Find of the Week: 1989 Ferrari Mondial t

Our Find of the Week this week is a car that lets you put one of the most storied brands in automotive history in your garage. For about the price of a midsize luxury sedan. It's a 1989 Ferrari Mondial t Cabriolet.

The supercar builder that wears Enzo Ferrari's name is one of the most well-known brands in the world. That's because of a history of exotic race cars and high-performance street cars that is second to none. Gorgeous bodywork, screaming engines, and gated shifters are all the Ferrari hallmark.

With that level of desirability, and a distinct rarity, comes high prices. Ferraris that were loved when new now command prices into the tens of millions. Cars that were not loved when new can still bring six-figure sums. That puts Ferrari ownership out of reach for many enthusiasts. But there are still some models that aren't exactly cheap but are maybe a little more widely affordable.

Like this one. The Mondial. The Mondial was revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in 1980. The car was a replacement for the 308 GT4, the entry level (though that's a relative term here) four-seat Ferrari.

The Mondial 8 was styled by Pininfarina engineer Leonardo Fioravanti. Fioravanti was responsible for some of the most iconic cars to wear the prancing horse. Like the Dino, the Daytona, and the F40. The Mondial definitely took inspiration from the 308 GT4 that preceded it, not to be confused with the two-seat 308. The two-seater is the Magnum P.I. car. The GT4 doesn't seem to have been used on-screen at all.

The Mondial name, French for "global," came from Ferrari history. The 500 Mondial was a winning racer in the early 1950s. That car was named to celebrate the company's Formula 1 World Championships in 1952 and 1953. The automaker brought the Mondial name back because of its 1975-1977 and 1979 World Championships.

The four-seat design was intended to have a real usable back seat. At least for kids or smaller adults. Practical for Ferrari isn't exactly what other automakers would call the same.

The car that launched in 1980 wasn't exactly up to the performance level expected by Ferrari. 1980 wasn't a good time for horsepower anywhere, but the Mondial's 214 horses weren't exactly snorting. So the car saw a number of upgrades over the years. Like more powerful engines with four-valve cylinder heads, then later more displacement.

In 1989, Ferrari made some very big changes to the Mondial. It became the Mondial t. More than just an extra letter, there were massive differences under the skin. The V8 was expanded again. Now it displaced 3.4L and output was an impressive 300 hp. With the gated five-speed manual, the car was now capable of performance that lived up to the brand.

More importantly, the mid-mounted engine was turned sideways. Before this, it was mounted longitudinally. With the crankshaft pointing in the same direction as the nose. Now it was mounted transversely, turned perpendicular to the nose of the car. That's where the t in the name comes from.

The move lowered the engine in the chassis, which improved handling. The chassis that went under the new engine would also go under the next generation of two-seat Ferraris. All the way to the 360.

The t was the first Ferrari to use power steering. The car had anti-lock braking standard and came with an electronically controlled suspension. Minor styling changes gave the car's look an update to go with it.

More importantly, this was the last mid-engine Ferrari with a 2+2 layout. It still had that back seat, even if it was a small one. The company built 1,017 t Cabriolets and 858 Coupes.

Our Find of the Week is for sale in Spruce Grove, AB. Just west of Edmonton. It's one of the classic Ferrari colour schemes in black on tan leather interior.

The car has just 46,853 miles on the odometer. More importantly, the seller says that it had the involved timing belt service just over 1,000 miles prior. The seller says that the car is ready to be driven, with a well maintained and original interior.

This is one of the lowest price points of entry into Ferrari ownership in the country. One that has room for you and your co-pilot. And the kids. Or your Lab and Airedale mix Enzo. Take it out and listen to that uniquely Italian V8 burble and the snick of the long thin gear shift through the exposed gate.

 

Ferrari bambino par quattro 7/25/2018 12:41:19 PM