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Where do I start?

Discussion in 'Mondial' started by Adam Benalt, Mar 8, 2019.

  1. Adam Benalt

    Adam Benalt Rookie

    Mar 8, 2019
    3
    Full Name:
    Adam B
    Hi All -
    I'm considering taking the plunge into my first Ferrari, and I'd love to start with a Mondial.
    Long story short, it's the first car I ever drove - first driving lesson from an AWESOME older neighbor in a 1984 QV Coupe.
    So, I'd love to find one and I don't want to get taken for a ride.
    I'm located in the northeastern USA.
    Where is a good place to start looking for a reputable dealer or private seller?
    And how do I have the car inspected to know what I'm really getting?
    Is there a good buyers guide? What I find online is mostly UK oriented.

    Thanks in advance for any help!
    --adam
     
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  2. sixcarbs

    sixcarbs F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed

    Dec 19, 2004
    6,650
    SF
    Welcome, you have come to the right place.

    For classifieds there is this site, it has a private seller's area and a dealer's area, both off the main menu.
    FerrariMarketLetter.com
    Hemmings.com
    BringATrailer.com
    Autotrader.com

    That's where I would start looking.

    You can also put a "Want to buy, WTB" in the FChat classifieds above.

    I'm sure others will chime in with reputable places for PPI's and servicing in your area.

    Great choice, good luck in your quest.
     
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  3. mustbenuts

    mustbenuts Karting

    May 14, 2017
    70
    Lancaster, PA USA
    Full Name:
    GR
    Well, I believe you'll be quite successful as you've found this site and posted appropriately. I'm sure you've done diligence in what you're looking for, now to just find it...which leads to the PPI. You may end up either using someone local to you as maybe recommended from this site - who you should go talk to and check references regardless - and/or in the area which your new stead is located which may not be close by. Either case, it doesn't hurt to have multiple opinions. Maybe the local expert will travel, which is always nice so you develop a relationship there. You may also find what you're looking for is will known or even a previous owner is on this site, which is also beneficial. Good luck!
     
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  4. srephwed

    srephwed F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Apr 29, 2012
    3,043
    street,md
    Full Name:
    fred brown
    I got my 1985 QV Cabriolet 7 years ago. The car was in FL. An inspection was done. Not a true PPI but I think mainly to make sure it was a car. It was and I got it. When it showed up here in Maryland it was obvious that Ray Charles had done some of the inspection. I paid 15k for the car. Having said that the reason I bore you with my sad story is that my Mondial has become a labor of love. I call her the Bertha Mae after the keel boat in Davy Crockett and the river pirates. This time of year I have to visit it in the garage and tell her I miss her. Spring is on the way. I think that with the help of F chatters and some local folks you will find a Mondial that is just right for you and they are a fabulous car. Just remember that the Italians don't have big feet and big bellies. That is my only complaint.
     
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  5. djs308

    djs308 Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 2, 2002
    953
    Long Island, NY
    Full Name:
    David S.
    Welcome Adam! First thing to do is take a good look through the Mondial section here on Fchat to get the lay of the land. See what has already been posted by owners to get a better understanding about living with these cars. They are GREAT first Ferraris! There are 4 basic iterations of Mondial models: the "8", "quattrovalvole" (aka, "3.0 QV"), "3.2" and the "t" (3.4). All of those were sold in coupe form. Except for the "8", they were also available as cabriolets as well. Have a budget in mind for acquiring the car plus annual maintenance. Locate and get acquainted with a local mechanic who is experienced with older Ferraris and can do a proper PPI. Where in the northeast region are you? There are many official dealers plus independents up here. For private sales, have a look right here on Fchat, in the Classifieds. Buy the best car you can afford and have a plan for the unexpected. Be patient in your search, while doing a bit of reading too. Ask questions! As the weather gets warmer, check the Fchat region sections for local Cars and Coffee meet ups. You'll get to network with owners and enthusiasts, and perhaps find Mondial owners as well. Good luck!
     
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  6. moysiuan

    moysiuan Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 1, 2005
    1,739
    Toronto, Canada
    Full Name:
    Andy
    You will probably find more cabriolet's available in your region. I have a cab, but those that have driven both say the driving dynamic is different, the cab is a bit flexy so the hardtop would not doubt be a much more rigid structure. The cab roof is a bit of a quirky design, and is not sealed at the window tops to the point you could run it through a pressure car wash. Many would replace the seal on the top windshield header to avoid leaks there. The hardtop has problems with the sunroof, which I understand are challenging to repair.

    On the cab, you want the two rear windows to go up and down, the motors are no longer available, and even if they were they are very difficult to remove and replace. Regardless of a PPI, for safety and reliability, it is important in my view to renew most of the rubber fuel hoses, the coolant hoses, and the brake lines. Some hose access requires a bit of labour to get at, eg. a coolant hose under the intake plennum, but in any event replacing the most accessible hoses is still better than replacing none. If you also update the fuse box (Dave Helms Scuderia Rampante, there are others on this board with other solutions), plus a new battery and you will eliminate most of the electrical issues the cars sometimes experience.

    The 3.2 series is the most well developed of the original design, just as the 328 is to the 308 series, with the t representing a completely different powertrain and layout, and more complexity generally. Other than having power steering, or unless you prefer the look of the t, the 3.2 would be the easier car to maintain as many service procedures can be done with the engine in - the t requires engine out service, including for the recurring timing belt changes. The t fans argue that the earlier models are easier to service with the engine out too, no doubt true, but the fact is I have maintained my car mostly on my own for 15 years with no engine out requirement.

    The water pumps tend to fail earlier than in regular cars. I view this as a service item each time one would do a timing belt change, which while views will vary I suggest every 5 years (with inspection and adjustment of the accessory belts along the way). Many also replace the timing belt bearings as a prevenative measure when doing belt changes, against the labout costs for getting at the belts its not a bad idea. Hill Engineering sells uprated bearings, that would probably be good for two belt changes before renewing.

    There can be oil leaks, typically at the cam cover gaskets, the gearbox/differential seals, sometimes the distributor seals, often some drips from the nuts that retain the engine and trans sumps when the gaskets have aged. The only serious seal leak is where the transmission shifter shaft can leak and mix gear box and engine oil. A good PPI should spot if the engine oil level is too high on the dipstick. Never happened to my car, but seems common on this forum over the years so worth checking at time of purchase.

    And don't forget new tires, as these cars are often not driven too much, and the tires can have tread and look fine but if over 8-10 years old they need replacement.

    Beyond all that, just because of age the car's benefit from snugging up various nuts and bolts, oiling and/or regreasing various bits. The hydraulic hood lifts on the front will probably be weak, they fail from the radiator heat.

    Have all fluids changed, new spark plugs put in. Do note the plug wires and distributor caps and rotrs are quite expensive for what they are, and as a result are not renewed as frequently as one might expect on a regular car. Put in Redline 70W90 NS or MTL (I use MTL) in the transmission, that usually solves for a balky second gear shift when cold that is sometimes viewed as typical for the car.

    The engine is like to 4 cylinder engines bolted together, there are two distrbutors and coils. If a coil fails (or a rotor, or plug wire) the car will still run on 4 cylinders quite smoothly, albeit less power. Because this can happen, and fuel can be dumped into the non running bank and cause the cat converter to go on fire, Ferrari has a temperature sensor in the cat, and if there is a problem, a "slow down" light on the dash will go on. Sometimes this sensor can give a false signal, which gets people worried. If the light flickers it is more likely the contacts need cleaning to get the sensor to function. If it is blinking or on steady, one would pay attention, although usually the car would be running rough of showing other signs of poor ignition and fueling. But this is one of the Ferrari design quirks, accross all the models of the era.

    So that's all the things that come to mind, assuming the car otherwise drives straight, starts up straight away, idles at about 1000rpm (a bit higher than in many cars) and does not blow blue or black smoke.

    These are all the things I have learned through my ownership, and I have enjoyed my ride for a long time with better reliability than my daily drivers. So while you can take some short cuts and save some dollars and drive a Mondial til it breaks, then fix things as they present, by being proactive and recognizing the age of the car, there is no reason for the car not to be reliably usable everyday if that is your goal.
     
  7. jkstevens2

    jkstevens2 Karting
    Silver Subscribed

    Aug 25, 2015
    177
    Winter Park, FL
    Full Name:
    JK Stevens
    Be Patient with your search.......it took me almost 2 years to find my Mondial.
     
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  8. 2cam

    2cam Formula Junior

    Aug 28, 2014
    525
    Austin, Texas
    Full Name:
    MikeS
    It took 4.5 years of patient looking to find mine. However, I was being extremely selective and had really limited the search to a non-black or white, 3.2 Coupe. I was close to purchasing a couple of other models (3.2 Cabs, T Cab, T Coupe, 8, and a QV Coupe) due to the lack of progress searching for the perfect (for me) car, but am glad that I waited.
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  9. donkost

    donkost Karting
    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 1, 2016
    126
    Blandon, PA
    Yes patience is key. You could say the same for purchasing any classic car, but I think even more so with a Ferrari. Without really realizing it, it took me almost a year to close on mine- '85 QV Cab. I enjoyed accumulating every bit of information up to that point. I focused on the 8, QV, and 3.2 models, eventually deciding in my mind that the black bumpers on the QV just looked "right" to me. I ended up purchasing a Ferrarichat member car, which made it all the better. Came close to pulling the trigger on a few eBay cars and one at a dealer in NY state, but certain things didn't feel right and I bailed. Pretty sure those cars would have ended up being money pits. If there are no past invoices for work performed, or certain questions just can't be answered, be prepared to move on to the next car and try not to become emotionally attached. Anything can be fixed for a price, but at this point some of the parts on these cars are made from "unobtainium", or require creative solutions/improvements. These issues are already documented on the site, as far as things like hot starting problems and so forth.
     
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  10. Drewbdo

    Drewbdo Karting
    Silver Subscribed

    Apr 8, 2016
    185
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Best wishes on your search! I'm not yet in the market, but plan to have one in the next five years, so I'm reading this thread with interest... filing things away in the memory bank. :) lol
     
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  11. MvT

    MvT F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    May 25, 2013
    3,703
    The Netherlands - NH
    Full Name:
    Tijn
    Hi and welcome! They are wonderful cars and each model has its own characteristics. Which models that depends entirely up to you. However, I suggest to drive in each from the 8 to the T. They all have different dashes and where the QV and 3.2 do not really differ form each other.

    Someone already made a good point on the technical state. Do a PPI, this give a good indication, but not always guarantees! When you buy from a non-Fchat member most rides have lack of maintenance. My experience you will need to have 5k ready to do some stuff whichever model you buy. Tyres can be expensive when you have metric wheels (TRX) up from 250 to 400 USD

    My counter is already on 10k, but that includes a paintjob and I bought it when it had a lot of issues, which now have been addressed and I have a wonderful ride. So if you buy cheap it will cost you one lack of maintenance.. It's either way.

    Last but not least. Walk away if your feeling is not good about it or if you are not allowed for a test drive or can perform a PPI. A real Ferrari owner or seller would let you do this.

    Ps, I know someone who used to be on Fchat who bought a Testarossa and is selling his QV (grigio color, tan interior) and he did quite some maintenance on it. It's a continental Euro car and this guy lives in the UK. I have seen his QV and it is in the better state of what you buy out there. His alias is MaseratiMike. I you cannot reach him just give me a PM and I will call him if I can you his contact details. No idea what he is asking as he is not actively selling it.

    Anyway, your Ferrari journey already has started ;) as looking for one is an adventure on it's own! :D

    all the best
    Tijn
     
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  12. Adam Benalt

    Adam Benalt Rookie

    Mar 8, 2019
    3
    Full Name:
    Adam B
    Thanks DJS!
    Yes, I've started doing my research, and I'd like to target a late model 3.2 QV Cabriolet - So if anyone sees something, please give a shout!
    Good point on the Cars and Coffee Chats! I will look for those.
    I'm in the New York metro area, if anyone knows of anything coming up.
    Thanks so much all!
    --adam
     
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  13. JLF

    JLF Formula Junior

    Sep 8, 2009
    996
    Dallas
    Full Name:
    JERRY
    Patience?.....I went from “I want another air cooled 964” to “Mondial? ewwww yucky” to “hey these Mondials aren’t half bad” to “holy cow these T coupes are freaking cool” to “hey here’s one for sale......where’s my check book”
    All in the span of about a month.
    Yea I probably over paid a little but whatever.

    No car other than my 964 Turbo has given me such high satisfaction and pleasure.
     
  14. djs308

    djs308 Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 2, 2002
    953
    Long Island, NY
    Full Name:
    David S.
    Adam, a 3.2 cab is a fine choice. Will keep my eyes and ears open for one. Lucky for you, Fchat has a great sub-forum specific to the New York Tri-State area. You can peruse that section for various events that pop up plus any owner/driving issues and stories regarding shops, cars, meets, etc. If you are on or close to Long Island, we have a Sunday morning "Ferraris and Bagels" get together (Plainview, NY – not far from Ferrari/Maserati LI) when it's not raining/snowing or still have salt on the roads. Owners, future-owners and all enthusiasts are welcome! Also, if you choose to join the FCA, there are a number of driving and get-together events throughout the spring and summer in the area. A great group and awesome opportunity to widen your Ferrari network.
     
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  15. Adam Benalt

    Adam Benalt Rookie

    Mar 8, 2019
    3
    Full Name:
    Adam B
    I'd love to come out for a Ferraris & Bagels one sunday!
     
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  16. ceb39

    ceb39 Formula Junior

    Sep 17, 2012
    440
    San Francisco Area
    Full Name:
    Chuck B
    I started out like you in my search for a Mondial. This pick of a Mondial was determined by the wife. "If it is a convertible I will not ride in it." Okay ... guess it will be a coupe. Found one on Carig's List. Had a PPI performed on it. Mistake taking it to a local shop, which worked on all sorts of cars , but no Ferrari's in the shop. If you are going to have a PPI done on the car, take it to a shop which works on Ferrari's, i.e. lots of Ferrari's in the shop being worked on, owner has been working on Ferrari's for years, and since you are thinking of a Mondial, it is probably a good idea to find someone who has worked on Mondial's. Some one told me to figure the cost of a PPI on a Ferrari at $100/cylinder. Another thing to look for is a history of records showing the major and annual work done on the car. No records probably mean the owner always wanted to own a Ferrari, bought one, and then found out what maintenance costs were and could not afford it. Question for you, do you want his problems? Always buy the best car you can afford. Before you buy, make sure you have $5K to $10K in you back pocket to pay for surprises that come up. As stated above, join the FCA. Lots of good advice from there, plus you might find a car for sale on their publications. You are already on F Chat, so read everything about Mondials published here. You will get overloaded with information, but it is better than having no source of information. Do not know if you are married or not, if so be ready for the question from your wife, "Why doesn't this car have air bags?" Do not know how your are going the handle this question. My response was, "We should buy a car with air bags." My wife agreed and that is why we are in a 360 now.

    Good luck with you quest. Take your time in finding the right car, and be prepared to spend the money to make it right.

    Good luck.

    PS When you have the car post a picture so we can all see what you bought. Especially one with you and the car with a smile on your face.
     
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  17. davemqv

    davemqv F1 Rookie

    Aug 28, 2014
    2,969
    USA
    Full Name:
    Dave
    I'm pm'ing you....
     
  18. paulchua

    paulchua Cat Herder
    Moderator Owner

    Jul 1, 2013
    6,948
    Menlo Park, CA
    Full Name:
    Paul Chua
    Hi Adam,

    Welcome my friend! Here are a few tips from over the years.

    1) Keep your ear on the pavement, consider this part of the fun. The hunt itself makes the experience even more rewarding when you finally find 'the one.'

    There are 4 sites that I use to find cars
    1) CarGurus.com (I think they are the most comprehensive)
    2) Autotrader.com
    3) Autotempest.com (you can search craigslist listings countrywide)
    4) ebay.com

    I create automated searches and you get emails and alerts when your criteria pop up - I recommend this method.

    The other thing you need to do is download Hammerprice, it's a free app that always shocked me in that it's 100% free (they don't even have ads!)

    It has all the info on auctions.

    2) These forums are super helpful. These cars are 30-40 years old now. Eventually, every single thing you hear break on the Mondial will probably eventually happen to you given enough time. That said, if you are comfortably wrenching yourself - you can fix most of the things yourself! I like wrenching on things that are within my capability, for those that are beyond....

    3) If you are not mechanically inclined, you'll want to make sure you are near somebody/shop that is, otherwise prepare yourself for an expensive lawn ornament.

    4) Your PPI will not find everything. Only long term ownership will allow all issues to manifest. Think of the PPI as somebody just going out on a 'first date' - you'll quickly find glaring issues/problems - but it's only after you've been with somebody that you 'really' know what they are all about.

    5) My site: mondialt.com has several buyers guides.

    6) I don't have a long history with dealers so I can't give you help

    7) Things to look out for? Everything you would expect from a 3 to 4 decade old car. Truly I think what you need to find is a previous owner that loved their car. My late friend Dr. Benjamin Brown is the type of perfect person you need to find. He spared no expense, and when he suddenly passed - his perfect condition Mondial t sold only for $35K (after he just spent 20K at CNC Motors for a complete rehaul, that was all preventive in nature.)

    Hope this helps.
     
  19. Mechanical Dad

    Mechanical Dad Formula Junior

    Aug 30, 2016
    371
    East Aurora NY
    Full Name:
    Josh
    It always seems to me that Mondials somehow "find" their new owners. Don't buy the first one you find, unless you are 100% sure that's the one. It's easy to let the excitement of saying "I'm going to buy a Ferrari" blind you a bit, but that's ok in way. As Paul said in his post, the cars are getting older, so just keep that in mind. Mine was misadvertised, a bit neglected, and the last owner had begun to repair all the previous owners had done, when he himself made a mistake and decided to sell it. Luckily I'm a mechanic, so it was and has been an opportunity to save a car from the parts bin. My PPI was done at Norwood Auto Italia in Dallas. Couldn't have been happier with Mike and James and their services. I still have the report on my phone actually! And yes $100 per cylinder is a good number to have in your head for the cost of a good inspection. You'll know when you find "the one". Good luck !
     
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  20. JLF

    JLF Formula Junior

    Sep 8, 2009
    996
    Dallas
    Full Name:
    JERRY
    Are you in Dallas Mech dad?


    Sent from my iPhone using FerrariChat
     
  21. Mechanical Dad

    Mechanical Dad Formula Junior

    Aug 30, 2016
    371
    East Aurora NY
    Full Name:
    Josh
    No sir. Im in Western New York. Found the car online in Dallas.
     
  22. srephwed

    srephwed F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Apr 29, 2012
    3,043
    street,md
    Full Name:
    fred brown
    One of my customers drove up behind me in his 430. I didn't see the car but I heard it and thought it was one of the coolest cars I had ever heard. That started me on my journey. I had no where near 430 money but I discovered the Mondial. In reality it is a very plain and simple automobile. Very user friendly and a joy to own. Let those who own high dollar Ferrari that sit in the garage and look at them. I bought mine to wear it out!
     
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  23. Statler

    Statler F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Jun 7, 2011
    14,084
    sent a PM but figured I'd post my two cents worth anyway.

    I bought from someone here with lengthy history both as a user and about the car. Searched a while. That worked well.

    For my next Ferrari I think I have a different tact (although that one would work very well if someone I know from history here is selling or can be cajoled into selling).

    I'd ask my mechanic.

    I like and trust my mechanic, and that, just like owning a ducati, is THE MOST IMPORTANT thing for owning an older Ferrari (if you don't do the work yourself of course). A good local mechanic will be the difference between a great and horrible ownership experience.

    So find a mechanic that is very trusted local to you. Then ask him if he works on any of the car types you want and if he knows anyone who wants to sell theirs.

    good luck. We've loved our 3.2 and my wife has said even if we get something else we cannot sell this one. We've done 1,000plus mile road trips, school drop offs, ice cream runs, evening dinner drives, car events, car competitions, etc.etc. It's geared short enough you can drive it hard without attracting too much attention.

    if you can find one that has had its fuse box upgraded that's a plus. we've crisped some. If you get a convertible, have someone show you the tricks... it's super easy and quick once you have it down.

    I don't think there's any other car built that could replace the experience. (pic from road trip)
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  24. Statler

    Statler F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Jun 7, 2011
    14,084
    forgot to add... I bet anyone here would look at a local-to-them car for you to check the basics... AC fan work every speed or just high and off... B pillars ripped or not (they will be ripped), rear windows need assistance to raise....etc.etc... the owners are an amazing group. The car has paid for itself many times over both financially and in intangible ways.
     
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  25. Statler

    Statler F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Jun 7, 2011
    14,084
    mileage matters less than condition, but if you're coming to a big service factor that in. our 30K was about ten grand but it addressed some things needing help. Pictures sent of camshafts on a bench are expensive. :)

    but that's where a mechanic who works regularly on the car in question and will continue to do so can let you know what's on the list. An easy train nsition from one custodian to another with the same mechanic is a good thing.

    We factor in 2 grand per year towards the car and that more than covers everything it ever needs. (under a thousand annually and then bigger expenses every 5-7 years).


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