Service time

So it is again time for the F355 to head over to Sal at Racing Red for the annual service. No belts this time, but there are few things that probably need doing.

The first is the annoying flakes that have started to appear at the front of car. I think that the whole bar needs to be removed and repainted as the flakes just seem to re-occur.

Another item is probably a complete set of new tyres. The rears have diminished tread and the fronts are getting a little old, so maybe now is a good time for a complete set?

As always, there is rego to do as well. So nothing major, just some tidy up before the New Year. The fun part is always mixing with the day time traffic but hopefully, that won’t be too bad. We’ll see.

Project 458 continues with biggest challenge being strangely, power. The issue is that where the F355 lives, there is currently no power point. For the F355 this really isn’t an issue but for a more modern car, this a big problem as it needs to be plugged it when stationery. The major reason for this, apparently, is that the battery is small to save weight. This means it doesn’t hold charge for long periods. This means it needs to be constantly trickle charged when stationery. This means it is a problem.

I have tried to find some sort of battery arrangement that I can charge elsewhere and then store in the car, but haven’t had much luck. If you know of something, let me know. This limitation therefore kind of rules out my current location for another car. The challenge then becomes where to storage it?

The further away I store another car the less likely I am to drive it. That would be rather a waste of money now wouldn’t it? Then there is also the additional cost of storage. This isn’t a deal breaker but it does start to add up. I also don’t like not having full control of the location where the car is stored. If that now means I need to buy something just to garage another car, that also seems like a waste of money.

Things to ponder.

Logistical challenges

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Lovely shiny F355 5.2 Motronic engine bay

The big question in regards to Project 458 is whether I would trade the F355 in for a 458? The current value of F355’s would go a long way towards a 458 (even a 488). Another school or thought also suggests that a 458 is a much more modern car with more creature comforts and therefore better. While all these arguments are true, I have decided that, unless I really have to, for a variety of reasons, I am not planning on selling the F355. Having a manual sports car just has a certain appeal to it and honestly the F355 has always been my dream car.

Ok, with that decision made, now come the logistical challenges. The first of which is that with having multiple “fun” cars, the question arises when do you enjoy them? My current regime is an early morning Sunday drive the F355 and generally back before mid morning. I know the F355 requires a good run at least once a week to keep it in condition and I have settled into a nice routine. However, add a second car and things start to become complicated.

Spending all that additional cash on yet another “weekend toy” means that you want to ensure you get the full enjoyment from it, right? So does that mean that immediately upon returning with the F355 I turn around and jump into another car and take it out for an extended run as well? As much as I would love to that, by that time of the day there are more cars, traffic, enforcement and so on. The downsides start to accumulate. It also means that instead of having most of Sunday to myself, half of it is consumed driving. I feel that may become somewhat of a chore after a while and that’s not value for money because then all the enjoyment has gone out of it.

So, let’s say that I retain the current F355 routine and perhaps take a second car out only occasionally? That’s a lot of money to pay for something that is only enjoyed fully every few weeks. Also, 458’s really do need to driven every week or hooked up to a trickle charger in the interim (which is another logistical challenge I’ll cover soon). Now a 458 is eminently more a car you can drive everyday but would you want to? It still kind of draws attention to itself. So, how does one reap the benefits from a second “weekend only” car?

Of course, these are all first world problems and there are argument for all points of view. It is clear that I know I’d regret selling or upgrading the F355 because every owner I know who has owned one has said that. So that means two cars. Two cars introduces many challenges and the first major one is logistical. The biggest questions is, would I get value from spending all that money on a car that I only drive occasionally? Would I feel the ‘obligation’ to drive it regularly and in doing so take the shine off ownership?

All very good questions that I have not fully come to a decision on as yet. In short, it’s a lot of money to pay for something that appears will only be used occasionally. Could I live with that?

Project 458 has commenced

Ever since I was lucky enough to get behind the wheel during Targa Tasmania a while back I’ve become keener and keener on the idea of owning a 458.

In fact I have had my eye on the 458 market for a while now but of late the 488 market has also come down dramatically. This is probably due to the flood of new cars that are coming onto the market. As I write there are currently 26 x 488s on the market and only 12 x 458s. That means that potentially you could pick up a 488 pretty cheap. Yes, it would be more expensive than a 458, but it is a more modern car, faster, better over performance and so on. There is also a good chance that you could also pick one up that still has the factory warranty included. Still having a factory warranty certainly provides some piece of mind against unexpected maintenance costs.

I have been lucky enough to drive the 488 in anger around Fiorano. That experience taught me that the 488 is a magnificent car that one could user every day and that’s were some of the doubt started to creep in for me. Yes, the 488 is an amazing car and wickedly fast but the 458 is just that bit rawer and the 458 is also the very last of the normally aspirated V8’s from Ferrari it would seem. Apart from the performance issues, a 458 is generally always going to be cheaper than a 458 and in Ferrari money, that can be a significant chunk of change.

At this stage I’m not going to completely rule out 488 ownership but I think a 458 ticks more the boxes that I’m after and I also feel that the 458 will be more valuable over time being the last of the non-turbo V8’s.

With the model now set, now it’s time to track down a good deal!