Buying Secondhand Milos
It seems great interest is now being shown in the Dino 246 GT as a reasonably priced exoticar. Mr. Cotterell in your July issue said he did all his own servicing due to high garage charges by the specialists in his marque. Mr. Lewis in the September issue then quite correctly stated the point that knowledgeable servicing costs money but probably in the end saves money. Now in the October issue Mr. Handley of Southport wonders, before finally deciding to buy a Dino, whether the high service and spares costs will in fact prohibit him from buying such a car.
I hope what I write below will help Mr. Handley make up his mind. I am in the fortunate position of being able to indulge in my hobby, at work, for some parts of the year. My hobby, since I could drive, has been fast road cars.
Maranello Concessionaires of Thorpe were kind enough to let me test all their 1975 models, including the Boxer, and I have just finished trying the Turbo Porsche.
Two years ago I tried a 246 Dino for a couple of days and I think it was that trial and subsequent conversations with owners of the 246 that persuaded me that the only meticulously finished, superbly built grand touring car on the roads today that can be confidently bought secondhand (after, of course, suitable enquiries into the actual car’s state of health) is the Porsche 911. The 246 is a highly tuned piece of machinery and being mid-engined is not ideal to work on. As with Porsche, spares are VERY expensive, to give examples from current models, a new rear bumper on the Ferrari 365 GT4 2+2 is £90.80, and on the Turbo Porsche £84.43. Similarly a 365 GT4 silencer is £245.72 for the complete exhaust system and £180.98 for the Turbo. Michelin XWX tyres for the Dino will cost well over £50 each. If Mr. Handley hunts round he will be able to find such items as replacement windscreen, which after all may be needed
at any time, for about £70 (which is about £45 over what his insurance company will pay out). It is therefore items such as tyres, windscreens, wiper motors etc., which may need replacement at any time and with the exception of tyres cannot be examined at the time of purchase as to their possible durability.
Another thing which should be borne in mind when buying an unusual car, such as the Ferrari or Porsche, is “where is the nearest dealer and spares stockist?” If you have to-go by train 100 miles to pick up a new wiper motor or take the car that distance to get something fitted it is annoying, but it just depends whether Mr. Handley is a Ferrari fanatic or just likes the look of the 246. If he is the latter he may soon wish he had never thought of a 246. If, however, he is truly keen on the marque, distance and inconvenience will be no object.
Insurance on Ferraris and especially midengined cars can be very, very high so he should get a firm quote.
My main advice however is do not buy any kind of exotic car through anyone but a dealer in the marque you are buying. And check the guarantee—does it include labour as well as parts? A friend of mine who has quite wide experience of Dinos once advised me never to buy one that had had more than one owner and it should not have more than 20,000 miles on the clock. Apparently, he said, 25,000-35,000 was the maximum mileage you would expect out of a Dino before big engine overhaul expenditure was needed. And this is where I would advise Mr. Handley to consider a Porsche 911 instead. 100,000 miles is nothing on the fabulous flat-six Porsche engine. There are examples on the road with well over 200,000 on the clock and without having had major overhauls.. I spent eighteen months looking for a good 911. I found one at Malaya Garage, Billingshurst, Sussex, main Porsche distributors for Sussex and Hampshire. Their guarantee must be one of the best in Britain. 5,000 miles, labour and parts irrespective of time and you get the work done at your nearest agents if that suits you best. And I have not had a quibble from them for any of the work I have had done. (I have no connection with them, of course, other than being a satisfied customer.) So to summarise for Mr. Handley, if he must have a Dino, make sure it is one owner, no crash damage, full service records with a
Ferrari agent, and buy it through a Ferrari Dino dealer with a proper guarantee, or better still, buy a Porsche! Shaftesbury, Dorset N. J. EDWARDS