View Full Version : 328 buyers guide

16-09-2006, 07:26 PM
A 308QV or a 328 would be your new best friend. Relatively cheap to run, very cheap to insure & fairly bomb proof if you maintain them properly. Both are roughly the same size & will feel quite compact on the road - certainly much smaller than an NSX. Buy a good car & you'll never want to part with it.

As for running costs, an annual service will be 4-500 ish, a cambelt change (every two years according to the book but three is a realistic option) will be 350 max. Tyres for a 328 are under 400 a set & Insurance on either should be in the 3-400 range.

I've had my 328 for 7 years, it lives on a battery conditioner & it always starts. I try & run it at least every two weeks all the year round to keep everything moving.


17-09-2006, 08:00 PM
If you really want to track it regularly then buy a GTB otherwise ya can't beat roof off GTS motoring IMHO - especially with a Bell exhaust underneath :dude:

FWIW clutch job on a 308/328 should be around 800 but they don't eat clutches unless you are silly with them.

This also might perhaps help to clarify things for you: As soon as you step from a 328 to a 348 and beyond you are into a whole different order of magnitude in servicing and insurance costs. Roughly double would be a good guide.

Another one to consider if you fancy a 4 seater would be a Mondial or a Mondial Cab. There were about 4 variants & I'd go with the 3.2 - not everyone's cup of tea but a lot of car for the money. SImilar running costs to 308/328 unless you go to a Mondial t which has 348 running gear & so 348 servicing costs.


19-09-2006, 08:24 AM
What are the main differences between the 308QV (what does QV stand for?) and 328.QV stands for Quattrovalvole - meaning four valves per cylinder. It means a bit more power over the earlier 308s, but with the 328 having a bit more still. Really, it re-instated the power lost over the early 308s when they first went fule-injected and had to meet tighter emmisions regulations. The 328 has a slightly bigger engine (3.2 litres vs 3.0), an 'updated' (though still visually related) body and revised interior.


19-09-2006, 09:04 AM
Now I think since I don't want to spend too much, the 308QV and 328 are looking faves for a first F - perhaps the 355 in a few more years. But running costs put me off the newer cars - plus as I say, it is the experience and fun I am after rather than outright pace.
What are the main differences between the 308QV (what does QV stand for?) and 328.


Potted 308QV Vs 328:

1) 3.0l vs 3.2l

2) 250bhp vs 270bhp

3) Slight styling differences on the exterior - the 308s have the very deep spoiler at the front - can be a bit tricky. The back end of the 308 always looked a bit "unfinished " at the lower half to me - Search for some pictures

4) The interiors are different - you should be able to find pictures.

5) The 308's came with the Metric Michelin tyres (and odd sized wheels) - More difficult to find & expensive but can be substituted with fairly authentic looking 16" aftermarket wheels & the same boots that a 328 wears - 225/50 & 205/55. Metric tyres are not good - they seem to go rock hard in about 2-3 yrs. Handling much improved on 308s with wheel upgrades.

6) The 328 was updated halfway through 1988 at which point it gained ABS & a fairly substantial upgrade on the suspension. In fact I believe there are a few non ABS cars that had the suspension upgrade as well but broadly they divide into ABS & non ABS. You can tell the difference by the wheels on the car. The non ABS cars have dished (concave) wheels whereas the ABS cars have convex wheels. The ABS cars have a slightly wider track at the back (meaning that some SS brakeline upgrade parts produced for "328s" won't fit - don't ask me how I know!)

7) GTB = Fixed head, hard top, GTS = removeable Targa roof - these a generally pretty good & don't leak. There were a lot more GTS cars made - 542 x 328 GTS vs 110 GTBs in the UK. GTS's are generally more expensive to buy. GTBs have that fantastic uninterupted roof line & work better on a track (car is stiffer).

The youngest 328 is now a 16 year old car - you can buy a Subaru that will be quicker for less money - but that's not really the point. By the time they built the last 328 ( in 1990) the engine/transaxle had been in production for over 15 years & so is pretty bombproof. Both 308QVs & 328s use the same Bosch K-Jet fuel injection. Same system as used on older Mercs etc - very simple, it either works or it doesn't. Fortunately they seem to work almost all the time. Red line on a 328 is at 7800 so they are quite well built as well. Both cars have AC - the AC on my 328 seems to work OK, I thin k the 308 system is/was a bit more temperamental. The option list on these cars was pretty short so you won;t find major differences beyond exterior/interior colours. A few cars had leather dash/trim round the rear window.

If you start looking for cars then look for cars with regular mileage on them. Anything that's been in long storeage or done less than 1000 miles a year is likely to need more doing to it than a higher mileage car that's been used. Get someone to PPI it & look for rust. It would be inadviseable to buy an older Ferrari like a 308/328 without access to a dry garage & a 200 dehumidifier would be a worthwhile addition to the family as well.

20-09-2006, 12:46 AM
Hi Sam you sound an awful lot like me! :grin: And as this is my first post it's sort of an introduction too!

Another girl car nut here who also has 3 cars of which two are purely for fun - so don't feel guilty about it, there's nothing wrong in that! :grin: I've got a Caterham Seven which is now going to be mostly for track days, a Mercedes motorway-mobile to tow it around with, and last but definitely not least, and the reason I am here, my new pride and joy: a lovely 1987 pre ABS 328 GTS, which I collected the Friday before last and which means I have now finally satisfied that insatiable Ferrari craving I have had ever since I first knew what one was at the age of about 7 or 8 :thumbsup:

I went for the 328 for several reasons: partly because it's just such a beautiful car - to my eye at least truly an automotive scupture on wheels and one of the most beautiful cars ever designed - but also because of the fact that they are still fairly quick even by today's standards, are meant to be mechanically bombproof if they are kept well maintained and are now very reasonably priced both in terms of capital cost and cost to run (or at least so I'm told - I haven't yet had to pay anything out in maintenance of course!). Given more cash to spend upfront a Dino would also have been a distinct possibility for me too - the only other realistically priced road Ferrari (with apologies to Enzo who is no doubt turning in his grave to hear it called that! :tongue3:) I would have described as more beautiful than a 328, and lovely to drive too, though a lot more expensive to buy and in terms of its mechanics far more of an 'older' and supposedly more temperamental car to own than a 328 (though the one I've driven wasn't at all temperamental when I've had it I have to say - and I'm not just saying that 'cos I know its owner sometimes reads this forum! :laugh: ).

People will say take your time to look and you probably won't find the right one for several months, which is quite possible, but don't give up as you could get really lucky like I did and find an excellent one for sale pretty much straight away. Mine formerly belonged to another member of this forum :) who I know looked after it with the utmost care and has spent a lot of time and attention (not to mention money!) on getting it mechanically perfect and cosmetically almost concours - and that's certainly reflected very much so in the way it drives and looks. I was also strongly recommended to look for a higher mileage car that had been regularly used rather than a 'garage queen', mainly because a lot of problems can arise in storage (perished hoses, seized bearings etc.) that you wouldn't necessarily see until you started driving it but which are often very expensive to fix! FWIW mine has 50K on the clock now but really doesn't feel like it, and I'm told 328s are pretty strong mechanically and should last to 90-100K before any major work needs to be done on the engine. Finally the last recommendation I had was the more paperwork/bills/service records etc. you can get with the car the better - I guess this is fairly self evident with any older car but it certainly helps to know what has been done previously and what sort of money and care had been spent on the car by previous owners.

As to your question about the gear change, as a new owner and having never even actually driven a Ferrari at all before the start of this year, I certainly haven't found that a problem, though you do have to leave the gearbox oil to warm well up before changing from first to second - instead you go straight into third when the car is cold, which even after just a week and a half (and 10% of my annual mileage limit already :shocked:) of ownership I am finding is becoming second nature. The dog leg box and position of the gears is a little odd too at first if you're used to a car with first up and to the left, second straight down from first etc., but again like the first-to-third change it's something I've personally got used to pretty quickly.

For me choosing a Ferrari over something like the NSX or a 911 was always going to be a heart over head decision - cars like that, while very quick and competent and even in many ways perhaps even 'better' than a 328, have never for me engendered quite the same kind of passion and inspiration that I have always felt whenever I hear the name 'Ferrari' or see and hear one on the road.

Best of luck with your search for a car and I hope you find one soon that you will keep and enjoy for many years!

20-09-2006, 03:09 AM
Thanks again Iain for your very comprehensive reply. That is very much appreciated. If we meet at one of these events - I owe you a coffee!

I know what you mean about the japanese turbo nutter barges too ...... we could all go spend 10k and drive something that has higher bhp, top speed, 1/4 miles etc ....... but a long long way from the point :grin:

More and more I am liking the sound of the later 328s - which is good news as when I was at Supercar Sunday earlier this year, it was the 328 which looks wise caught my eye.

Can I ask - does the open gear gate make changes difficult at first - and if so - how soon do you get used to it?

The Dino is beautiful - but as I already have guilty qualms over owning 3 cars with 2 being purely for fun...... I couldn't spend that much on a weekend toy - even if I had 70k sat ready.

Oh - garage is no problem ..... I had a second garage built when I bought the NSX - it was too wide to fit in the standard size garage I had - so nice garage complete with carpet on the wall and battery conditioner.

Yr Welcome.

The open gate on the gearbox is not an issue - the gearshift is much like any other car except you get a reassuring "clack" when you change. The gearboxes on these cars are not "fast" & don't like to be hurried - even when warm - forget "speed shifting" as the Americans call it (I HATE that expression!)

As Fastlady said, you go from 1st to 3rd when the thing is cold. My gearbox is pretty co-operative & it will go into 2nd fairly easily within only a mile or two of starting. Some need more warming up than that before you can use 2nd. How co-operative the thing is seems to depend a lot on the Gear oil you use - Redline is popular - I've no idea what's in mine at the moment though!

The gear layout is upside down with 1st being a dogleg left & down, 2nd & 4th at the top & 3rd & 5th at the bottom. It makes no odds & you just teach yourself to stop worrying about what number gear you are in & concentrate on just being in the right gear & keep going up or down as appropriate till you run out of gears! The actual shifting pattern is the same as on any car.

One of the few criticisms I have of the 328 is that the gears are maybe a bit short for long distance cruising - I sometimes wish it had a 6th gear. Then again the thing was built for playing in the Alps so its hardly surprising & to be honest its a minor niggle. IIRC the 328 is one of not many cars that will pull its red line in top gear (alledgedly!).

328s have 9 Litres of engine oil in them & about 4 1/2 litres of gear oil. There is no thermostat on the oil cooler, its permanently in the circuit so you can bank on it taking at least 7-10 miles before you see engine oil temperature of any consequence & at least double that before the g'box feels properly warm. If your Thermostat is working then you would see full operating water temp within 3-4 miles.

Otherwise the brakes are good but not exceptional by today's standards but they will take some considerable abuse before they start to fade. The ABS is a pretty early system but it works. Some people complain it cuts in too early on the track but its certainly not an issue on the road.

Some parts for 328s are pricey - Distributor caps (there are 2) are 150 or so each. The Rotor arms are 90 odd if you buy them from Ferrari & A full set of ignition leads will be over 250 - but these are not things that need replacing every service by any stretch. Replacing all the basic ignition parts (Rotors/Caps/Leads & Plug extenders) will cost you near enough 900.

General consumables (filters, plugs, brake pads etc) are not expensive. Brake discs are expensive (600 or so for all 4). So bear these things in mind when you are looking at cars. Some parts are no longer available (the front driving light/indicator assemblies being the most recent chaos causer)

In terms of major servicing the big-ish jobs are cambelts - every 2 years or 25K miles & about 350. Reallistically you can go 3 years but you need to watch the tensioner bearings - look at the service history of any cars you look at as to when the belts AND bearings were last changed.

The second bigger job is Valve clearances. These need checking about every 15K & so if its due to be done its a 400 job. If you are sensible you get the camshaft oil seals replaced at the same time for another 150 or so. These seals are one of the major sources of engine oil leaks on 3X8s so look at the ends of the engine below the head for signs of this. If the gearbox bell housing is black with oil & grime (left side of the engine) the chances are the distributor oil seals are leaking.

If you are serious about buying a 328 then there are plenty out there but some of them are getting a bit loose & sloppy. You need to go & drive some cars & talk to as many people in the trade as you can. People like Mike Wheeler at Rardley or Bob Houghton or the Guys at KHPC or Verdis. I wouldn't bother going near a main dealer for a 328 (either to buy it or to service it). If you are so inclined some things like oil changes & brake pads changes are easy DIY jobs - in that respect its just a car.

Look for cars that have been run and serviced regularly. I'd rather have a 30K car in good condition that had been used rather than one with only 10K on it that had been sat in a garage for 3 or 4 years. Get the thing inspected & look hard for signs of corrosion. Sub 15k cars will command a premium that's probably not worth paying. Also bear in mind that its very easy to disconnect the Odo on 308s & 328s so look hard at the service history & MOTs to see that the mileage stacks up.

My quick checklist for buying a 328 would be to look at the history & then

1) Look for rust - Doors, sills, Rear quarters & Front wings where they meet the fibreglass lower wing in front of the front wheels.

2) Does the condition of the interior match the mileage - well worn drivers seats/carpets on 10K cars are a giveaway!

3) Does it need Belts or Valve clearances or any other servicing imminently?

4) Look for oil leaks (CSOS?). You should pretty much expect to see some smoke on start - up but not clouds of it & it should run cleanly.

5) Check the age of the tyres - look at the DOT numbers .Because the cars generally do fairly low mileage its possible to have tyres in good condition that need changing because they are 6 or 7 years old.

6) Check the AC, all the fans & the heaters are working.

7) Make sure the car has BOTH tool kits. There should be a kit with a Jack & wheelbrace & a load of other stuff & then a second tool kit with SCrewdrivers & spanners. The second one is quite often missing - 150 to replace it.

8) Make sure that the cover for the targa roof is there - its a vinyl cover that is used to cover the roof panel when its stowed behind the seats.

9) Drive the car - there should be no major rattles or squeaks - but you might hear a few with the roof on. Listen for wind noise round the windows.

10) Watch the temperatures - Water temp should sit stable about 175 ish. If its cooler than this or is not stable then it needs a new Thermostat - common issue. Not hard to do but 75 for the T'stat:shocked:

11) Allow the car to sit at idle for a while - the water temperature should climb to 195 & the electric cooling fans should kick in & the temp should drop back to 175 fairly quickly.

12) Get the car up on a ramp & get an expert to look at all the Chassis tubes for signs of any accident damage. Also look for broken suspension springs, leaking shocks (rare) & check the general condition of the underbody while you are under there. Look for signs of idiots jacking the car up incorrectly. 328s are easy to damage (crushed sills etc) if you don't know what you are doing or can't be bothered to read the manual. Then look at the brake disks - expensive to replace as above.

If any of the above is not "right" then you either walk away & find another car or you are in a position to start to "discuss" the price of the car based on what needs putting right.

Even if you think you've found a good one you should still spend 200 or so & get it PPI'd by an expert. Most of the independent service shops will do this. Best of all is if the thing has had a compression/leakdown test or you can get one done as part of the PPI - that will tell you a lot as to the health of the engine.


13) If its got a standard exhaust on it then budget on 900 for a Bell system. The standard system sounds fairly weedy - it needs to go!. The Bell sounds :dude: :dude:

14) If it all checks out, Buy it, fill it with Optimax & drive it like you stole it :grin:



26-09-2006, 07:55 PM
Guide assembled from various posts originally posted in this (http://www.clubscuderia.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?t=8535) thread