There’s no such thing as an undesirable Ferrari, but there are some cars from the Prancing Horse’s back catalogue that are less loved than others.
Some just didn’t have the looks to cut it when new, while others came with handling or performance that didn’t quite live up to the dream. Here are the Ferraris that are less lusted after than more fabled models:
Ferrari's answer to the Jaguar E-type, a car described by Enzo Ferrari himself as the most beautiful in the world, was not a styling success. Where the previous 250GTE was elegant, the twin headlight design of the 330 that was so a la mode in the early 1960s just looked gawky.
A hasty facelift brought back the prettier single headlight design and buyers rallied to this 4.0-liter V12, four-seat coupé that could top 150mph. Even so, today, the earlier versions are pegged at around half the value of the previous 250 model.
The 365GTC/4 shares a great deal with the legendary Daytona, yet prices come in at about a third of its more glamorous sister. Why? Well, despite being rarer with 500 made to the Daytona’s 1284, the GTC/4’s looks have not aged quite so favourably. The sharp-edged, long tail style are very 1970s, but they just don’t have the instant drama or desire of the Daytona.
On the upside, the GTC/4 is widely reckoned to be more pleasant to drive thanks to its softer suspension, power steering and hydraulic clutch operation.
A final hurrah for the front-engined V12-powered 365 line was the longest-running model in Ferrari’s history, lasting some 17 years on the books if you include the subsequent 400 and 412i versions.
Aimed at buyers who had families or wanted more of a touring car, the 365GT’s squared-off styling is only now coming back into fashion, so prices are surprisingly gentle on the wallet. Running costs won’t be, mind, and an auto ’box is the most common transmission but blunts performance.
A logical development of the 365GT4, the 400 came with an uprated 4.8-liter V12 to deliver the performance some thought was lacking in its predecessor.
A new front spoiler was deemed necessary to reduce front-end lift at the higher top speed of 153mph – up 3mph on the 365’s. It upset the clean profile of the earlier car, but what irked owners more was sub-10mpg average fuel consumption that even Ferrari customers found difficult to countenance.
The odds were always stacked against the 308GT4: successor to the achingly pretty Dino 246, styled by Bertone rather than Pininfarina, and a mid-engined four-seater.
The cab-forward design was needed to make enough space for the two rear seats, yet there wasn’t quite enough room for adults back there. It sold well in period yet was shunned for a long time, the GT4 is often seen as a ‘poor man’s’ Ferrari. However, appreciation is building for its handling and performance.
Ferrari regained ground with the 308GTB at launch in 1975 that might have been lost with the GT4. Early versions had a glassfibre body and are hugely sought after now, but the mid-life GTBi came with steel bodywork that added weight while power was down 40 hp because of US-required smog-dodging emissions controls.
This meant 0-60mph in 7.3 seconds compared to the earlier car’s 6.7 seconds. As a result, the mid-term 308s are much less collectable than early cars or the later QV (Quattrovalvole) update.
The 208GTB was a crafty answer from Ferrari to Italian tax laws that punished cars with engines greater than 2000cc. Its response was to reduce the 308’s V8 engine capacity to 1990cc without altering the looks of this pretty car.
In Italy, it allowed Ferrari fans to avoid heavy tax penalties, but the rub was a car with just 157 hp on tap. That was dealt with by the arrival of the 208 GTB Turbo in 1982 that upped power to a much more credible 223 hp and raised top speed from 134mph to 151mph.
For many years, the Mondial has endured the tag of being the least wanted, cheapest Ferrari out there. Yet, when new, it sold more than 4000 units between 1980 and 1994 of all variants.
It was a good earner for Ferrari and brought in customers who would otherwise have looked elsewhere for their four-seater fast fun. Enthusiasm is building now for this car, though its blander looks and lower performance compared to the 308GTB will always make it less popular.
To some, the Mondial Cabriolet was Ferrari blatantly pandering to customers from the USA. They groused about the heavy hood arrangement, four seats and softer-set suspension than other cars in the line-up.
None of this mattered to those who chose it and the Cabriolet ended up the best-seller in the Mondial range, which speaks volumes about who wanted it. Years in the doldrums followed, however, and Ferrari fans are only now waking up to its broader appeal.
The Testarossa has always cleaved opinion. Many thought it too gauche and very much of its 1980s roots, even when it was still current.
Others loved its outlandish style, but that didn’t serve this top line Ferrari in later life and even now values have slipped back from the heady prices it was making in the classic car market a couple of years back. As always, the Testarossa keeps on polarising views.
The 512 TR was the ultimate development of the Testarossa theme and, as such, is the most honed. Ferrari dropped the engine and gearbox 30mm in the chassis to lower the centre of gravity and greatly improve the handling. There was also more cabin space for better comfort, while the exterior gained contemporary makeover.
The used market has been less kind to the 512, which views the looks as dumbed down from the purity of the Testarossa. Learn to love the looks and it could be a bit of a bargain.
Objectively, the Ferrari 360 was a better car in every respect than the 355 it replaced. An all-aluminium construction, improved build quality and searing performance were just what was needed.
Yet the 360 took a while to bed in with keen Ferrari buyers due to its styling and the F1 automated manual gearbox still needed careful use to avoid jerky shifts and burning clutches. The following F430 depressed 360 values considerably, but they’re gaining now buyers are rediscovering what a great all-rounder the 360 is.
All Ferrari had to do was make the 550 just a little bit better. However, the 575M managed to miss that brief and take a backward step with its handling. The rear suspension was just too soft and allowed the car to wallow where it should have flowed.
Ferrari quickly sorted this with the optional Fiorano Handling Pack, and you shouldn’t buy a 575M without it, that firmed things up and restored its balance in corners. However, the damage was done and buyers now prefer the 550 over the 575M.
The California was packed with firsts for Ferrari when it launched in 2008. There was its retractable hard-top roof for starters, as well as the front-mounted V8 and a dual-clutch gearbox. All were deliberate moves to lure in a broader demographic to Ferrari ownership and that explained why California was more gently sprung than other cars in the line-up.
As well as the softer ride, the California never felt quite as fast it should, so Ferrari’s hardcore buyers were not satisfied until the turbocharged California T arrived in 2014.
The FF took Ferrari into new territory with its spacious four-seat cabin, large boot and all-wheel drive. It was conceived as a remarkably able grand tourer, yet performance was sensational from its 660 hp 6.2-liter V12 engine and seven-speed twin-clutch gearbox.
However, these competing character traits meant many buyers weren’t sure which camp it fell into. As a result, it sold in small numbers and remains a tough sell in the used market despite prices that are now half what it cost new.