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355 New owner intro

Discussion in '348/355' started by Targatime, Jan 7, 2021.

  1. Targatime

    Targatime Karting
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    Feb 22, 2014
    120
    Los Angeles
    #1 Targatime, Jan 7, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2021
    After many, many years of wanting one but not quite having the courage to pull the trigger, I bought a '98 Berlinetta F1 a few weeks ago. It's the color I wanted, it was local, it's incredibly clean, it just had $12K in servicing done by a top independent shop including coolant hoses, engine/trans mounts, a major, and more. And the price was right. Always been a SoCal/Arizona car. 37K miles although it looks like it could have half that. The paint and interior are nearly perfect and the PO replaced the sticky parts with about $4K in carbon from MA Carbon. I'm not a CF bling guy but it actually looks pretty unobtrusive. Almost all the mileage was accumulated by the first owner in the first four years of the car's life, and since the early 2000's it's only had a couple thousand miles added. I went and saw it the day after it was posted on the Dupont Registry and bought it a couple days after that.

    The only part of the spec I don't like is the F1, although I must say it isn't bad at all. I had a PDK 991S for a couple of years, and obviously this is comparing dial-up to DSL. I just don't like paddle shifting no matter how good it is so I am going to be converting this car to manual. It's pretty simple and I will document it in detail on the forum since nobody has posted a DIY yet on how to do this. I've owned and restored air-cooled 911's for many years (I DD a 993 and have an early targa) so the 355 is a fun new venture.

    My first goal is to make my car reliable. First project is dealing with heat -- I'm fabricating Gothspeed-style CV boot shields, AC and alternator shields, engine/trans mount shields, and wrapping the collectors and cats in 1/2" thick heat blankets.

    My car currently has stock manifolds + cats and a Fabspeed muffler. I'd like to switch to sport cats and stock muffler (anyone know how this sounds?). I actually really like the stock exhaust note -- to me it has more character and texture than the super-loud mufflers.

    Anyone done front axle lift? I saw one kit that looks quite good for $2K. I've barely driven my car yet but can already tell that the nose scraping is a huge problem, at least for me.

    The only work I've done on it so far has been removing what must have been a $5-$8K stereo system installed when this car was new or nearly new. Most of the trunk was taken up with giant bass speaker enclosure, all custom built at a really high level. Even had a minidisc player! Feel bad destroying someone's work, but so far I've taken about 60 pounds of crap out of the car and

    I've been a reader/lurker here for a number of years, since the 355 has always been slightly an obsession, and have read extensively on DIY threads and the like. Appreciate what a great and knowledgeable gang this is and hope to give back in the coming months as I start working on the car. And gotta give a shout-out and thanks to our moderator Robb, who I peppered with PM's on several occasions over the last couple of years as I searched for the right car. Thank you Robb.
     
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  3. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob F1 World Champ
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    Aug 10, 2002
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    socal
    I think the 355B looks best in Argento. It makes the lines pop! Hope to see you at one of the future Stooge gatherings. We have not had one in a while bec covid. That should end soon as the cold 60F cali mornings give way to our normal 72F around springtime.
     
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  4. GatedF355GTB

    GatedF355GTB Karting
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    Dec 5, 2017
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    From another Argento F355 (and 993) owner - welcome. Your car looks great. I’m looking forward to your manual conversion write-up. I was contemplating doing the same before I lucked into finding my gated car.

    Cheers
     
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  5. tres55

    tres55 F1 Rookie
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    Sep 18, 2012
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    Congrats on the purchase!

    I'd suggest playing with the F1 system and learning how to drive it before switching to manual though. It's *not* the same as PDK. You might be missing a clutch pedal and the feeling of rowing the gears...but you still have to use the throttle as you normally would on a manual in all other ways (including blipping on downshifts).

    Once you master the F1 on a 355...it's a very rewarding experience. Underrated in my opinion.

    Save the manual swap for when something fails. :D
     
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  7. Targatime

    Targatime Karting
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    Feb 22, 2014
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    Yeah, true, it's fun to drive. In some ways I like it more than PDK, which is almost too digital, smooth, and fast. But I'm pretty curmudgeonly and like to operate a clutch and gearshifter, so I'm gonna be doing the conversion.
     
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  8. tres55

    tres55 F1 Rookie
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    That's fair enough...and I agree the modern dual clutch systems leave little for entertainment.

    Keep all the F1 parts though as eventually the car will be worth more as an F1 than a manual...if that matters.
     
  9. Targatime

    Targatime Karting
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    Feb 22, 2014
    120
    Los Angeles
    I've been pondering this and I dunno...just seems hard to imagine the day when an F1 will be worth more than a manual. Much of the enticement of a 355, besides the exhaust note and styling, is that it's analogue. And that means three pedals, even if the F1 is sort of an analogue version of paddle shifting.
     
  10. tres55

    tres55 F1 Rookie
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    First Ferrari F1 car. Low production numbers relative to the manual version. Only made 2 years. Unique mechanical experience.

    How many kids do you know these days that drive a manual? For those that can't or don't care to learn...the 355 F1 is the oldest "vintage" Ferrari they can enjoy.

    The F1 GTS 355 is one of the rarest of the 355's. I believe 524 made total. Berlinetta definitely a lot more, but the manual Berlinetta's are like 3x as common if I recall correctly.
     
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  12. MAD828

    MAD828 Formula 3
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    Oct 8, 2011
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    In RHD the F1 GTS is only 74 units! I love the F1 don’t own one at the moment but have driven them plenty and owned one before. It is the best F1 transmission from Ferrari up until the Scuderia came out.

    The way you have to treat it like a manual and blip the throttle yourself is very engaging and unique. Plus the myths of maintenance issues are hopefully being dispelled. It will have its day I think.

    Also nothing sounds like a Capristo equipped F1 banging through the gears at full tilt.
     
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  13. ttforcefed

    ttforcefed F1 World Champ
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    Aug 22, 2002
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    argento or die! congrats!
     
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  14. margarita

    margarita Formula 3

    Mar 20, 2011
    1,590
    usa
    Beautifull car !! Very niceee
     
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