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AlfaNewB 04-30-2005 11:07 AM

if your looking to buy a ferair the most reliable ones are the mid 90's model and up.

i remember a guy who spent 5k on a tune up for his 84 mondial. and he always had problems with the car.

we also have to realise these are high performance cars, how many of them hit 50k or even 100k???

another thing is most of these shops know ferrari owners are loaded, and not to many mechanics will work on a ferarri.

Zinhead 04-30-2005 01:57 PM


Originally Posted by AlfaNewB
we also have to realise these are high performance cars, how many of them hit 50k or even 100k???

I think alot of these cars are subject to odomoter fraud. On the older models it is dairly easy to disconnect the speedo. Given the large price penalty on high mileage Ferrari's, there is a significant incentive to cheat on the mileage. Besides, there are just too many 7,000 mile Testarossa's floating around.

deltahf_2 04-30-2005 09:16 PM

I also looked at some older Ferraris several years ago and came to the conclusion that while I could afford to buy one, I couldn't afford to drive it due to the high maintenance costs. It is one thing to spend 25-30k on a car, and quite another to have to budget 5-10k a year for "routine" maintenance. Nice cars, but if I won the lottery I'd spend it on several nice driving 1960's Alfas and Lancias rather than blowing it on one Ferrari (or Maserati for that matter - have you ever tried priced mechanical/body/trim parts for those - ouch!) of the same period.

dave_fonz_164 05-01-2005 07:47 AM

the high price for the service intervals is due to dealers charging so much, people on ferrari chat have brought their ferraris to private specialist and the service cost half as much

papajam 05-01-2005 08:11 AM

Part of the higher pricing, at least it was in the 80s when I worked on Ferraris, is that many of the parts are proprietary. Meaning that they are available only thru Ferrari. Calls from an owner or non-Ferrari dealer would result in laughter from the OEM of the part forcing one to go to the dealer. As an example, when the price for an intake valve for every other car on the planet was in the $10 range, Ferrari valves were $80! EACH!! :eek: :eek:
Maybe they used the money to kick butt on the F1 circuit. :rolleyes:

deltahf_2 05-01-2005 07:52 PM


Originally Posted by papajam
Maybe they used the money to kick butt on the F1 circuit. :rolleyes:

Ferrari was generally languishing in the mid-rear of the F1 pack during the 80's, so if the money was going to the F1 program it certainly wasn't yielding any return.

mmarvi 05-02-2005 08:50 AM

Anyone check this from the New York Times?

Bill77 05-02-2005 10:55 AM

Ferrari ownership is truly a rich man's club. Few Ferrari owners work on their own cars -- they have people to write the checks.

Alfa ownership is far more accessible. Most parts are readily available through multiple sources, we get to enjoy designs by Pinifarina and Bertone, and our cars are simple enough that we can do our own work!

Does that mean that an Alfa is a poor man's Ferrari ??? Nah, just different. :)

series1gtv 07-07-2005 08:45 AM

I have noticed that some parts for ferrari are the same part as Alfa, Maserati, Fiat etc. Of course the same part is more expensive if the part is being sold as a ferrari part. Funny eh?


chasking 07-07-2005 09:21 AM

While generally Ferrari parts are more expensive, the prohibitive cost of Ferrari maintenance is mostly labor.

Ferrari owners, like no other group of auto enthusiasts I have ever encountered, consider their cars to be sacred objects, and the people who work on them the High Priest initiates into the Sacred Mystery. I'm a member of our local Ferrari Owners' Club chapter (even though my car is "only" a Maserati :p ) and I've gotten to know a number of Ferrari drivers, and while they are a great group of guys and gals, they have a different outlook: awe (perhaps justified) but also fear of what's under the hood. At the same time, I think a fair number of Alfisti own Alfas because they like to tinker with cars; there are lots of Ferrari owners with no particular interest in that hobby.

I think this contributes to an general unwillingness to tinker. Without doubt, the cost of ruining a Ferrari motor is substantial, but from what I've read it sounds like the motors (and other parts, for that matter) are actually pretty robust---they are just more highly tuned than most others, requiring more frequent maintenance checks to keep things running smoothly. With a few notable exceptions, most Ferrari horror stories are the result of neglect, not intrinsic flaws.

I get the impression that there are a LOT of people on this board who would not think twice about pulling a head or dropping a transaxle on their cars. And, frankly, doing most of your own maintenance is one of the things that makes owning an older obscure car at least sort of economically reasonable. I think the number of Ferrari owners who take that approach is fewer by at least an order of magnitude.

I was seriously planning on getting a Ferrari, until we decided to buy a house, and I did a lot of research into what to expect. I think that most V8 Ferraris up through the 328 could be fairly reasonable to own. The 2+2 models (308GT4 and Mondials) are particular bargains. They will never be as cheap to own as an Alfa Spider, but a decent one (i.e., one that doesn't need a bunch of past neglect rectified) should not actually be that bad, IF you can do your own maintenance. (As someone said above, you can save a lot by taking the car to a general Italian car mechanic instead of the Ferrari dealer, but the 30K major service will never be cheap if you pay someone else to do it.)

SamW 07-07-2005 10:45 AM

There is a guy in my town who has a 308 I meet through the local Italian Car Day, he claimed not to be much of a mechanic, but worked on his own car. He invited me over one evening while he had the car apart working on it, and all I can say is that it was a work of art. Yes, it is not the easiest car to work on, more time consuming than difficult. He had dropped both gas tanks to do a lot of work on the car, but to see the tube frame and the engine just sitting there, it was amazing. I am not sure how long it took him to get to that point, but changing the timing belts would have been easier on the 308 than on my GTV6. He said there was a group of Ferrari owners that did work on their cars, had suppliers that were reasonably priced, and lots of tricks on how to do stuff. Just seeing the back of the car half taken apart made me want a 308 more than seeing one together. If you can't work on it yourself, I am sure it would be expensive, and I am sure the cost of parts would be much higher than I am used to with the Alfa, and would kill the resale value of the car, but I would not be affraid to buy one and work on it myself, don't think it would be my everyday driver, but I would enjoy getting my hands dirty.

BigSwede 07-07-2005 03:35 PM

aw come on... A Ferrari with a transverse engine? :P


plasmid 07-15-2005 04:19 PM


Originally Posted by alfa63
While I'm a wanna be Ferrari owner, the prices for Ferrari service are quite unbelievable! :eek: :eek: (See post #26 within the link.) Of course, the models I like - 400i or Dino - who knows what I'd have to cough up.

have an alfa spider 91 and 79 ferrari gt4 in the .us
79 alfetta gtv in europe.

thus far i have spent about 2k in maintenance on each alfa and 3k on the ferrari. approx 15k miles in 3 years on the spider and ferrari and 10k in 1 year on the alfetta.

overall, i am happier with the quality of parts and service / support for the ferrari.

in conclusion, don't believe the hype. of course, if a major problem arises you will pay more for a ferrari, but not so much more (for insurance i pay less on the ferrari than the spider). secondly, for around town driving an alfa is better, and frankly, unless you are into modern cars, many of the classic alfas are more interesting to drive than a lot of ferrari's

D&SW 07-15-2005 04:32 PM

of course there's the question of how variable are Ferrari service prices.

Is any % of the pricing of Ferrari service attributable to the fact that most F dealers are within major Metropolitan areas where auto dealer operating costs and salaries are generally higher?

I guess I'd like to know the smallest, non-major metropolitan area that has a Ferrari dealer and compare major service prices with the F dealer in Washington DC, NYC SF etc.

Tillman 07-25-2005 07:02 AM

(out of lurk mode)

The independent that I take my 328 to here in Dallas has recently raised their rates to $91/hr (+ parts, +10% "supplies" fee) and that's a bit high for a poor boy like me. There's a cheaper (and just as good) guy located on the outskirts of the area, but he's booked way out.

So, I do a lot of the maintenance on it myself, figuring that if I ever really screw up I can have it towed to the shop :D

The previous poster is right about the underlying cultures, though. Alfa, Fiat people tend to tear into their cars. Pantera folk are flat-out hotrod maniacs. Ferrari owners tend not to be like that.

One element that plays into that is the lack of information about the cars. The factory has always played games to ensure their mechanics are the only ones with the full specs, tech updates, and guides. Fortunately the internet has helped bring together owners and the knowledgebase, especially on the older cars, is improving. It's also important to know what systems aren't Ferrari-specific. I just had my car tuned to pass emissions by a German car place, because they're very familiar with the CIS system. Very reasonable prices.

Anyway, long ramble over. RE: service prices, one can really cut the costs by finding the more generic equivalent parts: ie., bosch electricals and injection parts, FIAT parts, etc. Engine oil and gear oil can be changed at the house, so can brake pads. I spent several hours Saturday diagnosing a window problem and removing the lift mechanism. It should only end up costing a few hundred in parts, but if I had just dropped it off at the mechanic this repair would be over $1000 due to labor costs. The belt service will be due shortly. I've been quoted $3-4K for that -- or I can put the car on jack stands, take off the AC compressor and belt cover, and replace the belts and tensioners myself over the course of a week or so.

It all comes down to how much one really wants to drive a Ferrari

(lurk mode on)

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