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Scorned Supercar: 1982 Ferrari Mondial


Throughout car-guy history, there has always been a vehicle that bears the namesake of a famous brand but is known within enthusiast circles to be the black sheep, or the warmed-over variant of a more plebeian model. If a car like this were to show up a marque-specific event, fellow attendees may smile, nod, and say nice things – but in their own minds, they may wonder what the owner was thinking when they agreed to pay exotic car repair bills without any of the status of collector car ownership. To that I say, enough!


All it took for me was a warm summer evening on my short ride home from work – 5 minutes, tops. With the windows down in my M3, I heard a voracious soundtrack blatting down the left lane and looked in my side view mirror to see a Mondial cruising by, with sounds emitting from the tail pipes that only an Italian V8 can produce. For a moment, I scoffed – “Huh, just a Mondial” – and then I saw the look on the driver’s face. Pure, unadulterated joy. The man was having the best ride an enthusiast could have, with the windows down to drink in a soundtrack that no recording artist can hope to match.


Will the Mondial like this one ever be at the top of the collector car foodchain? Probably not. But that afternoon I was reminded how little it matters what a car is worth or how many seats it has, if it brings joy to the owner. In between the repair bills, cosmetic fixes, insurance payments, and fuel costs is the reason we drive the weird, quirky, and temperamental cars we do: they keep us engaged, always reminding us that there’s more to them than aero kits and finned engine covers. While this Mondial may immediately become a money pit to reverse its years of dormancy, it’s completely worth it if the next owner can’t wait to drive to work the next morning.


In the seller’s listing here on eBay, it’s mentioned that due to the loss of space, it’s time to sell the Mondial on. I always wonder when I drive past those miniature colonies of storage units just what resides behind the metal doors; I have to admit, my mind doesn’t jump immediately to thoughts of a vintage Ferrari. Here’s hoping that this Mondial 8 finds a stable home before Thanksgiving and an owner with the resources to make windows-down cruising by next summer a top priority – even if it’s known as the Ferrari family’s ugly duckling.


  1. rancho bella

    I have always been a fan of these and the 308 gt4. I don’t understand why they’re the red headed step child……….but I reckon someone needs to be.

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  2. Jeff V.

    About the only reasonably priced Ferrari a fan or collector can purchase these days in decent condition, about the same as a loaded Camry (30K?). Thanks to the movie “Scent of a woman” w/Pacino maybe “boomers” will rocket the price up????

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    • Dino F.

      I can’t be 100% sure, but wasn’t this the same model Ferrari in Weird Science too?

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  3. Jeff V.

    About the only reasonably priced Ferrari a fan or collector can purchase these days in decent condition, about the same as a loaded Camry (30K?). Thanks to the movie “Scent of a Woman” w/Pacino maybe “boomers” will rocket the price up????

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  4. Mark E

    Hey, if it sounds nice, has a gated shifter, sunroof, and is red with a prancing pony… I personally don’t care for the style but at this price point some accommodation can be made. The thing I’d worry about is the ‘fuel distribution problem’ and what other surprises lay in waiting for the new owner after sitting dormant. Most of all, I’d be concerned if it was laid up 15 years ago because there was a problem with the car that was too costly to fix.

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  5. tom999p

    I don’t know where or who started the rumor that it’s a red headed step child sub-Ferrari, this car is every bit a Ferrari as any other Ferrari. Every part of it is Ferrari, the engine is the same as used in other more popular Ferraris, the interior is the same, chassis, etc. This car was not farmed out to other manufacturers and then had a Ferrari emblem placed on it. It IS 100% typical Ferrari of the day. It’s like being a movie star when driving one of these; every time I drive it, people stop to ask questions about it, take pictures of it, and women love it too. And every time I pull it back into the garage, I have to take time to unwind due to the pure excitement of driving a car that handles, accelerates, brakes, and feels like a TRUE Ferrari. I think the people that are saying that this car is not a real Ferrari have never owned one, and are also the same people that say that a 914 is not a real Porsche, or a Jalpa is not a real Lamborghini……

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  6. cory

    There are good things about it and I am sure iT is a blast to drive. But for me, I just cant get past The styling. Just ugly. And I do love the 2+2 cars, just not this one

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  7. Rich Truesdell

    Having owned a 1980 308GTSi (#34047, still can remember the VIN even though I can’t remember what I just ate for breakfast and I would love to know where it is now) I can tell you that at the time, 1985 – 1991, these and the Dino GT4 never did much for me, styling wise. This is because I felt I was driving a piece of four-wheeled sculpture every day to work (I drove my 308GTSi just over 75,000 miles when I owned it, it was a daily-driver). But as I get older, this is beginning to grow on me, whenever I see one at a show. It is a marvel of 2+2 packaging.

    And I can tell you that it offers a soundtrack that is incomparable, especially at speed (photo is me from the 1990 FCA national meet at Watkins Glen). While the coupe is probably the least expensive, if there is such a thing, Ferrari and as the author pointed out, about the same price as a new Toyota Camry, I’d opt to spend a bit more, probably $5000, for a convertible.

    An underrated Ferrari to be sure. If properly serviced (make sure to get the car’s comprehensive service history as the 48,000-mile service is an engine-out, $8-$10,000 affair) and bought right, will give one a true Ferrari experience. When I did the 48,000-mile service, back in 1986, it was $6,400 at an independent Ferrari shop and I can’t imagine it has gotten cheaper over the last 28 years. Even if it has the cam belt 48K-mile service, if it’s been sitting long, it’s going to need a comprehensive service no matter what. Budget $5,000 to make sure everything is OK which we already know is not (fuel distributor). I would not bid over $20K and I’d want to look at the car first before laying out that much.

    With $25 in the car, on the road, this will never be cheaper than it is right now.

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  8. Jeff Lavery Staff

    Tom, I adore the Jalpa. Sign me up, every day of the week and twice on Sundays.

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  9. Dolphin Member

    True that these Mondials are right at the bottom of the Ferrari pecking order, mainly I think because these early-’80s engines were down on power from the need to meet emissions standards. And because they were 4-seaters. All Ferraris with 4 seats take a back seat to the 2-seaters.

    But that said, even the Mondial 8s have a mid-engine DOHC V8 and sound good when running up through the gears using that gated shift lever. But I’m with Rancho—-my preference in a 4-seater would be an early 308 GT4 over a Mondial 8. But the GT4 is really a 2-seater with room for groceries in the back.

    If the bidding on this one doesn’t get crazy, which it doesn’t seem to be doing, it should end up as a very inexpensive way to get into a Ferrari.

    BUT….be very careful with any car whose hard starting is said to be due to a ‘faulty distributor’. Sounds simple—just get the distributor fixed—but the starting problem could actually be due to poor compression because the engine is tired or damaged. And if that’s the case this car won’t end up being cheap.

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  10. Wiley Robinson

    I never understood the snubbing these cars get, esp. the convertible which is a great looking car. What exactly is the issue with them?

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  11. keith clark Member

    Well I just looked and its about 12 or 14 I personally think if it stays close to that someone is going to make a great buy

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  12. Tirefriar

    Sold for what appears to be just over $15k. Whether or not tis is a great deal depends on the current condition and history of this car.a common mistake made by shoppers in the “bargain exotic” category is that they tend to focus only on the sales price. The concept of maintenance completely escapes their thoughts or they are fooled into thinking that service, parts and maintenance correlate to the sales price. A Ferrari part is a Ferrari part, no matter MY and the Ferrari tech does not have discounted labor charge for the “cheaper” models. The good news is that these older cars are not as complex as the more contemporary models and may be good to own for those that are handy with the wrench and have space to carry out mechanical repairs.
    History is important – high quantity of previous owners may indicate a car with issues, that are often passed on from one “bargain hunter” to another.

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  13. Rich Truesdell

    At $15K, as Keith Martin might say, this Ferrari was well bought unless the engine or transmission needs a rebuilt beyond the typical 48K-mile service.

    A little story about Ferrari parts from this era. I needed to replace one of the front radiator fans. I took out the part myself and noted it was a Bosch part. Back in 1987 I called the parts department at my closes Ferrari dealer and was quoted something like $785 ($1,641 in today’s dollars). I cross-referenced the Bosch part number and found another application, a Saab 900. The exact same part at the Saab dealer, down the street from my car stereo shop was $250. Needless to say you know where I bought the replacement part.

    Like any car, no matter how bespoke, replacement parts like this come from well-known OEM suppliers. If you do you’re due diligence, you can save yourself a boatload of money. There’s no way that the exact same part should cost three times as much because it came packaged in a yellow and black box that says “FERRARI.”

    Examples like this is part of the reason why cars like this are frightfully expensive to maintain. It doesn’t have to be that way.

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  14. Peter Harvey

    It’s a couple of years on, but….
    I bought that Mondial (yes, the one in the pictures above) and imported it to UK.
    Fixed the K-jetronic fuel distributor, sorted the cooling system (full of solid gunk) and replaced water pump, belts, injectors, the damn fuse box (everyone replaces their Ferrari fuse box), wheels, side marker lights and a few minor bits and bobs.
    The engine’s fine, as is the running gear, suspension, brakes, interior, bodywork….It’s running sweet and back on the road. Not cheap, but then not a fortune either. And yes, she sounds bloody marvellous!!!!
    Peter, Milton Keynes, UK

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    • Josh Mortensen Staff

      Congrats Peter! We would love to see some photos of it now that you have it back on the road!

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