355 for the track and street

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by, Feb 12, 2006.

  1. Karting

    Nov 4, 2003
    I want to purchase a 355 to use on the street but also seriously on the track. Does a 355 targa handle as well as a berlinetta? What mods performed on the 355, if I add slicks ,do I have to change the bushings; will the adhesion of the slicks destroy the "street" bushings. Will the track bushings make for a terrible street car? How about a spyder with a roll bar? Too much body roll? How much for race bushings and decent brakes...or just use stock brakes? Should I get a 355 challenge car and another car for the street? I've heard that the 1995 is the more powerful car with better motronic but soft valve guides. Do all the 1995's have soft guides much to replace them. If they're bad when do they show up as a problem??? at what milage?

    What about a good closed in light weight trailer that can be pulled by a 2004 v8 ford explorer [5 liter] if i buy a challenge car??
    I'm sure that many of you have wrestled with these questions. Help!
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  3. pad

    pad Formula 3

    Sep 30, 2004
    Tequesta, FL
    Full Name:
    Paul Delatush
    If you are serious about the track, get a Challenge car. There are many reasons to go this way, but the main is the safety equipment. Also, do the math. The purchase price of a street car and then add seats, brakes, roll cage, harness, fire system… as compared to the price of a good 355 Challenge. As for a trailer, get an aluminum trailer.

    DMOORE Formula 3

    Aug 23, 2005
    San Diego
    Full Name:
    If you were to look at a 355ch, make sure you can actually get it registered for the street. Here in CA. there is no way ( legally), it can. I'll have to say, I do a LOT of towing, cars bikes all sorts, and I wouldn't recomend a Explorer for towing. Between the weight of the car and the trailer, it would really be pushing it for that truck. I tow with a Navigator, and say that a full size SUV would be the minimum for a tow rig. Mid size rigs don't lend themselves to towing very well.(and yes I know people do do it) with one. just not the best idea.

  5. stuka

    stuka Rookie

    Feb 19, 2006
    I am actually looking into the feasibility of a 355 for street and track as well. Well, I am looking to replace the Turbo with GT3, but amazingly, my wife said something to the effect of, "what about that Ferrari in Golden Eye?"

    I do put lots of miles on the Turbo, like 12K a year. Is that doable on a hand built Italian car? Let's sya that the track/stret split is about 50/50, will I be able to track the car at Button Willow, Sears Point, Vegas, Laguna Seca, Thunderhill, and still drive it to work? The Turbo does that very well, and the GT3 no doubt will do fine in that role as well.

    Oh, and since my tracking activities are only for fully insured DE's, I won't be modding the car a hell of a lot. At the most, maybe changing the rotors to cross drilled and use ATE gold fluids, that's it.

    So, should I stay with the P car camp or try my luck at the 355? For some reason, it will be easier to convince my wife to get the 355 than the GT3. Well, I suppose all women get that look when they think about a Ferrari 6 speed that they can also drive to work in.
  6. hardtop

    hardtop F1 World Champ

    Jan 31, 2002
    Full Name:
    If you really need a dual purpose car, I would get a 355B and pretty much leave it stock and drive as is on track days. The B will be significantly cheaper to buy than an S. Many tracks will not allow spiders and as a matter of safety, a closed car is much better. Any mods on a street car will reduce it's everyday drivability and greatly reduce the value of the car as well. If you can afford it, get a factory challenge car and a street car.

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  8. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    Austin TX
    Full Name:
    Brian Crall

    Start there and buy a spare set of wheels for better track tires.
    As time goes by you will figure out what your needs are.

    Some of the mods you are discussing detract from it being a good street car.

    I have a client with a Challenge car on the street and it is anything but pleasant to drive.
  9. stuka

    stuka Rookie

    Feb 19, 2006
    Sorry, I forgot to mention that I am only looking for the B, since the events that I go to do not allow S. Not only that, I wouldn't do that anyway, since well, if you flip, the S will be handy in opening up your head a la can opener style...
  10. racespecferrari

    racespecferrari F1 Veteran

    Jan 31, 2006
    Suffolk, Uk
    Full Name:
    Pete.G By The Sea

    I use a 355Gts for trackdays as well as road use, and apart from cooking the brakes once (easily remedied) I have had no problems at all
  11. BigHead

    BigHead Formula Junior

    Oct 31, 2003
    Outside of Boston
    Full Name:
    1. The targa is every bit as good as the berlinetta, up to 9/10ths. There IS noticeable flex in the body. If you're serious about tracking the car, stick with the coupe.

    2. I've done thousands of laps on my 355 street car (before I also got a 355CH), with Pirelli slicks on CH speedline rims. Stock suspension. Works just fine. No need to replace bushings.

    3. Stock brakes work incredibly well. I upgraded to PFC-97 brake pads and I use ATE brake fluid. Stock rotors. No problems, even with HARD, continuous use in hot weather.

    4. Exhaust valve guides is not limited to '95s. Do a search, there are several threads devoted just to this topic. There are some other problem areas with 355s, so be sure to do your research.

    5. A Ford Explorer towing an enclosed trailer is marginal at best. A 355 CH, enclosed all-aluminum trailer ($$$) and wheels and tools = 5k-6k pounds. Even if the Explorer is rated to tow it, it's just too heavy, and the Explorer is too small. An Expedition-class vehicle will work just fine, and an F250+ will work better.

    6. Some Challenge cars do come with titles, and can be registered for the street. And some of us are lucky enough to have one of those! :)

    BTW, if you do end up with a Spider for casual track use, and want a roll bar, I've got a 355 custom roll bar sitting in the garage.... :)


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