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Drove a 360Challenge and NEED one!

Discussion in '360/430' started by Cavallino Motors, Apr 5, 2004.

  1. Cavallino Motors

    Cavallino Motors F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    May 31, 2001
    14,143
    Florida or Argentina
    Full Name:
    Martin W.
    You hear all kind sof things about the 360Challenge. Not that great, tough to maintain unless you have a dealer support etc.

    I have been driving my new 355Challenge in Sebring on Friday all day long and was thrilled with the car setup. It was the first time out in the new car. Handling was perfect, tires were great, power was excellent. I passed some 360 Challenge as well as some 355Challenge. Now we all know that means nothing. It is purely drivers skills. Meaning the other guys were really bad, since I am nowhere near good.

    Saturday gave me an early blow. One of my lug stems was completely lose (in fact broke off) and two were lose. So it was early retirement for #27.

    I then asked a friend of mine with his 360Challenge to let me have his car for a few laps. He briefed me in the car and off I went.

    Holy $#@%ing schmoly !!!!

    This car has WAY more power and WAY better handling. It felt (and I am sur eit was) like I was lapping faster in my first lap without knowing the car or its handling capability. There was SO MUCH more that the car was willing to give. I was shocked how different the car is!

    Now those 360Challenge owners out there:

    1. Do you spend a ton of money on service?
    2. Do you have to setup the car everytime you prepare for a track day?
    3. Excessive wear on clutch, gearbox etc?

    I have to have one of those!!!! I have not been excited about a car this much in years! What is next? 360GT ???

    Martin
    (one happy camper)
     
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  3. paulie_b

    paulie_b F1 Veteran
    Consultant Owner

    Jan 13, 2003
    6,792
    Jupiter, FL
    Full Name:
    Paul Bianco
    I guess you had a good time. I saw the smile on your face!
     
  4. WCH

    WCH F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Mar 16, 2003
    5,179
    Just sold my 360C, but FWIW a few impressions.

    Service costs are IMO pretty high - compared to other race cars delivering comparable or even better lap times. 355C guys have told me that their cars are less expensive to service and repair. Routine service costs on the 360C, such as clutch replacement, can be extraordinarily high, at least in my experience. I'd also imagine that the aluminum in the 360 makes even a minor incident rather painful. I tend to lavish money on service for race cars, because I like the idea of having an expert looking at the car regularly.

    I never liked the handling of my 360C - it oversteered badly in high and medium speed corners. The folks who took care of the 360C for me were busy with pro racing, and, understandably, I just never got the shop time I needed to get the thing set up properly for me. I always felt that, if I'd played with the suspension a little bit, I could have gotten a lot more out of the car. Lots of folks told me to put a wing on the car, but I didn't want to do that until I'd properly explored mechanical solutions to the problem. I also disliked not having readily available data - but perhaps I never explored this adequately, or was ignorant of the solution. I found all this frustrating, as I am used to running formula cars and sports racers on which suspension changes usually can be made in the pits in a matter of minutes.

    IMO the most important question is, what do you want to do with the car? If you want competition, then the 360C may be the wrong choice. If you want a purpose built Ferrari race car, then there are, as you know, very few alternatives. A 360GT for $300k might be fun - the advertised 333SP for $625K, with spares, definitely would be fun! If your interest is Ferrari, and track days, and you can stomach the costs of proper maintenance, then I think a 360C is a good choice.

    I really, really, really hated to sell mine, but I decided that what I really wanted was something to race.
     
  5. Cavallino Motors

    Cavallino Motors F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    May 31, 2001
    14,143
    Florida or Argentina
    Full Name:
    Martin W.
    Thanks for that assessment.
    That is pretty much what I hear also but when I drove Craig's 360C the car handled perfectly. There was a slight tendency to oversteer. It felt very light under heavy braking, so maybe a wing may be a good solution.

    I don't know how much he has the car serviced in his shop. He owns dealerships and his own mechanics service his cars. Maybe he has them tweek the car after each track session. He does not appear that way but who knows. I will ask him.

    This weekend I could have bought a 360GT for $300K but my wife will most likely kill me if I come home with that. A 333SP is even more outragous.

    As I said I am not a great driver so racing is not down my alley. Just being out there having fun.

    :)
    Thanks
     
  6. Mitch Alsup

    Mitch Alsup F1 Veteran

    Nov 4, 2003
    7,083
    Actually, it has a lot less weight to carry around, double the downforce, and a stiffer chassis.
     
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