Car: 2008 Ferrari 612 Scaglietti One to One
Owned since: June 2015
Previously owned cars: Porsche 911 C4S Targa, Maserati Quattroporte GTS, BMW M5.
"My first encounter of supercars was as a teenager growing up in north London in the 70s. On the way to the local newsagents I heard a loud noise; turning around to see what the fuss was about I noticed two of my sister's school friends, one in a De Tomaso Pantera, the other in a red Ferrari Dino. Hearing these cars buzzing around the neighbourhood left a huge impression on that 14-year-old boy, and in 2015 I took the plunge and realised a lifetime dream.
"Why a Scaglietti? I've always loved coupes and loved this car since Clarkson's review on Top Gear circa 2004: it's a practical, usable Ferrari that happens to be a ballistic missile when pushed. Early cars were not loved by the press (for the looks, handling and noise), however Ferrari addressed criticism and by 2008 the car was sorted (to a degree) with the introduction of the HSTC One to Ones."
What I wish I'd known:
"I was too trusting buying from a Ferrari main dealer - I mean, what could go wrong? 612s were made from aluminium and some have been prone to rust. Mine has a minor paint issue which I'll address at its next service. And how was I to know that tyres can crack on cars that are not used over long periods, representing an MoT failure. Four Pirelli P Zero tyres? That'll be £1,000 Mr Sparrow!
"The rarity, as only 17 RHD One to Ones were produced for the U.K. It's always an occasion driving this car; it's as subtle as driving a Ferrari can be yet instantly recognisable.
"The noise it makes leaves the hairs on the back of the neck standing. Nothing in my opinion sounds better than a Ferrari V12 at full chat, especially in a tunnel. And while some may disagree I love the timeless looks that just get better with age."
Things I hate:
"Some of the interior materials are a joke for what was Ferrari's flagship and most expensive car, with cheap feeling plastics that can melt in extreme sunlight. The previous owner spec'd the car with leather on the dash and this has started to come away as it expands and contracts.
"The infotainment system is - how to put this - crap! The F1 gearbox is not the best in auto, so I always leave it in sport mode and use the paddles. This makes gear changing more responsive and the handling sharper as in auto mode the suspension is a little floppy."
"Ferraris are not cheap to buy, however this does not make them overtly expensive to run. In the main 612s are very reliable cars, however be prepared for minor electrical issues. The car came with a two-year Ferrari warranty, but this is a pre-seven-year deal car that is now offered.
"I've had bad experiences with Ferrari after sales in London so I now send the car to Mario at Autoshield Manchester who I met via the Maserati Owners Club. Serving costs are reasonable, but more importantly the car comes back better than when it arrived."
Where I've been:
"I purchased the car with just under 11,000 miles, but here in the UK Ferrari prices are so mileage sensitive that I've ruled out any long distance use. Protecting future value is a key element of supercar ownership and as such the car has covered just over 4,000 miles in two years. I need to mention the Ferrari Owners Club as it's a great source of information with good structure. The FOC organise trips both home and abroad and some are proving very tempting!"
"No immediate plans, however all roads are leading to the F12. Before I sign off I need to correct the recent buying guide on 612 PH as no mention was made of the One to Ones. These cars were the last of the breed, and highly collectible given their photo chromatic roof, remapped gearboxes, improved suspension and carbon ceramic brakes. The Sessantas, whilst fewer in number, came with two-tone paint jobs which were not much loved and therefore less desirable in my opinion.
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