I WANT TO BUY A… £50,000 FER­RARI

Evo - - MARKET - by Bob Harper

AFERRARI FOR THE PRICE OF A NEW BMW 540i? It’s pos­si­ble, but at this level a pur­chase is fraught with dan­ger. For­tu­nately, evo’s John Barker, Richard Meaden, Adam Towler and James Dis­dale are here to of­fer words of wis­dom.

JB: What an ex­cit­ing – and ter­ri­fy­ing – prospect! Mon­dial? No thanks, I’m not a fan of the looks and I drove one new and it wasn’t fast even then. The 456? A V12 would be in­tox­i­cat­ing but it could be po­ten­tially ru­inous. For me, it has to be a newish V8, some­thing that hope­fully will only need ser­vic­ing and con­sum­ables. I could be tempted by a 355 but I like the idea of a 360 (above) that’s been a Cat D write-off – an un­eco­nomic re­pair – or is left­hand drive or rather leggy. In that or­der, too. Cars can be writ­ten off due to re­mark­ably light, of­ten cos­metic dam­age. And leggy can mean kept fit and used reg­u­larly, which can be a good thing. RM: You’d have to be ex­tremely brave or re­ally daft to spend your full £50k on the car, as any Fer­rari needs a size­able con­tin­gency bud­get. 348s got a bad rep­u­ta­tion in their day, but the few I’ve driven since have been fun with tons of old-school Fer­rari charm. It’s hard not to be se­duced by a 456 GT, but the bills would be eye-wa­ter­ing. This is prob­a­bly cheat­ing, but I’d be tempted to find a Lan­cia Thema 8.32 ( be­low). It’s got a Fer­rari V8, cult ap­peal and ask­ing prices are low enough to leave a de­cent and doubt­less soon-spent dis­as­ter fund.

AT: While it would be lu­di­crous to rec­om­mend you spend ‘just’ £50,000 on an F355 ( be­low left), it’s an F355, so that’s ex­actly what I’m about to do. The po­ten­tial for grief is enor­mous, and it would need to be higher mileage and left-hand drive. I’d prob­a­bly not be able to sleep at night for wor­ry­ing about dodgy his­tory, ac­ci­dent dam­age, cor­ro­sion and some­thing going clunk in that screamer of a V8, but I don’t care if my F355 – a man­ual coupe, ob­vi­ously – is a bit bat­tle-scarred; all the bet­ter in some ways. It would need a lot of search­ing, but an es­sen­tially hon­est, me­chan­i­cally fit left-hooker at the right price makes me grin just think­ing about it.

‘You’d have to be ex­tremely brave or re­ally daft to spend your full £50,000 on the car, as any Fer­rari needs a size­able con­tin­gency bud­get’

JD: It’s not of­ten you get a ‘for­got­ten’ Fer­rari, yet the 456 GT ( be­low) is ar­guably just that – al­though this won’t last for­ever. This V12 ex­press kick-started Fer­rari’s re­nais­sance in the early ’90s, ditch­ing the Fiat switchgear and He-man han­dling of ear­lier mod­els. The Pin­in­fa­rina lines tread be­tween bul­bous and beau­ti­ful, but the engine is a work of art – 436bhp with an oper­atic sound­track. This bud­get rep­re­sents the low­est en­try to the 456 club, which means four-speed auto UK cars or a left-hooker if you want the open-gate man­ual. Buy now be­fore the spec­u­la­tors get wind of this cru­elly over­looked car.

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