I’m not going to regurgitate the vast quantity of information available on the web but thought I’d write what I think is important when buying a modern Ferrari and what that means to me.
The condition of a car says to me a lot how it’s been treated during it’s life. A bumper full of stone chips, scuffed wheels, dirty interior, etc aren’t major problems and can certainly be fixed easily but are an indicator that the previous owner hasn’t cared for the car. If they can’t be bothered to fix minor issues like these then what else has been neglected?
An up to date service book populated with official dealers or recognised independents stamps is only the beginning. I also like to see the actual invoices for the work carried out as well. I consider the official maintenance schedule to be the bare minimum and ideally I’d like to see certain items performed more frequently (transmission oil changes annually, coolant changes bi-annually for example). I also like to see invoices for other work or parts bought for the car – not because they are that important but because it gives an indication that the previous owner was careful about preserving the value of their car.
As well as regular maintenance, there are other wear and tear items that are likely to be needed. Don’t forget that these cars are ten years old now so parts deteriorate and things wear out. Look for evidence for common failure items like ball joints being replaced. A poorly maintained car will cost you thousands to get right.
Here is a picture of my history folder – this is the quantity of information you are looking for when buying an exotic of this vintage.
I am very lucky to be in contact with the three prior owners of my car as well as an independent dealer who has sold the car a couple of times during its life. If I ever sell I will encourage prospective buyers to get in touch with the previous owners and to ask them about the car. For this reason, I am not put off buying a car privately and prefer to be able to see how the current owner treats the car. Is it garaged and kept in it’s cover? Does the owner take care to warm the car up before pushing the engine? Watching how someone treats their car can give you a good indication on how well it has been cared for.
If you are going to view a car them it is worth asking local owners clubs if they know of it – the chances are someone will know the car or the owner and will be able to tell you something useful. It is also worth asking owners clubs if they know of a car for sale – I much prefer to buy from an enthusiast who has cherished their car.
In any case I strongly urge any prospective buyer to have an independent inspection performed on the car before purchase. Independent to me means someone who doesn’t have an interest in the car – that includes the selling dealer and the workshops who have serviced the car in it’s recent past.
If you are considering buying an F1 car then please read this page on the F1 system and the updates that Ferrari introduced during the model run: link.
If you are consider buying a Spider then please read this page on the roof and the updates made during the production run: Link.
Also, if you haven’t already seen it please take time to read this buying guide written by Tim Walker: Link.
Other posts in this category: Buying and Selling
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