barn-find 330

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fuiszt
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barn-find 330

Post by fuiszt » Sat Jul 26, 2003 8:35 pm

i wonder if this is the same place I visited 50 miles or so outside Birmingham. They had a whole lot of interesting cars in a field...a p1800 with a sappling growing up through the gearshift boot, a citroen DS with a tree growing out of the roof, etc. I saw a Maserati Mexico -the NY autoshow car that year by the owners report- under a plastic tarp in the backyard. They had 5 sheperd/wolf hybrids chained up around the edges of the yard so they weren't worried about uninvited guests. The maserati had rusted where it was in contact with the plastic tarp, and the inside looked like charlotte's web 2. They said they had other cars for sale, and had refused 90K for the maserati. Without thinking I said they should have taken the 80K and the guy showing me the car got pissed off. The father had collected these cars and had died maybe 5 years ago.

Kickus
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Post by Kickus » Sat Jul 26, 2003 9:13 pm

Is that car really worth $35K? It seems like you would have to spend several times that amount again just to have it properly sorted out, assuming you can find the needed parts. Still, it seems like it would make a nice project for a rich person with lots of time, money, contacts, and resources at hand.

judge4re
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Post by judge4re » Sat Jul 26, 2003 9:27 pm

Sounds like the same place. We'll find out, I'm trying to juggle my schedule to go see it next weekend. I'll bring a camera.

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330GT
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Post by 330GT » Sat Jul 26, 2003 9:59 pm

It seems that the TR replica in the UK is actually SN 4873, built on a 250 GTE chassis.

Peter den Biggelaar correctly spotted it as 4873 twice, but was told he had an error. Bill Preston (250 GTE Register) also had 4873 listed at a 250 TR replica.

I think that the 4973 problem started with an error in the FOC UK register #3 (1986). It had 4973 listed for a GTO look-alike on 330 America, owned by N. D. N. Welford, registration XCH555/GB. In the 4th edition (1998), this error has been corrected and the same car is listed under the 250 GTE model using serial number 4873 owned at that time by Stuart Anderson on the same registration.

Further, Telaio #7 and #11 listed this car as being at Coys International Historic Festival, Silverstone, UK in 1997 and 1998, respectively, under chassis # 4973. This further compounded the original error.

Gerald Roush also linked XCH555 as shown in a picture on P 107 of the 4/97 Classic & Sports Car magazine to 4973.

So a single error linking a registration to an incorrect serial number just compounded.

Where does this leave the lady in Alabama? Probably with a car that isn't worth restoring and most certainly not worth the 35K she is asking. Maybe there will be a 250 TR or GTO replica built on this chassis eventually!

Regards, Kerry
330 GT Registry (http://www.330GT.com)

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tyang
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Post by tyang » Sat Jul 26, 2003 11:11 pm

Is the car worth $35K? Considering the the engine is worth $15K, the transmission is probably worth $5K, and the rear diff at $3-5K (easily converted to a Lusso), you can see how the car can be worth that kind of money. Ironically it's worth more split up, than in one piece, that is why Shaughnessy splits a few of these cars up every year!

I'm just trying to keep all of them from disappearing into oblivion! It might be a fruitless endeavor against the need to make profit, but there should be some respect for the preservation for history!!!

Tom

Ruedi
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Post by Ruedi » Sun Jul 27, 2003 3:22 am

The Sportscar Market Magazine 2003 price guide lists 330 Americas as being worth between $35,000 and $47,500 in strong #2 condition (which they describe as "very good to near excellent condition" and "significantly above a 'daily driver' and one step below regional concours") with "no stories attached".

The car is obviously in very raw condition and -- even if given away for free -- will probably easily absorb more money than the car will ever be worth. That's why SCM recommends that one buys a restored car, where one pays for the restoration (often at a huge discount) and gets the car for free.

Furthermore, the car's value probably will be significantly affected by the stories about the serial number.

Price guide aside, car buffs often ignore the economic concept of bounded rationality. And that's good. If it wasn't for these people, we would see less and less cars preserved that are exciting rolling sculptures but will never make to the financial big league.

The dilemma this specific car poses is that the ideal buyer would be somebody with experience who has the contacts and skills to do a 'lean and mean' restoration without shortcuts, but this type of person may not want to touch this car at this kind of price. More likely, the car will either go to an inexperienced beginner who will dive into the restoration head first in hope of experiencing a Tom Yang moment, or to a talented liar who deceives the seller and then breaks the car apart.

Let's hope for the best.

Ruedi

Pete
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Post by Pete » Sun Jul 27, 2003 7:57 am

The good thing about this car is that it is complete ... but maybe not worth $35,000.

Looking at the pictures it does not look any where near as hard a restoration as my Alfa. Infact a complete strip (which you have to do for any decent restoration) and a very good clean and a full paint and then you are putting back together again. The shell does not appear that rusty ... but then obviously the current owners do not understand how to store cars, as covering the Maserati with a plastic sheet is absolutely stupid and that poor car has its own green house to die in.

Somebody should offer them $100,000 for the lot and save what is possible and recycle the rest.

The 330 America is definitely restorable, and after a good steam clean I bet you would surprised how good it looked.

A complete car is always worth more than one missing vital and rare parts ... pitty I'm living in Australia and poor :), would have been a good car for me.

Pete

mikemeade
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Post by mikemeade » Mon Jul 28, 2003 2:07 pm

When I first saw this car, I wanted it. I figured that this car would be the ultimate way to start into Ferrari ownership. (I guess that I must be that inexperienced person mentioned further up in the thread.) Of course when I saw that price, I simply changed my mind. The car may be worth that much broken up, but the point is that the seller doesn't want the car broken up. Together and whole, as a restoration project, this car can't be worth that price. My guess before seeing the price was between 10 and 15 thousand. Considering that one could probably spend ten times that to return the car to perfection, it seems appropriate to me.

I would think that if the owner definitly wants to see it remain whole, they will have to inspect their buyer heavily, and make a few concessions to insure they are getting the right person.

Who knows though, all my project cars together haven't been in this price bracket, and I am sure that things are different with Ferraris...

mikemeade
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Post by mikemeade » Mon Jul 28, 2003 3:05 pm

http://www.ferraris-online.com/cars/5015/5015a.html

Just to provide a bit of perspective, I thought that I would include this comparable 330 America, that was priced less, but had a running, rebuilt engine.

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David Booth
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Post by David Booth » Tue Jul 29, 2003 1:32 am

This car is one of those damnably haunting specimens. One of the most intriguing things about it is that apart from the obviously pirated radio, it appears to be All There -- something really rare in these cars as I'm sure most of you know from first-hand experience. Yeah, sure the price is too high given the unknowable condition of the really pricey bits, and given the semi-exposed storage, the piston rings may well be rusted to the cylinder walls. And the chrome pieces are probably too pitted to be salvaged. But when you consider that a solid rolling chassis with no engine or trans will bring around $15k, is this owner really that far off in dreamland? I also have to take issue with the comment about spending more money to restore it than the car will ever be worth. I'd point you in the direction of late 1989 and early 1990 and caution you to never say never.

Ruedi
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Post by Ruedi » Tue Jul 29, 2003 4:56 am

Well David, are we also hoping that the dot.com bubble will repeat?

If we look at the prices of cars, it's fairly obvious that rise in prices in the 1980s was a result of the baby boom bubble. Pre-boomers and early boomers who made a fortune off late boomers became affluent, started to feast, and temporarily drove demand for collector cars up. Once that started to happen, speculators came along for the ride. As the demand started to taper off, speculators moved their money into high-tech. Pre-boomers and early boomers were (and still are) reaching an age at which they can no longer drive these cars. Hence, collector car supply started to exceed demand which drove prices down to today's level -- where it probably will stay for a long, long time.

Watch health care costs explode over the next 15 years, when more than half of the population will become elderly. Then, watch the impact on money supply when their estates will release huge amounts of money and inheritance taxes. Don't expect that the recipients of these funds will invest in cars. They'll have enough problems paying for health care.

Given that these economics are at work, investments in stock of retirement homes or institutions that provide care for the elderly seem to be a far safer bet than putting money into this car.

Ruedi

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tyang
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Post by tyang » Tue Jul 29, 2003 9:30 am

I'm going to speak for myself and others who have e-mailed privately and say to the people out there concerned about this car being a viable investment: You're missing the point! My moto is, "you can't drive a mutual fund!"

People spend thousands on vacations, and yet they never ask for a return on their money, and I see the same thing for owning an old Ferrari. If your enjoyment is to watch your money grow (don't worry, I enjoy it too) then go invest your money elsewhere, but if you want to do it collector cars, you need to rethink your logic. That doesn't mean you can't make money in collector cars, but it's not common for most people to make money on these restorations!

Tom Yang
Not planning on making a dime back on my 330 America, and enjoying every minute of it!

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RallyGTX
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Post by RallyGTX » Tue Jul 29, 2003 3:33 pm

It seems to me that the big 'disconnect' is the price vs condition.

What I mean is that the seller appears to be well aware that the sum of the parts is greater than the whole and has chosen their asking value accordingly.

However, at the same time, they are asking that the car be sold to an enthusiast for restoration, and not be parted out.

This seems a bit of a conundrum to me. Since the restoration would most likely involve (conservatively) at least half-again of the asking price, you would be well 'upside down' on the project.

I have enjoyed reading your progress as much as anyone, Tom, but I think that it comes down to simple math and/or bad timing (right now)

I'd love to have a V-12 Ferrari, but will have to wait for a more economically viable opportunity.

I *do* hope the car finds a new home that is not a parts shelf, but I'd be surprised if that is the case, at least at the current asking price.
Matt Manspeaker
Seattle, WA USA

fuiszt
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Post by fuiszt » Tue Jul 29, 2003 4:07 pm

The economically viable choice is always to buy the after not the before. But buying someone elses restoration is never as fun as doing your own (plus at least Tom gets to choose what needs to be new, what gets left be..etc.). For me its occasionally disheartening to find some evidence of something not done "right" when I take my car partially apart.
Yes you will be upside down if you buy this car for 35K. You will still lose less money than if you buy a brand new 575 and drive it for 2 years.
What other one of 50 or so Ferrari can you buy for 35K?

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tyang
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Post by tyang » Tue Jul 29, 2003 5:00 pm

There will be a day when $30-35K will seem cheap for a 330 America needing a full restoration.

Tom

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