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

Ferrari Mondial Ferrari Mondial Ferrari Mondial Ferrari Mondial Ferrari Mondial Ferrari Mondial
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. A er 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.
 

Performance and specs

 
Ferrari Mondial 3.2
Engine 3185cc, 32-valve DOHC V8 
Power 260bhp @ 7000rpm 
Torque 213lb ft @ 5000rpm
Top speed 148mph 
0-60mph 6.3 seconds 
Fuel consumption 19.2mpg 
Gearbox Five-speed manual
 

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.
 
• 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 an absolute maximum of ten 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 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 £20,000. 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 £30,000-£40,000 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: 1st Sep 2016
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Ferrari Mondial cars for sale

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Ferrari Mondial
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  • 1981 Ferrari Mondial Coupé

    POA POA

    With a name reminiscent of the 500 Mondial race cars from the 1950s, the Ferrari Mondial was a replacement model for the Ferrari 308 GT4. The Mondial was the first Ferrari where the entire engine/gearbox/rear suspension assembly was mounted on a detachable steel subframe, making engine removal for a major rebuild or cylinder head removal much easier than it was on previous models. The steel coachwork was taken care of by Carrozzeria Scaglietti and built over a lightweight steel box section space frame. The Mondial 8 is considered one of the marque's most 'practical' vehicles, due to its 214hp, proven drivetrain, four seats and relatively low cost of maintenance; major services can be performed without removing the entire engine/transmission subframe. This Mondial Coupé has a superb history folder and shows a documented engine rebuild in 2010 as well as other major work. Mechanically, this is a very good example and the cream leather trim is commensurate with a car of the age and mileage. From a bodywork point of view, the car will need some time and investment; however the end result will be a very useable and realistically priced Ferrari Mondial. Mondials' have long been undervalu

    • Year: 2016
    For sale
    Historics at Brooklands
  • Ferrari Mondial

    £72,400 £72,400

    Pristine low mileaged Ferrari Mondial 3.4t cabriolet. Full Ferrari service history. No expense spared. Great investment.

    • Year: 1990
    • Mileage: 40000 mi
    • Engine size: 3.4
    For sale
    Nick Dee
  • Ferrari Mondial Grey '87

    €55,000(£49,038) €55,000(£49,038)

    The first Mondial engine, although a DOHC design, used just two valves per cylinder. The 1982 Quattrovalvole or QV introduced a new 4-valve head, the combustion chamber design was purportedly based on the early 80's F1 engine. Again, the engine was shared with the contemporary 308 GTB/GTS, and produced a much more respectable 240 hp (179 kW). Like the new 328 GTB, the Mondial's engine grew in both bore and stroke to 3.2 L (3185 cc) for 1985. Output was now 280 hp (201 kW). Available in both Coupe and Cabriolet forms, styling was refreshed with restyled and body-coloured bumpers, similar to the 328 with more integrated indicators & driving lamps, and new wheels with a more rounded face. The 3.2 also boasted a major interior update, with a more ergonomic layout & a more rounded instrument binnacle, later cars sported ABS (1987 onwards). Fuel injection remained the primarily mechanical Bosch K-Jetronic (CIS) with an o2 sensor in the exhaust providing feedback to a simple computer for mixture trimming via a pulse modulated frequency valve that regulated control fuel pressure. Ignition system was Marelli Microplex, with electronic advance control and one distributor per bank of the V8.

    • Year: 1987
    For sale
  • Ferrari Mondial T '91

    €95,000(£84,702) €95,000(£84,702)

    real 28.000km car as new, never seen anything like it!! 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 the 456 in 1992. As of 2012, the V12 FF along

    • Year: 1991
    For sale
  • Ferrari Mondial 8

    £34,995 £34,995

    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 on ### 1982; resplendent in superb Argento paint

    • Mileage: 55500 mi
    For sale
  • 1987 Ferrari Mondial 3.2 Cabriolet

    $37,900(£30,975.67) $37,900(£30,975.67)

    This 1987 Ferrari Mondial 3.2 Cabriolet is in Rosso Corsa with Tan and has 31k miles. The Ferrari Mondial Cabriolet has the added distinction of being the only four-seat, mid-rear engine, convertible automobile ever manufactured in regular production. Similar to the 328 the Mondial 3.2 had more integrated indicators and driving lamps, and new alloy wheels with a more rounded face. The 3.2 also boasted a major interior update, with a more ergonomic layout. Later cars, from 1987 onwards, also sported ABS brakes. This Mondial was sold new at Algar Enterprises in Paoli, Pennisvalyna on February 9, 1987. This car has strong mechanicals, good clutch and syncros. Recent PPI performed by The Sports Car Shop here locally: Needs Windshield wipers Emergency brake is inoperative. Rear valence broken on right side Incorrect top latches A/C not working Headlamp switch in-op. Some early service history is available. The paint is bright and consistent. Soft top and boot cover are in nice condition. California titled. A Mondial Cabriolet finished in the classic color combination of Rosso Corsa and Tan. All inspections welcome. We ship worldwide. Contact us at 831.373.3131 day or evening. VIN: ZFFXC

    • Year: 1987
    • Mileage: 30950 mi
    For sale
  • Ferrari - Mondial

    £39,950 £39,950

    Just in stock, 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. MOT November 2016 This Mondial coupe has recently been imported 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

    • Year: 1987
    For sale
  • 1989 Ferrari Mondial-T

    $42,500(£34,735.25) $42,500(£34,735.25)

    This 1989 Ferrari Mondial-T is a very good original driver with just 52k miles. Red with tan interior. It's an extremely clean car in excellent condition overall. Mechanically excellent. A great buy at just $42,500

    • Year: 1989
    For sale
  • FERRARI Mondial

    £39,950 £39,950

    Just in stock, 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. MOT November 2016 This Mondial coupe has recently been imported 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

    • Year: 1987
    • Mileage: 37000 mi
    For sale
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