HOW TO ENJOY FERRARI OWNERSHIP

Clyde Romero

Volume 44 Issue 22

Oct 26, 2019

My first Ferrari was a 1984 308 GTB, red with black interior. I got it with 10,000 miles on it and sold it in 1996 with 140,000 miles.

    Jim was asking for articles about ownership so here is mine: I have been a Ferrari owner since 1986.

    My first Ferrari was a 1984 308 GTB, red with black interior. I got it with 10,000 miles on it and sold it in 1996 with 140,000 miles.

    The car never gave me any trouble. I replaced the steering rack and shocks and all the normal stuff. The car still had the original clutch. I did most of the maintenance on the car myself.

    My only complaint was the A/C wasn’t up to the task of southern heat in Atlanta.

    In 1996, I bought a 1993 512 TR which again had 10,000 miles on it when I got it.

    I still have it today and it now has over 108,000 miles.

    Needless to say, I drive that car; it’s been to the Montreal F1 GP and every year the US Grand Prix was at Indy I drove it there.

    I have replaced all the normal wear and tear items on the car; once again, I wore out the steering rack at around 90,000 miles.

    I was able to find a complete engine for the car and bought it. I did replace the engine but not the transaxle.

    I did this engine swap at 95,000 miles; it was a deal I could not pass up. The clutch was fine, but I had worn out the flywheel so I replaced the entire assembly.

    I did the suspension bushings and shocks as well around 80,000 miles.

    I replaced the stock radiators with aftermarket ones I helped design that are all aluminum. The new radiators help dissipate the heat much better than the stock units, along with installing relays on the cooling fans to get the high voltage away from the frail circuit board.

    My most recent purchase was a 2003 575M Maranello. It had 26,000 miles when I bought it in June. It now has over 29,000 miles.

    It has been a great car. Overall, I find the reliability of Ferrari excellent; none of my cars have ever left me anywhere and you can see I drive my Ferraris almost everywhere.

    I recognize apprehension for the average owner going far from a dealer for fear the car will break down.

    All I can say is, you can put that behind you, the cars work well. I have been in snow storms, rain and heat, remember I live in Atlanta.

    Get out and drive your car!

                                                    Clyde Romero

 

    I have known Clyde Romero for about 30 years. I can attest to his love for Ferraris and to driving his steeds.

    While I can also say that Romero’s mechanical skill set is above average, I can also say his Ferraris have not needed to tax his skills.

    It should be encouraging to some owners that basic maintenance can be performed without the need for gold plated tools or fluency in Italian.

    Ferraris are special but not mystical. Almost every maintenance your Ferrari might need can be accomplished with a careful and methodical approach.

    Before Ferrari had a well-trained dealer network many owners were forced to repair their own car out of necessity.

    Many pulled out the V-12 and rebuilt the engine themselves. Tune-ups with carburetor adjustments and timing with point setups were just part of the joys of ownership.

    Thank goodness they did, which accounts for so many Ferraris surviving today.

    Ferrari maintenance should be approached with respect but not fear. Knowing how your Ferrari works takes the fear out of enjoying the drive.

                                              Jim Weed

 

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