I’ve talked more than one friend out of buying an ‘80s vintage Ferrari 308 or 328. “But it’s a Ferrari”, they always protest, “for less than $30,000. That’s Toyota Camry money. For A V8 Ferrari.” I then explain to them the facts of Italian supercar life: just because you dropped a new motor in you ’73 Super Beetle, you’re not qualified to turn wrenches on a Ferrari. People who are qualified to wrench on Ferraris charge hourly rates usually associated with neurosurgeons, and parts for a thirty years old Ferrari aren’t generally found at your local NAPA store. Throw in the fact that less-than-religious maintenance can result in unplanned and catastrophic meetings between Mr. Piston and Mr. Valve, and I’m usually successful in advising people that there’s no such thing as an inexpensive Ferrari.
Take this eBay find, for example. The seller lists it as a 1986 Ferrari 328 GTS Koenig, that “needs to be completed”. From the pictures, I see a primered but incomplete body, some suspension bits and a suspicious photo or two of a Ferrari 328 with a wide body kit. I guess that’s for inspiration: throw enough time and money at this project, and one day you could have a car that looks like this, too.
I’m more than a little suspicious that the seller has omitted pictures of the engine, which he admits “needs to be disassembled and gone over”. Rest assured, though, because he also advises that “this is an easy car to work on”, and is “strait (sp) forward” and “not technical at all”. Which may be why the car is currently in pieces; taking apart a Ferrari is indeed easy. It’s the putting-it-back-together-and -getting-it-to-run-well part that gets a bit tricky.
The seller is completely truthful about one thing: “the car needs to be completed by someone who has the patients to finish the car”. Presumably, that would be the previously mentioned neurosurgeon, or perhaps a Park Avenue psychiatrist who charges women patients $500 an hour to talk about their sexual hangups and proclivities. It would take a serious bank account to complete this project, the kind that only a doctor of that income is likely to have.
The good news is that the seller only wants $23,500 for the crates full of exotic and potentially mismatched Italian parts. I’ll go out on a limb here and guess that it would cost you around $30k or so to get everything back together, and that assumes you’re mechanically inclined and the car really is complete. As an alternative, you can buy a complete and running 328 for $30k to $40k, but then you don’t get the lifelong rebuild project that comes with this car. If you’re interested, ping me first and I’ll do what I can to talk you out of it.