I tried to buy a high-mileage broken Ferrari

Those of you who know me well, know I’m somewhat susceptible to buying a car with a story. For example a 177,000 mile supercharged Audi RS4 I daily drove before its demise in the welsh mountains. So when I found this black high mileage Ferrari things really got going for me. The F430 was launched in 2005 and I’ll never forget being a 10 year old watching Clarkson skid both the coupe and convertible around the test track. I’ve always adored the looks , the subtle grin up front the perfect proportions and a screaming v8 soundtrack only the boys at Maranello can make. However I don’t currently have £65,000 to go and buy a nice used example. However this 430 was a little rough around the edges and therefore right in my crosshairs.

The “problems” with this car were many. First of all it’s been imported from the UAE, a place where most supercars are thrashed within an inch of their lives. The car was listed for sale in Birmingham , ask any petrolhead if they’ll buy a car from there and watch them wince, next it was a high mileage example with 75,000 miles. Add those misdemeanours together plus that it’s left hand drive, adorned budget tyres and had a knackered clutch and you can see my point. However it was cheap, very very cheap and would’ve saved me nearly £20,000 compared to the rest of the F430 stock. Yes I’d have probably never been able to sell it but what a car to be “stuck” with. The paintwork was crying out for a thorough detailing and protection with the interior desperately needing a clean and repair for the drivers bolster.

Thanks to the F430 being old by today’s standards not all parts are painfully expensive. My original plan was to sell the Vantage to the pack of vultures who message me regularly, purchase the F430, have it delivered to my house and hide it away in the garage over winter. Gather some funds and clarity of mind and set about “restoring” the knackered old supercar. The Supercar Rooms quote around £600 labour for a clutch change with the parts costing around £1500-2000, a set of Bridgestones were around £560 and then a major service by my good man CJ. All in mechanically sound the car would of owed me just shy of £50k. I’ve written time and time again the satisfaction I get of restoring a car, watching it improve both cosmetically and mechanically. I loved the idea of a freshly detailed F430 on my drive with no one knowing it’s knocking on the door of 80,000 miles. I also liked the idea of taking it past 100,000 miles somewhere in Italy then retiring it to the weekend toy and having an old Alfa as a daily driver, I’m a sucker for old Italian cars secretly.

This F430 has since been sold, I’ve no idea where to I assume to somewhere in London as it appeared on the Facebook marketplace. The new owner didn’t seem keen when I asked why it was now listed at £65,000 when still present on budget tyres, high miles and I very much doubted with the new clutch it needed. I can’t describe how much my heart sank when the listing vanished from Auto Trader, just imagine an F430 for less than a v10 R8. I hope to see it litter eBay or Pistonheads some point before next spring when I’m likely tied up in my next stupid financial venture. If you’re going to rebuild something it may as well be a 500bhp v8 Ferrari right?

Published by sjfbusby

a big nosed bearded idiot who likes to write about cars. Lucky enough to have owned a few quick ones too.

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