1000 MILES IN A MONDIAL - ROAD TRIP TO THE FCA NATIONALS
Updated: Aug 27, 2021
I dearly love the Mondial. As the owner of a small boutique dealership specializing in Ferraris from the 70s/80s/90s, I have driven and owned almost every Ferrari from this period, but for some reason the generally unloved Mondial is the car that “flips my cookie”.
Out of the numerous variants and evolutions of the model, my favorite is the 3.2 Coupe. Benefitting from the long evolution of the mid-engine V8 drivetrain in the 308/328, the 3.2 engine is regarded as robust, relatively easy to service, and offers more than adequate power.
The longer wheelbase of the Mondial offers better handling on the street, albeit with a small weight penalty, and I feel that the Pininfarina design of a mid-engine 2+2 format, an evolution from the 308 GT4 of the late 1970s, designed by Bertone, is subtle and elegant. While the Cabriolet was certainly the most popular Mondial variant, the Coupe provides a much better driving experience because of its closed and more rigid chassis. In addition, the Coupe offers far more rarity; there were only 87 3.2 Coupes produced for the US market during 1986-1988.
I own a 1988 Mondial 3.2 Coupe, with 4,500 miles, in utterly factory-new condition, but with one problem: as with all perfect low-mileage cars, I don’t want to drive it, even though I have done a few hundred miles since I bought it.
So, I’ve been on the lookout for a “driver quality” Mondial 3.2 Coupe with higher mileage that I could enjoy, and in September, I found it. A 1986 Mondial 3.2 Coupe, Rosso Corsa with beige, with 58,000 miles. A two owner car, owned from new until 2018 by its first Northern California owner, it was serviced and then driven cross-country to Connecticut by its second owner.
When the car arrived from Connecticut, it was exactly as the previous owner had described it to be, and I couldn’t be happier with the purchase.
The paint is all original except for the passenger door. The A/C compressor wasn’t installed but was included. General condition was what you would expect for a California-kept 58K mile Mondial; it’s certainly not a concours queen, but that’s also not what I wanted. Lots of rock chips on the front, some dents, etc., meant this was a car that I could drive without worry.
At about the same time of this purchase, I was thinking to myself about how I would travel to the Ferrari Club of America National Meet in Scottsdale in November. I’ve always loved the drive to Arizona from Texas, a drive that I did with my family every year growing up to visit my uncle in Phoenix. Now that I had my “driver” Mondial, the choice was clear: road trip to Scottsdale!
Because I share space with a top-notch service facility for these cars, I couldn’t resist going through the car and making it as good as I could, both mechanically and cosmetically, as well as taking care of issues that needed to be resolved before the trip to Scottsdale.
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