Having spent the best part of 2019 looking and hitherto failing to find a decent Ferrari 360 for decent money (c. £55k), I thought I would share some of my findings. I hope that it will help guide others like me in future and shed some light on these cars (..also hoping it may ease some of my personal FRUSTRATION..). And believe me, there is a lot of murkiness that anyone without endless wealth needs to be aware of. Those that are lucky enough to possess endless wealth may scoff and proclaim that those without bags of cash to throw around shouldn't think about buying these cars (it's a valid point to make); the fact is these are entry-point Ferraris. There are often many available for sale, and starting at under 50 grand (in the UK), they are accessible for many petrolheads. So why should those thinking of buying a 991 Carrera not be allowed to consider owning a Ferrari? They can and they will. NB: I am no mechanical expert on these cars, but I am hoping that by virtue of this I might make a little more sense to those that are also new to the field. Oh, and by the way, I truly love the 360 as a car when all is well. I want to make that clear. They are superb cars (hence, why I am still looking). But that's the crux of the matter here. Any kind of machine is ultimately defined by its efficiency, because when it doesn't operate it can't be loved. So you might as well drive a red ball of snot around, for all that's worth. Try to deny it, but every car owner dearly wants their car to work, far more often than it doesn't. This isn't a German state of mind, it's just rational car ownership in 2019. So let's start at the beginning.. 1. Mythical "Ferrari" valuations, and everything else. At present, Ferrari 360s are wildly overpriced. But ALL Ferraris make money over time!!?, I hear you cry? I'm not here to deny that. All I will suggest is that there is a somewhat mythical valuation system that all sellers of 360s bank on YOU believing. Either they overpaid for the car in the first place or they are literally willing to wait YEARS for the "right (idiotic) buyer" to come along.. I see the same achingly dull spec cars that are closer to 80 grand (when they should be closer to 50 grand) simply not selling. Search after search, the same overpriced cars not selling. It's actually weirdly gratifying to see this, but also excruciatingly frustrating (as a buyer) by the same token. Well-priced cars will (probably) sell, be they bags of **** or not, but don't be fooled into thinking higher-priced cars are in better condition. They will probably have been sat for years, slowly rotting away underneath the many layers of wax and showroom lighting. Why are they not selling? Regardless of the Ferrari myths, 50% of prospective 360 buyers already believe that most are overpriced and the other 50% knows how problematic these cars (especially the F1s) can be. Sadly, a lot of these cars have become showroom trophies, "appreciating assets" based on a more realistic reality attached to rarer / newer / more in-demand Ferrari models. Just don't attach it to 360s. Once the market adjusts its perception of these cars, only then will they actually SELL (hint hint to all traders...) at more realistic price points. Call it the jealous cries of someone with a lowly (it isn't lowly, it's sensible..) budget, but why do I see perfect red spec examples dropping by five grand overnight...? And they're still not selling...? Just reporting what I'm seeing! 2. The Ferrari 360 is the endless nightmare you imagined it could be. For the purposes of brevity, I'm just going to list the problems I have faced (either pre- or post-sale) with just TWO cars. Two. One car I owned and rejected. The other I have had PPId. I will also give you an idea of how much these issues would be to fix (based on quotations I've had from Ferrari specialists - this is another area in and of itself). Remember these cars were both being sold by traders and as anyone would expect, are being sold in good faith on the basis they are mechanically sound.. (I did believe that's the world we generally live in..buttttt, maybe not when it comes to Ferraris.. more on that later) intermittent flashing F1 light / loss of gears / flat bed recovery needed multiple times (even after hours of diagnosis the problem wasn't diagnosed) TCU (trans ECU) changed (£500-1500 change), clutch position sensor changed (£600 - some quote for gearbox out ((+ £1000)), some don't) - clutch position sensor fault still showing the above problem may be attributed to inner gearbox corruptions (gearbox out to diagnose £1000), (full clutch kit changed offered as potential solution (£3500-4000), also potentially attributed to wiring loom issues (£??? - electronic issues obviously hard to stick a price on) timing phase variator fault code found (top end vaiators rebuild job £2500-£3500) or cam timing issue (c. £1-2000 in labour alone) (NB: early 360s need to have had the variator recall done, do your research here) F1 pump changed (c. £350 + labour) steering rack leak (c. £350 refurb) two bad O2 sensors (c. £500) high leak-off rate on F1 solenoid valves (1-6 valves need changing £??? (mainly labour intensive + F1 bleed needed but never worked out) bad throttle potentiometer (didn't get a quote for this as fixed by dealer) ball joint + track rod end (quoted around £1200 which is probably too high - another side issue, see below..) knackered door locks (5 hrs labour c. £400) both cars had 50% + clutch wear, one nearer 70% - so imminent clutch change (£3500) needed in both cases in near-term future SO. I think that was just about it. Two cars and a four-month experience. Thankfully, due to using my brain / having a warranty, none of this was chargeable to me, aside from some diagnosis costs. "Pandora's Box," doesn't quite do it justice. These cars are ENDLESSLY COMPLEX, and forever breaking (apparently). There is a decent amount of tech on these cars (think of them more as race cars, than road cars) that is being used uncomfortably ahead of its own time (F1 'box, in particular). And sure, they're around 20 years old, and maybe it's par for this particular course. Certainly, a manual gearbox will remove the hydraulic and electronic issues associated with the F1, but remember, the F1 has an ECU that monitors it. Manuals don't. So your manual could have a shagged clutch, release bearing (particularly the seals), flywheel, synchros or bushes and aside from obvious signs you may walk headfirst into this in time and you have no way of knowing in advance (other than the basic trans window). Even my old 911 997 clutch went overnight within two weeks of purchase, even after perfectly normal test drives. These gearboxes are clearly used hard and suffer wear, by nature of the car. Making matters EVEN WORSE, is that very few seem to know how to actually change a clutch efficiently, meaning it can need doing AGAIN (ka-ching ka-ching) ahead of time (some 10-15,000 miles ahead of time). And that's just the transmission side of things. The 360 is both a relatively affordable and catastrophic minefield in the making. 3. The Ferrari industry WILL exploit your "wealth," if you allow it to. Just to give you an idea, a simple microcosm of what I mean. The 360 will go through suspension ball joints with regularity. This is well known. Changing them, at face value (the part is a couple hundred quid) seems relatively affordable to have to keep doing with regularity. And yet one specialist garage will insist on four hours to change one, while another will only need one hour. Perhaps one specialist is more special than another, but patently, there is a greater or lesser degree of exploitation at work here. And for me, this all ties into point # 1. There is a total misconception of the realistic values of anything attributable to these cars, be it valuations, purchase prices or the work needed to maintain them. Again, for the massively wealthy this isn't a true concern, but for those buying cheaper Ferraris it HAS to be, and it most definitely should be. Added to this is the cycle of **** that this exploitation (coupled with the car's inherent complexity) will throw up at a later date - most probably at your door. Things (if not the car itself) will get left, ignored and simply never diagnosed. This may even snowball to the extent that the car you're looking at right now might bear the most beautiful Pininfarina shell, yet underneath there's hiding a large blank cheque with your name artfully written in the payer section. To offer one quick example of potential exploitation.. the F1 is famous for failing / leaking actuators. This is when your gearbox won't be able to correctly select gears. Most will probably sell you a new one at an eye-watering £6,000. Others might suggest refurbishing (£2,000), others will tell you about the problems they are still facing with refurbed units and others will tell you they can take it apart and change a relatively simple pin inside the unit for a fraction of the money. Blind and endless wealth doesn't care, right? Not denying it. But again, most regular people of regular wealth won't even be made aware of these options. Welcome to Exploitation Land.. 4. Help isn't easy to find. Not only will Ferrari dealers and some specialists want to take more of your money than they should, depending on where you are located, they may literally never have any time for you in the first place. Would you hand your Ferrari over to anyone? Well, probably not. But can you actually find an indie Ferrari mechanic that isn't snowed under with work (a busy Ferrari mechanic..??), unless in the absolute depths of winter? No to that as well. So you'll most likely be sat in a pool of acute frustration as your happy-faced (and broken) £50,000+ acquisition grins at you in your drive.. almost as though it is laughing at and indulging in your plight.. Ahh, living that dream.. Considering the amount of broken Ferraris out there (and my small survey would seem to suggest there are many), it is somewhat baffling how few specialist garages there are. And when you take into account how brief the British summer is, it is HIGHLY likely you will be without your summer-oriented investment for a good deal of it. Unless, of course, you are willing to attach a "rape me ASAP" placard to your rear end. I also have first-hand experience of garages that will happily engage in the "ignorance is bliss" philosophy. I politely asked one specialist about a specific car (on direction of the seller) they had recently major cambelt serviced (for an astronomical fee..) and their response was, "Well, we only changed the belts, how would we know anything else about the car?" Maybe they were having a bad day, but clearly there are those that care about your 360's endless needs and those that simply go through the motions. After a major service, I (and I think most) would expect a garage to have a fair idea of where a car is it. Maybe their "ignorance" was telling me all that I needed to know about the car in that particular case. Given the amount of research and through my experiences, I've concluded that I would implicitly trust a grand total of ONE garage in the UK to look after any future 360 I may own, in terms of both their knowledge and realistic pricing. Make of that what you will. 5. PPIs are great, but... So you find that car that seems to tick all the boxes. PPI it. That's the wise advice, right? Well, sort of. Don't be surprised if the PPI throws up a number of issues though, and the deal is dead because of it. Going back to point # 1, the dealer will probably have overpaid for the car and simply won't have the margin to reflect the amount of remedial work needed to have the car in good mechanical health (as should be the realistic and honest expectation of any car buyer). I imagine most private sellers won't want to be told how bad they are at upkeep, either, and how much getting the car back to a decent condition will eat into any profit they had in mind. And this is when the "Well, it's a Ferrari...?" BS starts to take effect like a recurring nightmare. You WILL pay. You MUST pay! It's a Ferrari!?? Idiot. At this point, I feel like I could pay for an unending amount of PPIs without ever finding a deal that rationally makes sense. Moreover, you will most likely get absolutely fleeced for those PPIs. Paying anything beyond £300 for a couple of hours of specialist looking and plugging in is complete madness. Again, back to point # 1 (and # 3). 6. It's a Ferrari..!?? (idiot..) So I will conclude by going back to this little industry idiom. Perhaps it pertains to all makers of supercars, but I think it holds special meaning for the 360, given its age, its complexities and its current price point. I have come out of this experience effectively believing that regardless of consumer rights, warranties, dealership promises and whatever else, it is basically an expectation that outside of common things we all accept when buying a used car (paint wear, interior wear, engine wear, suspension, brakes, pads, tyres etc etc) there is also the Enhanced Ferrari Experience mentality that you WILL ALSO expect the car to break repeatedly (in no time), and you WILL mop up the mess. Because you enjoy it so much. Because it's a Ferrari...Ahhh. I guess it's really up to you how much enjoyment you truly render from these Enhanced expectations. Buy a Porsche and stop moaning, is the obvious reaction to all of this. But that's really the point. This is Porsche money and sometimes Porsche people fancy a change. Sometimes.. I happen to think it's better these home truths are out there for those pondering over making that leap of faith. I hope this all helps someone in some capacity!