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FCA membership worth it

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by osuav8r, Feb 16, 2020.

  1. vincep99

    vincep99 Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Jun 8, 2009
    1,759
    Worth every penny even if you do not yet own one:
    1. You will get great advice for when you are ready.
    2. You will meet great people.
    3. You may get to ride in one on one of the drives
    4. Depending on the sponsoring dealer you may get a discount in parts (and labor)

    Ours is a driving club, and we also do weekend trips. In the winter in Michigan we obviously don't drive, so that is when we do social events.
     
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  2. PaulK

    PaulK F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Apr 24, 2004
    3,753
    Michigan
    Full Name:
    Paul
    I think it's worth every penny. I have met some lifelong friends through the club, and I get to see/do things that wouldn't normally be possible. It's just a bonus I get 10% off my service bill.
     
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  3. Zanny1

    Zanny1 Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 19, 2003
    576
    Fountain Hills, Arizona
    Full Name:
    Mike
    Any of you Texas boyz remember the "Texas Ferrari Club"? I was living in Houston from 1985-1991 and a member of that club. A bunch of great guys and some memorable trips up to the Bellville area. Often wonder what became of the group. I know JR Vallandingham passed away many years ago. He was the Tech Rep and a pretty competent dude.
     
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  4. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
    Staff Member Admin Owner Miami 2018

    Dec 1, 2000
    50,290
    Southlake, TX
    Full Name:
    Rob Lay
    I don't understand how anyone could own a Ferrari in the states and not have all of these cheap memberships...

    FCA $180
    Forza $50
    Cavallino $50
    FML $100
    FerrariChat $15

    You may not read every word or take full advantage, but we're really talking about $400 TOTAL?

    Replace Iverson's "Practice" with "FCA Membership". :D

     
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  5. Carnut

    Carnut F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed

    Nov 3, 2003
    3,635
    Gladwyne PA
    Full Name:
    Morrie
    I am a member of many car clubs, though I have (I like to support these type of things) never been to a single meeting, and I probably never will go to one. I imagine if you are not near a dealership and the club is active it would be a wise move. I am fortunate to live only a few minutes from Algar Ferrari and I do drop by on occasion, though these days (since some of the people I knew for a very long time are gone), I spend more time down in the service department than anywhere else. The service guys and I talk shop and they always find what I am doing (and to what car) interesting (or at least they pretend too). You can learn a lot (whether you are new to the brand or not) from the folks who actually work on these cars, and they may have learned a few things from me over the years as well. I always make sure that I know everyone in service on a first name basis. The group at Algar are great people and very good at what they do. There are ways to make the F1 work better in a 360, but if most of your driving is going to be in congested areas I would advise going with a three pedal car or as others have said a 458. Good luck.
     
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  6. vincep99

    vincep99 Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Jun 8, 2009
    1,759
    Rob,
    Thanks for bringing up the other memberships as well. I estimate my $15 F-Chat membership has saved me well over 1000 times that (yes, $15,000) in repair and maintenance tips.
     
  7. osuav8r

    osuav8r Karting
    Rossa Subscribed

    Feb 16, 2005
    125
    Houston, TX
    Full Name:
    Alan

    Just Rossa subscribed. Thanks for mentioning it Rob. I've been lurking for year and have found a lot of value here, so I decided it's time I sign up.
     
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  8. cavsct94

    cavsct94 Karting

    Aug 26, 2013
    144
    Indianapolis, IN
    Full Name:
    Mike
    I've enjoyed being a member, but I suspect there are plenty of variables specific to your situation. Here's why I've enjoyed it: 1) local events; 2) regional events; 3) Ferrari Challenge Race weekends.
     
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  9. TiminAustin

    TiminAustin Rookie

    Mar 19, 2019
    8
    Full Name:
    Tim Purcell
    If you can make it up to Austin, I have friends that have 360s, 430s, 355s, 458s, 488s, and would definitely give you a ride, possible let you drive as well. Let me know if you're interested!
    Tim
     
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  10. seven64sls

    seven64sls Rookie

    Nov 25, 2008
    4
    I have been a member of the FCA for almost 20 years - Central States Region, Illinois Chapter. I have been on the Board for most of that time & can assure you that membership is worth every penny. We put on over 15 events from March until a Holiday dinner in early December. There are rallies, track events, social events, etc. Something for everybody ! The Prancing Horse quarterly magazine is worthy of your coffee table & worth the price of membership alone. Keep in mind that membership allows you to participate in events at all the Chapters in the US - another great benefit in addition to the various discounts. We are fortunate to have an EXTREMELY supportive dealership in the Chicago area which makes a huge amount of difference.
    One thing I have observed over the length of my membership is that if you are the type of owner who bought the car just to impress your friends & neighbors & really don't know what you have, you will have difficulty fitting in. In my experience, those guys only show up to one event, find out that there are a whole bunch of folks with cars just as expensive or more so, and never return.
    If I were you, I would locate the Regional or Chapter website & get in touch with someone on the Board. They would be happy to have you as a guest at most of the events and could readily answer any questions that come up.
     
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  11. Alan McGrath

    Alan McGrath Rookie

    Jul 2, 2018
    13
    Los Angleles, California
    Full Name:
    ALAN McGRATH
    F430 or the 458 are both very good choices, both cars are great on the race track especially the 458. In the end it will come down to what you like and feel comfortable in. I have owned many older Ferrari's, take a lot of time and money to take care of the older ones
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  12. rquad

    rquad Karting

    Jul 26, 2019
    73
    Georgia
    I bought my 360 without having driven or even sat in a Ferrari before. I'm 6'4" and have about an inch of headroom. The car fits me fine in every aspect. I've yet to join a car club - that may change, but so far I haven't seen a need for it. There are plenty of opportunities to meet other exotic owners in the Metro Atlanta area, so I don't see myself missing much by not having a club membership.

    As to the OP's questions about which car to buy, it sounds like you're a bit picky - and I don't mean that as a negative. Whereas I was happy with my purchase without a test drive first, I get the vibe that you really should try a car before you buy it. I find the F1 in my 360 fine, but I've heard people say the 430's tranny is "so much better" that maybe you're the kind of person who needs the later model. The only jerkiness I experience is in a parking lot in 1st gear with no throttle applied - it's the exact same jerkiness you would get with a manual, so it doesn't bother me.
     
  13. intrepidcva11

    intrepidcva11 F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jan 12, 2009
    2,702
    Saratoga Springs NY
    Full Name:
    Seth
    I bought my first Ferrari, the 365GTC speciale #10581, from Luigi Chinetti Sr in June 1978. Rene Dreyfus, the great French racing driver who had also created the legendary New York restaurant, Le Chanticler, drove it from Chinetti Intl l to the mini-concours where he handed me the keys. Mr. Chinetti asked me if I wished to take a membership in the Ferrari Club of America. I replied that I regarded this car as a lifetime purchase, so of course. I think annual membership was $25. In view of my reply, Chinetti said I think they also have a lifetime membership at $300. 'I'll have that one' I said. Best buy ever, aside the 365GTC. 2020-1978 = 42 years (I'm now 89 and still driving my 412 and 575M Maranello). $300. divided by 42 years = $7.15/year. :)

    FCA membership is a must. Regional events (I'm in the Empire State Region but also attend New England Region and NewJersey/Penn Region events) as well as the annual National Meets that move about the country. Fun, friendships and an opportunity to drive your Ferrari in synch with others similarly disposed.
     
  14. vincep99

    vincep99 Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Jun 8, 2009
    1,759
    Bob in Texas,
    Nice pictures! We has a similar event at the Gilmore museum in Michigan, where the Club Members got to park inside the museum grounds and thus became part of the museum
     
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  15. GameMaker

    GameMaker Formula Junior
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Apr 17, 2014
    312
    WA State
    More than worth it. Our chapter is amazing in the pacific northwest.
     
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  16. osuav8r

    osuav8r Karting
    Rossa Subscribed

    Feb 16, 2005
    125
    Houston, TX
    Full Name:
    Alan
    Thank you for the thoughtful answer. I've always been a car guy and always wanted a Ferrari specifically. I'd be pretty happy with anything from a decent driver 355 up to a 458 and I know no one at the club is going to bat an eyelash at anything I'm going to be buying and I'm totally good with that. I'm actually headed to an event tonight. I'm really hoping to get some exposure to the different models sitting side by side as I'm mentally pinballing back and forth between models terribly the past few days and I'm driving myself crazy trying to zero in on a model to pursue so I can focus on finding a good example. With 4 possibilities in mind (355,360,430, and 458) with wildly different requirements for initial outlay, service costs, and overall experience, I'm having a bit of a helmet fire right now and I'm hoping that meeting some owners and seeing them all together will put things in sharper relief.
     
  17. intrepidcva11

    intrepidcva11 F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jan 12, 2009
    2,702
    Saratoga Springs NY
    Full Name:
    Seth
    Noting that like almost all newbies you're looking only at eight-cylinder cars. Suggest that you broaden your vision to include Ferrari 12's. Bear in mind that the Commendatore himself once said 'a Ferrari is a 12 cylinder automobile with the engine before the driver.' A 575M Maranello is one of the truly great GT berlinettas ever put on the road, a flawless design, and while not a sharp, edgy car on the track, far more comfortable on any longer road trip. And some prices have dropped below $100K.

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  18. arachnyd

    arachnyd Karting

    Feb 5, 2016
    111
    Springboro
    I keep saying I want to join it, but its really expensive given the fact that I can join all the local FCA events without being a member... Just haven't seen a good reason to join. I'm even on their mailing list and facebook group.
     
  19. intrepidcva11

    intrepidcva11 F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jan 12, 2009
    2,702
    Saratoga Springs NY
    Full Name:
    Seth
    at least you are describing yourself well
     
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  20. osuav8r

    osuav8r Karting
    Rossa Subscribed

    Feb 16, 2005
    125
    Houston, TX
    Full Name:
    Alan
    I think the V12 cars are sharp looking, but I'm not much for grand touring. My feeling toward a Ferrari are similar to my feelings about motorcycles. I like really sporty, quick handling ones that you ride for 30 minutes, then park them. I really like the sounds an F12 makes, but they're slightly more money of course and I'm just more drawn to the mid engine v8 cars. No right or wrong here, but I guess I prefer the short nose look..
     
  21. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Four Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Apr 28, 2003
    42,361
    Texas!
    There’s a problem with your motorcycle comparison. Namely, you’ll be going too fast if you drive a Ferrari like a motorcycle. I know because this is the path I took. The survival instinct keeps most of us from doing really stupid things on a motorcycle. You feel it too much. But a late model Ferrari will fool you into thinking you’re better than you are. Even in my “GT” Maranello, I would find myself doing 90 shifting into third, while still in a suburban residential neighborhood, i. e., three blocks from my house. But it didn’t feel fast at all.

    A street going Ferrari works best on those country roads where you used to ride a motorcycle. But instead of being worried about doing a face plant, you have four wheels and great brakes to keep you out of trouble.

    If you’re coming from motorcycles, my recommendation is to pay attention to weight not engine size. My Challenge Stradale was more fun than the law allows.

    Good luck.


    Sent from my iPhone using FerrariChat
     
  22. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Four Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Apr 28, 2003
    42,361
    Texas!
    Oh, and one more thing - torque. Can't ever have too much torque in a street car.
     
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  23. spike308

    spike308 F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 8, 2003
    3,928
    Austin TX!
    Full Name:
    Mike Z
    Regarding FCA membership… Over the years I’ve questioned if it’s worth it… When I was in Chicago there really weren’t very many events. I also have a weird work schedule so I missed a bunch of stuff.
    Our local group here in Austin definitely has more events, definitely more worth it…

    This past year it was worth it’s weight in gold. I’ve had a 308 for a long time, I do not take it to the dealer for service, always use independent folks. Trying to set up a factory tour was basically impossible, despite a tangential personal connection to a Ferrari dealer. I was in contact with the local dealer… I got nowhere with them. I’m just not on their radar.
    Already had a trip planned Italy, had a very small window to take my son to the factory, as a reward for getting his Eagle Scout. Got very frustrated that I was getting nowhere… Then FCA had a lottery. I didn’t get the lottery slots, however they then opened it up and I got a tour for my son and I, exactly when I needed it.

    Worth it’s weight in gold!
     
  24. SAFE4NOW

    SAFE4NOW F1 Rookie
    Sponsor

    Aug 25, 2004
    3,665
    Dallas Texas
    Full Name:
    Steve F

    Glad you were able to get a slot for a factory tour! You will not be disappointed.

    Just to address your point of frustration , you yourself clearly state that you do not do business with your local Ferrari Dealership. Then, you are bothered that you cannot get anywhere when asking for a favor for the factory tour. Ending by saying that you are not on their radar.

    Being sponsored by your Dealership for a factory tour means that the dealership is paying for you and your guest to take the tour.
    Usually , at least in my experience, we sponsor owners who 1. Purchase their Ferrari from us 2. Service their Ferrari with us -OR- 3. Are dealership advocates
    We will have made money from those transaction, giving some of that money back to you in the form of a factory tour.

    Personally , I try my best to cultivate the Ferrari owner experience , Ferrari Club of America being a fantastic vehicle for building not just value, but the relationship between owners/members/dealership.

    You don't HAVE to have a relationship with the dealership, that is completely up to you, but to be upset that you can get anywhere when asking for a benefit and not getting it seems misdirected.

    Lucky as you said, your FCA membership opened up the door for you, and you will both create amazing memories that will last a lifetime!

    S
     
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