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    Long-term tests: the Ferrari Mondial Cabriolet 3.2 by Chagui


    The Ferrari Mondial Cabriolet may not be the most beloved Ferrari, but to drive around in your Ferrari listening to the sound of the V8 hair in the winds, with your whole family, for a reasonable purchase and maintenance budget, with full of sensations from low speeds, there is no better! Produced from 1983 to 1993, the Ferrari Mondial Cabriolet is rare. Feedback from an owner is also essential to know how to choose the right model. @chagui fell into the Ferrari world when he was little and is therefore a true enthusiast as we like them on Ferrarista. Discover his fascinating story and his advice following the purchase of his Ferrari Mondial Cabriolet 3.2.

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    @Franck : What is your automotive background and why did you choose this Ferrari?


    @chagui : I hope the readers have the time because to answer this question I will have to tell you about my life... Like Obelix, I fell into it when I was little. It is often said that the first memories are established around the age of 3, for my part it is a little earlier: the oldest memory of my life is directly linked to Ferrari, it is the Ferrari exhibition in the Cartier Foundation in 1987, where in particular, a large part of the Bardinon and Setton collections were exhibited. What wonders! There was also in the gardens, under one of the hot air balloons, a Ferrari Mondial Cabriolet 3.2 ...


    I had traveled from Bastia to Paris on my mother's lap, in my father's Ferrari 308 GTB, something unthinkable today! I made a sign to my father by opening my hands to ask him to take out the retractable headlights… But my Ferrari virus is even older, it was from my first days that my parents took me for walks in my bassinet in the back of the Ferrari 365 GT 2+2 that my father bought a few months before I was born (and which is still in his collection). And it is naturally that I tried to imitate the V12, long before I knew how to speak!



    The weekends of my childhood were often punctuated by outings to old car clubs, especially since Corsica is conducive to the arrival of many rallies. As a child, I remember admiring the Ferrari California SWBs of Antoine Midi and Brandon Wang parked by the roadside in the village of Venaco, during a Rally Story! I was also able to visit the Mas du Clos, I was 5 or 6 years old, and I had amazed the curator of the Bardinon collection who was visiting us, because I knew the difference between a P4 and a P3 /4, in this case #0848 and #0860 which were side by side, at the back of one of the rooms in his museum.


    As a child, I also loved watching the VHS of Jacky Setton's collection over and over, and in particular a car that has always impressed me, namely his Ferrari 308 GTB Gr4 Pioneer. When at the age of 16 I came across an advertisement for a Ferrari 308 Gr4 in Pioneer colors, I hastened to bring the magazine to my father explaining to him how great it would be if it arrived to negotiate this car. And a few weeks later, in exchange for a nice balance, a Porsche Carrera 3.0 and his Ferrari 308 GTB (standard) he came back with this marvel, which he still has today. In 2005, he treated himself to another gem, namely a Ferrari BB512 Competizione prepared by Bacchelli and Villa. And to finish a Ferrari 360 Modena in 2015.

    As you can see, it was natural for me to focus on Ferrari. So I chose a profession, both passion, and allowing me to achieve my primary objective, namely to offer me a Ferrari as soon as possible! Passionate about navigation, I started a course as a Merchant Marine Officer and with my youth savings and my first salaries as a cadet and then as a lieutenant, I intended to treat myself to my dream, namely a Ferrari 308 carburetor. At 22, not yet having the budget for a Ferrari 308, I got caught up in an Ebay auction, and within a few hours I found myself the owner of a Ferrari Mondial 3.2 coupé in Belgium for only 20,000 €. It was in 2006. It had 160,000 km on the odometer but presented very well. A friend of my father, a Belgian collector, went to confirm its apparent good condition and a few days later my father and I went to pick it up. I had never flashed on this car, but I found the look of the 3.2 and the T much more pleasant than the 8 or the QV.




    The advantage of the Ferrari Mondial 3.2 over the T is of course the ease of access to the straps. I then discovered a car of very high quality, well finished, it was like new despite its mileage and ran like clockwork. Good handling and stable in fast corners. Smooth and responsive engine. Honestly, what qualities! But I kept my dream of a Ferrari 308 and less than a year later I came across a red carb GTS in Porto Vecchio. As often in this kind of purchase, an affinity is created between the seller and the buyer and this gentleman kept the car for me while I sold my Mondial. I had also bought a 1973 Alfa Spider 2L in the meantime and I managed to make a profit on these two sales to afford this 308.

    Unfortunately 5 years later I had an accident with it and twisted the chassis. After reflection and having seen quotes higher than the price of the car at the time (in 2013) I preferred to resell the car by having selected the only buyer who wanted to restore it rather than selling it in spare parts... It was a great heartbreak for me. I was planning on getting another one, seeing a Ferrari 328 or Ferrari Testarossa, which were still affordable at that time, but at the start of 2014 the Baillon sale took place and the start of a surge that quickly tripled the price of cars that interested me. In the meantime, I bought a house, got married and in 2015, still not having the budget, I flashed on a much more affordable Jaguar XJS V12 convertible.

    5 years later, my wife pregnant with our second child, and the Jaguar having only 2 seats, I decided to seek the best compromise while returning to Ferrari. My very good memories of the 3.2 and my budget directed me towards this car. But in terms of line and rarity, as well as the pleasure of driving hair in the wind in Corsica, I absolutely wanted a convertible. I find it more slender and elegant in this version. There are only a little over 300 copies in European version and left-hand drive, and then it is the only Ferrari having been used to transport a Pope! You rarely find more than one or two for sale in France and it took me patience to find one, as well as to sell the Jaguar. Fortunately I came across a professional and true enthusiast, Christophe Macé, from the 312 Classic company. We discussed a recovery of the Jaguar and agreed on a payment to make this exchange. Here again, the affinity between us was a triggering point and Christophe Macé understood that I, in turn, intended to pass on my passion to my son who was waiting for this Ferrari and that we absolutely had to do business.



    @Franck How do you use it? Since when ?


    @chagui : I use my classic cars very little, a few hundred kilometers a year. Never in the rain or without knowing where to park them without risk. Only for pure pleasure or not to leave it too long without rolling. I have had it for a short time, at the end of 2020. I will sometimes just lift its tarp in the garage to look at it…


    @Franck : What were your purchase criteria for this Ferrari and how did you find this example?


    @chagui : As mentioned above, I absolutely wanted a European model, with its original rims and in very good condition. I hate Ferrari Mondials with non-TRX rims. No really precise color combination even if I don't think I would have succumbed to a black or a white one. The experience of my previous Ferrari Mondial with its 160,000 km did not make me fear a high mileage because well maintained, it supports it very well.

    However, I couldn't have timed it better. Mine had only 38,000 km, 1st hand until 2018 when it belonged to the wife of an Italian collector. It was then bought by Colombo Challenge in Marseille, which sold it within the year to 312 Classic in La Baule, after a general overhaul. The car has its original booklet as well. Christophe used it a little then it arrived in my garage. I did some cosmetic work (see forum "detailing my Mondial" on Ferrarista) to restore its shine and erase the few defects due to time, but it was already in superb condition. I bought a Ferrari car seat to take my 4 year old son for a walk, a Dustcover cover, completed his tool kit and here it is in competition condition!



    @Franck Immediately after the purchase, what struck you the most at the wheel of this Ferrari?


    @chagui : Since it hasn't been driven much in recent years, I have noticed that the tires are very dry. There is not even the year inscribed on them, which means that they are over twenty years old. Although new in appearance, I planned to change them because I feel a difference in grip and precision compared to my old 3.2 coupe.

    Otherwise it's a real pleasure to rediscover the sensations of a Ferrari, especially after having had a cruising car like the XJS.
    However I remain careful with it, I want to keep it in the best possible condition.


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    @Franck Can you tell us about the costs incurred for normal use of this Ferrari (insurance, annual maintenance, major overhaul, contingencies, etc.)?

    @chagui Generally I do as many things as possible myself or with the help of my father and mechanic friends. It's part of the fun of these old cars and part of my choice to avoid cars that are too complex. My father is very well equipped with tools (2 bridges, goat, pit jacks and innumerable sets of tools…). We can do just about anything. In case of specific advice, we are friends with Philippe Gardette as well as Antoine and Marc Leone, all recognized as being experts in this field.

    For insurance, it is in all risks for about 700€ per year. The gray card is collection.

    At the moment, I just had a little problem with the engine sometimes drowning out during semi-hot starts. I suspected the cold start injector. I unplugged it and it's been fine ever since. I dreaded the sudden cold starts in winter but it still leaves at quarter turn. It is therefore not very useful in the end!

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    @Franck And if you had to do it over again, what would you change?

    @chagui Nothing ! It is perfect for my use.
    I don't think there is a Ferrari more versatile, reliable and so inexpensive to buy and maintain than this one!


    @Franck What advice would you give to someone looking for this Ferrari? What are its flaws? What to pay attention to? What improvements can be expected?

    @chagui : Be patient ! As mentioned, it is a rare model.

    If you're not a fan of its design, go see one in person. Ferraris always look better in real life than in photos, and above all try it, you will be won over.


    Driving is old school, it remains virile compared to modern ones and the sensations are present even at low speed. However it remains very soft if it is not brutalized compared to Ferraris with carburettors.
    If you don't mind the look of a US version then you can find one at a lower price. The mechanics are reliable and if it has been serviced and there is no corrosion then everything should be fine.


    It is a simple car and the soft top is manual. This is a big advantage when you know the price of the mechanisms of the electric hoods of recent Ferraris (from the Ferrari F355) and especially the hassle it is when it breaks down in the middle of the sequence! The downside on the Ferrari Mondial is that the soft top is long and the kinematics a bit complex compared to a two-seater. Not easy and not quick to handle. And once folded, good luck clipping all the press studs on the hood cover! Personally, there is always one that I cannot put on because everything is too tight. It creates flutter at high speeds. If anyone has a solution, I'm interested…

    Therefore I top down in May and top up in October, so I don't bother too much!

    Also make sure that the soft top is stretched to the maximum when closed, otherwise there is no sealing on the top of the windshield.

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    @Franck How do you use Ferrarista for your experience with your Ferrari? What does the Ferrarista community bring you?

    @chagui : It's great to find all these enthusiasts. I use it mainly for sharing technical information when I'm in trouble! There is a lot of knowledge in this community. And kindness. I don't know any better in the Ferrara world.

    We are not in a snobbish environment, of owners looking for an outward sign of wealth, I only see real enthusiasts and lovers of the brand.

    @Franck : Thank you @chagui  for your very interesting feedback to read! If you own a Ferrari Mondial Cabriolet, what is your experience with this model and what other advice would you provide? If you are interested in the Ferrari Mondial, what more would you like to know?

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    User Feedback

    I liked the article. congratulations!!


    Just bought my first Ferrari. A Mondial 3.4 T, 38'000 km. In my view one of the most overlooked beauties. 


    We had in our family Mercedes 500 SEL, Mercedes 300 CE, Jaguar XJR 4.8 V8,  a Maserati Quattroporte IV V8 3.2 Evoluzione amongst others. 

    But my boyhood dream was to drive a Ferrari. 


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