Our round-up of flash motors opens with this Ferrari F430 F1 with a difference. It’s a left-hooker, which explains the ‘low’ price. Don’t worry about that, because where are you going to put a Ferrari through its paces in camera-filled Britain? And in any case, would you risk its suspension, tyres and steering at speed on our pockmarked roads?
Thought not. Better to save it for road trips abroad, where you’ll blend in nicely. And when you’re finished, you’ll have all of Europe to offer it to.
On that point, it helps that our find is resale red with a black leather and carbonfibre interior – although we’re concerned that it has ‘service history’ rather than ‘full service history’.
The F430’s rear-mounted 4.3-litre V8 produces 483bhp and uses chains rather than cambelts, which addresses that particular Ferrari bugbear. A steering-mounted dial called a manettino allows the driver to control the electronic differential as well as damper settings, gearshift speeds and throttle response.
From its launch in 2005, the F430 was a well-sorted car, but if we were serious about our particular car, we’d check the exhaust manifold and the engine mounts for cracks. Because it has a dry sump, we’d wait to dip the oil until the engine is piping hot. We’d hope that what service history this car has provides evidence of regular transmission fluid changes, and while we’re on the subject, look for leaks from the hydraulic actuator.
The F430 is heavy on brakes and suspension components, so we’d check those, as we would the windscreen, which is expensive and tricky to replace. And fingers crossed the dashboard leather hasn’t shrunk.