Ford To Live Stream 2017 World Rallycross Season

Ford Performance announced that they will be the exclusive United States live provider for the FIA World Rallycross Championship. All 12 races of the 2017 season will be streamed live on the Ford Performance Facebook page. While Ford is streaming the races, World RX Managing Director Paul Bellamy said that highlights would be available on a free-to-air broadcaster in the U.S. The details of that deal should be announced soon.

This is the first time a manufacture has partnered with the series to provide a live broadcast. Ford World RX driver and beloved lunatic Ken Block couldn't be happier about the deal. "I think it's amazing that my factory race partner, Ford Performance, has chosen to become the official distributor of World RX here in the States. One of the things I love about World RX is that fans are able to watch the action in real-time on race day via streaming. The fact that Ford has stepped up and become the official partner in America and is doing it via their Facebook is beyond cool to me" said Block via a press release.

For Ford, it would be wonderful the two Hoonigan Racing Division Ford Focus RS RXs dominate the season. Ford has puffed it chest up in the recent past and actually delivered. For almost a year, they boasted they were bringing the Ford GT back to Le Mans to reclaim the throne. They did. So maybe this will work out, too. It would be America's shame if the Ford-sponsored World RX live stream turned in to Peugeot commercial.

The season starts this weekend. You can watch it live on April 2nd, at 8:00am EST at

Watch SpaceX’s Historic Reusable Rocket Launch Live Right Here

If all goes according to plan, at 6:27 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time this evening, Elon Musk and his rocket company SpaceX will be set to write their names into the history books yet again. Because tonight, SpaceX will likely become the first private organization to launch a payload into Earth orbit on a used rocket.

See, the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket that'll be pushing this SpaceX mission off from Cape Canaveral's Launch Complex 39A somewhere between half-past six and 9 o'clock will be making its sophomore flight when it helps heft the SES-10 communications satellite into geosynchronous orbit. It first launched back in April 2016, when it helped bring supplies to the International Space Station during mission CRS-8. (That mission also happened to be the first time SpaceX successfully landed a first-stage rocket on an ocean-going barge, a feat it plans to repeat tonight.)

Reusable spaceships are nothing new, of course; each of NASA's space shuttles made repeated trips into space and back. again. But SpaceX is shooting to become the first private company to usher reusable rockets into commercial use. Making rockets that can be launched repeatedly is a crucial part of SpaceX's goal to lower the costs of space launch. It'll also likely be key to Musk's plans to send people to Mars.

The SpaceX livestream feed on YouTube goes hot at 6:27 p.m. EDT. You can click here to go to the company's official page...or, if you'd rather hang out here on The Drive (and we wouldn't blame you), you can watch it below.

Watch This Impatient Subaru Driver Nearly Cause a Mountainside Wreck While Passing

While behind the wheel of a car, being attentive and having some patience are two things that can help keep you and the motorists in the vehicles around you out of trouble. In reference to a video that was uploaded to Facebook Tuesday, that means waiting until you're not on a blind mountain road to pass a truck as it creeps up the hill. Apparently, this Subaru driver didn't get that memo.

The clip, which was uploaded by Facebook user Cathi Duck, shows a truck barely managing to climb a narrow road with an aggressive uphill grade in Australia. As the truck inches up the road, you can see a Subaru WRX-looking (it could be a 2.5RS, but we'd bet our silver dollars it isn't) car dash for a pass, but nearly cause a head-on collision while doing so.

It's dumb driving.

"HOLY F**K.....WHAT A F**KING IDIOT I CAME ACROSS COMING UP THE MOUNTAIN EARLIER TONIGHT......THANK GOD FOR DASH CAM," wrote Duck on the Facebook post. "I am starting to realize what could have happened there if he hit me coming back I would have gotten pushed into the rock wall."

To you, the Subaru driver, we get that you don't want to wait behind a truck as it creeps up a hill, but if you can't see what's in the other lane, or if you're not sure you have enough of a gap to make that pass, please, for all parties involved, just don't do it.

What Is This Car Porsche Keeps Teasing?

In three different YouTube videos, Porsche has teased a new car by showing it under a car cover. It is entirely possible that these are three completely separate models, but we're banking on them all being the same car. Porsche is going to an awful lot of trouble to continue showing this car without really showing it, trying to drum up some excitement for their future model. Based on the context of the car's 'secret identity', its shape from three different angles, and a few hints from elsewhere, we think we know what this car is, but how sure are we? In short, not very. Porsche is known for their subterfuge, and this whole thing could be nothing more than that.

Beginning at the front of the car with the screenshot shown above, we can see that this is likely to be a 911-based car. You can clearly see the 991-generation headlight/fender shape, and the leading edge of the fender. The cover here is tight enough to the leading edge of the bumper to give us the impression of large radiator and brake duct openings, not to mention the widened front fenders, leading us to believe this is a sporting model, perhaps from the GT department. Because it was released in this video, we know that it will be produced by Porsche's exclusive department and will feature a low production quantity.

This second screen capture was taken from a recent GT3 testing video. At the very end of the short video, the German man in this frame says "weiter gehts" to his workers, which basically means "back to work", and then nods his head toward this machine. This angle shows a 911-esque silhouette, but the roofline seems perhaps a bit too low. It's possible that the large rear wing (did we mention the LARGE REAR WING?) is keeping the car cover to an angle that obscures the true rear window angle. The fact that this car is shown off in the same video as the new GT3 seems to reinforce the GT-department connection.

The first time we saw this car was during Porsche's Geneva Motor Show event for the GT3. A man walks into a garage with two cars covered and flips a coin. Whatever the coin read, it meant that he took the cover off of the GT3 and went for a drive around the track. The other car remained covered, and was only shown briefly in a dimly lit storage area. Stacked behind the car in question, however, is a set of treadless pure racing slicks. Porsche doesn't do things by half-measures, and they don't do things by accident. Whatever this car is, it has to be a track-focussed experience.

So, having presented all of this evidence, what do we think this car is? Well, we're leaning toward a new 911 GT2. In an interview with Autocar nearly two years ago, Porsche GT boss Andreas Preuninger noted that a GT2 would be coming at the end of the "Gen 2" series of 991 near 2018. The 997 generation GT2 RS produced 611 horsepower, but you can nearly get that from the current Turbo S. In order to be really wild, you'd have to expect in excess of 650 horses. We won't know for sure what this car is until it bows officially. Porsche has said before that they're putting a lot of effort into their New York Auto Show booth, so perhaps we'll see it as soon as next month.

Two Killed by Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Modified Ford Fiesta ST

If you're looking to shave a few seconds off your car's quarter-mile time, there are a few straightforward routes you can take. You can tinker with the drivetrain setup, find a good ECU tune, add lightness—hell, even new tires alone can make an appreciable difference. But if you're going to open up the exhaust and mess around with the catalytic converter, the tragic deaths of two people in a modified Ford Fiesta ST in England shows the danger created when everything is put back together incorrectly.

20-year-old former Ford engineering apprentice Tom Putt and his friend Nikki Willis were sitting in the car outside Willis's house on the night of December 5, 2016. Neighbors say they heard the engine running around 4:30am, and their bodies were discovered later that morning.

Police announced their findings today after working with Ford over the last few months to pin down the cause.

Putt apparently modified the Fiesta's exhaust system last year, removing the catalytic converter and adding vents in the hood. While local articles vaguely point to the missing cat as the reason the dangerous fumes were allowed to escape, a straight pipe on its own wouldn't cause this, and given Putt's experience it seems more likely there was a problem with the reassembly—possibly something as simple as missing or broken gasket, or a loose connection.

So leaking exhaust was allowed to build up under the hood since the car wasn't moving, eventually coming up through the added vents and entering the cabin through the fresh air intakes at the base of the windshield. It's also believed cold weather kept the gas concentrated around the front of the car.

The report released today confirmed CO levels in the cabin were more than 1,000 times higher than the country's legal limit.

It's a tragic tale all around, and a sobering reminder of the inherent risks in messing around with complex machines. Check, check, and check your work again —your (or your loved one's) life could depend on it.

Porsche Remains Confident Following Unlucky Sebring 12 Hour

In Porsche's own words, 'at the 12 Hours of Sebring... the new Porsche 911 RSR was on course for a podium result until shortly before the finish. In fact, thanks to a sound race strategy and a strong performance from the pilots, even a maiden victory was within reach.' Yep, defeat snatched from the jaws of victory. We've already discussed how that loss made us feel on Saturday evening, but here are a few quotes directly from Porsche's management team and driver squad to give you a feeling for how they felt about the whole ordeal.

Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser, Head of Porsche Motorsport:

We witnessed a very dramatic race and up until 33 minutes before the end everything was looking good. We had a tough fight for first place with the Corvette but then suffered a slow puncture on the front left tire. We had to pit and change the tire and after that, we could forget about victory. With our number 912 car, the unplanned pit stop due to a leaking damper cost us three laps and all chances of winning. This car was also running very well.

Patrick Pilet, Driver, 911 RSR #911:

Our plan was to have the best car at the end of the race. This meant that it wasn’t so easy driving during the heat of the day. But once it cooled down we were very clearly the fastest on the track. The team did an excellent job. The strategy had been perfect. After the last pit stop, we had a good chance to win. The tire defect was annoying. It wasn’t a pit crew error, it was just bad luck.

Dirk Werner, Driver, 911 RSR #911:

The pace of the car was very good and under normal circumstances it would have been enough to win here. Patrick was running in a very good position when he got the puncture. It’s hard to lose the fight for victory like this. Still, we had a great weekend and we put in a good race. The performance of the entire team was outstanding and we were so close to winning our first race.

Frédéric Makowiecki, Driver, 911 RSR #911:

It’s really disappointing. The team had done such a great job and we had a very good strategy. We knew that we would get stronger in the second half of the race when the temperatures cooled down, and that worked perfectly, too. Patrick’s flat tire cost us the victory. That was just simply unfortunate.

Kévin Estre, Driver, 911 RSR #912:

It was a tough race. Our car had the pace to run with the leaders. The track worked better for us in the second half of the race when it got cooler. Unfortunately, we then had the problem that cost us three laps. We were able to make up one of those laps, but we couldn’t do any more than that.”

Laurens Vanthoor, Driver, 911 RSR # 912:

Our pace was very good. Unfortunately, we lost three laps because of a leaky damper. Because there were comparatively few caution phases, we weren’t able to make up much ground in the final hours.

Richard Lietz, 911 RSR # 912:

Sebring is merciless, but we knew this beforehand. We had a good car and I enjoyed driving here with my teammates. We did our very best but unfortunately we had the problem with the rear left damper. Things like this can happen, particularly on a bumpy circuit like this one. We were well prepared, we did a great deal of testing here in Sebring, but sadly it ultimately wasn’t enough for a better result.

If you have a spare twelve hours, you can watch the full race broadcast here on YouTube, thanks to IMSA. The final hour and ten minutes is worth watching at a minimum if you haven't got that much time.

And here are the final race results, as well as current points standings for Porsche in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

GTLM class

1. Garcia/Magnussen/Rockenfeller (E/DK/D), Corvette, 334 laps

2. Hand/Müller/Bourdais (USA/D/F), Ford GT, 334

3. Fisichella/Calado/Vilander (I/I/SF), Ferrari 488, 334

4. Westbrook/Briscoe/Dixon (GB/USA/NZL), Ford GT, 334

5. Pla/Mücke/Johnson (F/D/USA), Ford GT, 334

6. Auberlen/Sims/Wittmer (USA/GB/CAN), BMW M6, 334

7. Pilet/Werner/Makowiecki (F/D/F), Porsche 911 RSR, 334

8. Estre/Vanthoor/Lietz (F/B/A), Porsche 911 RSR, 332

9. Edwards/Tomczyk/Catsburg (USA/D/NL), BMW M6, 149

10. Gavin/Milner/Fässler (GB/USA/CH), Corvette, 42

GTD class

1. Bleekemolen/Keating/Farnbacher (NL/USA/D), Mercedes, 325 laps

2. Balzan/Nielsen/Cressoni (I/DK/I), Ferrerari 488, 324

3. Vautier/Habul/Said (F/USA/USA), Mercedes, 324

6. Bergmeister/Lindsey/McMurry/Heylen (D/USA/USA/B), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 324

10. De Quesada/Morad/Pumpelly/Christensen (USA/CAN/USA/DK), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 323

Points’ standings GTLM class after 2 of 11 races


1. Müller, Hand, Bourdais, Ford, 67 points

2. Garcia, Magnussen, Rockenfeller, Chevrolet, 63

3. Fisichella, Vilander, Calado, Ferrari, 60

4. Pilet, Werner, Makowiecki, Porsche, 57

5. Mücke, Pla, Jonsson, Ford, 50

5. Westbrook, Briscoe, Dixon, Ford, 50

6. Estre, Vanthoor, Lietz, Porsche, 48

6. Auberlen, Sims, BMW, 48

7. Wittmer, BMW, 45

8. Gavin, Milner, Garcia, Chevrolet, 43

9. Edwards, Tomczyk, Catsburg, BMW, 42


1. Ford, 67 points

2. Chevrolet, 63

3. Ferrari, 60

4. Porsche, 58

5. BMW, 54


1. #66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing, 67

2. #3 Corvette Racing, 63

3. #62 Risi Competizione, 60

4. #911 Porsche GT Team, 57

5. #68 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing, 50

6. #67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing, 50

7. #912 Porsche GT Team, 48

8. #25 BMW Team RLL, 48

9. #4 Corvette Racing, 43

10. #24 BMW Team RLL, 42

Which Ford Motor Company Car Had a BMW Engine?

The oil shocks of the 1970s sent carmakers into a panic. What would happen, they pondered, if big oil producers continued to drive up prices by squeezing supply, and governments responded by tightening demand through stricter fuel-economy standards?

The short answer is, a disaster for the auto industry. Back then, the gasoline engine wasn't nearly as efficient as it's become in the 40 years since. Engineers would have to find an alternative that provided sufficient power and superior fuel economy.

But they had to act fast. By the late '70s, gasoline in the U.S. had rocketed past a dollar a gallon—a huge increase for the time—and was steaming toward two bucks. There was no relief in sight.

Electric cars, powered by heavy lead-acid batteries, were unsuitable for anything but lightweight, short-distance commuter cars. Downsizing all cars to increase fuel efficiency would only play half-way. The American market still demanded large interstate cruisers and pickup trucks—for work and pleasure. The only alternative that made any sense was the diesel engine.

American companies needed a diesel solution that would work for a Silverado or an Oldsmobile Station wagon. Mercedes-Benz, at the time, built the world's best diesel engines for large passenger cars, but the Stuttgarters were not about to share.

General Motors sent its engineers on a mission worthy of the Apollo 13 rescue crew: to refit its ubiquitous small-block V8 with diesel-ready heads. It was not an ideal solution: Diesel engines' combustion comes from intense compression of fuel and air, not by way of a spark plug, and even the stout V8 blocks had trouble withstanding the added pressure.

The resulting Oldsmobile 5.7-liter diesel was deemed appropriate on the test bench, but in the real world—as installed in Cadillacs, Buicks and other large cars and mid-sized trucks—it was failure-prone. Some say it single-handedly ruined the perception of diesel engines in the U.S. for the next three decades.

Still, GM was the first mover, and captured 60 percent of the total U.S. passenger vehicle diesel market, which by 1981 totaled 310,000 units.

As the 1980s unfolded, Ford was running behind. It needed a diesel solution that could work for its Lincoln Continental Sedan and Mark VII coupe, but refitting one of its V8s was not an option. What would it do?

The answer came from Munich.

Back in the mid-70s, BMW engineers had developed the M21 diesel engine to compete with Mercedes-Benz and Peugeot, the two automakers that dominated the European diesel market.

They started with the standard BMW M20 straight-six engine, but installed new valves, pistons and crankshaft, and planted a turbocharger on top. The 2.4-liter engine produced 115 horsepower and 154 lb-ft of torque, taking the BMW 524td from zero to 60 in just under 13 seconds, which, while slow as a wheelbarrow in mud, was still quicker than the Mercedes-Benz 300D.

It was this motor, built in a joint operation by BMW and builder-for-hire Magna Steyr in Austria, that Ford plugged into the Continental and Mark VII. The result was a slow but relatively sturdy package, that delivered somewhere around 30 miles per gallon in the luxe Lincolns. Lincoln advertised the diesel-powered Mark VII LSC, in close proximity to a Mercedes-Benz SEC, as being available with a "European designed 2.4-liter Turbo Diesel." Thanks, Bimmer.

Ultimately, bad timing killed the sad American diesel luxury car. It was a mercy killing. Gasoline engines would soon gain enough efficiency to fend off a supply crunch, just as fuel prices fell precipitously throughout the rest of the '80s. That left the the diesel boom-and-bust as a weird footnote in the American auto industry of the 20th century.

Postscript: BMW's M21 also found its way into a weird motorhome called the Vixen. Google it.

Mercedes-Benz Classic Track Days to Revive Touring Car History

The Silver Arrows of the past will once again lap the racetracks of Europe, thanks to the upcoming Mercedes-Benz Classic Trackdays events. Former Mercedes-Benz factory DTM drivers will join customers to relive the vintage racing experience.

Classic touring car fans will recognize the three venues from the golden era of German touring car racing: Hockenheim, Zolder, and Oschersleben. These historic tracks will host the Classic Trackdays, which will take place in March, August, and September, respectively. Mercedes-Benz Classic has even recreated an authentic copy of a 1990s Group A 190E 2.5-16 Evolution II (W201), one of the most successful and highly regarded touring cars of its era. Former DTM drivers will pilot the car around the same racetracks where the 190E famously traded paint with the BMW E30 M3 touring car rivals.

Track action will include open track time and a Club Challenge, where participants navigate through courses of light barriers in their personal vintage vehicles. Drivers and their guests will be given VIP treatment with catering and hospitality while surrounding themselves in the world of classic motorsport, and the limited field of 45 vehicles per event will include some of Mercedes-Benz’s finest motorsport icons.

With racing revival events like the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, Goodwood Festival of Speed, and now the Mercedes-Benz Classic Trackdays, fans of yesterday’s racing series are spoiled for choice when it comes to past eras of motorsport.

China’s EV Sales Quotas May Be Rolled Back

China may roll back proposed production quotas for more new electric vehicles sales, Reuters reports, after Beijing got pushback from the automotive industry. The original draft of the proposal—which came out in September—mandates that eight percent of new car sales be from plug-in hybrids or full EVs in 2018, ten percent in 2019, and 12 percent in 2020. Apparently, the rollback would only delay 2018's proposed sales mandate by one year.

The argument the automakers are relying on is not a new one by any means—they claim these sales targets are too high and "could hurt [their] interests," Reuters reports. But considering that EVs and plug-in hybrids only accounted for 1.8 percent of new car sales last year, a jump by 6.2 percent is significant.

An Jin, chairman of Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group (JAC Motor), said, "Whether the whole market can hit this quota by 2018 depends a lot on the strength of government policy. If it's strong then we should be able to surpass the targets. An added, "If you consider China's infrastructure and the transformation of China's auto sector, then perhaps the pace will have to slow."

According to two executives who are intimate with the proposed draft changes, the government may try and cut the quota by two percent each year or "push back each target by a year." Either way, since the proposal is still in draft form, revisions can still be made.

How to Buy a Vintage Ferrari

For the price of a boring new car, why not buy a vintage Ferrari?

Did you know the average transaction price of a brand new car in the US is $33,652? Call it $35,000 with applicable taxes. That’ll get you a nicely-equipped Hyundai Genesis, Chevy Malibu or Nissan Maxima four-door sedan or even a stripper 3-Series BMW. But everybody’s got one of those, and they won’t turn heads or cause a stir when you roll up to the valet.

So think out of the box. Why not buy a used Ferrari for that same $35 grand?

Now we’re talking.

OK, you can’t get a classic Ferrari V-12 berlinetta for even close to $35K, but there are vintage Ferrari two-seaters and 2+2’s, with V-8’s and V-12’s, that you can snatch up for about as much as you’d pay for a new car that starts depreciating the minute you shake the salesman’s hand.

And it’s a Ferrari, so one of these bargains could even appreciate over time.

We combed the exotic car sites, and with the help of price guides from Hagerty’s and Cavallino magazines, we can help you find a much more exciting ride for your money.

The Ferraris we recommend, for the most part, are 2+2’s, so there’s actually room for a couple of passengers and/or enough luggage for a sexy weekend getaway.

Ferrari’s 1960-to-1963 250GTE 2+2 was the marque’s first real volume passenger model, but you can’t get one of those today for buppkes, because they share nearly the same driveline as a multi-million dollar 250GTO. But in 1973, Ferrari replaced the racy, mid-engine 246GT “Dino” with a sharp little 2+2 that previewed the GTB-to-come’s lusty 3-liter, 4-cam V-8. Then the magicians in Maranello, knowing that some clients wanted a front-engine GT car for everyday driving, introduced the 365GT 2+2.

And it gets even better. There really are affordable Ferrari’s right up to the 1990’s. So follow along while we take a quick trip through the byzantine world of used Ferrari’s, complete with some of the challenges of owning a bargain Italian stallion.

Dino 308 GT4: 1974-1980

The Dino 308 GT4 bowed at the 1973 Paris Salon. Replacing the curvaceous Dino 246GT, this angular little coupe was designed by Carrozzeria Bertone, not Pininfarina. The original 246 Dino’s 2.4-liter V-6 had been replaced with a 3-liter, 4-cam V-8 packing four Weber carburetors. It developed 205-bhp at a screaming 7700-rpm. It was really a 2+2 (with tiny rear seats), but that was never part of its official name, nor was there a Ferrari badge anywhere, at first. But by 1976, Ferrari owned up and all 308 GT4’s sported prancing horse badges. The 308 GT4 is fun to drive; its 5-speed shifts crisply and when you nail it, you get all those wonderful Ferrari sounds. Those tiny back seats are best used for luggage, as there’s no rear legroom. 308 GT4’s are still under the radar pricewise. If you can find a USA-legal Euro-spec version, (and quite a few were imported) you’ll get 240-to-255-bhp.

208 GT4: 1975-1980

Here’s a tip to get an even cheaper GT4. Ferrari made 840 208 GT4’s with a smaller bore 2-liter, 153-bhp version of the 308’s 3-liter V-8. This tamer, but visually nearly identical 2.0 version came about because Italian tax laws heavily taxed 3-liter cars. Since you couldn’t use the 308’s 155-mph top speed anyway, even on the autostrada let alone on Highway 101, Ferrari S.p.A. offered a milder 208 for the home market, and they are stone bargains – especially because you can bore out the 4-cam V-8 to 3-liter specs and have all the goodies. 208 GT4’s aren’t common, so check the Ferrari Market Letter classifieds for one of these. And don’t tell the Italian IRS!

365GT4 2+2: 1972-1976

Think you can’t get a V-12 Ferrari for $35 grand? Think again. The 365 GT4 2+2 shares the sporty 1971-1972 365 GTC/4’s six-carb 4.4-liter V-12 with six side-draft Webers, but a classic C/4 starts at $250K, and you can double that for a great one. So consider the 365 GT4 2+2 instead. Introduced in Paris in 1972, it’s 7.5-inches shorter than the 365 GT 2+2 “Queen Mother,” it replaced, but with a 2-inch longer wheelbase and more contemporary Pininfarina styling. This lovely coupe was the first of a series that includes the later 400GT and 400i, through 1984. With 320-bhp, knock-off alloys and fully independent suspension, they’re fast, elegant Grand Tourers. Borrani wire wheels were still an option. One caveat: they’re much quieter than their sportier brethren, but you can fix that fast with a Borla or Tubi stainless exhaust update.

400GT/400 Automatic/412: 1976-1989

When Ferrari updated the 365 GT4 to the 400 GT at the Paris Salon in 1976, buyers could opt for a 5-speed or (gasp!) a GM-supplied THM400 4-speed Hydra-Matic. It was a sign of the times. Well-heeled clienti wanted a Ferrari, but they didn’t want to shift for themselves. Not surprisingly, automatics soon outsold the 5-speed sticks, so be prepared to pay a $5 grand premium if you want a rare manual. Displacement rose to 4.8-liters and output was an impressive 340-bhp. Bolt-on 5-star alloy wheels replaced the original model’s knock-offs. Borrani wires were no longer offered. Sadly, to meet US emission regs, the Bosch K-Jetronic, fuel injected 400i dropped to 306-311-bhp, then 315-bhp by the end of 1982. The 412’s became lusty 5-liter cars with 340-bhp once again. They are even nicer-looking, thanks to body-colored bumpers, and a higher rear deck with a discrete spoiler. Forget the Ferrari dealer’s expensive service department: your local AAMCO can probably fix that GM-sourced tranny.

208 GTB/GTS: 1980-1982

It’s nearly impossible to find an affordable 308 GTB, let alone a 308 GTS on our $35K budget, unless you encounter a rusty rat or a wreck. But the Italian market, Euro-spec 208 GTB, if you can find one that was legally imported, is worth considering. Like the 208 GT4’s, 208’s are rare in GTB/GTS guise. Ferrari built only 160 GTB’s and 140 GTS’s from 1980-to-1982, but a few came over, so hunt around. Like the 208GT4 2+2’s their 121-cid V-8’s developed just 153-bhp, so they look fast, but alas, they’re not!

208 Turbo (GTB and GTS): 1982-1985

But here’s the solution: When the tax-relief special normally-aspirated 208’s for Italy were deemed too slow, Ferrari offered a turbocharged version of the coupe and the spider, from 1982 (GTB) and 1983 (GTS) until 1985. The turbo’s output is 217-bhp @ 7000 rpm; that’s a healthy 64-bhp more than the 2-liter, normally-aspirated model.

Again, these are thin on the ground over here, but you may be able to find one.

Mondial 8, QV, 3.2, t: 1980-1993

Ferrari built 3,571 Mondial 8’s in several variations, because there were clients who wanted a more spacious, marginally less sporty 2+2 coupe or convertible with a Ferrari prancing horse badge. The wheelbase was 4-inches longer than the 308 GT4’s, so there’s really room for two passengers. Among enthusiasts, the Mondial is kind of the Rodney Dangerfield of Ferrari’s, but most civilians haven’t a clue. They simply see a handsome red coupe or convertible with a Ferrari badge and they’re impressed. Just remember, it costs just as much to repair the transversely-mounted, 4-cam V-8 in a Mondial 8 as it does in a 328 Berlinetta. Mondial 8’s, built from ’81-to-’82, and the QV (Quatrovalvole) coupes and true convertibles, offered from ’83-to-’85 , are well within our budget. Mondial 3.2’s (with 260-bhp) and later Mondial t’s in average shape make the $35K cut, but the better examples can go for as much as $10-to-$15K more. You have to do your due diligence, and be sure to inspect all existing service records. A belt replacement on one of these puppies will seriously blow the budget.

Tips on buying and servicing a used Ferrari:

OK, so you’re ready to find the affordable Ferrari of your dreams. Ferrari’s aren’t generally listed in local newspaper classifieds or “pennysavers,” but you will find lots of Ferrari ads in Hemmings Motor News, the Ferrari Market Letter, and the top British car mags like Octane, Classic & Sportscar and Classic Cars, and at the broad appeal auctions like Auctions America, Mecum, and Russo & Steele.

No matter how tempting the price, (unless you’re a skilled mechanic, with a stash of metric tools), if the owner/dealer doesn’t have the car’s service history, (or at least the last few years worth), simply move on. Assuming the service records check out, be sure to see what next major service is needed and make that price part of your negotiations. Ferrari’s were subject to rust, so a careful inspection of all the body panels, the chassis, etc., is mandatory. Inspect for any evidence of accident repairs. Ensure everything works, right down to the windshield wipers and back-up lights. Check the exhaust system for leaks. Nothing on a Ferrari, no matter how trivial, is cheap to do.

Here’s the dirty little secret: Ferrari was very cavalier about service. They figured if owners could afford the car, they could afford to have it maintained. On many models, you have to remove the engine for belt and timing chain service. Spare parts aren’t cheap. Neither are tires. Michelin TRX’s on later cars may not be made much longer. Many Ferrari’s were carefully garaged and maintained, but some of the less expensive examples may have been abused or suffered flood or accident damage. If there’s a CarFax report available, by all means get it. All the customary used car buying rules apply here. Drive the car for at least 20 minutes. Watch the water temperature, Check for unusual noises or vibrations. Try not to fall in love until you’re sure it’s a worthy example. If you’re importing a car, be sure you know the requisite DOT/EPA rules (there are too many to detail here).

So why are we encouraging you?

Ferrari’s are fun, exciting, exhilarating. Chicks dig ‘em, at least until they’re trying to decide if you’re a responsible person. Owning a Ferrari taps into 70 years of wonderful prancing horse history, on the track and on the road. Unless your Ferrari’s in the shop, you’ll smile every time you see it. So go for it—but be careful and purchase wisely. Life is not a dress rehearsal. We don’t get to do this twice.

Buona fortuna!


Bargain Ferrari’s by the numbers….

Years made Model name Number Produced Price Range

1972-1976 365 GT4 2+2 521 $30K-$90K

1974-1980 308 GT4 2+2 2826 $30K-$35K

1975-1980 208 GT4 2+2 840 $30K-$33K

1976-1979 400 GT Automatic 502 $30K-$60K

1979-1984 400i Automatic 1308 $35K-$60K

1980-1982 Mondial 8 703 $25K-$30K

1980-1982 208 GTB 160 $25K-$30K

1980-1982 208 GTS 140 $30K-$35K

1982-1985 208 (GTB) Turbo 437 $23K-$35K

1983-1985 208 (GTS) Turbo 250 $25K-$35K

1982-1985 Mondial Coupe QV 1145 $25K-$40K

1983-1985 Mondial Cabriolet QV 629 $27K-$45K

1985-1989 Mondial 3.2 Coupe 987 $30K-$40K

1985-1989 Mondial 3.2 Cabriolet 810 $35K-$42K

1985-1989 412 576 $45K-$90K

1989-1993 Modial t Coupe 858 $35K-$55K

1989-1993 Modial t Cabriolet 1017 $38K-$55K

(Source: Cavallino Magazine, October 2016 [Keith Bluemel/Cavallino])