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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have been asked that several t

Have been asked that several times. (My own entry level Ferrari was a 1978 308GTS by the way) Lately I've been suggesting of all things, an early 308GT4....lots of fun to drive, very inexpensive. What do youse guys think? What'd be your choice? What criteria might you use?
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The 308 is by far the best. P

The 308 is by far the best. Parts can be found for a reasonable price (if you know where to find OEM and suitable replacements) and they are easy to work on.

A decent carb'd 308 can be had for $25,000 with less than 30k miles in red,yellow or black. The trick is to sort the crap from the good because they all get the same price.

The GT4 has the same engine and drivetrain, but the body is so different that most don't recognize it as a Ferrari (because it's a Dino ;) If you're going to get a Ferrari, at least make sure most will know what it is.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well...not to get into the &#3

Well...not to get into the "Is a Dino a real Ferrari" question, but one of the neat things about Dinos is the reverse exclusivity they now command. I rather think of the 308GT4 as a Ferrari in sheep's clothing. The 308GTB/GTS is a great car to learn Ferrari ownership on, although I am not sure its the BEST entry level ride. Personally I'd much prefer a 328. For sake of discussion however lets say that an entry level car would sell for less than $30K, shall we? That pretty well eliminates the 328's and comes close to eliminating the better 308's as well, particularly the GTS variant. Factored into all this needs to be the 308's dreaded 30K miles servicing, if not already done.
Anyway, other opinions gentlemen?
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Steven,

I've owned five


Steven,

I've owned five Ferraris...with my BB being the sole survivor. Although, I would not say that it is an entry level car, for many reasons. So...getting back to reality, I had a 246, 308QV and a 328. Of those three, the 328 was probably the most durable of the bunch. I've always admired the lines of the GT4...and from time to still consider buying one. They're affordable to purchase...and the maintenance can be done by a DIY without a major investment in special tools.

Regards,
David
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Dino 308 GT4's cost exactl

Dino 308 GT4's cost exactly the same to service as a 308, because they are the same car with a different body...they may even cost a little more to maintain because by and large they are less well taken care of. Because the buyers have less to spend on purchase, they also tend to have far less to spend on upkeep..creating a downward death spiral of sorts. I personally like the Dino 308GT4's alot and have owned 2 so far, a 78 & a 79 sunroof car, both usa versions. I think most Dino 308's these days are better candidates for track cars than nice street rides because of the cost of trying to bring them back...a really descent Dino308GT4 will cost about $25K...below that many are simply old tired cars looking for a new wallet. Buy one for $18K..dump $15K into it? might as well have bought a 4V 308...there are exceptions to the above but they are rare.

All that said...the best starter Ferrari is the one you want to pour money into and be proud of owning when you get it fixed up the way you want it.

Regards, JRV
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
JRV (as always) has br

JRV (as always) has brought up a couple of very salient points. I love the phrase 'tired old cars looking for a new wallet' I've certainly had automotive affairs like that.

I actually seek out tired old cars. I figure if the maintenance has to be brought up to date, if major restoration is needed, any of that Id much rather do myself, or have done by shops I've dealt with for my 20+ years of collecting. That said, we all know entry into a new marque is a challenge. That 308 I mentioned was my first Italian car since an Alfalfa some 12 years earlier. Luckily it was in driveaway condition. I learned the joys and pitfalls of this car in a gentle fashion.

JRV is quite right in one other respect. Out here in SoCal nice 308GT4's are hard to find. Rough ones on the other hand, abound.

So I think we've settled on the 308 or some variant thereof as being best as a starter car. Where (if at all) does the Mondial fit in? Some good Mondial deals pop up frequently out. How about the 400/400i? Lots of nice examples of them around here.

Is that $30K limit I mentioned too low? Will the novice realistically have to expect to pay more for a reasonably safe entry level investment?

Steve
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi Steve,

I certianly don&#


Hi Steve,

I certianly don't think $30K is too low to get a very nice older Ferrari of several different types. I'll have to second what Sean said about very nice cars & junkers being priced the same. I've seen 308's that if they gave you the car for free you would be underwater by the time it was fixed up and ready to sell as a "good car". Of course this dosen't just apply to Ferraris, the same phenominom exists across the exotic/foriegn car board.

Type of use intended plays a big part in what car is ultimately the right car for someone. I wouldn't hesitate to buy a basket case, if the price was right, I could enjoy restoring it and owning it when finished, and I wouldn't get hurt to bad monitarily at the end of the game.

Out of all the cars you've mentioned the only one I wouldn't neccesarily desire is a 3.0L Mondial...WAY to heavy for such a small engine..neccesitating constant high rpm driving.

In the Dino308GT4 category I like the Sunroof cars the best..but there is certianly nothing wrong with an early cloth car either. If you like 308's there are many nice variants to choose from. My only hesitation with the 400's is that the 12's can be expensive if something major goes wrong...how much longer can many of those cars go before an engine overhaul is needed? Dry Starts can wear out camshafts just like use can wear out valve guides. And the 400 FI systems are getting on the mature side. Unless one just really wants to, doing major repairs at considerable expense is not fun for most people.

I think once one decides they definately want their first Ferrari they need to first decide what appeals to them the most and then start the careful search for the right car "for them". The 8's are probably more DIY friendly for someone wanting to get their feet wet.

Regards, JRV
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
348 if you aren't going to

348 if you aren't going to work on it yourself, 328 or 308 QV if you are going to work on it yourself
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I set $35k as an upper limit a

I set $35k as an upper limit and found a nice 1986 328GTS that was exactly that. I preferred the 328's somewhat more integrated front and rear ends and the somewhat more modern interior, and the car has a good reputation for reliability.

But if you need to stick to $30k, you might be able to find a good 308 QV, which is almost as good. For less, a 308GT4 is worthwhile if you don't mind the styling; since the drivetrain is the same as early GTBs finding parts and service should not be too much of a problem.

Whatever you wind up with, the bottom line is: it's a Ferrari!
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hello everyone, I have really

Hello everyone, I have really been enjoying this site. I am curious also about recommendations on a first car. I am in the body repair restoration business and have been somewhat looking for a Ferrari or Lamborghini. I am open to suggestions for a first Ferrari and like the Mondial, especially the convertible. JVR, is the 3.2 a much better car? I have also been to your site and would have bought the 77 308 that sold for $20,500. I am looking for a car in that price range and would like one that is a great runner with very good mechanics. I do not want a tired old car but exterior can need work. I would prefer just paint and minor body work but I specialize in heavy collision so I am flexible. I am also drawn to the Dino308GT4 cars because they are becoming more rare. How often do you get used cars for sale JVR? Once again the 77 308 you had would have been perfect. Please advise when you have the time and I appreciate all assistance. I was a Porsche man, a 928 and several 911 and 912s but feel the need to buy Italian. I am in the process of renovating and setting up an 11,000 square foot building so early fall will be the best time for me to buy unless a super deal came along sooner. Thanks in advance for any and all help and guidance.

Thomas
[email protected]
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I too am just starting to look

I too am just starting to look at Entry Ferraris. The GT-4s have cought my attention because of the Barret Jackson car search show that I'm sure most of you have seen. There's a unique car for sale here in california: A euro '75 208 GT4 that is registered as a 74. (no smog which is a bonus) The motor was rebuilt to 3 liter specs (to what degree I have not yet researched) From what I've read so far, the cylinder liners, pistons and carbs are the main differences. There are enough quirks to bring the value down I'm sure, but if it is a good driver for a low price, isn't that what it's all about anyway? Or is it a can of worms to stay away from?
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Most everyone got introduced t

Most everyone got introduced to Ferraris while watching Magnum PI. My entry purchase was 1982 308 DTSi. Since then, I have owned a second 308 GTSi and a 79 308 GTS. They were fun to drive, everyone recognized them as Ferraris and you didn't have to worry about someone dinging your door or stealing your mirrors. Now my favorite car is a 550 Maranello...but I would suggest the 308 as the best entry level Ferrari...in whatever form.
 

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I am looking at a few entry lvl Ferrari's

I need some help. What does everyone think. What would be the best entry lvl that I would be able to work on pretty easy. I am a pretty good mechanic but only every worked on older american cars.

1986 Mondial with 26k miles on it for 29 thousand dollars

1993 Mondial T Conv. 24k miles on it for 31 thousand dollars

1987 328 GTS 73k miles on it for 35 thousand dollars
 

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Why buy a 20-30 yo Ferrari for what the lifetime cost of maintaining it is likely to be? A better investment would be a 10 year old Porsche or even a Corvette...unless you just want to tell people you own a Ferrari that is out of date in terms of features, styling and can't be driven much because it's a Ferrari from the days when real men drove their Ferraris 1-2,000 miles a year (and that's all the durability that was manufactured into the cars at that time).
 

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I'd go with a 355 or 360 in the sports class or a 550 as a GT; in order to get more modern features and performance. For the money, an even newer and higher-performing Porsche would be the better buy, dollar-for-dollar.
 

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Now what about the Mondial? I always see them for low prices. Now I'm relatively new to the Ferrari world but is there anything particularly wrong with it or is it just the fact it wasn't anything groundbreaking to Ferrari?
 
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