For most people, buying a brand new Ferrari can be nothing more than a dream. When it comes to expense, the tradeoff of owning a brand new Ferrari is just impractical for the average person. Of course, there are ways to bargain ownership of a luxury super car, and one of those ways is by buying used. There are pros and cons to buying a used Ferrari, and perhaps the biggest pro is the cost. They are more affordable and practical in terms of value and expense. If you wish to make a move on your dream of owning a Ferrari, there’s one model that you should definitely consider: the Ferrari 360 Moderna.
Brief history of the Moderna
The 360 Moderna was once Ferrari’s saving grace. The Italian luxury car manufacturer saw a remarkable decline in production quality and sales throughout the 90s, and it was an unprecedented event for the historically successful company. Former Ferrari President Luca di Montezemelo sought to raise the company morale and standards back up, especially in the realm of sports cars and Formula 1. His solution was the 360 Moderna.
The Moderna saw production from 2000 to 2004, and it didn’t get a warm reception the way Ferrari intended. However, the Moderna brought Ferrari to the masses. With the combination of performance and refinement, the 360 Moderna was a practical Ferrari—made for the every day drive and almost for the every day man. The manufacturer produced 17,000 360 Moderna vehicles throughout its production, and the every day man can own one with a capital of $70,000 to $90,000. There are literally thousands of options out there, but it’s best if you take the time to sift through your options to find the best one for you. Here’s a short guide to help you find the best possible used Ferrari 360 Moderna.
The first thing you need to consider when buying a Ferrari 360 Moderna is the model year. It might not be applicable to other makes and models, but it definitely does for this particular Ferrari. The 360 Moderna came in two main body styles, a hardtop and a soft-top convertible dubbed as 360 Spider. There was also a high performance version released in 2004, the 360 Challenger Stradale. The 360 Moderna was far from perfect when it was first released, and many of its kinks weren’t ironed out until the later models. Some of these issues include frame cracking, fluid leaks, old engine software, and motor mount issues among a few others. While Ferrari addressed these issues in later models, earlier models will serve just as well as long as they received the proper manufacturer updates.
One of the biggest issues that Ferrari had to contend with in its early 360 Moderna production was a problem with the cam variator. As part of an engine’s Variable Valve Timing System, the cam variator works to alter the timing of the valve lift. This system improves gas mileage, lower harmful emissions, and ensure high performance altogether. The 360 Moderna’s early cam variators often failed, which caused serious damage to the engines. After a recall, Ferrari fixed the problem with a simple system update. However, not all models received this update. This is why it’s important for you to check the VIN of a potential Moderna buy to make sure it received the proper updates before proceeding with a purchase.
As far as service updates go, it’s necessary to check a Ferrari’s service history not just to check the camshaft variator update. The 360 Moderna was required to receive major service every 3 to 5 years. Suffice it to say, not all owners heeded this service recommendation, especially on Ferraris that were barely used. It’s highly suggested that you opt for a pre-purchase inspection before buying any 360 Moderna you might be interested in. Checking the service history record will also allow you to inspect any other issues the particular 360 Moderna might have had—whether it was related to existing problems from production or not. If only to guarantee that all the check engine lights are addressed, having an inspection done will release you of any anxieties about the future.
A Ferrari purist might argue against this case, but truth is many supercars leave the lot only to be modified later on. If it doesn’t already come as a customization, a supercar may very well endure a sizeable modification in order to satisfy a buyer’s purpose. As per the Ferrari 360 Moderna, one of the most common modifications done on the vehicle is the exhaust system. Typical exterior modifications may include aftermarket wheels, grille updates, and the like.
The interiors of the 360 Moderna—or of any supercars for that matter—typically gets the most modification. It can be as simple as a stereo upgrade or it can be completely involved like a performance modification. For example, if a Moderna is rigged with a roll cage or racing harness, it will give the impression that the vehicle was probably used for racing. This almost always stands for extra wear and tear on the car, so it would be wise to get another inspection if you see any such modifications.
Apart from all these Moderna-specific factors, you can also inspect a used Ferrari much like how you would examine any used car. At first glance, you can check the conditions of superficial finishing, the paint, tires, the leather seats, dash, and so forth. You can make sure the lights work and all other electrical factors as well. Every little damages you can find will end up becoming an added expense for you, so consider these well. It helps to stay as objective as possible when examining a prospective Ferrari 360 Moderna. Only once you’ve checked all the boxes can you giddy up in excitement.
Written by Benjamin Smith
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