1999 Ferrari 456 M GTA from Italy - Comments

6th Feb 2011, 21:32

It is a great forum. I have learnt so much and almost decide to purchase one of two 456 I have been checking on. One has only 11,450 miles, a 1997 model, and another one has 45,000. I read that low mileage does not mean better. It is really good to know.

After reading all comments on cost of maintaining a Ferrari, my thought is THAT IS EVERYTHING TO OWN A FERRARI. Life can be boring with no problem German autos. I current own two BMW and two MB, V8s. They are great cars to drive and almost trouble free.

I will let everyone know once I get my 456. It is absolutely a gorgeous car. You can beat the price for a Ferrari. Everyone thinks depreciation of 456 has been bottomed out.

Cheers, FNWL.

20th Mar 2011, 00:25

So poster from Feb. 2011, how did it go with your purchases? I have only recently committed to purchasing a Ferrari in the future, so I am starting my research now. My wife still thinks it is a passing phase.

3rd May 2011, 12:53

Thanks all of you, for information.

I will hopefully be the lucky owner of a 456, green, 1996.

Best regards.

From south of Sweden.

18th May 2011, 01:06

I purchased a 456 GTA 97 model 2 years ago, 49 000 km. I have now done 14 000 km in 2 years. Small electrical troubles with the seats and window elevators. One cooling water hose splashed, due to its close relationship with the exhaust manifold. The new hose was much better insulated against heat. Fortunately this happened outside the Ferrari dealer in Oslo! Lucky me!

Otherwise, no problems at all.

I drive it in summertime all over Europe, a lot on the German Autobahnen (up to 250-270 km/h) and a lot on West-Norwegian roads. The engine is a delight, the sound also (The Auto. Motor und Sport tester in -93 called the sound "the trumpets of Jericho) and the design is just right for me (discrete elegance) as I am 71 years old.

I love the 456, and I will drive it as long as I live.

Irving, West Coast, Norway.

15th May 2012, 19:46

Oh.

Dear.

God.

Everyone's entitled to their opinion, each having the right to be wrong. But c'mon, people...

It's a pretty simple formula for owning one of these vehicles. The price you pay for maintaining it is the price of the pleasure of owning it. You will get back the money paid on the initial purchase and not more, irrespective of maintenance, service history etc.

I own 3 456s, all GTs, none Autos. Why? If you have to ask, you will not understand the answer. Much like the old adage, if you have to ask what it costs, then you cannot afford it. Not being arrogant or elitist, just honest - this ain't DeutschlerLump territory. This weekend I am off to buy another two, because of all the Cavallini I own (330GT, 430 Challenge, 430-F1) the 456s are the most reliable. I can attest to less problems with these (now classic status) 2+2s than my good friend with his 2006 Mondeo. Poor soul has had the thing blow up three times and cost 5,000 GBP in repairs. OK, so that's pretty much the cost of like, a wheel on one of mine, but hey...

Problems: yes, the windows.

Frankly, that's it. Terminals are disappointingly flimsy, but even parking my red 456 next to the Atlantic Ocean, ten yards from the harbour, I have not had any problems. I had worse trouble on my Renault Master van than the cavallino. Honestly.

Windscreens and body panels are expensive, due to their construction (the glass is glued into place with a bonding compound; the panels are welded onto the chassis using an experimental glue-like alloy bonding compound - high tech at the time, but a bugger when you need to fix dents).

Clutches are prone to wear if, like me, you live in a steep area with lots of hill starts. The gearboxes are more reliable than the uninformed have led people to believe. The engine units are bullet-proof. Having said that, I do keep a spare lump and box lying around just in case...

God knows what these guys have been doing to ruin the cabin rubber and plastics, but I have never had this problem on any of mine. The window rubbers aren't the problem for cabin noise incidentally, it's to do with the actuator motors, and is an easy fix for which service centres often overcharge.

Yes, the belts are expensive to replace and must be done regularly. I usually have the valve clearances done at the same time, but then I am picky.

But then, I use the things for the purpose for which they were designed - a 1,000 mile trip door to door across Europe. At top speed... On the Autobahnen... With nary a problem.

The service charges are high because large parts of the car have to be dissembled in order to gain access to the required subsystem. For example, in order to gain access to the fuel system (tank, fuel pumps, filler neck et al) the entire back end of the car has to be removed, from the boot liner and CD player onwards to part of the rear seat assembly. All good clean fun, naturally!

The engine has to be largely dissembled in order to perform a belt change. ANY belt change. This necessitates lifting the rocker covers and exposing the cylinders and cams, but is achieved using just one allen key - a practical point of some significance and something one wouldn't expect from an Italian design. The truly brave (and knowledgeable) can therefore save a significant part of servicing costs by delivering a part dissembled Cavallino to a (usually somewhat bemused) service centre. It's worth it just to see the look on their faces.

Finally: depreciation. I have a 612 in bits, which I purchased from an unable driver. That is the only way in which I would purchase one, because they have approximately 25-50% further to fall in terms of value over the next few years. I will personally guarantee this. On the other hand, 456s are now pretty much worth less than the sum total of their component parts.

To use a jewellery analogy, if a diamond ring is valued at say, 1,000 GBP as a piece of jewellery, then all is good and well as long as the gold and diamond which constitute it are worth less. If the price of gold suddenly jumps up and the diamond mines close, then the ring's component value (ie, when split up into a diamond and some gold) is greater than the piece is worth intact... Well, the smelter is a happy man whilst the lady weeps...

My point is, try and find an engine, gearbox, windscreen and front bumper as sole components, whether new or from the scrapyard. Then find a whole car, with the engine running...

Put the price lists side by side. Raise an eyebrow...

Yes, this model is understated (not as lowly as a Chevy though, FFS c'mon) and as low in value as it will ever get. But don't listen to me, I'll just carry on buying up these scarce beauties and putting my money where my mouth is.

I own lots of old British sports cars, Range Rovers, Land Rovers, etc. Call it a passion, but I'm unafraid of getting my hands dirty or frankly, my cheque book dirty. If you are afraid, go away. Look elsewhere. Not snobbishness, just advice. The service centres will rip you off.

Yes, law firms are cheaper by the hour (great analogy BTW!) but they ain't as much fun. Every morning at 6AM I go to work, fire up a V12 and smile like a little boy. Can't say my neighbours say the same... Actually, they love it too. You can't not!

I will continue to use these beasts (no-one knows what they are until they've been passed and they see the Cavallino Rampante on the tail) until I take delivery of my new FF. A four wheel drive, four-seater, V-12 Ferrari estate. Should be interesting...