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"Fiat Era" Ferraris

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by Husker, Jul 13, 2020.

  1. Husker

    Husker F1 Veteran
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    I have heard this term used quite a bit on various Ferrari-related programs, and it seems to be a derogatory one. Apparently the 348 was squarely in the Fiat era, but I had two 348s and I thought both were quite nice cars and I never had a problem with either of them. I wasn't super crazy about the dash and the gauge design, but I am sure that it was great for that period.

    Fiat owned 90% of Ferrari from 1988 until 2014, yet the 2000s cars are not considered Fiat era, is that correct? Supposedly, "Fiat era" ended with the end of the f355, but I don't get the math on that, since Fiat's majority ownership went for many years after that.

    Can the experts weigh in on this?
     
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  3. JP365

    JP365 Formula 3

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    Not an expert, but grew up around Ferraris. In the late 70s early 80s old timers referred to Dino’s and 308s as “Gold chain fiats.” With the Dino, I get the connection because of the Fiat Dino, but with the 308 it seemed more of an attack on 308 owners who, at least to the old guys, seemed flashy and more into the image as opposed to the history, racing, etc. Likewise, As the 80s wore on, and especially after Enzo died, the cars changed radically from the 60s and 70s cars. At this point, I think the term is pretty much dead because there are very few people remaining from that era.
     
  4. PaulK

    PaulK F1 Rookie
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    I believe the Fiat era Ferraris are used to describe the period between Enzo and LdM. It was a period of much soul searching. When the old man died they brought in a ton of "suits" from Fiat and they didn't really jibe with the culture at Ferrari.
     
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  5. Statler

    Statler F1 World Champ
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    They weren’t trail rated until the post-fiat era.
     
  6. Bryanp

    Bryanp F1 Rookie
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    There was a Mike Sheehan market column from many years ago in which he described/enumerated the various Ferrari production "eras" using the Enzo, Fiat and LdM descriptors, and the descriptors stuck.
     
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  8. Husker

    Husker F1 Veteran
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    So when did LdM begin?
     
  9. Husker

    Husker F1 Veteran
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    This is probably heresy, but I estimate that the 308 is the most recognized Ferraris of all time, to the masses. I recall one time that I had a 1982 308 GTSi - I paid $21K for it - that was only in fair condition, and I put it in a local car show/fundraiser here. There were some pretty darn nice rides in that show at least for a small town. An Aston Martin, a Ford GT, a Carrera GT, a near perfect Pantera, and some other cool cars. Guess who won the "Mayor's Choice?" The Ferrari, worth less than a Honda Accord. I asked her later why she picked my car, and she said "hey, it's a Ferrari." :D
     
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  10. PFSEX

    PFSEX Formula Junior

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    First came the ENZO ERA. From day 1 into the early 1970s. These are the Ferraris that are revered and that you cannot afford to buy. They were virtually hand made (especially the earlier ones) in very small quantities. Cost was not of much concern. They just priced the cars high enough to turn a profit. With so few to sell and no competition, they could do that. There really wasn't anything else being made that came close. These cars were special and are considered the best of all the the immediate post-war cars made. They all had V12 engines. Although production was small, there were many, many different models. The last real Enzo era car was the 275 GTB. The Daytona was the first car to bridge the 2 eras, the Boxer was the last car in the bridge. By the mid-70s the Enzo era was history.

    The FIAT ERA began at the end of the Enzo era - duh. The gas crisis and the EPA regulations (smog) were major factors as was Enzo's old age. Watch the Ford v Ferrari movie to get an idea of what was happening. Ferrari had to change to keep alive. they had to modernize the way they did things. Enzo made a deal for fiat to buy control of Ferrari. Fiat wanted to build more more cars and make more money. As Fiat began to take over Fiat sourced parts began to be used in ferraris to reduce costs. The first car to bridge into the Fiat era was the Dino. It was the little Ferrari. Was it really a Ferrari??? Really a joint venture between Fiat and Ferrari as the same engine was used in the Fiat Dinos. For the purists, this was the beginning of the end. The first real Fiat era cars were the 308 and the Testarossa The cars were viewed as being lesser than the Enzo cars. My girlfriend at the time called 308s 'glorified Fiats.' Although the 308 is looked on fondly now, it was not so when it was new. It was good, but not a 275 GTB or a Lusso or a 250 SWB. It was what was needed - not what was wanted.

    During the Fiat era Ferrari was losing prestige and sales were not as desired. Times were tough (Vietnam,oil embargo, smog rules) and the cars (all cars really) were suffering. LdM was brought in to right the ship. He was an Enzo confidant and friend. He famously stated that the 348 was not worthy to be called a Ferrari.
    Things began to change in the Luca d. The cars got bigger and more practical. Quality was improved. Prices jumped. They were made to the new world standard. So the LdM ERA began. The 355 was the transition car between eras. The 360 and the 550 were Luca era cars.

    A new era began about 2010 - the SUPERCAR ERA. Suddenly even the V8 cars have ridiculous performance. Suddenly there are a million manufacturers building cars to compete with Ferrari. Something is going to happen and all of these cars are going to disappear. Then all the eras will be history
     
  11. Husker

    Husker F1 Veteran
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    that's a thoughtful write-up! Thank you!
     
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  13. Balsamina

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    I believe this article was published in 2009. https://ferraris-online.com/60-years-and-three-ages-of-ferrari/
     
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  14. paulchua

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    To me there are 4 eras

    Early Enzo - 125 S and Daytona the bookends

    Late Enzo - 365 GTC/4 and 456 the bookends

    LDM Era - F355 and F8 series the bookends

    Public Era - Portofino starts it
     
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  15. Husker

    Husker F1 Veteran
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    good read. I took note of the comment that said (paraphrase), that the mass production cars after Enzo have “flat-lined” and represent “no enduring value”.

    Well, I know I sold a decent 82 308 for $27K around the time of his article, and I think they a solid $20-30K above that now. I also sold two 348s a couple years later for the low $40s. Add $15K to them now.
     
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  16. paulchua

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    Great write up, I really enjoyed reading this. Funny how so many folks hated the Dino and called it a "Fake" Ferrari. My how time change.
     
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  17. Husker

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    watch the 308s over the next 10 years...
     
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  18. PFSEX

    PFSEX Formula Junior

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    You gotta add at least one zero to begin talking about what Enzo era cars are going for.
     
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  19. paulchua

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    To expand a bit of why I choose these terms and cars, let me expound.

    The 125 S being the first Ferrari although some could argue I'm sure some Alpha Romeo as the 'true' First. I choose the Daytona and not the Dino because the Daytona is introduced in 1968 before Fiat took 50% control in early 1969. Dino 206 introduced in 1967.

    The 365 GTC/4 I feel is the actual 'first' bridge model, and upon reflection, I put it back in the Early Enzo since based on the Daytona platform.
    I prefer using the "Late" Enzo vernacular since Enzo still was alive and had a say with certain cars like the F40. The trio of the 308 GT4, 365 BB, and 365 GT4 being what I assume as the first real Late Enzo portfolio.' I use the 456 as the bookend since it unveiled in 1991 - a year before LDM took over.

    It's no secret that LDM used the F355 to spearhead his credentials, and his ouster in 2014 didn't mean his fingerprints aren't on the 458 (hence the 488 announced in 2014, and subsequent F8.)

    Or The Cali, F12 (subsequent 812 and 812 Aperta) and FF (subsequent GTC4 Lusso) - The F8 the last model based on LDM's "DNA," so to speak.

    I argue the Portofino and subsequent SF90 are the first two cars under the direction of the late Sweater (RIP) man and the Public era.
     
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  20. Husker

    Husker F1 Veteran
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    No doubt. Yet my dad bought a 1963 250 GTE for $6500 in approx. 1979. Needed some rust remediation and a respray. My mom got it in their divorce in 1983 and sold it for $3500. Today’s cheapo Ferrari = tomorrow’s ????

    Fun to sit back and watch!
     
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  21. PFSEX

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    The later cars - post about 1987 - face 2 daunting hurdles in their move to appreciate.

    1 - Production numbers are much higher than the earlier cars

    2 - All of the sensors, electronics, and control modules they have will be very hard to repair or replace in the future. I think this is the big hurdle - can the 'electronic era' cars be kept on the road.
     
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  22. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Four Time F1 World Champ
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    While I'll never understand why chips work fine in Toyotas, but don't in Ferraris, the notion later cars are throw-a-aways hasn't come true. In fact, there are plenty of after-market workarounds for late model Ferraris. They are still machines. Machines can be fixed.
     
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  23. Jack-the-lad

    Jack-the-lad Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Sheehan wrote a pretty comprehensive treatise on this in Sports Car Market a few years ago.
     
  24. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Four Time F1 World Champ
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    What did he say?
     
  25. Bryanp

    Bryanp F1 Rookie
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    My Dad bought 0556(0446)MD for $2,200 in 1960 and sold it for $5M 58 years later; so add three zeroes and then double that w/ some extra!
     
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  26. paulchua

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    Here is the article my friend

    I self servingly prefer the term early enzo (1950s-1969/late enzo (1970-1988)
     
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  27. 308 milano

    308 milano F1 Rookie
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    That would be absolutely Grand!;)

    The way things in my life work, I would buy it for $2200 and then get sued for $5 mil!
     
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  28. PFSEX

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    $5 million for a Dino sounds unbelievable. They really didn't make Dinos until the late 1960s. Maybe one of the race cars...??
     

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