Wrenching on a Mondial vs. a '60s Corvette

Discussion in 'Mondial' started by Shark01, Jul 12, 2007.

  1. Shark01

    Shark01 F1 Rookie

    Jun 25, 2005
    Two of my car choices are a Mondial t or a '63-64 Corvette. I was wondering if any of you shadetree mechanics could give me a comparison/contrast of wrenching a late 80s Ferrari vs. a '60s Detroit product. Complexity, technology differences, tools required, availability of parts & manuals etc.


    BTW, also crossposting on the 348 forum.
  2. Birdman

    Birdman F1 Veteran

    Jun 20, 2003
    North shore, MA
    Full Name:
    THE Birdman
    Well, you will need metric tools on the Ferrari!

    Other than that, they are just cars!
  3. Hans

    Hans F1 Veteran

    Feb 17, 2006
    Hilversum, Netherlands
    Full Name:
    Hans Teijgeler
    I've never wrenched on anything US-made, but I can tell that most items on a Ferrari are not exactly designed with easy maintenance in mind. You need to disassemble half the vehicle to do most anything.

    Just finished installing 4 new QA-1 springs/shocks. These were surprisingly easy to install, although again, I needed to take apart more of the suspension than I had originally thought I'd have to.

    Tools obviously all-metric.

  4. Steve King

    Steve King F1 Rookie

    Feb 15, 2001
    Having had a few 60's Corvette's the comparison on wrenching is no big deal. Other then the tightness of the engine bay in the fcar nuts and bolts are the same. Multi carb set ups are more difficult but no big deal. So I would say there should not be to much of a difference.
    The BIG deal here is PARTS. The Corvette parts are readily available in either new or retro parts built to OEM specs. In comparison they are CHEAP. You can get dizzy caps for $20 and points for $10 so I would believe that if you are looking for a fun car with realible day to day running a 63 split window coupe with as many options is the way to go. My 2 cents
  5. Meister

    Meister F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Apr 27, 2001
    Duluth, MN
    Full Name:
    The Meister

    63-67 are much simpler cars than a 2V injected Ferrari.

    Old corvette's (and most american collector cars) are supported by a billion dollar resto industry that's easy to tap.

    Ferrari is supported by a dealer network which is not affraid to take your $, a couple of parts houses and a select few guys who know a guy....etc.

    F-Chat is a major resource for repair and maint.
  6. mk e

    mk e F1 World Champ

    Oct 31, 2003
    The twilight zone
    Full Name:
    The Butcher
    I'm going to disagree here. I had a '65 vette and currently have a QV84...the vette was much easier to work on and requred much less of it. The ferrari drives a lot better though,so to me it worth it. BTW, if you plan to drive the vette, the 65-67 look about the same as the 63-64 but the brakes on the 65-67 actually work......

    Ferrari parts are 4-10 times the chevy parts price across the board. Custom made JE pistons are cheaper than stock cast ferrari pistons. To rebuild a 308 engine is about $4k in parts alone.

    As far as a 63 split's a bad choice if you want to drive it. It costs 3 or 4 times more then a 65-66, the brakes are terrible and you can't see out the back window.
  7. FasterIsBetter

    FasterIsBetter F1 Veteran

    Jul 22, 2004
    NoNJ/Jupiter FL
    Full Name:
    Steve W.
    From a technical point of view, there is not a huge difference between wrenching on a '60s Vette and '70s or '80s cars. The Vette is certain more basic, but the '70s and '80s cars are not beyond a decent shade tree mechanic's abilities. As someone said, nuts and bolts are nuts and bolts.

    Now, that said, something to consider if working on the car is the driving force, the Vette is far better documented than the Mondials. There are literally hundreds of books on the Vette and plenty of readily available manuals explaining how to do everything. Plus parts are readily and cheaply available. Having had an '84 Mondial QV, I can tell you the same thing is not true for the Mondies. It is much easier for me to get parts and information for my '03 Z06 than it was to get anything for the Mondie.

    But, when you are comparing cars, you are comparing apples and zebras. Other than being "cars", the two bear no resemblance to one another. Ultimately, the decision IMHO should be made on what you want to drive and why you want an older car, not on "wrenchability." You can work on either. Do you want to be part of the Corvette crowd? That crowd is very different than the Ferraristas. A Ferrari gets a different kind of attention than a Vette. It's American Muscle vs. European exotic. Where do you see yourself and who do you want to hang out with?

    Buy the car the "speaks" to you, that touches off a spark inside of you, that sends a little chill down you spine when you think about it. In the longrun, you'll be much happier. I get a thrill every time I go into the garage and see my XKE and my 308. I love my Corvette, and it is a spectacular track car, which is what I wanted it for. But it doesn't excite me the way the other two do. Buy what excites you.
  8. dakharris

    dakharris Two Time F1 World Champ

    Jun 7, 2001
    Sleepy Hollow
    Full Name:
    Cavaliere Senzatesta
    But the split window looks so cool! Agree that a Chevy is easier and cheaper to work on than a Ferrari. That's a big "duh."
  9. Shark01

    Shark01 F1 Rookie

    Jun 25, 2005
    They are both pretty equal in appeal, purchase price, status etc (obviously a newer F-car would command more attention). I would buy a convertible in a Corvette, '63-'64 because I don't want to pay the disc brake premium.

    I knew about the parts situation, I was more concerned about "specialty" equipment needed to remove/attach components or diagnose issues and the availability of manual and instructional tools (videos for example). Old Corvettes are pretty simple mechanically.

    I'm just figuring out how to spend the $40k burning a hole in my wallet.
  10. Jeff328

    Jeff328 Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 5, 2006
    I haven't looked at C2 'vettes lately but last fall I was in the same boat as you except with $60k burning a hole in my pocket. At that time there were no really nice '63-'67 'vettes on the market for even $60k, let alone $40k. Unless you are looking for a project or just an OK driver. $40k would get you an extremely nice Mondial t, however.
  11. Artvonne

    Artvonne F1 Veteran

    Oct 29, 2004
    Full Name:
    Having litterally grown up with cast iron V-8s, hanging over the fender at 6 years old watching Dad, etc., the Ferrari is from another planet.

    I have my flame suit on with a big fat fire extinguisher by my side, but compared to a Ferrari a Corvette is almost as crude as a briggs and stratton powered lawn mower. From purely a design standpoint, the Ferrari has more in common with aircraft than it does with any American built car. Studs instead of bolts. Aluminum instead of cast iron. Top shelf carburators vs lawn mower grade carbs more closely akin to Kohler. Even the gearbox, ball and roller bearing throughout vs many bronze bushings. Internal shift linkage submerged in gear lube, vs external linkage rods with crude levers. Constant velocity joints and rubber shaft couplings vs common u-joints. Full tubular race car chassis vs pressed steel frame with virtually 1930's technology. Put a Corvette frame complete with suspension next to a Chevy truck frame built between 1950 and 1980 and there is more in common than not.

    Everything eventually wears out, and although the Ferrari might be better from a design standpoint, it may not be of any better build quality. But whats on paper shows a world of difference between the two. The Ferrari is a much more complicated machine, for a reason.
  12. Verell

    Verell F1 Veteran
    Owner Consultant

    May 5, 2001
    Groton, MA
    Full Name:
    Verell Boaen
    Turns out there aren't very many, special tools, & they're available, but run $100 or so. Most likely you'll only need 2 or at most 3 unless you get into a transmission rebuild.

    What are instructional tools? We're lucky to have a WSM & maybe a FPC close to the model we're wrenching on!

    The WSMs are very incomplete, they assume you've been factory classroom trained, kept what few handouts they gave you(no you can't find the handouts anywhere!!!) & just need to refresh your memory on specs...

    However, if you've ever worked on a mid-80s DOHC Japanese motorcycle, you'll find the 308 engine looks very familiar.
  13. JazzyJay

    JazzyJay Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Oct 26, 2005
    I won't quibble with any of the opinions on the mechanical variations between a Corvette and a Ferrari, but I'd like to offer a point: Its a Ferrari.

    You can work on your Vette as much or as little as you like, but it will never be a Ferrari. I was driving by a local McDonald's that happened to have a "cruise night" yesterday and decided to pull in. There were several Camaros, Mustangs, old classic Cadillacs, 2 Porsches, a BMW convertible, and at least 4 Corvettes. Some of the cars were quite valuable, but my '84 QV was clearly the hit of the parking lot. Almost everyone came to see the car and ask questions.

    I love Corvettes, but even nice Corvettes are fairly common. In my opinion, the difference in maintenance is a small enough price to pay for a unique driving/ownership experience.
  14. ForzaV12

    ForzaV12 Formula 3

    Sep 15, 2006
    Laguna Niguel
    Full Name:

    Not to quibble, but nice C2 Corvettes are anything but common. As someone that has owned a number of examples of both, I would say that there is NO comparison between the two when it comes to ease of maintainence and parts availability. The Corvette is much easier to work on. The engine is simplicity itself with no belt worries, no mid engine access issues, no misery searching for parts, no hugely expensive mistakes to be made, etc,etc,etc,etc,etc.
    When properly set up they are great drivers with abundant torque, wonderful shifters,great sound and they do attract plenty of attention(if that's your thing). My issues with the Vettes have always been that I've had to spend time de rattling them. After a few week-ends spent tightening fasteners, adding insulation, etc, I've achieved great results.
    Another huge plus, is that the 60s 'vettes don't ever need to worry about smog issues and handle abusive driving(clutch) and neglect(not being driven regularly) much better, as well.

    I love both marques(nothing else is a Ferrari, though) but given the original poster's question, the 'Vette wins hands down.

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