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      08-05-2012, 09:10 AM   #1
ozinaldo
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1M Owners' Review of F355

Fellow 1M owners,

I came across with some very interesting offers for a 96 Ferrari F355 Spider and another 96 F355 GTS (Targa), both look like in mint condition and the spider with merely 38,000 km. while the GTS has 48,000.

This F car has always been in my wish list since 90s and I have to say that I am a bit tempted since the asking prices are much less than what I can get for my 1M (BUT I can't keep both the 1M and the Ferrari).

My summary impression of this particular Ferrari is it is a drivers car par excellence and it sounds absolutely second to none. It has quite similar power and performance figures compared to a stock 1M. Ferrari has lower weight and higher hp but the 1M has much more torque and much more modern technology plus the obvious turbo vs. NA V8. So, for me it comes down to actual driving experience and feel of these cars rather than their layout or DD capacities or performance numbers.

I have never had the chance to drive one myself so I am asking whoever did, especially people who also owns a 1M, shall I take the risk of buying a 16 year old Ferrari classic and try to keep it long time or shall I do the same for the 1M (which I already plan to do) solely from the driving perspective?

Financial considerations are not part of what I am hoping to hear in this Forum, I am particularly interested in how 1M and a very well kept F355 compares in terms of feel, performance and anything else you may add from a driver's point of view.

Right now, before hearing from you guys, my intention is to keep the 1M and resist the temptation.

Thanks already for everyone who shares his/her experience and input which will help me a lot to clear my mind about this.
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      08-05-2012, 09:41 AM   #2
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I am also tempted by a 355 , but would have to be as well as my 1m not to replace
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      08-05-2012, 11:00 AM   #3
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Cost of Ferrari service is something to consider.
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      08-05-2012, 12:55 PM   #4
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Radically different choices! The 355 predates Ferrari's efforts to make their cars "feasible" as DD's for at least the very well-healed, so not a fun experience except as a Sunday special when all you want is to hear the magic of that engine noise. Has a great deal of similarity to a nice boat--much easier to appreciate on occasional basis, especially if belongs to someone else!
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      08-05-2012, 04:52 PM   #5
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Go on f-car forums and do a search on the maintenance costs on these cars. Some required services cost as much as a brand new vw golf!!

I know because I had the same temptation myself to buy one.
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      08-05-2012, 07:36 PM   #6
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My first Ferrari was a '97 355. It is one of the best sounding vehicles period (Tubi exhaust and hi flow cats are mandatory). The cars are very exhilarating under acceleration--even though they are not the fastest by today's standards, they still feel very fast. You will however experience front end lift at higher speeds that is not confidence inspiring. These cars have the first road versions of the F1 trans so I would suggest and true 6 speed manual.

As far as my experience, despite searching for months for the right car with valve guides done, I soon had issues with a cracked header and recurrent check engine lights from O2 sensors. Sticky interior parts and cracked paint at the rear buttress are also common. My suggestion, pay the extra $$$ and get a 360--although the Modenas are not as nostalgic as the 355, the pain in the ass factor goes down quite a bit. I love the 355--and although i can afford to buy one, i can't afford to drive one!

Best of luck--let me know if you have any other questions!
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      08-05-2012, 10:51 PM   #7
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GTS is the one to get
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      08-06-2012, 03:36 AM   #8
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Thanks for the post, very helpful indeed. Both offers are with manual gear box and I would not go for the F1 versions anyway. The spider also has the tubi exhaust, not sure about the Targa.

I am learning in detail about the frustrating maintenance costs of these vehicles as well as long list of inspection before getting into any deal. On the other hand, I am not a big fan of the 360.

Quote:
Originally Posted by V TACH View Post
My first Ferrari was a '97 355. It is one of the best sounding vehicles period (Tubi exhaust and hi flow cats are mandatory). The cars are very exhilarating under acceleration--even though they are not the fastest by today's standards, they still feel very fast. You will however experience front end lift at higher speeds that is not confidence inspiring. These cars have the first road versions of the F1 trans so I would suggest and true 6 speed manual.

As far as my experience, despite searching for months for the right car with valve guides done, I soon had issues with a cracked header and recurrent check engine lights from O2 sensors. Sticky interior parts and cracked paint at the rear buttress are also common. My suggestion, pay the extra $$$ and get a 360--although the Modenas are not as nostalgic as the 355, the pain in the ass factor goes down quite a bit. I love the 355--and although i can afford to buy one, i can't afford to drive one!

Best of luck--let me know if you have any other questions!
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      08-06-2012, 05:17 AM   #9
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GTS is the best looking from the trio (Berlinetta\cabrio\GTS) .

I think the main thing is small problems with some of the electrical bits on the car and bear in mind the mileage of the car it self .
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      08-06-2012, 10:01 AM   #10
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I love that car but I wish it had cam chains. The maintenance procedure for changing those belts is ridiculous in time and money.
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      08-06-2012, 10:53 AM   #11
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As others have said, service is among the main factors worth considering when buying an F-car, especially an older model. Does the 355 require engine-out service? If so, that would be a deal breaker for me right there.

If you are really into that period of Ferraris, granted a generation later, I would opt for the Modena, I'd say even go for the 360 Challenge Stradale from a value perspective. They are still somewhat 'affordable', and they have kept their price amazingly well (in fact it seems they have had a small upswing). A friend has a CS, tracks it, and has not complained of ever having any issues.
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      08-06-2012, 10:57 AM   #12
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The 355 needs engine-out service to change those cam belts, I believe the 360 does not. The 430 is the first one that switched to cam chains.
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      08-06-2012, 11:02 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZCP M3 View Post
The 355 needs engine-out service to change those cam belts, I believe the 360 does not. The 430 is the first one that switched to cam chains.
Thx for the clarification, well, that for me at least would be the nail in the coffin...

PS: went to the Cavallino Classic in Palm Beach this yr, such a nice collection of cars. Should be something everyone should try to do if afforded the opportunity to be in that area that time of yr.
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      08-06-2012, 11:50 AM   #14
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Wow! For my first post, this is almost deja vu in reverse.

Three days ago I traded in my 1998 Ferrari F355 Berlinetta for a used 1M with about 5800 km. And, I couldn't be happier.

The Ferrari was a POS compared to the BMW. Ya, sure the Ferrari sounded great at 5000+ RPM. It pulls well at high RPM as well. But, at anything lower than about 5000 RPM it feels totally anemic. It isn't very comfortable to drive, and for me was very impractical. The looks you get are fun at first, but after a while it's really annoying. People chase after you to get a picture or video. You can't really enjoy the car without attracting attention. It wears on you after a while.

I bought a car that I thought was very well sorted from a respectable dealer after a thorough PPI. In the seven months I owned the car, I spent $17k on it. New cats, new headers, O2 sensors, bypass valve, etc, etc.

You may get lucky and not have to spend much money, but when you do have to spend, it's a lot. You need to have enough disposable income that spending $10k to $20k wouldn't faze you too much.

Good luck.

Shawn
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      08-06-2012, 01:20 PM   #15
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I will caveat this post by saying that I am not a Ferrari fan. Until Honda came out with the NSX and Gordon Murray followed-up with the F1 to kick their ass, Ferrari's were some of the most unreliable cars on the planet. They were like a gorgeous, high-maintenance woman that managed to get by on good looks and occasional performance when they weren't broken down and/or in the process of breaking down.

I would NEVER buy ANY Ferrari as a DD and Only car, especially not one that is more than 20 years old and made before they became decently reliable (I think the trend started with the 360 and the 458 seems to be holding up well except for the occasionally irritating quality of BURSTING INTO FLAME).

Also, I don't know how things are in Chile but do you really want to draw that much attention to yourself?

This isn't directly related but an interesting post by Chris Harris (Yes, Monkey Harris to us) on Jalopnik about how he's 'had it' with Ferrari and their marketing mafia.

http://jalopnik.com/5760248/how-ferrari-spins

It should be noted that neither Harris nor Jalopnik have been invited to any Ferrari press events after this post.
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      08-06-2012, 01:27 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Metak2you View Post
Cost of Ferrari service is something to consider.
This... +++
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      08-06-2012, 01:55 PM   #17
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buddy has 355. Anything 355 or older is a service hog. 360 is the change over part where the maintenance is less. 430 and up is able to be DDed though I would never do it.

As for a 355, not a fan but sounds great. If you want more info on owning a 355 ask and I can tell you. I drive with all the Fcar guys and know their pain for all models.
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      08-06-2012, 04:32 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnK View Post
Wow! For my first post, this is almost deja vu in reverse.

Three days ago I traded in my 1998 Ferrari F355 Berlinetta for a used 1M with about 5800 km. And, I couldn't be happier.

The Ferrari was a POS compared to the BMW. Ya, sure the Ferrari sounded great at 5000+ RPM. It pulls well at high RPM as well. But, at anything lower than about 5000 RPM it feels totally anemic. It isn't very comfortable to drive, and for me was very impractical. The looks you get are fun at first, but after a while it's really annoying. People chase after you to get a picture or video. You can't really enjoy the car without attracting attention. It wears on you after a while.

I bought a car that I thought was very well sorted from a respectable dealer after a thorough PPI. In the seven months I owned the car, I spent $17k on it. New cats, new headers, O2 sensors, bypass valve, etc, etc.

You may get lucky and not have to spend much money, but when you do have to spend, it's a lot. You need to have enough disposable income that spending $10k to $20k wouldn't faze you too much.

Good luck.

Shawn
Thanks for your first ever post in the forum! Wow indeed, such a coincidence. This was very helpful, I appreciate

The more I read here and elsewhere the more I am feeling closer to my 1M. I guess better idea is to find one F355 to enjoy for a day or two when I travel to (or posted to) Europe again. I feel like I am in love with my 1M but (damn male nature) got seduced by a hot (and not so young!!) lady for a moment
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      08-06-2012, 04:35 PM   #19
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Go to 10:50 mark... where they talk Ferrari service prices!


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      08-06-2012, 04:45 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozinaldo View Post
Thanks for your first ever post in the forum! Wow indeed, such a coincidence. This was very helpful, I appreciate

The more I read here and elsewhere the more I am feeling closer to my 1M. I guess better idea is to find one F355 to enjoy for a day or two when I travel to (or posted to) Europe again. I feel like I am in love with my 1M but (damn male nature) got seduced by a hot (and not so young!!) lady for a moment
Congrats on the correct conclusion!!
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      08-06-2012, 05:01 PM   #21
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Depends if the super model in question has a lot of personal issues (mostly affecting your checkbook) or not...

http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/200...-ferrari-f355/
http://www.s2ki.com/s2000/topic/9348...-cost-of-f355/

More experiences:
http://www.ferrarichat.com/forum/sho...d.php?t=198430
http://www.ferrarilife.com/forums/fe...nce-costs.html
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      08-06-2012, 05:09 PM   #22
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I've always liked the 355 Berlinetta myself. I recently met a 348 owner at a Cars & Coffee meet, and I asked him about the maintenance as well. He told me that he does all the maintenance on the car himself which includes dropping the engine to replace the belts. The crazy part is that he doesn't use a lift. He said that he can get the car high enough on stands to drop the engine out. He also mentioned that the only way he could probably afford to drive this car was by working on it himself.
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