Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe F430 has only 14,500 miles, but also already has required a new clutch. Could that make its five-figure price feel like it’s a five-finger discount?
(Note from Rob: Hello my friends. I wanted to let you all know that I am doing something next week that I rarely do—I’m taking a vacation! That means I won’t be able to bring you NPOCP again until its July. Sorry about that, but it seems the place I am going does not allow Internet access. Or sharp objects!
Don’t worry however, there will be plenty fun to be had while I’m gone. Also, I checked my flights and there’s not a 737MAX on any itinerary so I most likely will be back!
And now, back to the show.)
I was a bit surprised by the 80 percent Crack Pipe vote that met yesterday’s 1991 Mercedes Benz 300GD Geländewagen. Yes, admittedly it was a bit tired looking in the pictures. And I do get that $22,900 is a chunk of change to ask for any nearly three-decade old car. Still, That Benz had some quirky class and a desirable five speed manual. I guess I thought it would do better.
Speaking of doing better, you know you’ve made it in life when you say to yourself—or to your creeped-out fellow passengers on the bus—that you think it’s time you buy a Ferrari. Enzo’s Italian sports cars are to the car enthusiast what dining at The French Laundry once was to gastropods, a life goal. At one time Ferrari purposefully limited their annual production to artificially maintain a level of exclusivity and a crowded waiting list of perspective owners.
That era is long over and these days the company cranks out cars at over twice the rate of just a decade ago. That means that there are many more to go around especially lightly used recent examples. That doesn’t mean however, that a Ferrari, even a V8-engined one like today’s 2005 F430 Berlinetta is for everybody.
Case in point, this F430 is said to have 14,500 miles under its chic Italian belt. That’s an amazingly low number for a 14-year old car, however it’s almost a lifetime in Ferrari years. Those miles also mean that it has had a major surgery in its recent past, the replacement of its F1 transmission’s woefully put-upon clutch.
How often does one replace an F1 clutch? Typically—at least the way most Ferrari owners drive—about every 10,000 miles.
In the case of those bold few who test their cars’ limits on the regular, you could see them shelling out the substantial replacement costs (something around five-grand these days) after as little as 5K.
The F1 gearbox debuted on the the F430’s older sibling, the F355, and was used in a number of other models as well as in certain Maseratis. It’s an electro-hydraulically controlled 6-speed that was co-designed by Ferrari and Corbetta Italy’s Magneti Marelli. The gearbox takes its name from the precedent Formula One racing transmission that moved some of the gear shifting mental mechanics from inside the driver’s helmet to a computer chip in the racer’s electronic management system.
The engine that eats those clutches like they’re bar peanuts is Ferrari’s all-alloy 4308 cc DOHC V8. The F136 series proved a fairly ubiquitous motor, with derivations finding their way under the hoods of various Maserati models and Ferrari’s own California boulevarder.
Here the peaky V8 makes a massive 483 horsepower and almost as impressive 343 lb-ft of torque, both happening well above 5,000 RPM. That power goes to the rear tires only and even though those are enormous 225/35 19-inchers, you can still get yourself into trouble at the drop of a hat.
It may be a trouble maker but at least it’s a pretty one. The seller says the car is in beautiful condition and that it comes with a clear title and a clean history. The black on biscuit color combo is claimed to be rare, and even if not it’s certainly striking.
As an added benefit, the car comes with the ‘Daytona’ seats which features iconic inset stripes across the seating surface recalling the style of Ferrari’s famous 365 GTB/4 model. Everything looks to be in near-perfect shape, from the shiny paint right down to the nickel-finish alloy wheels. The engine bay is also clean as a whistle. It pretty much needs to be since it’s on permanent display under the car’s glass hatch.
As I noted, not everybody is Ferrari owner material. These cars do require a level of fealty to marque and maintenance that few others demand. The rewards of signing up for those demands can be substantial as these cars offer physical and aura delights that few others can match.
Yes, not everyone should buy a Ferrari, but with production numbers over the last decade or so having ballooned substantially, availability and prices mean that a lot more people can buy one. As an aside, I wonder how many people have both Ferrari F430s and Ford F450s in their stable? Do you think they ever get the two confused?
This F430 comes in at $97,500, which is a little more than half what the car went for when new. Right now it has a new clutch—albeit one that may soon need replacing again, depending on your right foot—and looks for all intents and purposes like a new car. Could that make this an affordable supercar? What do you think, is this F430 a deal at that $97,500 asking? Or, does that price lose it in the clutch?
H/T to whomever forwarded me the link for the hookup. Send me your names, people!
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