Entry-Level Drop-Top: 1984 Ferrari Mondial QV Cabriolet

There’s a deep-seated part of me that hates admitting I still want to own a Ferrari someday. For years, I resisted, and I still have zero interest in owning any of the new-fangled models made after the year 2000. But the models of the 1980s and 1990s are on my bucket list, with the top rung occupied by a Testarossa and the bottom by this, a Mondial, but preferably in hardtop form. Like anything else in this bracket, you can find good ones if they’ve been looked after, but neglected ones will cost you more than it will ever be worth. This 1984 Mondial Cabriolet here on craigslist looks like it could be a worthy project if you can live with a salvage title. It’s offered for $35,000 in Port Orchard, WA.

I don’t know how many times I have to say this, but if you love black wheels, great – just swap them out before you post your car for sale. To me, black wheels automatically scream “modified” and “cheap”, and I’m prepared to die on that hill if it comes to it. I have no opposition to owners doing whatever they’d like with their prancing horse convertible, but please, throw the stock Campagnolo wheels back on before listing it. Honestly, put those wheels back on and I’m a potential buyer. Now, I’m talking myself into it realizing that even more than the salvage title, it’s these blasted wheels that turn me off from this thing.

Especially when you consider the interior is in outstanding condition. The leather looks brand new, and maybe it’s been redone; that detail isn’t mentioned in the listing. The tonneau for the top also looks quite good, and putting these pieces together, you start to realize that there could likely be a very well looked-after car here. Now, of course, the problem comes back to the salvage title. It likely takes a good amount of damage to total a Ferrari, especially if it was a few years newer, but you could also see a scenario where it’s bought for pennies and put back together if it occurred later in life. Getting the details on the damage and what was repaired is a must for any potential buyers.

The 1984 model is known as a Quattrovalvole, a welcome upgrade to four valves after complaints that the first generation engine was underpowered. The seller reports that the time-consuming timing belt job has been completed, and that the headers have been ceramic coated. No other maintenance records or jobs are listed in the description, but one would hope for the asking price that additional work has been performed on a preventative basis. The Mondial will likely remain the accessible Ferrari model for some time, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad car – it’s just one that you want to be sure to buy from the right kind of owner. Without knowing more about the salvage title, the jury is out on this one.


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  1. SMS

    They are all worth getting and are all under powered. A new Camry could beat them in a drag race so don’t let that argument stop you. A friend had a first gen 8 and then a last gen T. The T had more power and was the better car to drive. The 8 was so easy to work on as is this one. They all sound and feel great to drive. The salvage title would put me off as have seen a few of these left to die and then patched back together.

    Take this for a ride. Put the top down and bask in the glory of the sound and feel. I don’t care what anyone says about this being a low grade F car. It still is magic.

    Like 6
  2. Ralph

    Yes the black wheel thing has been way overdone, and to me just makes most cars look like someone ran out of imagination when trying to dress up their ride. Hope the practice dies soon. YMMV
    My friend has 3 Ferraris, a 308, Mondial, and 512BB. Have helped him rebuild and restore 2 different 308 cars now. Both were salvage titles after being totally under water after the hurricanes we get here on the Gulf of Mexico. Paid about 12K for both cars, both under 20K miles. Through the restoration of these 2 car I got to know Ferraris pretty well. Actually they are extremely easy to disassemble and work on. Of course the cars got a lot more complicated thru the 1990s so the newer ones are probably a bit more complicated and tougher to deal with in some ways.
    After driving the first restored 308 for a few years, he sold it for 25K in 2008 and the new owner was overjoyed with the price and car even with the salvage title.
    I could never probably never be able to justify the cost of owning a Ferrari, but they are truly a unique, interesting example of cars truly built from the lessons learned in racing. And a ton of fun to drive as well…

    Like 8
    • T

      You are spot on regarding black wheels. Great way to ruin a cars appearance.

      Like 3
      • t-bone BOB

        I agree. Not a good look.

  3. Walter

    Spot on with regard to the reason for the salvage and better still, photos etc… spending a portion of my L.E. Career in vehicle crimes, I’ve seen cars totaled for small amounts of damage. Likewise,seen cars that absolutely should NEVER be on the road again resold. I too want to own a Ferrari, but this one scares me.

    Like 1
  4. Bob sam

    I’ve had my 82 Mondial for over 5 years. Absolute pleasure to drive,plenty of power and acceleration for an early 80s car. I’ve owned well more than 100 cars( clearly have the disease all followers of BF do :). Except for lack of power steering and high maintenance costs I really love the car. For an entry level F car it gets much more attention than my 911 does!!

  5. Howie Mueler

    My last car i sold was a 92T, had my fun and moved on They are asking way too much for this, early year, high miles, and salvage title. Do they even have the original wheels? Way better deals can be found.

    Like 5
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      Thanks for the info., Howie.

      That was my concern: Rebuilt Title or not, if it is something that someone wants and it has been repaired properly and has a documented history, then it just comes down to price.

      Sounds like this seller is being unreasonable on price, and you can tell that he has been burned in the past with all of the financial requirements he is seeking.

      Like 2
  6. Steve Clinton

    Is there really such a thing as an ‘entry-level’ Ferrari?

    • SMS

      In my mind yes. There are the ones like this that any reasonably competent hobbyist can do most everything except rebuild the motor or transmission. There are others that take more skill and beed to have someone else do adjustments like balancing the carbs.

      The best example was owned by thee father of a friend in high school. It was a ‘60’s GT with a 12 cylinder. He had well over 100k miles on it when he would takes us for rides. He did most of his own wrenching. He said that there were three rules to keep a Ferrari happy: 1 drive it often, 2 drive it far enough so everything is warm and any moisture is boiled out of the oil, 3 always do the regular maintance including adjustments

      Like 1
  7. troyce walls

    Black wheels on cars and motorcycles mean rattlecan paint over rust or oxidation to me. Like painting or “heat-wrapping” a chrome exhaust. And on cars, it looks like it is running the spare on all four wheels. And I hold to even if the black wheels cost 10K USD.

    Like 2
  8. Chris in Thailand

    In Oz Back in 86 I bought a 84 QV coupe – silver with dark blue interior – great car to drive and the dealer said it had a blueprinted motor – not sure what they did to it but it could fly – I got a sore neck out of it ! Only problem with the car was it threw the timing belt twice which was a real beach ….. kept the car for about 18 months and sold it for what I paid for it …..

  9. james malone Member

    You can requirements without the attitude (and all but admits the price is reaching). Probably wouldn’t buy a lawnmower from this guy.

  10. t-bone bob

    Nice car

  11. Shane

    A couple of things:

    1) As the ad says, this is an ’84 QV. Mondial history starts with the “8”, which was just available as a hardtop (and had a rep for not being very quick) then the QV (quattrovalvole) — 4 valves for more power, available as both a coupe and a cabriolet. The 3rd iteration is the 3.2 (bigger displacement), and finally, the “T”, which has a lot of updates (but needs the engine out to change the timing belts.) I am 99% sure all QVs had black bumpers; this one has bumpers that match the rest of the body, which was the paint scheme starting with the 3.2. Not stock, but makes it look newer than it is.

    2) The QV also came with metric-size Michelin TRX rims. When it’s time for new tires, you have two choices: get new Michelin TRX tires for $350 each in front and $400 each in back, or spend that $1500 on non-metric wheels and tires.

    So if a guy had an ’84 QV that needed a paint job (due to the incident that led to the salvage title?) and new tires (because the old TRXs were cracked or worn out), I can easily see how he might end up with body-color bumpers and non-stock wheels. Maybe you don’t like them in black, but those wheels will make tire shopping much easier than the original wheels did! I also see a K&N filter on the engine, which is apparently a no-no. It may physically fit, but because the filter is “upside down” (compared to traditional auto placement), it needs a sleeve inside the filter to retain oil for startup. Only two brands — UFI and Baldwin — have that inner sleeve (or that’s what research tells me). All in all, it looks like someone who bought a Mondial because he wanted to drive it, not because he wanted a concours-quality cavallino rampante. Good for him. I’ll bet it’s a fun car to drive. I hope he finds someone who cares more about the flat-plane V8, the gated shifter, and the bright red paint than the salvage title or the choice of wheels. He’s not too far away; let me know if you need me to take it for a test drive for you! :)

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