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What, Salvage Is That A Bad Thing?

October 3, 2008

When I had my Ferrari 308 GTB, I wanted to restore it to original which meant buying 14″ Cromodora wheels. Mine came with 17″ Speedlines which were another original manufacturer of Ferrari rims along with Campagnolo. I searched online and found a decent set on ebay. The starting bid was $550 but everyone would tell me that an unrestored set should run about $400. I let the auction run its course and then contacted the seller as all “shrewd” ebayers do. Turns out the guy worked a mile from my house. I met up with him during lunch. I don’t think he was drunk that day.

We chatted quite a bit about Ferraris, I came to find out that these wheels came off of his 400i that he had back east. They were his snow wheels. Mental note. Who in the gosh darn heck drives a Ferrari in the winter? Ok, you’re right it was a 400. The wheels were fine, I bought them for $400 and made my way home. Since we were car guys and in close proximity to each other, we met out for beers one night and talked shop. He was rebuilding a 328 that he got for a steal and still had the 400. I told him I was thinking about a 400, the last of the cheap V12 Ferraris but my wife put the kabash on it. She hates the styling, too “80s”.

He told me the car was in great shape, had and original interior but just drove like a big boat and he wasn’t interested in it anymore. And if it were some sidebar statement, the car had a salvage title from it being stolen. The interior, stereo and othe items were ripped apart but all restored even though it was salvaged. He went on to say how much he didn’t think that should matter. The car was still as good as any other car of that vintage, it’s just a piece of paper. May I get you another beer? It was really as if he was trying to sell me on it. If we hadn’t been in touch after it sold, it might be the only reason I thought he’d email even once in a while. You know, to check my temperature on it or how much brain capacity I had past ooooohhh Ferrari V12.

The few times I saw, Bob as we’ll call him, has been at Coffee and Cars. Always good to say hello. Funny thing about Bob, he always smelled liquored up at 7AM in the morning. Onceā€¦ sure, I can see a late night of boozing spilling over to the olfactories of the passerby the next morning. But this was like three consecutive mornings. This time he told me about how he sold the 400 a while back.

“That car was such trouble. Every time I drove it, I had to put $1000 dollars into it. So glad to be rid of it.”

“Really, that bad huh?” I replied.

“Oh yeah, it was like a $1000 per mile.” Bob harrumphed.

“You drink much Bob?”