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F355 vs Everything Else

Discussion in '348/355' started by TypeRated, Nov 7, 2020.

  1. TypeRated

    TypeRated Rookie

    Oct 22, 2020
    9
    SW FL
    Full Name:
    Bradley
    Hello, I’m Brad. Car enthusiast, pilot, and aspiring Ferrari owner. I apologize ahead of time for the long-winded post, but I’d like to get some insight from the community.
    Ever since I was a kid, I’ve lusted for an F355 (Ideally a 6-speed GTS in Verde Mugello). The lines, the sound, it’s perfect in my eyes.
    Until the past couple years, it’s been nothing more than a pipe dream. Now that acquiring one is a realistic proposition, I’ve been checking the market. Go figure, it seems they’ve nearly doubled since I last looked and that would price me out of one. Realistically, I need to be under $60k.
    I realize that any money not spent on my dream car is only delaying it further, but I have the itch for something engaging, something that feels like a special occasion to drive. Nothing in my current fleet is doing it for me. I want the Ferrari experience, but I feel I might be disappointed with anything less than an F355. This has me looking at other options. I’m also open to ideas.

    - Mondial T Coupe
    - 308/328 GTS
    - 348 TS or Spider
    - Aston Martin DB9 Coupe
    - Aston Martin V8 Vantage 4.7
    - Alfa Romeo GTV
    - Porsche 964

    Would you guys suggest I keep on the F355 path and just bite the bullet when I can or consider an alternative option?
    Maybe a neglected F355 that’s in need of a major service? I’m quite competent mechanically and have the equipment.
    I appreciate any help you guys can give.
     
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  3. Zanny1

    Zanny1 Formula Junior
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    Dec 19, 2003
    623
    Fountain Hills, Arizona
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    Mike
    Stay the course. The 355 is, IMHO, one the best looking and driving V8 cars ever designed.
    Costly to own, so get ready for spending some major money for repairs and service. Tons of info here about that.
    You should be able to get a F1 for the price mentioned. Gated 6 speeds are going to be higher than 60K unless you find a car with higher mileage. Don't be put off by cars with 40-50K miles on them if serviced properly. These cars are pretty rugged.
     
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  4. TypeRated

    TypeRated Rookie

    Oct 22, 2020
    9
    SW FL
    Full Name:
    Bradley
    Thanks Zanny! IMHO, a higher mileage 6-speed would be preferred and one in need of a major service would be better. Money aside, I wouldn’t want a low mile garage queen anyway. I figure all of the common problems would be sorted on a car with some miles under its belt. Doing the service myself would also help me get familiar with the mechanicals and offsetting the repair costs, which is appealing to me.
     
  5. G. Pepper

    G. Pepper Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Mar 15, 2012
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    George Pepper
    The 355 is fine as long as you fit, which I don't. I like the 360 better though. Same five valve wail but with more power (I have a valved Challenge Stradale can with Fabspeed headers and it's perfect) and in a more modern car. I also think the 360 is the most beautiful mid V8 but that's a matter of taste.

    Most of all, get what YOU love and enjoy it.
     
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  6. TypeRated

    TypeRated Rookie

    Oct 22, 2020
    9
    SW FL
    Full Name:
    Bradley
    At 5’10”, I do fit.
    Though it wasn’t on my list, I do like the 360. It’s a beautiful machine. Most prices I’ve seen are in the same range as F355s. I’m a sucker for pop-up headlights and that puts the F355 ahead for me.
     
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  8. G. Pepper

    G. Pepper Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Mar 15, 2012
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    George Pepper
    I had a 456M, and the headlights were loved by all except me. The actuators are no longer available, so work-arounds are needed. Honestly, pop ups are a PITA and potential failure is always a concern. But like I said, get the one YOU love.
     
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  9. ginoBBi512

    ginoBBi512 Formula Junior
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    Oct 9, 2016
    476
    I would by a 328 or 430 . , you wont have nearly the poor build quality which plagues the 355

    I have had a lot of fun in my 328, with that being said Ferraris are now overpriced cars with many problems , when the quality should be getting better, they are worse. I am going to buy a Gallardo, next time, 6 speed B body , from what I hear , the build quality far surpasses Modern F cars. Porsche are also better quality .
    I tend to believe that Ferrari figures 99 % of new buyers have no idea or experience on how to extract all of the performance from their cars. so why build them as good as they could, they wont be put through the paces, and most likely wont have as many failures. And from the looks of the Sunday F driver, I know this to be true.

    Thank you
     
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  10. INTMD8

    INTMD8 F1 Veteran
    Owner

    Jun 10, 2007
    5,523
    Lake Villa IL
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    James Moran
    What "poor build quality" plagues the 355?


    To the op, while you listed many good cars none of them could replace the F355, for me.
     
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  11. ginoBBi512

    ginoBBi512 Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Oct 9, 2016
    476
    I was thinking about the defective manifolds , the F1 transmission issues, the interior parts coming unglued, the bad valve stems,(fugly steering wheel ) early cars had brass I believe, then they switched to titanium. So like the OP said, if the car has not been gone through , plan to spend a lot of money. I have always liked the 355, and at one time I aspired to buy one myself. I actually had a chance to drive a 355, in the twisties, car handled great, fantastic mechanical grip, and with the power assist steering it still felt like you were connected . With the right exhaust system, this car was the first V8 to really have an F1 screaming exhaust note. The 360 design had Ferrari getting away from the razor sharp body lines, so not a big fan of the 360. The 430 was way better looking than the 360. and still available with a 6 speed manual. When the 458 came out, you see Ferrari coming back to its razor sharp bad ass design, although no more manual gearboxes.

    Thank you
     
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  13. yelcab

    yelcab F1 World Champ
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    Nov 29, 2001
    10,519
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    Mitchell Le
    If you really wanted the 355 in the first place, go with your first choice.
     
  14. ttforcefed

    ttforcefed F1 World Champ
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    Aug 22, 2002
    15,315
    355 is in a class of its own, especially with the list you provided. none of those cars will give you the emotions that the 355 is capable of
     
  15. bernieb

    bernieb Karting

    Apr 16, 2007
    74
    Alberta Canada
    Full Name:
    Bernard J Bonertz
    If you opt for any other brand....the very first time a 355 or 360 passes you at full throttle you'll feel like a dork in a POS wishing you had the F-car...just buy the effing F-car and be done with it. You will not regret it!
     
  16. INTMD8

    INTMD8 F1 Veteran
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    Jun 10, 2007
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    James Moran
    Manifolds can fail yes, as they can/do on the 360 and 430 after it.

    Said he wants a manual so not sure that potential F1 issues would be a concern.

    Sticky interior pieces are still a problem on all Ferrari till this day.

    Steering wheels can be changed, not sure that qualifies as poor build quality?

    Bad valve stems, early cars brass and then they switched to titanium?

    No,that would be valve guides, early cars bronze later steel and -can- have issues across all years though not all do.

    Agreed the 328 will not likely have manifold or guide issues. Much less heat generated at 84hp/liter vs 108+
     
  17. flat_plane_eddie

    flat_plane_eddie F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Mar 30, 2013
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    Eddie
    I've had 2 355s and a V8 Vantage. The 355 is the most exciting car I've ever had but it took a lot of money for me to sort it and get it to sound properly (Fabspeed headers, high flow cats, secondary cat delete and Capristo muffler). You can buy an F1 and convert it to stick, those "kits" used to be around $3,000 to $3,500 plus a few grand more in labor and other parts but I'm not sure what the prices are nowadays. Just keep in mind that if you buy a 355, it'll be expensive to maintain. There's no way around that. Pretty much any Ferrari is expensive to maintain so as long as you have a clear idea of that you'll be fine. Just don't go into it thinking it'll be cheap to maintain.

    Regarding your higher mileage preference, I personally have never seen a higher mileage 355 without an engine rebuild. That would worry me if I was buying one. By the time you're done rebuilding it you're better off just buying a lower mileage car.

    The V8 Vantage is a fun car, sounds great and is beautiful just like the 355. They are more robust but parts are hard to find and working on them is a bit of a pain since the engine sits in a cradle which restricts access. There's actually plenty of room in the bay but the front of the cradle gets in the way of many things so the assembly has to be lowered for certain simple jobs. From a mechanical point of view, the whole car is packaged pretty tightly and anything you have to do requires removing 1-2 other parts beforehand. The interior on the other hand is modular so super easy to remove for when the leather will stretch. They handle great and have a decent amount of power. Oh and I forgot, finding people to work on them can be difficult so check your local area.

    Not sure what your car history is but if you're not accustomed to expensive maintenance, start off with a 911 or if you really have the Ferrari bug, a 328. The 348 is pretty robust but you'll have to deal with the engine out.
     
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  18. PaulK

    PaulK F1 Rookie
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    Apr 24, 2004
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    Paul
    I'm with you on the 355. It's a car that has held my soul captive for the better part of 20 years. Clarkson said it perfectly: "I have to have one! I just HAVE to..."

    Now it's not the cheapest car to maintain. But I don't have children and I'm not married. I got to imagine it costs about as much to run as having a kid, so that's how I justify it. It's my child.

    If it's what you want there is nothing that replaces it. The 360 is probably the best all around Ferrari. It's not super expensive, great build quality, you can do the cam belts insitu. The workshop manual is written in a modern way with everything listed step by step. It's a great car! But it isn't an F355!
     
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  19. A348W

    A348W Formula 3

    Jun 28, 2017
    1,412
    North Wiltshire, UK
    Get the 355 if that is what you want and DONT buy a cheap one; you can sink a lot of money in getting one back to standard and you guys in the US pay through the nose!!!

    I originally was looking at Vantages and test drive a 4.3, and even put a deposit on one, but the guy decided to keep it. Yes they are lovely to look at but couldn’t find the one I wanted and bought a 348 instead. I now also have a 355 2.7 manual spyder.

    The 348 and 355 are miles apart in driving experience. The 348 feels like a big go kart and is a hoot to rag down tight twisty lanes. The 355 is a step on, more refined in its ride comfort and certainly faster, and the sound is just classic Ferrari. The vantage in comparison to the 348 and 355 felt very slow and more something you would daily drive, if you get my meaning.

    As to mileage, as said on here and every other forum; buy on condition not mileage. Low mileage cars have their own issues; and in all honesty 40-50k miles is not high.

    With any low or high mileage, you want a fully stamped up service history with receipts and a folders of “other” receipts which are just as important.

    PS I’m 6’1” and fit in both my 348 and 355, although if I have a helmet on for track days I have to slouch a bit.

    God luck!
     
  20. TypeRated

    TypeRated Rookie

    Oct 22, 2020
    9
    SW FL
    Full Name:
    Bradley
    Thanks for all of your replies!
    You guys are right. I can’t see anything else being “enough”. I’ll keep on track and just get the 355. I’m trying not to be too picky and opening myself up to F1s and Spiders.
    I’m also well aware of the associated maintenance costs and the common problems on these cars. I’m expecting it to be more costly than my prior cars (mostly older BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar, and Porsche). I spoke to Darren at Black Horse Motors in Naples at length about it last week. I’m still not deterred, even as a DIYer.
    Speaking of DIY, I’m still hoping to offset maintenance costs to an extent by doing all the work myself. I always have, no matter the brand. In preparation for this, I’m having a lift installed at our new home in Missouri.
    With the proper tools and mechanical aptitude, even engine-outs shouldn’t be a problem.
     
  21. yelcab

    yelcab F1 World Champ
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    Nov 29, 2001
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    Mitchell Le
    Fixed it for you.
     
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  22. PaulK

    PaulK F1 Rookie
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    Apr 24, 2004
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    Make sure you get a copy of the 360 workshop manual. Dave Rocks turned me onto it. The procedures are basically the same as the 355 but its written in a modern fashion with step-by-step directions. I use it in conjunction with the 355 WSM.
     
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  23. ginoBBi512

    ginoBBi512 Formula Junior
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    Oct 9, 2016
    476


    LIke I said, make sure all of the inherent issues with the car have been addressed, like the OP said, great car once he had it all sorted, I still stick to my guns regarding Ferraris having major issues starting with the 355 , the build quality of these cars are not nearly as good as the 328 308 era machines, I cant imagine all of the problems the cars post 328 will have at 100,000 miles, my car has none. The 355 was the first Ferrari or any other car made with over 100 HP per liter., so Ferrari should have made this car bullet proof regarding the additional heat generated . I would stake the driving experience with the 328 / 308 Ferraris are second to none, even when it comes to the 378 HP vs 270 .

    Thank you
     

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