Ferraris are not typically a family affair, offering room for two and enough luggage space for a one-night stand. Well, today Nice Price or Crack Pipe has an '89 Mondial that's kind of the mom-jeans of Ferraris.
Yesterday, the VW Fox proved to be less than sly, going down in Crack Pipe flames with a decisive 77% vote. That left a bad taste in our mouths for Brazilian fare so we're bidding adieu to that South American nation for a Mediterranean clime and a car befitting such clement weather.
Mid-engined two plus twos were nothing new to Ferrari when the Mondial first debuted in 1980. The Bertone-styled Dino 308GT4 had been dressing up driveways with its angular shape and roarty V8 since 1973. The company also had experience with throwing espresso-sized seats in the backs of their V12 engined GT cars for decades prior. However, like the 2+2 Dino, the Mondial was not a handsome car. This was especially evident when compared to the two-seat 308 with which it shared its major mechanicals. That car, in either GTS Spyder, or GTB coupe form, was perfection incarnate, as imagined by Pininfarina. The 2+2, however, looked like an amalgamation of 30 or more designers, with cheese grater scoops, black rubber moldings and Alfa Spider door handles placed like so much shabby chic glitter.
By the time this '89 Mondial 3.2 was built, much of the egregious styling faux pas had been exorcised from the car and, especially in black, this edition looks almost sexy- sort of how your dad sees your mom. The 270-bhp 3.2-litre V8 is still transversely mounted, and backed by a racing-pattern 5-speed gearbox. The entire drivetrain is on a separate subframe, a first for Ferrari, and a design that makes major engine or transmission work slightly less astronomical in cost. The folding fabric roof checks another box on the pros list for the Mondial, and maintains the flying butress styling of the coupe while erect.
This generation was the culmination of development for the 308/328-based cars and was superseded by the longitudinal-engined 3.4-litre Mondial t the same year this 3.2 slipped out of Modena. With fewer than 3,300 total Mondials built, it remains one of the more rare mainstream Ferraris.
A major maintenance issue with the Ferrari V8s of this era is timing belt replacements, which should be undertaken every five years. Failure to do so can end tragically in a very pretty, but impotent paperweight, as it is an interference engine. This car has 44,000 on the clock, and the seller says that he has all the paperwork for the maintenance, making this a car you don't need to automatically walk away from.
The seller's also a little phobic about the selling price, asking $30,500 and stating flat out that he won't take a penny less, not a penny more! Hopefully he doesn't show up to the test drive wearing kleenex boxes for shoes and carrying bottles of his own urine.
So how's about $30,500 for a 2+2 V8 with a prancing horse on the nose? Is that too much to Mondial with? Or does that price make you want to hike up your mom jeans and buy it?
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