Early Example: 1982 Ferrari Mondial 8 Coupe

The Ferrari Mondial was ranked as one of the 50 worst cars of all time by TIME magazine a couple of years ago. If you know TIME at all, you know they love to draw readers with bold claims and outlandish headlines. A Ferrari? One of the worst cars? Sure, they aren't practical, but that doesn't make them bad. Now, maybe the Mondial wasn't the "best" Ferrari, but any mid-engine V8 car is going to be a better car than your standard vehicle. I mean c'mon.

The Mondial was produced from 1980-1993 for a total production of only 6,884 units. The seller claims this 1982 model was one of only 703. Regardless, there were clearly not many made of any year. The "entry-level" Mondial replaced the Dino 208/308 GT4, itself a departure for the brand with a mid-mounted V8 engine. The Mondial was essentially the same thing, only wrapped in Pininfarina styling.

I like the early Mondial cars. I used to dislike the excessive black plastic, including the strips lining the c-pillar band around the front that makes it look like a raccoon, but it all has charm now. A 1986 update completely freshened the car for people that didn't like this early look.

This is a rare Coupe version. The convertible wasn't added until 1983. Most Mondial cars in America were the convertible, so it's nice to see a coupe.

Inside, we have an instrument cluster literally housed in a rectangular box, a minimalist dashboard, and a classic Ferrari chrome ball shifter. This one also has a beautiful red leather interior which contrasts well with the silver exterior. I love red leather, nobody does it anymore.

The seller is typically scant on details like most craigslist ads but mentions this car has only 39k miles, is all-original (except for obvious later wheels taken from a 348) and they have maintenance records, books and tools. That's good to hear.

I would check for rust, verify the number of previous owners and pore through the records. A 30-year old 8-cylinder engine made in Italy is going to have to been taken well care of to make this car worthwhile. Fortunately, early Mondial 8 cars are supposedly a relatively tame and simple affair, with only 214 horsepower (still a healthy dose) and an engine that does not need to be removed from the subframe for major services to be performed (wait...some cars actually needed their engines removed to work on? Yikes). So, electrical gremlins aside, ownership shouldn't be a nightmare or outrageously expensive.

Find it here on craigslist in Hawthorne, California for $21,500. Hemmings values a 1982 Mondial Coupe in fair condition at $7,500, good condition $12,125, and excellent condition at $20,125, so this car is priced at the high end.

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