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Ownership experience vs air cooled 911?

Discussion in 'Mondial' started by r-mm, Nov 27, 2018.

  1. r-mm

    r-mm Rookie

    Aug 8, 2012
    26
    Hi all

    I'm a DIY guy (did a total restoration on my '73 Alfa, have some time consuming projects under the knife now). I don't commute far or even at all every day and in the past used a 'driver' '87 911 as my only car. I had no problem dropping the motor for a clutch, valve guides etc. Helped that parts were reasonable when you shop around and maintenance advice was abundant (pelican parts, bentley book, youtube). Also helped that its value doubled by the time I sold it a few years back, making my maintenance hobby "free".

    I like the Mondial T a lot - have always liked the slightly unusual shapes and kicked myself for not acting on my 308GT4 fandom before they got pricey. I'm curious to hear from DIY types about their ownership experience, especially if you also have Aircooled porsche wrench experience to compare it to. I do have an E30 I drive when it gets really ugly out in New Engand but would be buying a Mondial to drive it, a lot.
     
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  3. greyboxer

    greyboxer F1 World Champ

    Dec 8, 2004
    11,185
    South East
    Full Name:
    Jimmie
    There's about a dozen 911 comparator threads that might be worth looking at together with a Mondial DIY sticky and that's before any other individual maintenance threads - happy reading !
     
  4. r-mm

    r-mm Rookie

    Aug 8, 2012
    26
    Thanks - am I being really dense or is there no "search" function here?
     
  5. greyboxer

    greyboxer F1 World Champ

    Dec 8, 2004
    11,185
    South East
    Full Name:
    Jimmie
    On the 'New' style there's a search magnifying glass top right by your sign in which then offers sub-groups if you click 'more'
     
  6. r-mm

    r-mm Rookie

    Aug 8, 2012
    26
    ah, thanks
     
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  8. Wade

    Wade Three Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Mar 31, 2006
    32,194
    East Central, FL
    Full Name:
    Wade O.
    There are absolutely no comparisons between any Mondial and an air-cooled Porsche (well, maybe a few electric gizmos). So just forget about it. Instead, find a Mondial, take it for a drive and then evaluate it for what it is. :)

    Oh, and while the t is more complicated then its predecessors, all are fairly simple cars.
     
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  9. 2cam

    2cam Formula Junior

    Aug 28, 2014
    634
    Austin, Texas
    Full Name:
    MikeS
    I have a 3.2 Carrera and a 3.2 Mondial (both Coupes) right now. I haven't had the Mondial long enough to provide an accurate, long-term comparison. However, here are my initial thoughts:

    • The Carrera has better materials and build quality - it just feels more solid than the Mondial.
    • There were over 130K air-cooled 911s produced during the same production period as the Mondial which had just above 6K units made. As a result, the parts supply (in general) seems to be significantly better for the air-cooled 911s with better prices. Many parts are available for the Mondial, but I'm concerned about things like glass, weatherstripping, body parts, and unique interior and trim items. Although there are a few NLA items, just about anything for an old 911 can be found or adopted fairly easily. The number of parts providers is more extensive than those for Mondials as well.
    • While this forum is fantastic, the support infrastructure for a DIY owner of a 911 is nearly endless (Pelican and Rennlist just to name two). The cars have had an insane amount of talent thrown at them over the years. As a point of reference, just do a search for Porsche 911/912 rust repair and restoration projects. There are quite a few articles here, but the 911 content is multiples and multiples of what the Mondial has available. Nothing wrong with that, it is what it is due to the number of 911s produced and their popularity over the years.
    • I'm not sure that the Mondials are more complex cars (talking about the 8/QV/3.2) than a 911 from a servicing perspective. Everything seems easy to access. Looking around and under the car, nothing seems super challenging on my 3.2 (except for perhaps working on the bank closest to the front of the engine compartment and the starter assembly). The cooling system adds more complexity and the need to change belts is a bit more work, but overall, it isn't too bad.
    With all of this said (perhaps I'm still in a honeymoon period), I like the Mondial more. The styling is much better in person than photos can convey. When I walk into the garage, my attention is immediately drawn to it versus the Carrera. The sound of the motor is intoxicating and the shifting of the transmission is so much more enjoyable than that of the 915 5 speed in my 911.

    I took the Carrera out for a 3 hour drive early in the a.m. this past Sunday with a couple of buddies. We ran our cars hard on empty, winding, undulating county roads Northeast of Austin. The 911 ran fantastic and did everything that it should. However, I found myself missing the sound of the Mondial and wishing that I had taken it instead. Returning home, I decided that I'm ready to sell the Carrera. The Mondial is everything that I want in a classic car. It's just right.

    2cam
     
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  10. Temple

    Temple Formula Junior

    Jun 13, 2015
    564
    Portland, OR
    Full Name:
    Temple
    So great to hear this 2cam >>>> that you enjoy your mondi so much. It certainly appears that your 3-4 year search concluded so happily/so well (****ty English I know) and that ultimately you were able to find (pretty much) EXACTLY the car you were looking for. ENJOY (but it sounds like you already are!!)

    Temple

    p.s. I guess the BaT Mondi cab wasn’t meant to be, but EVERYTHING for a reason!! Lol
     
  11. r-mm

    r-mm Rookie

    Aug 8, 2012
    26
    2Cam thanks that's a great comparison much appreciated. One thing I'd like to ask is how much less practical is the Mondial vis a vis ground clearance, driving when cold, parking, etc? What I loved about the 911 is that it really had zero issues being a daily even year round driver. Great visibility, excellent luggage space (rear seats), reasonable MPG, ground clearance (my car was stock), not too loud etc etc. Does the Mondial feel like a fragile supercar or does it feel like the Carrera? I have some truly impractical old cars that serve as fair weather weekend summer drivers and I'm looking for a car I can drive just about anywhere anytime. I guess my feeling is that cool cars should be something that brighten your day every day, not just for special occasions.
     
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  13. syata

    syata Formula Junior

    Feb 23, 2017
    356
    I don’t think you have any issues with ground clearance vs other sports cars. Just be careful when approaching speed bumps that you don’t go too fast.
    For parking, SUVs are larger and their owners find parking. I am always careful where I park. I much rather walk further and in my mind my car will not get door dings.
    The Mondial has a back seat you can fold down and a trunk, so you have luggage space but don’t go to Costco or any of those warehouse places a d buy in bulk.
    Not sure where you going with mpg. It is a sports car and will get worse mpg than modern economy cars. I don’t look at the mph but the miles per smiles I get driving.
    The car sounds great. For me not too loud but fine and what an Italian sports car should sound like...different than America muscle cars.
    My CAB dies but feel fragile.
    These are older cars so my attitude is anything can give or break anytime. I just deal with it as they come. The once in a while set back out weights my fahr-Vergnügen lol
    Good luck in finding the car you like.


    Sent from my iPhone using FerrariChat.com mobile app
     
  14. Temple

    Temple Formula Junior

    Jun 13, 2015
    564
    Portland, OR
    Full Name:
    Temple
    Note: I believe that it was not until the t (coupe) that the rear seats could fold down. Previous itinerarions (coupe); the 8, the QV, and the 3.2, the rear seats could not/did not fold down. As far as I know the rear seats in cabs, all versions, could always fold down.

    Temple
     
  15. moysiuan

    moysiuan Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 1, 2005
    2,173
    Canada
    I have driven my Mondial 3.2 Cab, as a downtown commuter is heavy Toronto traffic, weekend chores including hauling cedars in the back seat, and drive it from early spring right til the salt hits the roads, off for the winter months, for about 12 years. The heater works well, I think its internals are similar to a BMW unit of the era, albeit you need to make sure you bleed the coolant repeatedly after coolant change, these cars are hard to bleed. I use Pirelli P7 All Season Plus tires, compliant ride for daily use, and as I drive in the near freezing shoudler seasons, they have great cold/wet grip as well although I rarely get caught out in the rain, tend to drive roof down and check the forecast. I detail the car for fun and keep it so clean I don't want to splatter it up in the rain anyways. Ground clearance is fine for most city situations, I go slow just in case, as the clearance is on the margin on some commercial driveway inclines and exits, but not really something I think much about. Parking is a bit of a chore, in that no power steering and a fairly wide turning circle can make parking in a tight new downtown underground a bit more worrisome than in a car with power steering and/or a smaller car. Need to take your time. The gas milage is about not great (I think its specified in the owners manual), but the tank capacity is pretty good, I don't find that a factor one way or another.

    The Mondial feels like a high quality build, I don't drive it like it is fragile, but you need to be aware that the modern SUV's can't see you down low, so you do need to drive defensively and anticipate the road warrior rush hour behaviours.

    Had a Porche 944 and breifly a 993, I really liked the tossability of the 944 and miss it but never connected with the 993 albeit it is the run out model for the 911, it seemed neither vintage nor modern to me and the styling was certainly unique but not really beautiful.

    I did like the fact parts and service Porsche is like a regular car, the Ferrari definitely is in a low volume league of cars and all that implies.

    The Mondial is unique, I think stunning, and it feels mechanical and engaging. Combined with reliability, which may be related to the fact I maintain it to a very high standard, that's why I still own it after 12 years! You need to be a committed owner to use the car as a daily, but it's fun and makes me feel good when I drive it. The committment comes naturally.
     
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  16. r-mm

    r-mm Rookie

    Aug 8, 2012
    26
    Thanks all I really appreciate the real-world reviews. As I alluded to my real passion is restoring older cars - 73 GTV and 65 912 in the garage now - and I go back and forth between daily driving something "responsible" and "fun". Sold the 911 G50 coupe and now drive an E30 sedan. So I'm no stranger to older cars that need love but it helps to hear from those of you who have put some serious miles on a Ferrari.
     
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  17. AUDIO RESEARCH

    AUDIO RESEARCH Formula Junior

    Feb 11, 2009
    310
    PHILIPPINES
    Full Name:
    LUIGI RAYMUND LIRA
    I still have my 89 930 . In comparison w/ my Ferrari Mondial the Porsche feels slow but it’s going fast probably because it’s a coupe . The Mondial being a cabriolet feels fast but your going slower and the engine sound is to die for . The ride is less choppy . The Porsche is practical as a daily driver but I’m not comfortable driving it daily because prices for the 930 has gone up .
     
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  18. 2cam

    2cam Formula Junior

    Aug 28, 2014
    634
    Austin, Texas
    Full Name:
    MikeS
    To me at least, the Mondial feels a bit more "fragile" than the Carrera. I'm not referring to the mechanicals (honestly don't expect to have more mechanical issues than one would encounter with the Carrera). With that said, the car does feel a bit less solid than the Porsche. The doors feel less substantial when they close (of course, the 911s are famous for how solidly their doors close - maybe it's not a fair comparison). As for ground clearance, my 911 ('86) is set at Euro ride height and the Mondial still seems just a tad bit lower. I have to be careful coming in or out of my driveway with either car or they will scrape. The gas mileage definitely seems to be less on the Mondial. That motor is REALLY thirsty compared to the 911. I haven't tested for mileage but initial estimates would put it in the mid teens versus low to mid 20s for the Carrera. As for sound, the Mondial is perfect. Not too obtrusive, but plenty of the right sounds to enjoy.

    Interestingly, I've had a '66 912 and a couple of 105 series GTVs (72 and a 74 - COOL cars!). I LOVE older, classic cars. However, while one COULD use either the Mondial or the Carrera daily (although the AC in the Carrera is a bit lacking for Texas without some significant upgrades), I would prefer to keep them as weekend/occasional weekly use cars. After a series of problematic modern-esque era BMWs and Mercedes, I've lost my patience for European cars as daily drivers. I've fallen in love with Lexus (Toyota) products as daily drivers and would prefer to have a minty, 10 year old Lexus as a daily driver that can be run without worry and save my cool, Euro classics primarily for weekend use or when I'm in the mood for a fun jaunt around town or on some local backroads. We went camping this weekend and took our 15 year old, 230K mile LX470 (9/10 original paint and interior, no squeaks/clunks/or other weird noises) and drove a couple of hours each way. We went blasting down some great gravel roads (about 45 minutes worth) to get to our camp site, did a couple of low river crossings, piled in a ton of gear and never once was concerned about the reliability of the truck after giving a quick check of the fluids and tires before leaving. It's experiences like that that make it easy to get spoiled with Japanese build quality and reliability and to relegate the classic, Euro iron to weekend duty.

    Your experiences may vary... ;)

    2cam
     
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  19. moysiuan

    moysiuan Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 1, 2005
    2,173
    Canada
    st is easy to get spoiled on the apparent reliability of Japanese cars, but regardless of brand for the most part most people's car problems are dead batteries, alternators, starters and water pumps. Even many of the exotic car problems can often be attributed to the basic systems noted. The cutting edge Merc and BMW's all have electrical glitches with all the gadegts, but mostly do not strand you anywhere. That said, the neghbours Merc C Class went on fire one morning, had to help her with that, a coil had blown up I think, 2 year old car, not confidence inspring.

    The cars that bother me are BMW with failing vanos set ups, head gasket leaks, Porsches with rear main seal leaks, Cayenne differential shaft bearing and intake manifold problems, Audi oil consumptions, etc.. There are it seem more fundamental and serious design flaws on the lux Euro cars. Weird given how the engineering reputations are so strong, and they have high volumes so no excuses. The Japan cars do seem to be better designed, and the sub supplier quality control seem higher.

    My old Mondial has never left me stranded, idles for hours sometimes in grid lock traffic (that's Toronto for you) with no overheating. Almost wouldn't start one day some years ago, but the battery had corroded around the terminal, wiggled it and it started up. Replaced the battery with an AGM type to avoid that happening again. And through rotuine inspection after an e test and I was rechecking the idle speed, I caught a potential hose failure, the one buried under the intake manifold to the water pump that no one ever changes, balooned and could have burst. Replaced with the Dave Helms hose (I had done the others but not that one), and that's that. Had an original 30 year old clutch slave hose weeping, also caught that when adjusting the parking brake linkage, that could have been a problem. This is why I always tell people who buy these old cars to replace the rubber hoses, fuel, brake and coolant, it is age not the make of car that is causing these potential stranding events. Reliability for me is linked to regular inspections. I find detailing the car, engine, bay, interior has me inspecting things closely, so I catch the minor things before they are major.
     
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  20. thesmithsUK

    thesmithsUK Karting

    Sep 10, 2018
    52
    Full Name:
    Geoff Smith
    In terms of the different driving experience, this is a useful, comparative video (albeit between a 1985 308 QV and a 1986 Carrera 3.2):



    I have a 1990 964 C4 Cab alongside my 1984 Mondial QV and recognise many of the points she makes in the video.
     
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  21. 88MONDIAL

    88MONDIAL Formula 3

    Apr 13, 2005
    1,030
    Racine, Wisconsin
    Full Name:
    Jim Smith
    Wow, that woman did a GREAT job on her review, and was about spot on with everything she said, she even talks about the "eagerness" the Ferrari has - which is how I have always explained these V8 Ferraris. The only thing I don't understand is how she holds the steering wheel!
     
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  22. scottmar

    scottmar Karting

    Sep 11, 2006
    113
    Atlanta
    Full Name:
    Scottmar
    I have had long wheelbase early 911's, T, E, and S. I have an 89 Mondial T coupe. The cars are so completely different that it is hard to compare them. Here are my impressions. The Porsche when it is properly set up and tuned is both fun to drive and utterly reliable. The confidence it inspires is part of what makes you want to drive it more often. When you approach redline, the MFI of the E and S makes a wonderful howling sound, otherwise it is fairly quiet. It feels extremely well built, with no rattles or creaks. The Mondial is much more exciting to look at in person. The Pininfarina design is pretty much flawless., although the Porsche design is also very solid. When it is running and driving it gives you a Ferrari experience that just can not be matched by other cars. The sound, the handling and unique interior, and hand built quality, all add to the experience. It is easy to drive both on the highway and in traffic, but I always feel more vulnerable in modern traffic with the Ferrari than with the Porsche. Both are cars that when you contemplate selling them for one reason or another, when you get in and drive them, they are both equally unique and you quickly put aside any thought of selling them.
    Scott
     
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  23. MvT

    MvT F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    May 25, 2013
    3,961
    The Netherlands - NH
    Full Name:
    Tijn
    It's a very great video of Geoff, the Mondial is more a GT then the 308, where the 308 is much better to handle on mountain roads then the Mondial.

    For the T version of the Mondial. That is a very different ride compared to the 3x8 or Mondial QV/3.2. The driving experience has been improved a lot with the new engine and transmission layout. I will not go in detail.. I am with Wade on the matter. Go and have a drive in it then decide if this is the model you like! Also drive in an earlier Mondial just to feel the difference.

    Mechanical wise. The Porsche is much easier to work on time wise, but if you have time a Mondial T is not very different then any other engine, except for an engine out for most of the work, but a great experience. Part can be horrendous expensive if it is a specific Ferrari part made only for a Ferrari. Bosch stuff is as cheap as the 911 unless you want it in a Ferrari box ;).

    I would choose the T if I would have already driven a 911, but that's me :) something new unexplored, but keep in mind you need at least 5K on top of such a purchase for unexpected repairs.

    I like the 3.2 more as it is more spartanic to drive then the T, but I like the looks of the T more!

    Enjoy the search as that is fun too! :cool:
     
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  24. 2cam

    2cam Formula Junior

    Aug 28, 2014
    634
    Austin, Texas
    Full Name:
    MikeS
    It is definitely difficult to compare a Mondial to long-hood era 911s. They really are different. However, 80s era SCs, 3.2 Carreras, and early 90s 964s are a more relevant comparison to the Mondials as they weren't as spartan and lightweight as the earlier pre impact bumper cars. As the 911s continued to evolve during the 80sthey added more power, features (and especially weight). To me at least, the 80s/early 90s era 911s are worth comparing to the Mondials.

    2cam
     
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  25. dfranzen

    dfranzen Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Aug 31, 2013
    1,530
    Jacksonville , FL
    Full Name:
    Don Franzen
    Anybody can own a 911........

    only a few can own a Mondial!

    Ferrari owners are the best of the best!
     
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  26. Testarossa Sean

    Testarossa Sean Karting

    May 13, 2018
    59
    California
    Full Name:
    Sean
    I think you are wrong...I have the best of both worlds. The biggest difference from the obvious maintenance issues, is that the Porsche is more low key. The Ferrari can bring out the best and worst in other drivers on the road. Where the Porsche, no one really gives a sh*t. ‍♂️


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