Not long ago I had the good fortune of buying a new Ferrari F430 for Club Sportiva. Our Members had let us know that they wanted, no, make that needed, a new Ferrari. Not that the 360 Spider or the F355 Spider weren’t good enough, but that the Members wanted to try the latest from Maranello. I worked with Charlie Miles, the sales manager at Ferrari of Silicon Valley to get the right car for the Club’s needs. There are a lot of options, none are inexpensive and the ones you choose impact the value of the car at resale, to some extent, how desirable is your car compared to others available. This is a guide the best of those options.
First and foremost is the decision for the color. Although the car looks good in many colors from red, yellow, black, grey and blue, there need only be one choice for the F430. Rosso Corsa. There will be no debate on color for this V8-powered car, however, with V12 Ferraris I don’t feel so strongly about red.
Transmission. Ahh, the “trasmissione” is debatable. Because this is something you will use constantly while driving, getting it right is molto importante. While there is a remarkable trend towards F1 paddle shifted transmissions these days, fueled no doubt by the dealer’s power of suggestion in the ordering process, I bucked the trend based on Member feedback to row their own gears. Easy, we will skip right over that check box for F1 transmission; let’s see what is next on the option list.
Scuderia badges. Oh yes, lest someone not recognize the car for a Ferrari, we must have extra signage to reinforce the brand. Actually, I do like the badges, even though a few years ago one of the major car magazines called them, “Pep Boy inspired.” True, you can save a lot of money by adding them yourself from an auto parts store, but it is a crime to slap a sticker or logo after the fact. They simply look great on the car. Easy, let’s check that box.
Rear Challenge Grill. Hmmm, to have or not to have? This one was tricky at the time because in November of 2006 when I was ordering the car, no one had any photos as the option was just coming available. Knowing how cool (and yes, functional) it looks on the 360 and F355, I had to assume Ferrari wouldn’t stray off course. So yes, let’s check that box as well. It is different on the F430 as it turns out, with a lot of carbon fiber and very little breathable wire mesh. When I did get to see it, it took a little time to appreciate, especially with the diminutive silver prancing horse in the center, barely two inches tall. Nonetheless, I am glad I checked that box on the option list.
Daytona seat inserts. Yes, an option with some heritage and hand craftsmanship. Not inexpensive, but likely to wear well over time and something that Members will see every time they climb in and out. And there is an Extended leather package option with Daytona stitching that includes the otherwise carpeted area behind the seats. My former 308 had lots of carpet, which some people commented seemed dated, so extending the cool Daytona leather stitching on the package tray and engine wall is a good idea. So sure, let’s check both those boxes.
Seat colore and Contrast stitching. Since I chose rosso corsa paint, I will stick with traditional tan interior. This also impacts the resale value, probably as much as does the trasmissione decision. The natural brown cuoio also looks great, but the coupe is sharper with tan hides. The contrast stitching has become rather common lately and not having it will feel like I missed the option box, so this one is a must. But there are so many colors to choose between. Well, we can keep this simple by choosing red to match the exterior. Two more boxes complete.
Colored tachometer. Yes, should I choose it in red or yellow? Because the car is red, let’s opt for yellow. It should look cool at night when lit. This one won’t impact performance in any way, so I can’t go wrong either way, which is a relief from a few of the other big decisions that had to be made.
Ball polished rims and Painted calipers. Ball polish rims are a relatively new finish Ferrari is offering. It is not the standard painted rim nor is it machined metal or chrome. It is a polished look that looks a bit sand cast with a little texture as a result of the ball finishing process. The style has more shine to it than a painted rim but without the mirrored look of chrome. And of course, we all know and love painted calipers. I considered yellow or red but not silver or black and chose the red calipers.
There weren’t many significant options that I passed on. Carbon ceramic brakes were the one I skipped. The cost is big and so is the replacement price if it comes to that. For Club Sportiva’s street driving needs, the steel rotors will do the job just fine. Carbon ceramic is ideal if you plan to do some track days and just simply demand the best technology at any price. Ferrari has announced it is going to be making all its brake systems with carbon ceramic discs, leaving steel rotors to the lesser competitors.
With all boxes satisfactorily complete, the car was then lovingly ordered and shipped. We tried to airfreight the car to expedite the delivery process but the request to Maranello got lost and therefore we had a wait a painful month while the car was floated across the Atlantic and then another few days for customs to eye ball it and then another 10 days to trailer it across the country. It was worth every minute, however painful the anticipation was for the Members of Club Sportiva. The car had about six miles from the test laps on the Fiorano. Pretty cool!
So that was my experience having the pleasure of buying a new Ferrari for Club Sportiva’s Members. I plan to be doing it again before long for our next Ferrari, maybe this time it will be an F430 Spider or how about a 599!