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By Jan Wagner - syndicated weekly columnist/photojournalist
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Bobileff Motorcar Company

Since you are reading this column, it is probably safe to assume that for you cars are at least somewhat more than just mere transportation appliances – or that you were bored out of your mind and this just happened to be the next thing that caught your attention. If the latter is true, I certainly do hope that you like what you see and come back on purpose next time!

For many of us who love cars, Italian exotics hold a special place of interest. I was pleased when Ferrari finished first and second in this year’s Formula 1 race at Indy. My head invariably turns to follow whenever I spot an Italian exotic on the road. I walk over to get a closer look when, as was the case once when I was in a Costco parking lot of all places, I spotted a yellow Italian beauty (the car, not the driver) momentarily parked near the entrance doors.

 

Unfortunately for me, limited personal finances and at least somewhat of a sense of responsibility to my children have kept me from buying an Italian exotic – but I can still look and dream, right? If I did consider buying one, I’d probably look for something that was older and gently used – something that someone else already took a big depreciation hit on, so that I could perhaps afford it. One place to look for such a car would be a new car dealership. Another would be an independent store, or perhaps from an individual seller.

 

Bobileff Motorcar Company of San Diego is an independent sales, service and parts shop specializing in Italian exotics. They also do restorations. When I asked him who owns such cars, Gary Bobileff told me that you don’t have to be rich to do so.

If, like me, you have a habit of buying on impulse, the Web is a much safer way to see their inventory of cars for sale. That is where I found several Ferraris for sale in the $70,000 range. Granted that is still a lot of money but it is not beyond the realm of possibility. Of course there were also much more expensive cars advertised.

 

You might also consider looking into a private party sale. Like other reputable independent foreign car shops, Bobileff performs pre-purchase inspections in their shop. Gary “travels globally to do mechanical and pre-purchase inspections on Ferrari, Lamborghini and other select Italian cars.” He is particularly qualified to advise you on the value of a vehicle that you may be considering.

 

Purchasing your exotic Italian car is just the beginning of your ownership expenditures. Service is specialized and can be very expensive, so you need to find someone well qualified to do work at that level. Your neighborhood import auto repair shop is probably not your best choice. Unless you are willing to let someone learn as they go, you will probably want to find someone who has worked on these cars before and already knows what they are doing.


 

High quality service and hand-crafted restoration of Italian exotics are specialties of Bobileff Motorcar Company. Their customers come from across North America, as well as Europe, the Orient and Latin America. Take a quick glance around their shop and you will typically see 30 to 40 of these very expensive cars. Bobileff does everything from regular oil changes to complete mechanical overhauls. Be warned, however, that even routine service can be very expensive. I was told that Ferrari recommends Shell Helix motor oil, which costs $20/liter (times 12 liters)!

 

If your restoration requires hard-to-find parts, they also are skilled at fabrication and can duplicate parts as needed. This is especially important because sometimes new parts are virtually impossible to locate or are cost-prohibitive to buy.

For more information visit Bobileff Motorcar Company on the web at www.Bobileff.com.

 

Well, for me it is back to reality. My Mazdaspeed Miata is not particularly exotic but at least it is red.

As always, please share your stories and send your comments to AutoMatters@gmail.com. Enjoy the archives and more at www.AutoMatters.net. Drive safely and do join me again next time.

Copyright © 2006 Jan R. Wagner – #199 AutoMatters

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