Thursday, July 3, 2008

Random thoughts mostly about Ferraris

If you are writing a book and interacting with people who are participating in the experiences that will make up the book is it disingenuous not to tell them? I have found I approach situations differently when I think they may end up in the book. I tend to observe more, participate less, and be more critical than usual.

In increasing order of weirdness here are some Ferrari related thoughts I have had in the past few days.

First, I have been exposed to so many questions about Ferrari maintenance, specifically 355 maintenance, that I felt compelled to write something about the subject. With nothing but my own experiences to call upon here we go. 355s and their predecessor the 348 are very attractive first Ferraris. They are fairly modern cars and have depreciated to a point where they appear affordable for a wide range of potential buyers. This group of buyers has probably had Porsches, Corvettes, or other sports cars in the past but decided they want to experience Ferrari ownership and buy a 348 or 355. The cars now have 20,000 to 30,000 miles on them and are starting to have parts wear out. Depending on the diligence of the previous owner there may be significant delayed maintenance. So a car that cost $70,000 may have between $0 and $20,000 worth of maintenance expense in the first year, or even first mile. A bunch to spend but not out of line with any other Ferraris. An engine overhaul on an Enzo or 250GTO will be more than the price of the 355.

I expect the maintenance gripes are primarily due to the financial situation of mot 348 and 355 owners and the cost of repairs as a percentage of the cars overall value. Spending $20,000 to overhaul the engine on a $70,000 car seems excessive. $70,000 to overhaul the engine on a $1.4Million Enzo, a relative bargain.

As the prices of 360s slide below $100,000 I believe they will attract the same crowd as the 348s and 355s and people will start griping about the maintenance costs of those cars as well. I think this is a continuum where the mainstream Ferrari model which is one or two models old attracts the attention of the first Ferrari owners who then are shocked the maintenance is as high as they heard it would be.

That said, no one I know who owns a Ferrari complains about the maintenance all the complainers are use the internet as their bullhorn.

Second, and I was unable to convince my wife this was a good idea, my neighbors are selling their house and I thought it would be a good idea to buy it turn it into a garage and build a tunnel between the two houses. In addition to the garage and tunnel I could build a mad scientist laboratory.

Third, since I cannot buy the neighbors house turn it into a garage with a tunnel connecting the two houses why not find a method to store the Ferrari in the future or the past. If I could store the car one second in front of my current time or one second behind my current time it would be very handy.

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