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Your advice on re-entering Ferrari ownership

Discussion in 'Mondial' started by KATIEPEPI, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. KATIEPEPI

    KATIEPEPI Karting
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    Jan 13, 2013
    54
    Switzerland
    My search did not uncover what I was looking for so forgive me if this is covered elsewhere. Feel free to refer me to existing threads as appropriate...I have owned two, a 348 Targa and 355 Spider and now thinking about re-entering the Ferrari world but having trouble with the choice.

    My love is not top speed but performance, pushing the limits (safely of course) on challenging mountain roads. To do so you need a car that clings to the road in the hairpin turns with enough power to keep up the pace as you continue to climb when leaving the turn or taking advantage of the rare opportunity to overtake the tourist ahead. The 348's 300hp was just enough. It was beautiful and reliable (mostly) but the hard ride aggrevated my bad back, and no matter what they say about weight distribution, the manual steering below cruise speed was a pain.

    The 355 was almost as road loving, certainly more comfortable, power steering a blessing and the extra HP a joy. Unfortunately mine had more electrical problems then you could imagine and I swore never another one.

    Now I am almost back, but want to keep costs manageable. My considerations are the Mondial cabrio or the 328 Targa (It must be open air for max. appreciation of the mountains). I have yet to be able to put either through their paces, but I am sure you can guess my concerns...do they have sufficient power for my purposes, particularly the older ones...can they handle the turns (particularly the Mondial)...and are they reliable (is it true what they say about the Mondial electrical issues)?

    I realize these are different cars and you may find the choices unusual, but I find the Mondial a beautiful car. I enjoy the luxury part. I love a cabrio and the uniqueness of the 2+2 is a big appeal for me. Of course, it depends on how much performance I will be sacraficing. The 328 (I assume the 308 not enough power for me), well it seems to be one of the best cars they ever built.

    Price wise, in my area, the Mondial seems to be stable. The 328 huge swings and I honestly can not figure out why.

    In any event, what ever experiences you can share and comparisons you can make to the 348 or 355 would be of great help.
     
  2. greyboxer

    greyboxer F1 World Champ

    Dec 8, 2004
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    #2 greyboxer, Jan 29, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013
    Focus your research on the Mondial T = 348 engine & power steering (I think)
     
  3. soucorp

    soucorp F1 Rookie

    Sep 20, 2011
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    Mike
    +1, sounds like you like the 300 hp and power steering so focus on a good T cabrio and you will love it ! My 88 has no electronic issues, everything is in working order and my car would not have any issues to be used as a daily driver with minimum maintenance costs once sorted. A good T would be the same I suppose but the suspension buttons tend to stop working on alot of them thats forsale. Make sure you check out the window motors, especially the rears and be prepared to pay for engine-out service like your 348.

    By the way, a 20+ year old Ferrari is not the same as a recent year car, so don't expect it to perform like it just came off the factory floor.
    An easy does it approach seems to be the better way to get your thrills.

    Good hunting, these are truly cool Ferraris in deed.
     
  4. godabitibi

    godabitibi F1 Veteran
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    Jan 11, 2012
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    Claude Laforest
    I think Greyboxer is right with his advice. The 3.2 will probably lack power for what you are after. I own mine only for a year but I have had no electrical problem in 5000km so far. For comfort my seats are not the best IMO compare to my 308 but the T has much better seats from what I've read and I believe so looking at them. My main concern when buying a 3.2 was for maintnance but since you've allready owned a 348 and a 355 you're use to their cost.

    Good luck in your search and keep us posted if you find the car that suits you.
     
  5. Burch1

    Burch1 Formula 3

    May 26, 2012
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    Greg
    As far as the Mondial goes I would concentrate on the T cabriolet (from '89 - '92) as they have the longitudinal mounted engine which lowered it in the chassis and moved it forward for better weight distribution and handling.
    The T also had more HP (300) and power steering + a few other creature comforts.
    The biggest drawback is the major engine-out service required at 30K so I would look for ones that have had this performed recently.
    As a side note I purchased a Valeo model which is an electronically activated clutch (no pedal to push) that is engaged by sensing when you move the gearshift. It truly adds to the "drivability" of the car, especially on curvy roads where you are shifting a lot.
    Happy shopping!
    Cheers,
    Greg
     
  6. Lino

    Lino Formula Junior

    Jul 7, 2010
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    Lino
    Hi,
    I own a 89 t and I think if you liked the power of your 348 you will be pleased with a T. Same engine and I think it has same type of adjustable suspension so your ride can be adjusted.

    The only draw back would be he higher cost for belt service...

    The extra seats are great and lots of fun with the top down, those back window motors are PITA in all mondials so if they work well off to put down and up your in Buisness, typically I used twice a year, I am always top down.
     
  7. bobzdar

    bobzdar F1 Veteran

    Sep 22, 2008
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    FYI, they do make a kit to fix the 355 electrical issues by replacing the stock connections with gold connections...
     
  8. jgoodman

    jgoodman F1 Rookie
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    The 3.2 can hold its own as well. I haven't watched this in quite some time, but it always makes me laugh and smile. :)

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VEO269zoEI]Cavallino Track Day 2012 Ferrari Mondial - YouTube[/ame]

    I was looking for the video of the Mondial (I think t) cabriolet with four grown men in racing helmets doing a circuit in what looks like a parking lot. It was really really impressive. Mike, see if you can find it for us please.
     
  9. PV Dirk

    PV Dirk F1 Veteran

    Jul 26, 2009
    5,401
    Ahwatukee, AZ
    It sounds like HP is important to you. Also power steering and a good ride. My first thought is you need to jump to a 360. A 328 will be pointless if you don't want to go back on HP, also anything less than the Mondial t. Find a Mondial t to test but I think with the desire for HP and road carving ability you need to move forward. The old stuff is a lot of fun, but it's old.
     
  10. gsfent

    gsfent Formula 3

    Nov 16, 2009
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    Jerry
    One advantage of the Mondial is the longer wheelbase. It will help smooth out the ride, which seems to be important.

    The electric shocks on the t are FX3 vintage (Corvette), fixes are not hard. Based on my experience, it is the plastic gear on the top of the shock that wears out. Can be replaced with a metal gear, parts well under $100.

    Electrical issues can mostly be handled with Dave Helms updated fusebox. It certainly speads the electrical load and uses more relays to help reduce load on the wiring.

    The 348 did not have power steering or adjustable shocks, but as noted, the same drivetrain and similar (but not quite as updated) interior.. So if the OP liked the 348, think of the Mondial t as a slightly bigger, more civilized, more comfortable version.

    You will be right at home.

    Regards,
    Jerry
     
  11. KATIEPEPI

    KATIEPEPI Karting
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    Jan 13, 2013
    54
    Switzerland
    Thanks to all for your thoughts. Some refinement...in no particular order.

    I wish my 355 electrical problems were cured so easily with gold connectors. I am afraid mine covered about every system and ultimately led to a new computer at 20.000 miles.

    I have used the search parameters as suggested and it did provide some help. No doubt the newer 360 would provide a different experience but to be honest I prefer both the look and feel of the older cars (not to mention it is out of my cost objectives)

    I realize HP is not the only factor to the performance I am interested in but in my, experience within the Ferrari personalities it has proven to be a significant one.

    I guess one of the questions that still seems unclear in my mind is the road holding abilty of the Mondial. What I have read and seen so far in my net research I have the feeling the rear has trouble holding the road when pushed on turns.

    Again, all shared experiences appreciated.
     
  12. gsfent

    gsfent Formula 3

    Nov 16, 2009
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    Jerry
    Roadholding is not a problem, but you can always go a little wider tire in the rear if you are concerned about trailing throttle oversteer, or oversteer in general. Any oversteer can be countered with judicious use of the throttle.

    I have 8.5 inch wide wheels in the front and 10 in the rear (non stock wheels obviously) and I have not come close to losing grip on the street. Steering is relatiely quick, although the turning radius is big for a car this size.

    Choice of tires will also help raise the limits of adhesion, although not the front to rear balance. I have Mich PS2's.

    Regards,
    Jerry
     
  13. Lino

    Lino Formula Junior

    Jul 7, 2010
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    Lino

    All good points, best advice is to find one to try. Good luck and buy the best one you can find.
     
  14. KATIEPEPI

    KATIEPEPI Karting
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    Jan 13, 2013
    54
    Switzerland
    Slightly different approach...besides some feature differences such as power steering and adjustable shocks do you find a significant difference in performance between the 3.2 and the slightly higher hp of the 3.4 "T"?

    Thanks
     
  15. soucorp

    soucorp F1 Rookie

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    #15 soucorp, Jan 31, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
    Having experience driving both 88 3.2 (mine) and test drove my buddy Davebdave's 92 T, I can honestly say you can feel the extra power in the T, steering was easier, but the clutch pedal was alot more harder to press. Maybe I'm so use to my 3.2, the clutch is extremely lite and easy, very comfortable to me and I don't find the steering a problem what so ever.

    Also, if they both have stock exhausts, the 3.2 is louder and sounds like an 80s Ferrari roar where the 90s T was more of a pur.
    The T is also slightly lower to the ground than the 3.2. My $.02

    3.2 vs T thread: http://www.ferrarichat.com/forum/mondial/391298-mondial-3-2-vs-t.html
     
  16. KATIEPEPI

    KATIEPEPI Karting
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    Jan 13, 2013
    54
    Switzerland
    Very helpful. Thanks.
     
  17. KATIEPEPI

    KATIEPEPI Karting
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    Jan 13, 2013
    54
    Switzerland
    I hope this question is not out of line, but in my region the price of the Mondial, 308 and 328 are all in a similar range. the real surprise to me is the 308 and 328. Am I wrong thinking the 308, not only older but less advanced should be less expensive?
     
  18. soucorp

    soucorp F1 Rookie

    Sep 20, 2011
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    The Mondial, 308, 328 depending on models share the same engine but historically the 308/328 has been alot more over Mondial pricing. I have noticed that the trend has been shifting abit lately. The 308 is an iconic design only made more famous by Magnum PI. The value of these cars are strictly based on supply and demand and not which is older. As you may have noticed the prices of Mondial Ts are hovering around the price of a good 3.2 where at new was a big difference of $20k or so.

    I have noticed that 328 prices has dropped on ebay, that was the car I've always wanted to get as a kid. IMO the Mondial is becoming a classic that seems to be more appreciated in recent times as the younger owners are coming of Ferrari affordability but are requiring a 4 seater to bring their kids along.

    BTW, sorry Jay, I just noticed you were referring to this video:
    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76vtL1yFht8&list=PLhmmlEmzeixLC_qpuhMQRzN59pYNs8X2M]Ferrari Mondial Autocross training - YouTube[/ame]
     
  19. hank sound

    hank sound F1 Veteran

    Jan 31, 2004
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    Hank Garfield
    Hi KATIEPEPI, (K & P) ? :):)

    I truly wish your thinking was correct .......... then I would run out and buy a 73 Dino - without even having to dip into my savings !!! :):) But we know that's not how it works.

    When it comes to these older "specialty" cars, it's true that there is a window dollar amount. My approach is (1) know the $ window .... (2) understand (and accept) that the car's overall condition and service history dramatically affects its real worth. Needing a routine major is generally the least of our problems.... (3) If the car has had TLC, a major is nothing more than an expensive diaper change. A any car lacking TLC, will very possibly incur a raft of additional costly line item charges in order to make her proper & sorted.

    Drive them all. Have the most knowledgeable people you can enlist, to help you in your search. Don't be bewitched by the car's "nameplate" magic - unless... the juju works for you. But when everything falls into line, then buy, love and enjoy the one you chose.

    Cheers, Hank
     
  20. jgoodman

    jgoodman F1 Rookie
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    Aug 29, 2009
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    Thanks Mike! I am so glad you found it for us. I LOVE THAT VIDEO!!! I am so impressed by the the handling of that Mondial t with 4 adults in there. Love it! So great!
     

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