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A tale of two Ferrari's.........(long)

Discussion in '360/430' started by riverflyer, Aug 30, 2004.

  1. riverflyer

    riverflyer F1 Rookie

    Nov 26, 2003
    3,560
    Mendocino, Ca
    Full Name:
    John
    #1 riverflyer, Aug 30, 2004
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Hello all, I have a tale to tell and in doing, hope to shed my opinions on some of the often discussed topics on the board lately. This is the story of two great cars, a very cool car deal and a new shifter.
    This particular tale actually starts out on a test drive of a 355 challenge car that has been streetified(at least to a degree). I had stopped into to Ferrari of San Francisco and was perusing and catching up with Evan Shone. I was admiring the challenge car and began talking about trading cars. Soon enough we were test driving this beauty and running a nice long, one way, tunnel as part of the loop. Well that sound, and that handling, got way under my skin and within a week I was back for another look...and drive. Same reaction, weak knees and big grin. Well, I am getting ahead of myself here so let me backtrack a bit.
    Last winter, in the throes of a search for my first Ferrari. I had begun(and please owners take no offense as none is meant, just personal dialogue relating to my personal needs) with the 328. Coming from years of high hp cars this car just did not have the ooomph to keep me interested and was too small for my 6'3" 200lb frame. The 348 seemed a bit larger and had more power but in the end I decided(due in large part to reading all I could find here concerning 348/355 attributes and characteristics) to stretch for a "cheap" 355. I had 2 other performance cars and a truck and did not want to spend too much, as simply stated, I just don't have the means of some board members and must be creative in satisfying my enthusiasts enthusiams.
    Well during the search, I came across an opportunity to step up into one of my all time dream cars, the 550M. One test drive, one time deep into that glorious throttle and it was all over, including my budget.
    Such a satisfying car, with great capabilities, great sound and awesome torque as well as some of the finest lines in all of the car world(again, my humble opinion). A beautiful low mileage example at that. Well, a good thing, as even though I had been doing my homework, I was caught a bit off guard by the cost of updating the service and soon found a car driven about 1k per year is not enough to keep the beast happy. Luckily, I had bought right and in the end, had a freshly serviced beauty ready to roll, still at a relatively reasonable investment. We took several trips, went to the track once(every new car should go at least once) and had a blast. In fact put up over 3k in just 4 months. TSK TSK I am hearing, another crass newbie thinking it is ok to actually drive these cars.
    Then, one day while tossing the porsche hard through the local canyons, I realized that as much as I loved the 550 and as much as I enjoyed its ever so capable driving attributes, it was really a bigger(actually heavier is the issue) car than my narrow twisiting coastal roads really call for.
    This brings us back to the 355 challenge car. After some soul searching, I realized this car was priced for a collector or someone who wanted the exclusivitiy of its special nature. While I can appreciate the ideal, I could not afford the reality.
    Then along came Brad Goldstone, Sales Manager at Fof SF. It seemed Brad had a very special 355 tucked into his personal stash and was thinking of selling it(reluctantly at that). We talked further about trading cars, decided to meet after work, in the cool little wine town of Healdsburgabout halfway between us. We parked just off the square, walked around and around, admiring both cars. Waving to the locals who slowed, stopped or backtracked to also admire the beautiful Italian iron assmebled on their side street. We (Brad,myself and my sweetheart Judy) sat on the curb, opened, prodded and again simply admired. Walked around, talked about cars, life, and family and after about 2 hours, traded keys on basically a handshake and drove off, leaving the legal paperwork, money transfer etc for fed ex duty in the ensuing days. Very cool that we were able to establish such a trusting connection in such a short amount of time. If you are in the car market and dealing with Fof SF, if Brad is involved, trust assured you are dealing with a quality man with not only a lot of aloha, but great car knowledge as well.
    So, off we motor, into the coastal night. The new car is all I was hoping for. First thing being large size racing seats. I had decided that any 355 would have to have those as I just was not comfortable with the stock seat fit. Too short of back. Anyway, this car came with not only carbon fiber racing seats but complete cf interior, factory ordered challenge suspension, challeng grill, upgraded f1 software, red calipers, fresh 30k service, new tires and last but certainly not least, tube with straight pipes. The windows never went up all the way home. The sound of that exhaust note, reflecting off road cuts, passing cars and the big trees was pure music. And the handling of the car is so much more suited to my roads. I miss the 550, especially the beauty of its lines and the low end grunt, but am already deeply in lust with this little beauty and its nasty snarl.
    Now, another hottly debated topic....F1 tranny. I have driven Ferrari F1, Maserati cambrio corsa and BMW smg. Pros and cons to all but never really thought about giving up the gears. Well its been two weeks and I have some good seat time now and was still pretty uncertain. Yesterday, I took the Pcar out on the same 50 miles circuit that the 355 had made the day before. Several times I found myself reaching for the paddles and noticed what a lot of stuff was involved in shifting. I know, thats a reason in and of itself for many drivers, personal involvement. I do miss the swift and sure click of the gated metal to metal but all in all, at least with the software this car is running, the f1 is a blast and remains very involving. I especially like how safe it is, as I always like to have both hands on the wheel when possible and with the f1, its always possible, eh Schummi?
    As with all Ferraris, there are so many personal needs involved in the decision of which model to buy. What this experience has emphasized is that one model is not better that another unless it suits the drivers needs better. Yes, for sure, we would all love to have an enzo, but in the end would it satisfy more that the car best suited to our specific driving needs? Well, maybe the enzo is not a good example, but you get my drift. Love the one you brung.
    Here are some pics, its a challenge stradale for a beer budget.
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  2. WCH

    WCH F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Mar 16, 2003
    5,179
    Great story, great photos, thanks for the post. And: congratulations!
     
  3. Gary(SF)

    Gary(SF) F1 Rookie

    Oct 13, 2003
    3,637
    Los Altos Hills, CA
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    Gary B.
    Terrific story, and a beautiful car, enjoy every mile in it! I second your opinion of Brad at FoSF, he is a true enthusiast and a pleasure to work with.

    Gary
     
  4. udalmia

    udalmia Guest

    great stuff, do post some interior shots
     
  5. riverflyer

    riverflyer F1 Rookie

    Nov 26, 2003
    3,560
    Mendocino, Ca
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    John
    #5 riverflyer, Aug 30, 2004
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Thanks guys, great experience too.
    Here's an interior shot. From the pic I was unsure if I would like it, but in person its quite beautiful and in keeping with the sporty nature of the car. I would call it a prussian blue and it is quite friendly. I think the digital image comes up with more purple than it really is. The carbon fiber is very nice, sills, console, door panels and even the instrument pod.
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  6. damcgee

    damcgee Formula 3

    Feb 23, 2003
    1,864
    Mobile, AL
    I see what you mean about the picture making it look purple, but if you look on the passenger side dash, near the door, you can see a spot where the sun hits the dash and you can see the blue clearly. It is a beautiful interior. :)

    One question, though. I didn't think 550's had depreciated to the level of 355's yet?
     
  7. fazzaz1

    fazzaz1 Karting

    Nov 4, 2003
    89
    Mississippi
    Full Name:
    Sam Scott
    Could you tell us a bit more about the suspension and exhaust differences. Beautiful car!
     
  8. h22gordo

    h22gordo Formula Junior

    May 24, 2004
    361
    So. Cal.
    Full Name:
    Gordo
    Nice car!
    Love the interior!
     
  9. Robin

    Robin F1 Rookie

    Nov 1, 2003
    2,893
    Arlington, VA
    Oooo way to go! I remember seeing that car on Silicon Valley Autogroup's website for a while. Definitely a beaut. I was always uncertain about silver cars up until I saw some titanium and silver 355's in person. Definitely one of my favorite colors now. Congrats!

    -R
     
  10. 4RE Bob

    4RE Bob Formula Junior

    Feb 7, 2004
    567
    Muskoka, Ontario
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    Bob
    Great cars. Great story.
     
  11. F40

    F40 F1 Rookie

    Apr 16, 2003
    3,227
    Congrats... Are you sure that's a challenge? Looks like normal suspension ride-height, brakes, and regular 355 F1 Berlinetta badging instead of 355 Challenge. Also... Is it a 95? Since they were the only street legal challenge cars... And as stated, 550's haven't depreciated to 355B levels yet have they?
     
  12. riverflyer

    riverflyer F1 Rookie

    Nov 26, 2003
    3,560
    Mendocino, Ca
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    John
    Thanks for the compliments, it is a really fun car and in wonderful condition.
    No, 550's have not depreciated to 355 levels. You will notice I stated money and legal items were exchanged the next few days via fed ex. And no the car is not the challenge car, I decided not to buy that car. This car is a 99f1 model, with factory ordered and installed challenge shocks, sway bars and susp. set up, incl. f1 upgrade. The exhaust is tubi with straight pipes.
    And yes, silver cars are very nice. IMO they really show the lines of the car nicely, AND show no dirt either!!!. Titanium is my favorite but the silver is really growing on me. I had about 5 black cars in a row and, no doubt, when they are clean they are without match, but that is a big if and with several cars, I would need a full time car guy. What was that Hitchcock movie with the heiress and the ferrari and her american car "boy"? Thanks again, hope this clears up the details. John
     
  13. damcgee

    damcgee Formula 3

    Feb 23, 2003
    1,864
    Mobile, AL
    Being a "race car for the street" is, in my humble opinion, what the V8 Ferraris are all about. With this car having Challenge suspension, the carbon interior, etc, it is about as close as you can get to a Challenge car for the street (short of legalizing a 95, OBD1 355 Challenge).

    Beautiful car, I love it.
     
  14. riverflyer

    riverflyer F1 Rookie

    Nov 26, 2003
    3,560
    Mendocino, Ca
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    John
    thanks Andy.
    BTW I was in your neck of the woods last summer and every time I went driving in NW Arkansas I was in total lust with the idea of getting a good car out there(I ws in a rent a car unfortunately). You have maybe the best road system I have ever driven on. Beautiful roads, incredible surfaces, no pot holes AND nice scenery too. I must have talked to anyone that would listen trying to figure out why your road surfaces remain so silky while ours dip, undulate and bump. Must be the geology. Anyway, rip one up for me and enjoy the smooth high speed hum of the fine Italian machinery unadulturated by surface intrusion!
     
  15. vincent355

    vincent355 F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed

    Apr 8, 2003
    5,700
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    Vincent
    Congrats John,

    I'm looking forward to seeing you and the car in person one of these days. That's a beautilful color on the 355!
     
  16. sherpa23

    sherpa23 F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    May 28, 2003
    9,500
    Colorado
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    Bastuna
    John, glad you got a good one. Of course, love the colour.
     
  17. riverflyer

    riverflyer F1 Rookie

    Nov 26, 2003
    3,560
    Mendocino, Ca
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    John
    Vincent, we are planning some fall drives into the trinities and over to the sierras. Maybe we can hook up for one or a portion at least. When is the cs arriving?
    Ryan, yeah, I knew you would like it. It is true though, silver is a great color for the lines of the 355, and I learned that from you!
     
  18. damcgee

    damcgee Formula 3

    Feb 23, 2003
    1,864
    Mobile, AL
    I wish there were F-cars in my neck of the woods! I have met a few Memphis, TN f-car owners, but I still have never had a ride in one. Eventually my day will come though. Within the next ten years I will have my own, so that is the worst case scenario.
     
  19. Senna1994

    Senna1994 F1 World Champ

    Nov 11, 2003
    12,793
    San Clemente
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    Anthony Tonokaboni
    Gorgeous car, incredible set up you have on the suspension. Enjoy it in good health.
     
  20. ART360

    ART360 Guest

    John:

    Great car. Isn't Brad a great guy? Hope you have fun with the car.

    Peter is trying to arrange a trip to the East next month. Hope you get some time to come along. I'm thinking about driving the 360 up yor way. I'll drop you a PM when we're going, maybe we can hook up.

    Art
     
  21. Meeyatch1

    Meeyatch1 Formula 3

    Dec 28, 2003
    1,335
    State of confusion.
    Full Name:
    Mitch
    That is a beautiful F355. It is the exact color I will be getting when I buy my F355. Enjoy your drive... :)
     
  22. riverflyer

    riverflyer F1 Rookie

    Nov 26, 2003
    3,560
    Mendocino, Ca
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    John
    Senna 1994 and Meeyatch1, thank you guys both for the kind words.

    Art, if you are coming up please drop me a pm or better, an email and we can go for a drive. Love to see your car and of course you too! John
     
  23. bobafett

    bobafett F1 Veteran

    Sep 28, 2002
    9,193
    John,

    Just saw this - major congrats! Glad to see everythign worked out brilliantly!

    --Dan
     
  24. riverflyer

    riverflyer F1 Rookie

    Nov 26, 2003
    3,560
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    John
    Hey Dan, thanks for the props bro. Whats happening with your car now? John
     

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