he more I meet and learn about current and previous Mondial owners, the more I come to respect them as remarkable folks.
That’s why it came to no surprise that a living legend, Jim Barbour was a Mondial owner before he had to sell all his cars because of an eye injury.
He was also the first steward for Ferrari Challenge!
I’ve been thinking my ‘hateful 10’ and realized that most can be rectified.
Let me start with the 3 things that nothing I can do will change.
#1 – Maintenance cost. It’s an old car. It’s exotic. It’s not driven daily. All these things combine to make to make this car a much more expensive proposition than many other cars.
#2 – Fuel economy – 13 mpg (nuff said)
#3 – Because it’s so low to the ground, it can cause scrapes.
The three gripes pretty much apply to all Ferrari and exotics so not much anybody can do there, so I’m at peace. If you’re going to get a Ferrari – 1 to 3 is unavoidable.
#4 – Automatic mice/seatbelts – really annoying – this makes the 1989 models really great. Solution to this is either an expensive retrofit/or buy a 1989 model.
The next easily 6 are fixable!
#5 – Windows are slow to go up (down is fast) – I hear these will fix them right up – I’ve ordered them and will also clean the motors/guides…so easily solved.
#6 – Headlamps are relatively dim compared to LED/Xenon/HID – like the windows. I was going to upgrade to these from great things I hear over at the Ferrarichat 348 forum. I was examining my lamps when I realized that the previous owner had these protectors on them. They were old and nasty. I peeled the right off, and boom – my lights were all of a sudden 2x times brighter. Not as bright as modern cars, but I decided to keep them as the LED would not period correct, and the current light level is good enough for me. So fixed.
#7 – Knee bolsters seem unnecessary large – it seems that removing them would allow me to get an extra 2 inches of leg/knee room. Thanks to ///Mike – I’m in the process of removing them – so soon to be fixed…which improves space dramatically.
#8 – Small back seats. Removing the knee bolsters adds about 15% more space back there, enough to have folks that are 5’3′ 130 pounds be fine for longer trips (just take frequent stops/stretch breaks)
#9 – Roof leaks when it is raining – I found the areas that leak and they just need more weather stripping. I hardly drive in the rain, so this will on the back burner – but relatively easy to resolve.
#10 – 2nd gear balkiness when cold. I’ve switched to redline which helped. But the permanent solution is here for the 2nd gear. Maybe I’ll get to it one day.
So there you have it. After all, is said and done, really the automatic seatbelt mice are the only very minor annoyance I have. This is after nearly 5 years of ownership. I true testament to how underrated Mondials really are. Again, as a point of reference, I’ve owned an AP1 S2000 and R2 2000 NSX, so I think I have reasonable experience with the supposed ‘best’ if you listen to press at the time the Mondial t came out.