari’s Kiton. Yet it must annoy Sergio to see the dealers take so much of his money, and perhaps he hasn’t thought about all the lean years many of those dealers endured trying to push the F512M on people who happened to possess in a single body the individually-rare traits of stout wealth and legal blindness. An additional 3,000 units a year at a clear $100,000 profit is a third of a billion dollars, the kind of money that could be spent on a facelift for the 500L or something like that.

It would be quite pleasant to attribute Ferrari’s shift in fortunes to the monstrous improvement of its cars in the past decade. It would gratify everybody from the man on the street to the would-be Bob Lutzes of the world who could then hold up a picture of a Testarossa in one hand and the 599 Fiorano in the other and say, “See! Product wins at every level!” Everyone would go home happy at that point.

The more difficult truth is that it has never mattered much just how good Ferraris are. The shocking increase in price and popularity and waiting-list length is no different from the sudden shortage of “Score” baseball cards in 1988. When you have a massive influx of buyers into the market, it doesn’t matter what you’re selling. It only matters that you have a reputation for being a prestige product. If you don’t believe me, find somebody who is wearing one of those large-diameter watches emblazoned with the name of a long-dead Swiss watchmaker “rebooted” into acceptability through a fifty-million-dollar marketing budget.

As the “global economy” continues to mint new millionaires at nearly the rate at which it makes homeowners into renters and middle-class jobs into commodity labor, the demand for everything but the very best will shrink precipitously. We will be mercilessly winnowed by a system that prints endless money to skyrocket the value of existing capital. No Praetorian guard could enshrine the thousand-year-reign of the wealthy with quite this efficiency; no bloody rampage across burning cities could redistribute wealth with this kind of speed. Like lungfish gasping on a primeval shore, today’s upper-middle-class Corvette and Porsche buyers will evolve into Ferrari customers or wash back into the sea of Civic-steering proles. To those who attain the safety of wealth, nothing will satisfy quite like the prancing horse.

Seen in this light, then, Luca was shortsighted to curtail production as long as he did. At the same time, however, Sergio is equally wrong with his brash announcement of its increase. The thing to do would be to silently bump the numbers, allowing each dealer to make that six-figure-profitable call to just a few extra customers per quarter, maintaining the illusion of extreme shortage even as the distasteful fender shields make their appearance in front of more midnight raves and additional shareholders’ meetings. Perhaps an additional ten percent this year, and ten percent the year after that, without fanfare. This is how Rolex does it, of course; nobody even knows how many of the sacred Milgauss will leave the doors of the factory in 2014. All that matters is that you get yours.

For the newly minted Ferraristi, all the news is good. Today’s 458 or F12 or even FF (the California, as Felix Gallo once memorably suggested, should be tucked away like a mad, fretting aunt) is a brilliant, glorious, completely worthwhile automobile. We all know that the buyers don’t really care how good the cars are — but they are good, and that means something to all of us who love cars in all their forms. If your station in life allows you to consider the purchase of one, I cannot recommend that you stay your hand.

Unless, that is, I can interest you in a Viper.

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132 Comments on “No Fixed Abode: What’s the value of a Ferrari, anyway?...”


  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    “This is not to say that cars like the Berlinetta Boxers, the 328GTS, and even the Testarossa were without virtue — but they simply didn’t stand out from the field the way that their pricetags suggested they should, not even against their lackluster Seventies competition.”

    So as a relative prole, given that one might spend about the same on a nice 328GTS as they would a new C7, and assuming modest occasional use, in 5 years the C7 would be worth about $20k and the 328GTS would be worth the same or more than it’s worth today…is it worth considering, or should one push their boyhood dreams of owning a Red Car out of their minds and just buy the damn C7, depreciation be damned?

    • 0 avatar
      Flipper35

      Keep in mind you will spend $348 in maintenance on the Corvette in the same time period but $120,302 on the F car.

      • 0 avatar
        Syke

        See my comment further below.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        How about $10,000 to $15,000 (depending on Ferrari model) regular service costs every 10,000 to 12,000 miles?

        And unless you have access to Ferrari shop, proprietary tools & diagnostic equipment, forget about even considering that it’s possible to work on a new-ish one yourself (besides, that would mar the official service log record, which is the Holy Grail regarding future resale value).

        I (think) it was Hooniverse that had a really detailed article about how new Ferrari transmissions must have precise and extensive adjustments made by Ferrari techs every 10,000 to 12,000 miles, or it’s literally considered abusive.

        The flip side to Jack’s praise of the modern Ferrari as a driving machine is that – and this is my SWAG – paradoxically, only a statistically few get driven all that much, and are more likely to be warehoused in climate controlled facilities for future auctions.

        They’re more like the finest wines, in this regard, purchased more often than not as investments, and not to enjoy for their alleged, intended purpose for being made in the 1st place.

        • 0 avatar
          S2k Chris

          There’s a reason I asked about a 3X8 and not an F355 or later.

        • 0 avatar
          old5.0

          True. Some years back, the local exotic repair shop decided to make an attempt to break in to the domestic scene. They hired a friend of mine who specialized in 79-present Mustangs and LT- and LS- powered GM products as well as a gentleman who specialized in Vipers to work alongside their two existing techs who specialized in the Italian jobs. I was able to witness firsthand the exacting service standards demanded by Ferrari.

          Due to my connections both as a customer and as a friend of an employee, I was also able to experience many examples of the Prancing Horse and the Raging Bull (from the passenger seat, of course), and I have to say that, as fantastic as they were, I just can’t see myself owning one, even if I could afford it (and I certainly could, were I dumb enough to mortgage my house for the “privilege”). Honestly, the only Ferrari I was ever truly in love with was the mid-80’s 288 GTO, a frequent feature of my sweaty adolescent dreams. Actually, if I’m completely honest, it’s still an occasional feature of my sweaty middle-aged dreams, as well.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          @Deadwieght

          Bullshit. I have two good friends who own a 308 and a 328 respectively. While I would hardly call the servicing of them cheap, they are not really *that* much worse than a Porsche. The newer and more exotic cars like the 348 and 355 and up can be much worse, of course, but the ’70s and ’80s machinery is not particularly exotic. One of those guys even did the timing belt service himself. He is a pretty good amateur wrencher admittedly.

          Jack is correct that those cars are not fast by the numbers by modern standards. They were not much more than quick by the standards of their day. But what they lack in speed they more than make up for in sense of occasion as only Italian cars can.

          And as either of my buddys will tell you – the three best words in the English language are “That’s MY Ferrari”. Doesn’t matter which model.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      If it’s a car you’d rather drive than look at then forget the F car and get an NSX. That’d be my choice.

      • 0 avatar
        S2k Chris

        Good NSXs can cost even more than good 3x8s these days. My personal “plan” has always been to buy a Ferrari, drive it until I get sick of it breaking down, and then sell it and buy an NSX. That way I will be able to avoid looking at the NSX and thinking “I coulda had a Ferrari.”

        • 0 avatar
          kmoney

          The Ferrari 3X8 cars (specifically the 328) are actually pretty reliable. I’ve done a fair amount of regular maintenance on a friend’s 328 and parts for this (clutch, brakes, suspension, timing components, etc…) aren’t really any more expensive than any average modern car. The only real finicky thing is the frequency of the timing belt services and needing to use a degree wheel when doing them. Other than that though, if you can service an older k-jetronic car it’s not much different.

        • 0 avatar
          bosozoku

          Maybe I’m a philistine, but being a child of the 90s, the NSX was my dream car from the first time I saw one. If only I’d had the fund to pick one up in that brief few years between being mass produced and becoming a collectors car…

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            There are enough of them out there in good shape for new crew-cab pickup money. Higher miles, but it’s a Honda from the good old days, so 75k or 150k is no big deal.

    • 0 avatar
      Car-los

      When buying a car the maintenance cost is far more important to consider than the actual price you pay to get the car, unless of course you think that a particular car will start getting the attention of collectors and therefore it’s price is going to shoot up soon (Testarosa?).

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    Ok you got me,how do the Viper and Ferrari compare?

  • avatar
    Dan

    ““This is not to say that cars like the Berlinetta Boxers, the 328GTS, and even the Testarossa were without virtue — but they simply didn’t stand out from the field the way that their pricetags suggested they should, not even against their lackluster Seventies competition.””

    You of all people know, as you’ve written about it repeatedly, that the field of these cars isn’t and has never been race car but is instead the conspicuousness of their price. If Ferrari – Porsche, whatever – buyers actually wanted race cars then their entire sad list of cars “humiliated by a Z06” wouldn’t have been out there to be humiliated.

    People who aren’t Baruth don’t drive like Baruth. This is a good thing because when they do, they crash.

  • avatar
    stevelovescars

    S2K, the problem with your comparison of a used Ferrari to a new Corvette is holding cost. If you actually want to drive that Ferrari, you’ll find that it was designed to simply NOT be serviceable at a reasonable cost. Belt changes every few years cost more than new tires, insurance, and fuel combined on a Corvette over the same period of time.

    Or, you could probably pick up a lightly used C6 to make the comparison even more extreme.

    Given the means, I’d love to own an older Ferrari and given recent price increases, it’s unlikely one would actually lose money on the actual car itself. But when you start looking you’ll quickly understand why 15k miles is considered really high mileage on a 30 year old Ferrari and just a normal year of use on a Corvette or even a Porsche 911.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      Well, there are several ways to look at the problem. First, I currently drive my third car (S2000) about 2-4k miles/yr, so if I were to add another car to the stable, it would be about the same usage. So I frame the discussion in terms of that. So, depreciation on a 328GTS is nil to negative (unless you do something stupid like crash it), and the $40k or so you’d lose on a C7 pays for A LOT of service.

      Granted, that negative depreciation assumes a healthy stack of dealer service receipts, or you kill the resale BUT if you buy an enthusiast-maintained car and pay the lower price going in, you receive the lower price going out and it’s a net zero. From my hours and hours (and hours) of lurking fchat, a 3X8 is completely DIY friendly, and only the price of parts is an impediment unless something blows up. That belt service is cake, just take off the right wheel and there it is.

      • 0 avatar
        Toad

        Assuming negative depreciation on a 328GTS is gambling, not investing. Right now they are appreciating, but there is a LOT of money sloshing around the top income quintile looking for a home. That may be more of a sign of a bubble than in the inherent value of the Ferrari.

        Lots of “collector” fashion or luxury items gain in value when there a lot of money floating around and people start getting a little stupid. But that can change pretty quickly as economic circumstances, fashions, or tastes change.

        Over the years lots of people have lost lots of money “investing” in cars. Saying “This time it’s different” just reinforces that history.

        • 0 avatar
          S2k Chris

          The real gamble is by driving it, you risk crashing it and crushing resale (but I guess you can get stated value insurance).

          It’s not an investment, but how much more value can the things realistically lose? At very worst it’s not going to depreciate like a new Corvette (or Boxster or Viper or or or) and that’s really the only wicket I’d be concerned about.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Corvettes and even Vipers with more than 50k miles are still perfectly capable and ownable without fear of crippling service costs. Mostly because they incorporate the durability of the passenger car and work truck parts bin they source from. As a driver, either of the preceding make far more sense than a Lambo or Ferrari. Then again, that’s not really the point of owning the either of the latter, is it?

  • avatar
    Toad

    Ferrari is God’s way of telling you that you have more money than sense.

    Having said that, as long as teenage boys put Ferrari posters on their bedroom walls there will be grown up men who will buy them. It is an easy and obvious status marker that will probably get you laid. For enough people that makes them worth every penny.

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    Ferrari’s “Act As If” treatment of its clientele says nothing good about mankind.

    They show up, charge real-estate-level prices for their vehicles and act like it’s the most natural thing in the world.

    Someone once said that “your real high roller buys crap,” and while crap’s a strong word here, that seems to be the unspoken assumption driving Ferrari’s whole business model.

    These vehicles are delicate, fussy, expensive and impractical. In other words, not very good automobiles. They never have been and while better these days, they never will be. They’re marketed and sold to a group of people for whom practicality is not only a non-concern, it’s actively scorned.

    “Look at how much money I can afford to waste!”

    It’s no different than the $10,000 suit, the $25,000 watch or the Manhattan apartment. You can get a better value elsewhere, but value disappeared in the rear view long ago as far as their concerned.

    “Oh, you damn right it’s limited. Ain’t got no cupholders, no back seat. This car’s a shiny dick with two chairs in it, and I guess we the balls, just draggin’ the fuck along!”

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      If I didn’t know better, I’d say you were jealous.

      Or you grew up in a very Puritanical household.

      Either way, there’s no shame in indulging in luxury. And if the concept of someone buying a Ferrari makes you angry, it’s not the dude buying the Ferrari with the problem in this equation.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      High-performance anything is going to be delicate and expensive to run. Doesn’t matter if it is an airplane, a boat, or a car. If you can’t afford it, so be it, but it is sour grapes to whine about it.

      • 0 avatar
        Rick T.

        I’d like to understand why that is so, especially when nobody pushes it mechanically to anywhere near its limits.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        Except, well, Ferraris aren’t that much (if at all) higher-performance than the far less expensive and delicate competition, are they?

        (See, well, any fast American or Japanese car.

        Hell, a Ferrari makes an SL AMG look sensible, which is difficult…)

  • avatar
    probert

    Nice little screed – thank you.

  • avatar
    Johnny Canada

    Really enjoy your writing when you explore the psychological aspects of ownership and intrinsic value.

  • avatar
    tedward

    You made a really good point about increasing volume, or rather, being quiet about increasing volume. I’m hoping this would have occurred to someone at Fiat and there was some explanation for the lack of strategic sense. Perhaps there was a vocal investor class that needed soothing, or maybe volume predictions are part of Fiat’s expected financial reporting.

    If that isn’t the case someone should forward this to the Italians.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      Really, as long as demand is N and supply is N-1, it really doesn’t matter if N-1 is 4000 or 10,000, as long as the difference between supply and demand doesn’t affect demand. Recall to that there were plenty of recent Ferraris, like the 612, that dealers could hardly give away (“you want a 430 Scud? better buy a 612 first…”) so a minor surplus in certain areas doesn’t necessarily affect desirability of the whole.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        ?

        There will be a huge difference in actual selling price depending on whether N-1 = 1 or N-1 = 4000.

        • 0 avatar
          S2k Chris

          To the dealers, maybe, but not to Ferrari. As long as demand exceeds supply, Ferrari gets full wholesale (or whatever it sells to dealers for) for its cars. Whether the dealer can mark it up $10k or $100k after that doesn’t, or shouldn’t, matter for Ferrari.

          • 0 avatar
            healthy skeptic

            >> Whether the dealer can mark it up $10k or $100k after that doesn’t, or shouldn’t, matter for Ferrari.

            Of course it matters. If that’s what the market is willing to bear, shouldn’t Ferrari, the actual maker of the cars, get that money?

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      The production volume information probably never would have come up if it weren’t for the departure of Luca di Montezemolo. that bit of news is what dredged all this up.

  • avatar
    zamoti

    (insert your favorite edgy analogy here).
    No, YOU insert analogy here. I am the consumer and I’ve come to consume mirth, not provide it.
    Trying to make me think and even possibly contribute, HOW DARE YOU!

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Still want less fussy, less delicate cars.

    Give me a Corvette or a Viper or a Mustang Cobra.

  • avatar
    Syke

    The Richmond area had the annual Classics on the Green this past weekend at the New Kent Winery. A very class show, probably about as good as you get without drifting into the Pebble-Beach-trailer-it-in category (all entered cars are drivers, that’s expected). Ferrari was the featured marque, and about 35 showed up, anything from mid-60’s to a current California.

    While sipping wine and wandering around, I got talking with the owner of a 308. It was the usual, “I’m considering getting my first Ferrari, any advice?” conversation; which, happily, he was willing to dive into.

    I don’t get the maintenance requirements. The periodic $4-5000 repair bills. In his case, he only drives his car about 1200 miles a year, and figures he can go 4-5 years before hitting that milestone. Therefore its doable averaging $1000 or so a year, which is less than he spends on his daily drivers.

    No, I don’t get it. That’s a hell of a lot of money to lay out for a play toy. After we were done talking, I drifted back to the Porsche classes, with a slightly greater appreciation for the marque. At least those things can be driven most nice days without automatically blowing a couple thousand a year in service costs. And, based on my past experience, Porsche makes a rather solid, wonderful, car.

    So what did I get out of Ferrari day at Classics on the Green?

    An even greater appreciation for the Porsche 928 S4. And a real desire to trade my Solstice in on one. Yes, I’m a philistine. I like front engine Porsches.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      The first electrical issue in the 928 and you can wave to that $4-5k as you sail past it.

      Which is neither here nor there.

      I guess it’s a matter of perspective; I don’t consider a $30-60k acquisition cost and $1-2k/yr maintenance to be a silly amount of money for a toy. A small amount, no, but not ridiculous. There are guys with very unimpressive-sized boats laughing at us for thinking about it as a big deal.

      If you consider your acquisition and selling costs about equal, give or take maybe $5k, $1-2k a year to own and drive a Ferrari is peanuts. I spend more than that on golf in a summer. I spent more than that last night reserving a condo for spring break next year on the gulf coast. Hell, I’ve lost probably $25k in the last 5 years in depreciation on my two current cars, and they ain’t Ferraris.

      • 0 avatar
        319583076

        You’re such a hero, you’re so rich, how come you’re coming down here wasting your time with such a bunch of bums?

        • 0 avatar
          S2k Chris

          Really? A grand on golf and $2k on a week’s vacation makes me rich? Jeebus, sorry for having a halfway decent job.

          All I’m saying is that plenty of people throw that same money away on much more mundane pursuits, so I don’t think fulfilling a dream for the same $$$ is that silly.

          • 0 avatar
            bosozoku

            I live in the American Gardens Building on W. 81st Street on the 11th floor. My name is Patrick Bateman. I’m 27 years old. I believe in taking care of myself and a balanced diet and rigorous exercise routine. In the morning if my face is a little puffy I’ll put on an ice pack while doing stomach crunches. I can do 1000 now. After I remove the ice pack I use a deep pore cleanser lotion. In the shower I use a water activated gel cleanser, then a honey almond body scrub, and on the face an exfoliating gel scrub. Then I apply an herb-mint facial mask which I leave on for 10 minutes while I prepare the rest of my routine. I always use an after shave lotion with little or no alcohol, because alcohol dries your face out and makes you look older. Then moisturizer, then an anti-aging eye balm followed by a final moisturizing protective lotion.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          You see this watch? You see this watch?

          That watch costs more than you car. I made $970,000 last year. How much’d you make? You see pal, that’s who I am, and you’re nothing. Nice guy? I don’t give a $hit. Good father? [email protected] you! Go home and play with your kids. You wanna work here – close!

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            You know why, mister? You drove a Hyundai to get here. I drove an eighty-thousand dollar BMW. THAT’S my name. And your name is you’re wanting. You can’t play in the man’s game, you can’t close them – go home and tell your wife your troubles. Because only one thing counts in this life: Get them to sign on the line which is dotted. You hear me you f***ing f*ggots? A-B-C. A-Always, B-Be, C-Closing. Always be closing. ALWAYS BE CLOSING.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Ah, movie references!

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Simpsons references might be better.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Well, since the subject is Ferraris, maybe this one’s more appropriate…

            “You Want details? Fine. I drive a Ferrari, 355 Cabriolet, What’s up? I have a ridiculous house in the South Fork. I have every toy you could possibly imagine. And best of all kids, I am liquid.”

            Still not as good as the Alec Baldwin speech, but darn good.

    • 0 avatar
      DougD

      I learned a similar lesson when I attended the FCA national meet once, to meet up with a guy who owned a 330GTC. Fun to look at the handbuilt older cars, but the new ones don’t do much for me.

      However, the Ferrari geeks just love them, hundreds of spectators were just covered in Ferrari swag and cameras. One of the judges mistook me for another judge because I was wearing tan pants and a plain collared shirt.

  • avatar
    slance66

    Ferrari’s always remind me of P.J. O’Rourke’s epic story in that magazine competing with Jack’s where he drove a 308 cross country with his editor from Rolling Stone back in 1979. I think the car was to be used in Magnum PI. Jack’s writing reminds me of that story from time to time, but it remains my favorite piece of automotive journalism. The 458 is gorgeous and captures my attention more than any Ferrari since the 308/328.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    On a personal note, congratulations on your “soon-to-be third wife.” I’m sure all of us here wish you both the best.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Este Haim? Seems like she just wants to be Courtney Love. Judging by her Twitter feed I don’t think I’d last through coffee, let alone an evening.

  • avatar
    bunkie

    I long had the Ferrari dream. These days I’d rather spend the money on an airplane. It will probably cost less to maintain and, assuming one buys smart (used), depreciate at about the same rate. The negative is that, legally, only licensed A&P mechanics can work on it, but that’s a reasonable requirement considering the risks involved. An added plus is that the speed limit below 10,000 feet is 250 knots (287 mph), faster than the airplane itself!

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    I’ve always thought of the 308 Ferrari as the Morgan Fairchild of the automotive world: very nice to look at, but not much of a performer.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      Unless you get a 4-valver, you won’t even keep up Civic Sis. But that’s not really the point. You still get to listen to it, and sit in your garage and drink bourbon and stare at it. And if you’re crass, use phrases like “my Ferrari…” in general conversation.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        “You still get to listen to it, and sit in your garage and drink bourbon and stare at it.”

        Sounds more like Ms. Fairchild’s speed than the Ferrari’s. ;)

        • 0 avatar
          S2k Chris

          I’m not going to lie, I question my involvement in a “car enthusiast” web site that gets excited about brown diesel station wagons and questions Ferrari 308s.

          • 0 avatar
            FormerFF

            Hehe. But it’s true, this site and its commenters do have a very practical bent.

          • 0 avatar
            Toad

            There are a lot of websites and magazines dedicated to cars like the 308; they are sort of an autop0rn for arrested adolescents. They regularly have breathless reviews or comparisons between exotic cars, and all are pronounced wonderful in their own special way again and again.

            In real life most readers will never drive, let alone own one of these cars any more than Jennifer Anniston will move in with me. Hell, many of the readers probably can’t legally drive yet. Plus most grown ups know that the exotics live most of the very few miles they are driven under the speed limit, and spend 99.9% of their time garaged.

            TTAC has it’s flaws, but having very few Ferrari, Porsche, Lambo, etc write ups is a virtue.

          • 0 avatar
            S2k Chris

            There are lots of good Ferraris and Porsches that live in the <$60k range, some well under. I agree, I'm not concerned with the 458 outside of random daydreams, but the whole "what 10-20-30y/o exotic and sports cars can you buy for 3-series money and what are they like to live with" is kind of what I care about. Certainly more so than "here's a picture of a Ford Escort in a junkyard."

          • 0 avatar
            Jack Baruth

            Well, we did review a 308:

            https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/01/capsule-review-1975-ferrari-308gt4/

            BERTONE YO

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            @Toad:

            I never understood (and don’t today) why people think Jennifer Aniston is anything more than average looking, let alone “hot” in any way whatsoever.

            Am I the only one?

          • 0 avatar
            S2k Chris

            “I never understood (and don’t today) why people think Jennifer Aniston is anything more than average looking, let alone “hot” in any way whatsoever.”

            I’m not obsessed, but she does have those nice big round-looking bewbies, and they apparently kept the A/C on high while they were filimg Friends, so…

            I do fear she’d go from a 9 to a 2 if she took the wonderbra off though. Pancake city at her age.

          • 0 avatar
            Toad

            @Deadweight

            Personally, I really believe that if you don’t find Jennifer Anniston hot there is something truly wrong with you. But to each their own :-)

            Jennifer Anniston, Jennifer Garner, Mia Kunis, Ryan Gosling (gotta be PC), whoever. No hot celebrities have offered to take up residence with me…yet.

            Maybe if I got a Ferrari?

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            I’m definitely more of an Olivia Wilde or Mila Kunis type guy, I guess.

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            I like Christina Hendricks and Sofia Vergara, myself…

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            I’ve always been an “all about the bass” kind of guy but Mia Kunis does something for me for some reason. I guess cause I knew her as “Jackie” on That 70s Show first.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Dan, Mila Kunis has that hot while also being very “cute” thing going on.

            It’s a hard thing to describe, but one knows it when they see it.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            I’ve met Mila Kunis and have not met Jennifer Anniston. While I can’t tell whether or not Jennifer Anniston is one of those women that only look good on camera, I can say that I had to be told Mila Kunis was Mila Kunis, and I knew she was about to arrive. I thought she was someone’s gopher.

          • 0 avatar
            Quentin

            Toad – most of us might not ever be able to own a Ferrari or marry Jennifer, but places like Vegas offer you the chance to test drive the former and test drive a lookalike of the latter. While I’ve never been to Vegas, I have paid $200 to take a 911 around a track at the Exotic Drive thing at Disney. $400 will get you seat time in a 458 Italia. It was a good time and wasn’t a terrible value considering how much it would cost to do the same thing in your own vehicle.

            I never was an Anniston fan… until I saw Horrible Bosses.

          • 0 avatar
            Kevin Jaeger

            “I’m not going to lie, I question my involvement in a “car enthusiast” web site that gets excited about brown diesel station wagons and questions Ferrari 308s.”

            True, the envy and resentment unleashed on anyone who pays some decent money to enjoy his toys gets very tiresome here. Any premium badge, anything German, any large truck – apparently you must be suffering some kind of mental problem if you own anything other than a Camcord or diesel wagon.

            It’s a very odd attitude for something that is supposedly an auto enthusiast site. Some people have a passion for an old Ferrari, Porsche or whatever and can afford to throw a little cash into their hobby.

            I’d much rather have an old sports car than a boat, personally.

  • avatar

    I get that Ferrari is making great cars, but the prestige soured for me when I walked into a Ferrari store in London several years ago. It was a Ferrari store that sold merchandise, not cars, but t-shirts, coffee mugs, Luca bobbleheads, and cologne. The place was geared towards the Jersey Shore set or the Butabi brothers from “A Night at the Roxbury”. The only thing that could be more tacky is if Ferrari opened a line of chicken wing establishments to compete with Hooters and began sponsoring a COT version of the FF in NASCAR.

    You may speculate that Ferrari may slide backwards with the pronouncements of Sweater Sergio. I say it started when you could buy their officially licensed kit and do cosplay like a 35 year old basement dweller at ComicCon.

    • 0 avatar
      James2

      There’s a Ferrari Store in Hawaii and I visited –once. $40 and up for cheap t-shirts and other nonsense… no thanks.

      There was an old F1 car on display, though. That was nice. Closest I’ll get to one since no here can afford to pay Bernie-level money for a grand prix.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    That the Viper is withering under Fiat should come as no surprise. Vipers made Ferraris look like metrosexual makeup at racetracks around the world. Now Vipers have Italian seats designed to discourage use by humans and marketing so invisible that most people think the Viper was canceled years ago. Robbing it of its Dodge brand was asinine too.

  • avatar
    david42

    Jack, you might want to read the book “On Such a Full Sea.” It would appeal to your particular sense of apocalypse. Also “Super Sad True Love Story.” Both have their flaws as literature, but I think you might enjoy them anyway.

  • avatar
    Boxerman

    I have owned a512 BBi for 21 years now. Bought it before wife kids during a swoon in the exotic market. It was at the time all the money I had, and my living costs were low as i lived literaly with grandmotehr. There was no desire to show off or appear rich, the car is even grey to blend in witht he road, for me it was alla bout speed and tactility. A race car for the road experience if you will, it was also on apper slower than my 91 Zr1 which i sold to get it..

    What a ferrari is or at least used to be, is an immersive driving experience. Yes a corvette C7 zO6 will be faster than, … But those are paper numbers and somewhat irrelevant.
    A Boxer can travel way faster than sanely possible on the road, although aero does seem to blunt things above 155 or so. They dont do drag racing well, 1st gear is really just to get rolling, But speed between say 60 and 140 is epic. On track they are fun, but by modern standards laptimes are slow. of course drivers count, so you need a goiod driver ina GT3 to pass a great driver ina Tr or boxer.

    Apart from the speed is motor response, the ability to dole out power with micrometer precision, the fact thas you really have to actualy knwo how to drive. The way in which the machine communicates with you, similar to a good mtorcycle it becomes an extension of your limbs and mind. These cars are entertaining also at all speeds. Think of driving on the road not as speed but as entertainment art and an older ferrari is near impossible to beat.

    But on the worng day and the wrong road(bumpy or traffic where you ahve to go slow) they are nothing other than a total PIA. Something special to be savored then, like a great wine. Corvetets are great in their own way, and like beer you pull the tab and can get driunk quickly, they can also feel like used tupperware.. Two very different things. As fast as vettes are, they still islotae you from the action, especialy at the limit. A vette is fast on track, really fast, but they are street cars that can go on track. Ferraris are street cars too, that fell like they could be track/race cars when driven on the road.

    A BBi feels like a 70s can am car for the road, Its a very focused experience, not rtying to be all things.

    Now an older ferrari you shoudl budget 5k per year in maintanace. Some years way less but others will make up for it over time. The good part is these cars are classics, not obsolete and the big bits very durable so they can last a lifetime. If you canw neild a wrench they are also not complicated to maintain at all, so you cost can be very low.

    I knwo what i paid for mine and what I spent over 21 years. With current values its worth all the money back plus interest. Free enetrtainemnt if you will. the car is an early sunday entertainment, when the weather is right and the roads clear.

    Now modern ferraris are a different kettle of fish. A 458 looks stunning but is as entertaining to drive below 9/10yths as a hyundai. So yeah they are great on track, but a Gt3 is better. These types of cars shoudl be great on road an occasion. What modern ferraris are is user friendly, and therin lays the problem. They look flash, and make all types of synthetic noises. The people who buy them new are people self satisfied with their sucess and want to broadcast it, that is the primary motivatiuon.

    New Ferrari buying process is so bad Mclaren got a foot in the door with a competing product.

    WhaT I am saying is the Sergio plan may not be bad. Most people I know are slef made in business, not stock brokers. They would not disrespect themselvs to got hrough the ferrari buying experience. They are also serious drivers and there are other great choices for serious drivers these days.

    As to numbers, ferrari does not build more than 7k cars per year because they cant actualy sell more. remember luca said 1 year ago they were reducing production to maintain exclusivity, read between the lines. Most models do not have any type of real seruiopus waiting list, only the newest gotta have it, and of course laferrari which is a marketing ploy on uber rich of epic proportions.

    Luca has debased the brand by building cars primarily for fashionistas and putting horsoies on kitch products with fake fawnign on enzoi etc.

    What ferrari needs are some great hard core cars, drivers can actualy buy, ie no big waitiung lkist with sales to stockbroker flippers so you only choice to get say a speciale is to pay over list for a used one., And let them make some great otehr models too. The ease of use fashionista stockbroker new fash cash crowd is really tapped out at 7k units.

    As to buying a 328. Drive one, they are not really fast by modern standards in acclkeration, but if you live near a smooth twisty road they offer what moderns do not, a sublime driving and owning experience. They are also very roibust and will hold value or appreciate.

    If you need more speed for straghtline and Ac a testarossa is still a great buy. Neitehr of these two will depreciate and in time you will get pruchase price and mainatabnce cost back, but be prepred to own for 10 years or more.

    Or if one wants a vicerla car, fun to drive fast, tackable and near sure to be collectable, the new z28 fits the bill very well.

    I can also recomend a lotus elise, my favorite car by far. All the emelemnts that made british roadsters so appealing back in the day, now with great handling and reliability, on a small road there is no finer car to drive, and they do tracks really well.

    • 0 avatar
      ellomdian

      I think the ‘Ferrari Experience’ is one of those things that you can never get an objective opinion from someone whose paid for it, because they are paying for it, but you can never get an objective experience from someone who hasn’t been through it, because they haven’t been through it…

      I will say that my favorite Ferrari-owning anecdotes came from an old client of mine who was loaded beyond his eyeballs, and who had pretty good taste (and not a lot of need to flash.) He had a 360, and while he could have bought anything in the showroom on a given day, they still treated him like a god-damned peasant when he came in for service, and as a result, he ended up replacing the unreliable Fezza with a Gallardo, and he was astonished at the difference in dealer experience.

  • avatar
    ellomdian

    “Like lungfish gasping on a primeval shore, today’s upper-middle-class Corvette and Porsche buyers will evolve into Ferrari customers or wash back into the sea of Civic-steering proles.”

    This is what terrifies me about the ‘new economy’ – as someone just coming into that role at 30, I am worried that in 5 years, I am going to be irrelevant to performance oriented automakers. If I don’t make enough money to pose in something eye-wateringly expensive, then it’s off to the Civic-R with you sir! The housing market is doing the same goddamn thing, there are 3 new multi-family constructions going on within a mile of mine, and all of them at ~%50 pricier than mine (and it wasn’t a cheap area to start with.)

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Your fears & anxieties are absolutely justified.

      The economy has changed, in a disruptive way (and on balance, in a disruptive, NON-egalitarian way), that skews far more towards favoring capital over labor (even highly skilled labor; wait until Silicon Valley gets its way with H1B Visas; hello, $18 coders), more in the last decade than probably the prior 5 decades.

      Brave New World.

      *Crony Kapitalists Rejoice.

      • 0 avatar
        stanczyk

        yes, ‘Spooky Valey’ is ‘serving’ our world very well .. :
        ‘H-1B work-authorization is strictly limited to employment by the sponsoring employer. …. H-1B employees depends on whether they are categorized as either non-resident aliens or resident aliens for tax purposes.’

        Orwell – Brand New World -> (update) ‘The Circle’

        ..

        and yes, ‘the real Owners’ don’t need workers anymore, they’ll just print money via central banks ..

    • 0 avatar
      Toad

      @ellomdian

      You can buy a 2014 Honda Accord coupe that is faster and a much better car than most exotics built 25 years ago. Or a new Miata, or Mustang GT, or… The point is there are more relatively high performance cars that are affordable to more motorists than ever before. In that regard this is a golden age for cars.

      Remember, in the 1970’s Corvettes barely managed 200hp. Most cars were pieces of shite that wheezed their way up to the national 55 mile per hour speed limit. You are truly lucky to have so many fast, well built, safe, efficient, environmentally friendly choices that you have today (Now get off my lawn).

      Ferrari and other exotics were always playthings of the .1%. Thus it has always been, and nothing has changed except with modern media we have much more exposure to the things the vast, vast majority of us cannot afford. But you have LOTS of other great options because of/in spite of the new economy. Go buy a Mustang GT while you can!

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      I wouldn’t worry. Ferraris and the like have never been affordable to the masses when new. As for performance cars, there are plenty of very competant performance cars available to the common man thanks to the “new economy”. More than any time in history, really.

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    I’d love to get more detailed info about what exactly is getting serviced on these cars with such low miles that costs so much money.

    Is it just Ferrari dealers making a killing doing bullsh!t “inspections” so the owner can have that service stamp? What actual repairs are being made on a car with 20k miles?

    At what point is the line crossed from “high performance needs high maintenance” to it just being a vehicle with poor quality control?

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      There are a lot of factors at play.

      For one, a lot of these cars are driven hard and then stored for days or weeks with no use, that is rough on cars.

      For another, Ferrari is somewhat leading/bleeding edge in terms of technology and tune; that causes some sensitivity.

      For a third, there’s a lot of evidence that the recommended service intervals (belts) on a Ferrari are just garbage, and they can be much much longer. However, fear of loss of resale, fear of fellow-owner ridicule, and (somewhat defensible) fear of catastrophic failure of wallet in the case something goes wrong demands owners stick to the schedule. If I were to buy one, I think I might be willing to fudge things a little.

      For a fourth, there’s a lot of internet lore and myth, some of it true, some of it not. There are plenty of stories of F355s needing $10k+ engine out services at the dealer, and internet know-it-alls extrapolating that to all Ferraris ever needing the same, when a decent independant can do it for much, much cheaper, and may not require it at all (3X8s can have belts changed in the car, and so, for that matter, can 360s).

      For a fifth, whereas everyone and their brother accepts that no one in their right mind would take a $30k 3.2 Carrera to Porsche of Beverly Hills for a tuneup, and instead have a decent indy shop or themselves in the driveway do it, there’s some thought that to preserve resale only Official Ferrari Shops must touch thy holy horse.

      For a sixth, there is/was a large amount of garbage bolted onto Ferraris from suspect suppliers. A lot of this stuff is easily fixed with cheaper, more robust aftermarket stuff, but since Ferrari people think their 348 is the next Dino or SWB GTO, they’re loathe to use anything that doesn’t come in a box with a horsey on it at hefty markup.

      Fortunately, there is a very active DIY community, even extending to the 360 models. You can find them all over F-Chat, but you never hear about the guy replacing his own crappy hoses for $150 on the larger internet, you only hear about the guy with the $5k service bill.

      For one owner’s DIY experience, buying a semi-tired 308 and rehabbing it, check this link out: http://forum.miata.net/vb/showthread.php?t=507999

      There are plenty more similar ones on F-chat. Very few prices in that thread will take your breath away.

      • 0 avatar
        jacob_coulter

        But I’m not seeing real specific repairs that are made.

        When you talk of “belts” I’m guessing you mean the single timing belt? A timing belt can easily go 60k miles, and almost all comfortably sail past 100k miles. Obviously, Ferrari does not use “weaker” timing belts than what comes in a bottom barrel Hyundai. So how many timing belts does a car with with 20k miles need to be changed?

        I think it’s a lot of fear mongering from Ferrari dealers that are making thousands for no real repairs.

        I’ll concede that Ferrari’s aren’t like regular cars in terms of daily driver longevity, but to have a huge stack of receipts for repairs and service on a car with something like 15k-20k miles seems to me be just a dealer scam for scared and gullible Ferarri owners.

        • 0 avatar
          S2k Chris

          Two timing belts. But yes, either Ferrari wants you to think they use much weaker ones, or it’s a giant scam. I lean a bit towards the later, with a dose of “better $2500 safe than $XX,XXX sorry” in case of Mr. Valve meets Mr. Piston.

          There’s a lot of other crap too, like oil changes taking a lot of oil because it’s a dry sump and the oil is a special blend available only from Ferrari at $15/qt and you pay $8M an hour for them to pour it in using a Ming funnel and stuff. And it’s Italian, so the electrical sucks.

          But overall you’re not wrong on the scared and gullible owners bit, except that it’s a bit of a perverse badge of masochistic honor for those people, plus if they ever want to sell the damn thing… And there’s also a contingent of owners that can afford to pay whatever, and are used to maintaining large yachts and private planes and ungrateful children and the occasional five-figure Ferrari bill is almost a relief in comparison.

          • 0 avatar
            jacob_coulter

            I do think it’s just a case of “whatever people are willing to pay”. If GM dealers thought they could get away with that for their Corvettes, they’d be doing the same thing.

            If I was a Ferari owner, I know I would be a lot more skeptical and use common sense, even if it meant taking a hit from the eventual sale.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          A lot of it, at least when it comes to low tech parts, is 100% b.s. markup (aka total scam).

          I realize Top Gear is 99.7% entertainment, but there was an episode where Clarkson was reviewing a Renault Twingo, and extolling its (affordable) virtues.

          At one point he dinged the front quarter panel, and then held up a new Twingo one, alongside a Ferrari whatever-model one, and stated the cost of the Twingo one was 187 pounds, while the Ferrari one was 18 times that (and it was NOT a carbon fiber part, either).

          • 0 avatar
            S2k Chris

            And what’s the demand for Twingo parts versus Ferrari parts? There are indefensible reasons for F-parts pricing, but let’s not be quite so naiive. There’s also a little bit of that evil profit thing built in, but can you blame them?

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            That’s just mass production.

            They make more Twingos in a day than any Ferrari model in its production run.

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        One added issue is that 20K could mean 10 years, which in turn means that all the rubber bits are due for a refresh. Things like coolant hoses don’t fail from mechanical stress (at least they shouldn’t), but they do fail from age. And rear-engined, front rad cars have a lot of expensive custom coolant hoses.

        As S2K hinted, skipping a service on a Ferrari means that the resale value has gone down by the exact cost of that service (or maybe more). It’s a small and well informed resale market.

        • 0 avatar
          S2k Chris

          There’s also the consideration that if one were to take the same approach to maintaining, say, a 1986 Honda Accord in tip-top condition (replacing the rubber bits every 50k miles, for example) and doing so at a reputable dealer, he would also pay a not-insubstantial fee for the priviledge. No one does so on 1986 Accords, they either replace what breaks when it brakes, or they junked the thing 10 years ago, but if they did they’d see some pretty crazy running costs. No Ferrari parts prices, but still.

        • 0 avatar
          jacob_coulter

          I’m not saying an owner should skip the manufacturers’ recommended service per se, but I doubt there’s a line in the service manual of “replace all rubber parts every 2 years.” I think that’s the dealer fishing.

          I think a lot of this is just fear mongering, the dealer tells people the car will be worthless unless they hand them thousands for services.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            It’s kind of like owning a Cessna. If you budget approx. $5k/year and you will be OK.

            If you go into it thinking you’ll outsmart the maintenance schedule, you’ll end-up paying double.

            Up-side: much like an airplane, a well-maintained Ferrari keeps its value.

          • 0 avatar
            jacob_coulter

            The difference with a Cessna is that there’s VERY specific LAWS regarding aircraft maintenance in order to be legal to fly. And for good reason, a breakdown in the sky is the difference between life and death.

            With the Ferrari, it sounds to be like it’s just about padding dealer profits with scare mongering.

    • 0 avatar
      superchan7

      Here’s an example of one of Ferrari’s most maligned cars (in terms of ownership costs):

      The F355 needs a major service every 5 years. What this really does is get the engine out so that all the old hoses and gaskets are exposed and can be inspected for age and wear. The engine bay experiences larger thermal cycles than normal cars. I’ll bet the belts themselves could last 10 years, but belts are cheap and you already have the engine out. If nothing big goes wrong, an independent mechanic will charge you $6-7k. The F355 also burns cats and even headers, so having the engine out provides a good opportunity to inspect those.

      As you can see, the belts need the engine out (or the fuel tank out) to replace, but that’s just the beginning of a thorough major service. A properly done job also involves checking the cam timing to make sure the belts haven’t allowed too much slip over the years.

      If your valve guides didn’t get taken care of by warranty, you’re in for $8k in addition to the major service. I don’t know what the cost would be if you had actually bent some valves–those with deep pockets replace all 40 valves. But that should be a one-time fix.

  • avatar
    highrpm

    @S2k Chris, I completely agree with you. I owned three used 911s before I had kids. They were my daily drivers. I wrenced on them myself. I bought them all used (an ’84, a ’91 C4, and a ’91 C2). Parts weren’t cheap but the cars didn’t break all that much. I bought them at 8 years old and sold them in a few years and they didn’t depreciate at all. When I sold them, the money was used to fund a real estate investement of some kind. Had I bought a new Corvette/Mustang/Camaro instead, I would have had considerable less money to play with since these cars would have depreciated like crazy.

    In a few short years I’ll be in the market for a nicer sports car again. The ’06-08 911s are going around $30k. I can do most of the wrenching on them myself if I need to.

    I’m also looking at the Ferraris. The 348s are less than $30k. I see 360s around $40k if you are patient. The ferrarichat.com website has tons of writeups on timing belt replacement, alternators repairs, etc for all of these cars. You can absolutely do the maintenance and repairs yourself. The cars will not depreciate anymore. That timing belt maintenance turns into $800 worth of parts every 5-8 years instead of a $5000 repair bill.

    It’s also worth noting that when I was buying that 911 C4, I cross-shopped the 348s but chickened and bought the C4 instead. To this day, I regret not buying a Ferrari.

    My advice is to buy that 3×8 if you want one. Learn all you can about it on the Ferrari forums, and be prepared to wrench on it yourself. It will cost you much less to own than you think.

    • 0 avatar
      superchan7

      I think it’s time for you to get that 348. People are beginning to accept that although it has been bashed for its Testarossa styling cues, it was a fine car in every right and absolutely beautiful when judged on its own. 348s have bottomed out for years as an underappreciated car, and most do not see that model going any lower.

      That, and it wasn’t tuned to the bleeding edge like the F355 was. Much less worry about stuff like valves, headers and cats. Too bad; the F355’s styling updates and 8500rpm redline can be hard to resist.

      If it gives you too much trouble, fix it and sell it. You can still look yourself in the mirror and say you bought that 348.

      Not sure what you meant by the 360 prices, but I don’t think they will hit $40k for a very long time. Most are still selling in the 70-90k area.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    I’d love to own a 355 someday with a Capristo or Tubi exhaust system, but for now I’m okay not being able to afford one. I’m just hoping someday I can make enough money to own a relatively new performance vehicle. Hell, I’d be happy just to be able to afford the maintenance for a V8 BMW 5 series or something.

  • avatar
    healthy skeptic

    Yet another argument for being able to buy cars directly from the manufacturer. The middlemen are cleaning up here, overcharging the customer while barring Ferrari from claiming more of what the market is willing to bear.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Yes, please. The reason I can’t go to chevrolet.com, pick out my 2015 SS in Boring Dark Gray with a stick and a sunroof, and have it delivered straight from Australia to my door is a story of government meddling in the market which would confirm the worst fears of every single member of the TTAC Kill the State crowd. Dealers have managed to create a legalized and legally enforced cartel at the direct expense of consumers.

  • avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

    “The thing to do would be to silently bump the numbers, allowing each dealer to make that six-figure-profitable call to just a few extra customers per quarter, maintaining the illusion of extreme shortage even as the distasteful fender shields make their appearance in front of more midnight raves and additional shareholders’ meetings. Perhaps an additional ten percent this year, and ten percent the year after that, without fanfare.”

    Ferrari are pikers compared to DeBeers.

    And frankly, when I want to go fast (and FEEL like I’m going fast), I prefer 2 wheels.

  • avatar
    superchan7

    The internet will amplify negative news about anything.

    The best advice for the true enthusiast is do your homework, budget it into your life, go in with eyes wide open. Fix what breaks. If it hurts your wallet too much, fix it, sell it and move on. At least you DID IT.

    Pre-2009 Porsches had the IMS issue blown to obscene proportions. The internet would tell you that every last Porsche on this planet is about to grenade its engine. Looking harder, the internet will also tell you that Porsche had quietly improved the IMS bearing design. Pre-improvement engines can be guarded by an LN Engineering aftermarket bearing.

    The F355 is infamous for the $47,000 repair bill that is on almost every car forum. The internet will then tell you that every F355 (or even every Ferrari) requires you to dump $50k every 3 years.

    “That’s why I would never buy a Porsche/Ferrari/whatever.” No. The reason is you don’t investigate the actual issues, find the effective solutions, then work them into your budget. There is nothing wrong with your WRX or Civic Si, and you don’t need to make excuses for your car. Most people are practical. A passion for exotic cars is not. You just don’t want one badly enough. And that is OKAY.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      ““That’s why I would never buy a Porsche/Ferrari/whatever.” No. The reason is you don’t investigate the actual issues, find the effective solutions, then work them into your budget. There is nothing wrong with your WRX or Civic Si, and you don’t need to make excuses for your car. Most people are practical. A passion for exotic cars is not. You just don’t want one badly enough. And that is OKAY.”

      I think it’s more a case of internet pointy elbows syndrome, or in other words, “I can’t afford one so I’ll convince myself they suck to make myself feel better about my not being able to afford one.”

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    To get back to the original premise of the post – I don’t think it matters that Ferrari is increasing production by 40%. The market for Ferraris has grown more than that. The additional production will not be seen by the US and Europe, but by China, Russia, India, and Brazil, etc. That is where the nearly minted rich are that have a taste for this sort of thing.

    • 0 avatar
      superchan7

      Agreed, and they’re not really diluting the brand unless they try to make more affordable cars or more practical cars. The Porsche Cayenne has been beaten to bits by sports car enthusiasts, but Porsche generally plays in lower price brackets and depends more on volume………relative to Ferrari, that is. We’ll see what Marchionne really wants to do with them.

      Ferrari already dilutes its brand plenty by aggressively selling shirts, baseball caps and fragrances.

    • 0 avatar
      Boxerman

      The extra production will more than likely come to the USa. China sales are falling brazil is in the crapper. The wait lists sucha s they are USA.

      The relaity is Ferrari woukld struggle to sell more than 7k cars rigth now. They could have sole a few hundred more la-ferrari’s yjhey could probably sella few more speciales, this year. Next year it will be old news again.

      What ferrari needs is a broader range of product, somethign that appeals to enthusiasts too.

      Will they build a 100k ferrari, no need they have maserati for that.
      But Ferrari could and should build a great 200k car.

      As tot he service costs. yes you can wrench yourself, many do. On older cars the belts need doing evcry 5-7 years. youa re not really going past 7 years because the oil leaks will get to you first, its not afunction of mileage more time.. While doing belts the motor is out, so migth as well do the waterpump etc. As with any old car at 30 years hoses brake lines, bushings, well th list can get endless.
      If youa re going belts, you shoudl do tensioners and tensioner bearings. Pretty much all parts are vaialable

      On 360’s and 355’s the belts can and do go sooner, they are thin belts and the mtors have sky high revs, for whatever reason they seem to fail by 5 years on enough cars thta iots worth doing.

      A 30-40Yo accord is pretty clapped out, a ferrari at 30-40 years is probably running betetr than new.

      then newer cars are pretty much all flappy paddle. this makes them less fun to drive and its not quite clkear who will fix them.

      The 430’s on had chain driven cams, but ceramic brakes which are xhorbitant to fix. No one knows how to fix the box ona 458, its a replace item. Someday someone at an independat shop will knwo how tom nkeep the4se running, rigth now you are at the mercy of ferrari and ferrari prices.

      On an older ferrari dealer maintanace is a non issue. In fact non dealer maintanace preferable because most Fcar dealers are as competant as BMW ie replacing bits the computer tells them too.
      An Indy knows particular models well, and usualy takes the time to do the job properly.

      Still if you dont wrench yourself, figure 5k per year average. This of course includes things liek pads tires etc. But over time things like radiators will fail justa s they would on any older car. Interiors are hand made and therefore lack the durability of say GM.

      As to whther its worth it or not. Yes an owner will say its worth it. i got mine after a drive not before, it was the drive and drive experience that sold me.

      Corrospondingly it was the Drive ina 458 and a MP12 that pout me off on those cars. In my mexperience they were half the exprience of 997 Gt3. But then I think the 991 lacks seriously as a drive experience, its too,lexus.

      What makes a acr fun and viceral on the road, is not neceesarily the same thing as what makes a car nth degree fast on the track. Few cars have both some have one or the other.

      If you drive opurely for recreation on light trafficked windy roads an older ferrari is hard to beat. For regular drivign I use an equinox which imo is hard to ebat for different reasons. Horses for courses.

      If you are going to have one car to cover all tasks, its pretty hard to beat a porche.

      Last point, there is a serious stigam to owning/driving a ferrari, its in many ways a drawback. You can buy a 25k mandial but its a ferrari and you will fall under a cloud of suspicion with work collegues and customers, same as a 10k porche or old rolls. Fact is you will be lumped in with all those fashinistas buying 350k cars to show off.

      If you want an exotic it should be because you love machines, love to drive, love speed, its not rational, its a passion, then its worth it.
      Nice thing is along the way you get to meet people similarily afficted, and amongst those you dont have to explain. Kindal like mtorcysles or flying then, no logic just desire and passion.

      21 years later I still own the same car, and not because its the fastest.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “When it comes to laying down a solid multi-decade run of sucking wind, not even post-rehab Aerosmith can compete with Ferrari.”

    CADILLAC.

  • avatar
    VenomV12

    Neighbor and buddy has a red 2008 F430 Spider he bought 2 years ago and he paid something like $202,000 for it and it only had about 2,000 miles on it when he got it. I drove it a few times, it looks incredible, sounds incredible, drives incredible and yet once you buy one you will drive it a lot and then you won’t, at all for most buyers. He literally has not driven it one day this year. There is a ER doc that drives his 458 everyday to the hospital and his F430 before that, but he is a weird anomaly.

    The constant harassment from people when you pull into a gas station or anywhere for that matter, the constant fear of your car being damaged by someone I think just wears on you after awhile and as he and I were discussing one day, you sometimes get very negative and bad reactions from people that don’t even know you.

    When you really think about it, you can’t really take cars like Ferraris or Rolls Royces anywhere, in addition to all the other problems I mentioned, you kind of look like an @$$. If you take a $400,000 car to get groceries, go to the movies or virtually anywhere, you look like a Grade A pr!ck to most people, so in the end you just take your Range Rover 99% of the time anywhere, and it is still considered a prestigious vehicle, but not an unattainable one, and you will be left alone.

    Ironically the best place to own something like a Ferrari is where almost no one owns one or can afford them, like out in rural Kansas, which just has long, empty, perfectly flat roads. Whenever I see cars like Ferraris in heavy traffic in places like LA or NYC, I just think the owners are retards. What is the point, just buy an Accord, you are only going 2 mph anyway.

  • avatar
    stanczyk

    Ferrari is really on top right now(458 and F12 most exciting cars for decades(great engines and designes) -FF and Callifornia not so much :),
    what a shame they are selling them to ignorant, nouveau-riche playboys with more money than ..

    Ferrari should go back to ‘selection’ times : they should make a test of ‘brand history’ knowlegde or sth .. :)..

  • avatar
    Curt in WPG

    My brother in law has been quite successful with his business and decided to buy a toy – a 1990 348. Paid $25k and the previous owner had reportedly put over $100k into it (RED FLAG!!!). I’m in the parts industry and some of my shops work on cars like this so I know a trip to the corner store could cost a $10k timing belt job. His 348 has a 0-60 time of 5.9 and a quarter of 14.1 so it’s not the fastest car on the block but it’s a Ferrari and it’s red so wherever you go in it it turns heads. I figure that’s why someone would buy it in the first place.

    • 0 avatar
      superchan7

      Nothing wrong with the 348. It’s a great-looking car (less in-your-face than a Testarossa) with middling sports car power by today’s standards. That said, it still has a Ferrari engine that sounds like no other, and the power isn’t a problem unless you’re at the track with Boss Mustangs and Evos.

      I wonder if the $100k from the previous owner included aftermarket upgrades, or even included his actual purchase price in his “cost of ownership.”

  • avatar

    I was going to disagree with you, Jack, until that last paragraph. Yes, increase production and not tell anyone about that. That’d’ve been real genius.

    Keeping in the historical perspective, the image of the buyer humiliating himself at the dealer rings true. Reminded me of the German Holy Roman Emperor humiliating himself in the snow while the Pope stayed nice and warn in his Conossa castle in Ravenna.

    Thanks for the great article.

  • avatar

    If I had Ferrary kind of money, I would have bought a hachiroku and a used Cirrus SR22 (new ones retail for $800k+ in 2014).

    I know a guy who has an R35 GT-R. In a year, he drove it out of the garage once, just to prove to me and other guys that he actually had it.

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