The Mondial may be Ferrari’s least desirable model at the moment, but as evidenced by today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe cabriolet, it’s also one of the brand’s most affordable. Let’s see if that raises the want factor.
So, the rule of thumb is you don’t kiss someone with visible cold sores on their mouth lest you get stuck with oral herpes. It likewise makes sense not to buy a car with visible rust, lest you get stuck with something that will end up being far less enduring than his and herpes.
Yesterday’s 1996 Volkswagen Passat TDI wagon had a rare five-speed stick and the seller’s promise that it was in “excellent condition.” It also came with a sizable patch of rust on its rear fender and the potential for more of the same in places we weren’t shown in the ad.
That all led to concern for the car’s longevity and a certain lack of enthusiasm for its $4,900 price. The latter ended up with a 68 percent Crack Pipe loss, making it a Passat most of us would pass on.
If you say two-plus-two, mid-engine convertible, people might get excited. After all, there aren’t many cars that meet those particular criteria. When you expand that description to note the car in question is a Ferrari Mondial, opinions are likely to change. The reason is that the Mondial is one of Ferrari’s least elegant designs and that’s a factor that has driven values on the cars to the bottom tier among the marque’s many models.
This 1987 Ferrari Mondial convertible is a prime example. It appears to be in very nice condition, comes with backing maintenance documentation including $12K in necessary updating just three years ago, and a $29,990 price.
How many cars with the Prancing Horse on their ass go for under $30K these days? I’ll give you a hint, most are either wildly fire damaged or are… Mondials. If you can get past the rep the Mondial has, it could be an affordable inroad into the exclusive club of Ferrari owners. This is a pretty exclusive entrant into that group as well, seeing as there were only 810 3.2 Cabs built over the course of the car’s four-year model run.
Then there’s the other thing about this particular Mondial. A quick VIN check brings up a number of articles and Ferrari Forum posts indicating that this car could possibly, perhaps, not inconceivably be the one once owned by Nicole Brown.
If that name doesn’t ring any bells perhaps you’d do better with her married name appended—Simpson. Nicole Brown was OJ Simpson’s ex who was killed along with her friend, Ron Goldman in 1994 at her West Los Angeles home. At the time of her murder, she reportedly owned a white Mondial droptop.
This car popped up on BaT back in the fall with a sale price of $27,000. At the time it was noted that the car had been originally registered in California, but had made its way to Mississippi and then eventually to New Jersey. Along the way, its original Mondial wheels had been replaced with 348 alloys. Is this Nicole Brown Simpson’s car? Probably not. Still, it’s close enough to make for a good party yarn for its eventual new owner.
The present owner seems a bit lazy. I mean, they have filled their Craigslist ad with copy lifted directly from the BaT post, as well as with pics from the earlier ad. The car is noted to have a clean New Jersey title, but is advertised in Los Angeles. returning to the scene of the crime? It’s listed as having 15,850 miles showing, however, it seems that the odo was replaced in 2017 and the old one (which is included in the sale) shows 73,000. That number, by the way, is what Nicole Brown’s car was rumored to have had.
The engine here is the Quattovalvole version of Ferrari’s all-alloy V8. The 3.2-litre mill produced 251 horsepower this year (the BaT article claims 266 but that’s for a non-catalyst car) and 213 lb-ft of twist. There’s paperwork detailing extensive engine work, including the delicate timing belt replacement as well as several seals and gaskets. That’s always a plus with any pricy to repair ride.
It looks pretty tidy too. The white over tan color scheme is elegant and works with the interior-matched tonneau cover. The top beneath that is black cloth and seems to be in fine shape—at least it was back in November at the point of the car’s last sale.
The interior shows minor wear on the leather, along with some fading and staining of the carpet. This is a manual car and that means three pedals in the driver’s footwell. If you’ve never driven one of these, be forewarned that the front wheelwell intrudes well into the cabin. That makes for a narrow pedal space meaning those with big hoofs need not apply.
Okay, that’s a lot to take in. And, after all, this is a Mondial, the least desirable model (at the moment) from a brand not known for cheap running costs. That has resulted in an asking price of $29,990 which is basically break-even for the seller on the $27,000 November purchase once you consider tax and BaT fees. Pretty poor investment opportunity, right?
Still, these cars have their fans. Plus, they will also start climbing back up the value tree at some point down the road. There’s also the lurid story about this possibly being (but probably not) the Nicole Brown Simpson car. Could all that, and a solid maintenance history, be worth $29,990?
H/T to RevUnlimiter for the hookup!
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