I WANT TO BUY A… £50,000 FERRARI
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.