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Ferrari Mondial: Buying guide and review (1980-1993)

Ferrari Mondial: Buying guide and review (1980-1993) Classic and Performance Car
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At launch in 1980, one mag raved, ‘the closest you’ll get to supercar family transport’, although that very same statement could also be read as a damning condemnation. But time changes perceptions; now the Mondial lives in automotive limbo. ‘The Ferrari that took the super out of supercar’ is a more recent assessment.
Both statements have truth in them – the Mondial lacks definition, and these are some of the factors that make the Mondial just about the most affordable, easy to live with and practical latter-day Ferrari of all. After years in the doldrums, they’re not going to get any cheaper.
So what is it? The Mondial began where the 308GT4 left off, with the same mid-mounted 3-litre V8, but on a longer wheelbase. In place of the Bertone belligerence, the Pininfarina-penned Mondial was a poem in politeness: better appointed, more comfortable, with genuine 2+2 accommodation, and still good for 140mph.
When production ended in 1993, the Mondial had sold 6800 units, more than any Ferrari before – which is why the Ferrari Fascisti deride it. They’re wrong; the Mondial provided the template for today’s civilised four- seater Ferraris. It was also the most civilised Ferrari of its day.
Today, opinions on its styling are still divided, but appreciation for the Mondial’s practical side and affordable values are starting to see a resurgence in demand. The earlier versions are also relatively easy to work on, making the Mondial one of those rare Ferraris that is both practical and reasonable (in Ferrari terms!) to run.

Which Mondial to buy?

The ’82 QV quattrovalvole version boosted power to 240bhp; the cabriolet came out in 1983; in 1985 the engine grew to 3.2 litres. Arguably the sweet spot in the range can be found in the any of the cars produced between 1982 and 1988. These earlier cars allow servicing of the timing belt and clutch without engine removal, but came fitted with the Quattrovalvole units, producing a more Ferrari-like 240bhp instead of the 214bhp of the very early models. 
With the introduction of the Mondial t in 1989, a number of important changes took place however, and these models will appeal  if you have a bit more money to spend. Power increased to 300bhp thanks to a transverse-mounted 3.4-litre V8 – a layout that is still in use in the 488 today. Exterior styling as well as the interior trim received a welcome upgrade too. 
One drawback to this layout is that the engine and transmission must be removed to access various serviceable items. The clutch however is mounted at the rear, making replacement a far less arduous task. The added complexity of these later cars can increase the running costs, and that is why some owners prefer the slightly earlier models. The T offered power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering, along with standard air-con.
While it might not be highly regarded in Ferrari terms, driving the Mondial is still a joy – especially when it’s compared with its contemporary rivals. It’s not track car by any means, but on the road the Mondial is agile, surefooted and extremely communicative. The steering is extremely talkative, but it is the best asset in the Ferrari’s arsenal is unsurprisingly the engine. The slightly more muscular 3.4 delivers its healthy reserves from around 2000rpm right through to a glorious 7500rpm. The open-gated gearbox can be somewhat obstructive, especially when cold, but learn to treat it with the right level of respect and enjoy.
Before seriously considering a Mondial, you must go and drive or at least sit in one. The driving position is typically Italian, but it’s the offset pedals that might cause the most discomfort. Even though this is a 2+2 GT, it’s not big inside, and you’ll struggle to fit more than a couple of small bags on the rear seats. 

Performance and specs

Ferrari Mondial 3.2

Engine  3185cc, 32-valve DOHC V8 
Power 260bhp @ 7000rpm
Torque 213lb ft @ 5000rpm
Transmission Five-speed manual
0-60mph 6.3 seconds
Top speed 148mph
Insurance group   20
Fuel consumption  19.2mpg
Price when new  £24,488

Dimensions and weight

Wheelbase            2650mm
Length 4580mm
Width 1790mm
Height 1260mm
Weight 1430kg

Common problems

• Many parts are in common with the 308 so parts and spares availability is not too much of a problem. Just like the 308, it maintained correctly any Mondial should be reasonably reliable. Sadly many have been neglected due to the cost of proper maintenance and the relatively low values.
• Electric windows operate very slowly on all model years, and there is not much that can be done to speed them up. Some owners bypass the fusebox and run the wiring straight to the battery.
• Upgrading the old air conditioning system using an R134A conversion kit makes for far cheaper refills. It’s worth checking if the car you are interested in has had this upgrade carried out. If it doesn’t blow cold, then assume the system will need a full rebuild, as it’s very rarely ‘just a re-gas’. 
• Timing belts need replacing every 30,000 miles or every three years. If they break it’s game over for the engine, so make sure that the service history prove that they have been done within this mileage and timeframe. 
• The engine is the most expensive cause for problems down the road, so inspect everything as closely as you can. This means looking out for signs of oil burning, head gasket problems and old neglected looking cooling system – with cracked or perishing hoses and rusty metal pipes and header tank. 
• Something as seemingly simple as a misfire can take a long time to track down, so cars with problems should be avoided unless you are getting a very good deal.
• The electrical system can suffer from gremlins, caused by corrosion of the contacts over time. There are many tricks to resolve these minor issues, however it is usually best to leave the electrics to a specialist.
• Rust protection on the Mondial is much improved over earlier Ferrraris, however corrosion can still set in, especially in the sills and wheel arches of neglected cars. Make sure you get a specialist to look over the car thoroughly as replacement body panels will need to be fabricated and repairs are not cheap.

Model history

1980: Mondial 8 introduced featuring 2+2 coupe body style and 214bhp, 3.0-litre V8
1982: Quattrovalvole model introduced, pushing power up to 240bhp
1983: Cabriolet body style option added, making this the only mid-engined, four-seater convertible Ferrari ever made.
1985: Mondial 3.2 introduced with 270bhp. Major interior and dashboard update carried out as well as restyled bumpers and lights.
1987: ABS introduced across the range.
1989: Mondial t Coupe and Cabriolet introduced with major changes both inside and out. 3.4-litre engine replaces 3.2 unit, pushing power up to 300bhp. ‘Valeo’ semi-automatic option made available. Power assisted steering introduced
1993: Final Mondial rolls off the production line 

Mondial production numbers

Mondial 8: 703
Mondial QV Coupe: 1145
Mondial QV Cabriolet: 629
3.2 Mondial Coupe: 987
3.2 Mondial Cabriolet: 810
Mondial t Coupe: 840
Mondial t Cabriolet: 1010

Owners clubs, forums and websites

• www.ferrariownersclub.co.uk – An international club based in the UK for all things Ferrari
• www.superformance.co.uk – Ferrari parts specialists
• www.talacrest.com – Classic Ferrari specialist and dealer based in Berkshire
• www.clubscuderia.co.uk - International forum for Ferrari owners and enthusiasts

Summary and prices

The Mondial has benefitted from the rise in Ferrari prices in general, and while it was once possible to get your hands on a decent example for £12,000, prices now start at around £30,000. They are still the most cost-effective way to get into a relatively modern Ferrari, and have the added practicality of four seats.
Find a desirable model and prices soon start rising. £70,000 is not unheard of for low mileage 3.4 t convertibles. It isn’t necessary to spend that kind of money to get a well-sorted car though, with £45,000-£60,000 plenty to find a great coupe. 
Find a good example, and you’ll soon be enjoying all the traits that Ferrari become famous for. Who doesn’t want to experience a mid-engined V8, with handling to match? Perhaps the Mondial’s time has finally come. 
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Last updated: 22nd May 2017
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Ferrari Mondial cars for sale

12 Search results
Ferrari Mondial
33995 95000 GBP
  • Ferrari - Mondial T 3.4 - 1989

    €37,000 - €48,100 est. (£32,545.20 - £42,308.76 est.) €37,000 - €48,100 est. (£32,545.20 - £42,308.76 est.)
    Online Auction
    Auction Date: 01 Jan 1970
    Catawiki Auctions
  • Ferrari Mondial

    £37,990 £37,990

    During its nine year production, the first generation Ferrari Mondial strangely always stood in the shadow of its two seated in-house rivals such as the stunning 308. As a result, the Mondial was always curiously undervalued despite its unique appeal and relative rarity. First and foremost, it is the only Ferrari and one of very few production convertibles to feature a rear mid engine while accommodating four passengers and their luggage. This makes it perhaps the most practical of all classic Ferraris, adding to its great potential for future increase in value. This particular specimen is a 1988 model year UK supplied car in classic Ferrari red with cream interior. With the desirable third generation engine – the 3.2 litre “quattrovalvole” (Italian for four valve) – this car combines classic looks and handling with performance figures closer to modern supercars. Pop-up headlights, a dog-leg manual gearbox and metric wheels with TRX tyres are just some of the features that make this an essential 1980s sports car. Despite being from a wilder time, this Ferrari is just tame enough for an inexperienced enthusiast to handle; but thrilling nonetheless. With only 57 original RHD cars supplied and an unknown number surviving today on British roads, this stunning specimen is one of the best Mondial convertibles on the market today. The bodywork is in immaculate condition, following a high-end bare metal respray a few years ago and meticulous care ever since. The unusually shaped soft top is equally in pristine condition and does not leak. The cream interior is in unmolested, original condition with very few signs of wear. Most importantly, the car is mechanically solid and has passed all of its recent MOTs with no advisories. This is because this car, unlike many less fortunate Mondials, has enjoyed devoted care from its keepers and is supplied with an extensive history file. The car’s current keeper of seven years is a trained mechanic himself and has spared no expense in maintaining it to the highest standard. Thus, the car has been frequently serviced and has recently seen costly maintenance works, including a timing belt change and front suspension overhaul. The genuine mileage is warranted by a multitude of old invoices and MOT certificates. The car is supplied as seen with a custom Larini stainless steel exhaust and original metric wheels. The original exhaust and wider aftermarket wheels may also be supplied to buyers willing to pay the asking price. The car is currently on a private registration, 451 MV, which is not included in the sale but available by separate negotiation. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with any queries of reasonable offers!

    • Year: 1988
    • Mileage: 76000 mi
    • Engine size: 3.2
    For sale
  • Ferrari Mondial T '91

    €95,000(£83,562) €95,000(£83,562)

    Family fun: 4 places, wind through hair, reliable, fast and economical (€30/year taxes in Flanders) The final Mondial evolution was 1989's Mondial t (Coupe and Cabriolet). It was a substantially changed model, "spearhead of a new generation of V8 Ferraris", according to Road & Track magazine. It was visually different from preceding Mondial models, the most recognizable being the redesign of the air intakes to a smaller, neater rectangular shape. Additionally, the door-handles were of a visually different design and the bumpers became body coloured. The Mondial t represented the most substantial upgrade to the Mondial model line in performance and handling since its introduction in 1980. Previous Mondials had rarely justified their price premium over the competition in terms of bare performance statistics, which led to some poor press coverage. The "t" offered greater performance whilst retaining a mid-engined layout and a practical packaging layout, and was more favorably received. It also had the advantage of two usable rear seats. The company has not produced a mid-engined 2+2 car since then, leaving the 2+2 configuration to the more classic front-engined design starting with th

    • Year: 1991
    For sale

    £47,995 £47,995

    UK Supplied RHD Ferrari Mondial T Cabriolet, one of only 51 built. Delivered new by HR Owen in January 1990, the original bill of sale of GBP 100,000 is supplied with the car.;;Showing 14,000 miles on the odometer, and resplendent in Rosso Corsa over Crema leather, it's clear no expense was spared by the previous owner. The car comes with invoices totalling nearly GBP 25,000 in the past two years, including a full respray, and is mechanically sorted and ready to enjoy.

    • Mileage: 14000 mi
    • Engine size: 3.405
    For sale


    Description Ferrari Mondial in excellent condition, in Argento Nurburg Silver, with Nero Black full Leather interior. This 1987 model is 1 of 1,145 examples in ‘stunning condition’ Timing belt and inspection service in November 2015 by a leading Surrey-based Ferrari specialist at a cost of £2,000. This Mondial coupe is an import from the extremely car friendly climate of Japan. Complete with the more popular Ferrari 348 wheels with new tyres, Sports Exhaust. Original Leather service pouch, Only 37,400 miles, with several Japanese maintenance records. Contact our sales team for further information.

    For sale
  • Ferrari Mondial 8

    £33,995 £33,995

    About this Ferrari Mondial 8 The Ferrari Mondial designed by Pininfarina of Turin was produced Ferrari between 1980 and 1993; concurrently, for part of that period, with Ferrari's 2-seater 308 GTB/GTS, 328, and 348 sports cars. All major mechanical systems in the Mondial, including engine, transmission, steering and suspension, are either identical to, or very similar to, those used on the matching 2-seater vehicles being produced at around the same time. At their core, all Mondials are fitted with a V8 engine; these engines comprise: a Ferrari-cast lightweight alloy V8 block with 90° bank-angle; a five-bearing, flat-plane crankshaft with belt-driven, quad overhead camshafts (two per cylinder bank). A five-speed, all-indirect manual transmission using a "dog-leg" selector pattern was the only transmission offered. Today, the Mondial 8 is considered one of Ferrari's most practical vehicles, due to its proven drive-train, four seats, and relatively low cost of maintenance (major services can be performed without removing the entire engine/transmission sub-frame). Our Extremely attractive Right Hand Drive example was first registered in March 1982; resplendent in superb Argento paint

    • Mileage: 55500 mi
    For sale
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