On the fence

Discussion in '360/430' started by Wragtop, Apr 15, 2021.

  1. Wragtop

    Wragtop Rookie

    Dec 31, 2020
    Full Name:
    Raymond Stabilito
    Hello. Newbie lurker here. I’ve been following this Forum for some time now, but this is my first post.

    Having reached “the new 50” (age 76), I’m realizing the time is now or never for me to finally acquire a Ferrari. I would greatly appreciate some advice.

    I am considering either an F360 or F430 spider. From what I can gather, the 360s,
    with their belt drives, require more frequent and more expensive maintenance than the 430s with their chain drives. Please correct me if I am mistaken on this point. I’m certain there are many other considerations with regard to maintenance I am not aware of, as well. It would be very helpful for me to learn what the required maintenance intervals are for each model, as well as a realistic expectation of the annual cost for maintenance for each.

    To clarify, mine would be an infrequent “driver”, as opposed to a garage queen, but would likely still only average one to two thousand miles of use per year.

    Secondly, as an inveterate three-pedal guy, I would love to entertain the thought of a gated 6-speed model, although I recognize that they are rare and represent the pinnacle insofar as purchasing cost is concerned. I am aware of reputable shops that specialize in F1-to-manual conversions, and that may be a viable option.

    Lastly, I suspect there are advantages and disadvantages associated with each production year of each model. Are there any model years for either model that should be avoided in my search?

    I know I have asked a lot, but this would represent a huge acquisition for me and I would like to pursue it with as much confidence as possible. Any constructive advice will be welcomed. Thanks in advance!

    Sent from my iPhone using FerrariChat
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  3. FerrfanFL

    FerrfanFL Karting
    Silver Subscribed

    Feb 8, 2021
    Full Name:
    Subscribed. I am in the same boat with the same questions and same preferences. Good luck with your search. ARA
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  4. one4torque

    one4torque Formula 3

    May 20, 2018
    Full Name:
    #3 one4torque, Apr 15, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2021
    Welcome to the Ferrari first purchase phase.

    I took the leap on my gated 360 with very little to no Ferrari knowledge.

    suggest you hook up w some local f car clubs ... and get rides in and ideally drive them

    Driving a Ferrari especially 1st f car at a dealership can be rather emotional... with very little logic running thru your brain.... you will just fall in love and want to bring it home.

    for me it took being around these cars to understand the rational an irrational features.

    I will say the condition of the specific car will trump any general model year trends and features.

    I would rank my Search:
    360 or 430
    Stick or f1
    Hardtop or coupe
    Color ext/int
    Condition/records supporting same.
    Seller... a big one.

    is seller a dj at a disco tech w playboy air fresheners and 24” Giovanni wheels?

    or is seller old person 10+ yrs ownership car is stock?

    you may have your preference of type of seller
    Pedro MD, DiabloTerr, Wragtop and 2 others like this.
  5. EastMemphis

    EastMemphis Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    May 25, 2019
    Memphis, TN
    Full Name:
    #4 EastMemphis, Apr 15, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2021
    Personally, the belt thing is overblown with the 360. If you get a car with a fresh major service (ie belts), then you really don't have to worry about it for three years for sure and if you're not running it to redline every chance you get, that can be stretched to five years. It's not that expensive to replace the belts and it's done without taking out the engine. The access panel is behind the seats.

    The 360 stick is obtainable for a maybe 20% premium over an F1. Converting from an F1 to a stick in a 360 is going to cost far more than just buying a stick outright. Also, it's a long process from what I've seen, so send your car off and maybe you'll get it back in six months. Do you want to wait that long?

    Before you take one step further, locate the places near you that work on actual Ferrari's. Not just the ones who list it in their ads, but techs who actually do the work. For my town, Memphis, that number is zero. If I wanted my car to be properly maintained by a pro, I would have to ship it to Atlanta. If you can't find a proper service place, be it an F dealer or independent, and are not DIY, then you should consider another brand. Luckily for me, I am a DIY guy.

    The 430 is supposed to be far better than a 360 but I can't see how. I drive the snot out of my car and it still cries for more than I can give. A car twice as "good" as my 360 would be wasted on me.

    Good luck with your search!
    Mimmo Blue, kes7u, KC360 FL and 6 others like this.
  6. Husker

    Husker F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 31, 2003
    western hemisphere
    I would really focus on service history. What has been done, when, and by whom.

    Stick versus F1 is personal preference. I have an F1 with 40K miles and it behaves flawlessly. If the money was even, I’d take the F1 every time just because I like it better.

    I have had my 360 for a year now and love it.
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  8. DiabloTerr

    DiabloTerr Formula Junior
    Rossa Subscribed

    Aug 3, 2010
    Full Name:
    Terrance Findley
    A lot of the maintenance information regarding the 360 F1 needs to be taking with a grain of salt. I have been on enough drives and test driven enough cars to know that a lot of the 6-speeds on the market are not great theory they are suppose to be reliable but a lot of people do not drive 6-speeds correctly and the wear readings show. Drive a sorted F1 and you will be surprised how well and smooth the engagement is. I talk to a lot of mechanics and as the F430 ages those E-Diff and electronics are not exactly cheap...the 360 is a less complicated machine with most parts largely available since they made so many, and so many have been totaled. Tires are cheap, fluids are comparable to a BMW out of warranty, belts should be under 2k if you use an independent, Clutch under 6k, etc.

    As far as speed goes, there is not much difference between a low 12 second car and a high 11 second car. Neither one can keep up with any of the modern sports cars or exotics, so it all depends on how each one makes you feel.
    KC360 FL, EastMemphis, Husker and 2 others like this.
  9. Scottslaw

    Scottslaw Karting
    Silver Subscribed

    Here are my two cents, with the caveat that this is a highly personal decision and everyone is different. Based on your description, I would go with a 360 manual (430 manual's are amazing of course, but I personally would not be able to justify the premium for those). Stick 360's are still a great value (imho) however. And...they are super fun to drive. No offense to anyone on here, but I just enjoy "driving" manuals more. Here is why. My scud is a beast. No if's and or buts about it. And I don't care what anyone says, it compares favorably to many newer sports cars in terms of raw speed (I'm sorry, but 3.1 to 60 (per motor trend) is damn fast even in 2020), and absolutely blows many newer cars away with respect to emotion/sound/feel. But, and this is a big but, I kind of have to be in the right mood to REALLY enjoy the car. When I want to thrash around at 9/10th's and shift aggressively and really flog it about, there is literally nothing I don't like about it. NOTHING! I literally get goosebumps and my mouth is left ajar. I'm not exaggerating. But when I'm in the mood to just putter about about at between 3/10th's and 8/10th's, give me a fun, slower manual (enter my "lowly" 996 gt3 with 70k miles). I just enjoy the connection more when I'm not out acting like a maniac. Now, the f1 is fine just fine at lower speeds too (even if just a tad "clunky/clumsy"), but I just don't "love" it as much when I'm not really getting after it. Does that make sense?

    Oh yeah, one last piece of advise (which is maybe worth 3 cents). Unless its a super unwise financial decision or you would be compromising financial security or the financial security of loved ones, don't wait. I've had lots of gt3''s, Porsche turbo's, dedicated track cars with gutted interiors (building another now as a matter of fact), and a great gated 6-speed rwd lambo, and there is something admittedly special about f-cars...all of them. There are drawbacks, and sometimes the quality makes me scratch my head (Ferrari still hasn't figured out the sticky buttons!), but there is no other car I have driven that makes me feel like a Ferrari makes me feel, and that, to me, is a big deal!
  10. efg2014

    efg2014 Formula Junior

    Sep 14, 2014
    Northern California
    Raymond test drive both cars and see which one you like better. If you have a limited budget then the F1 360 should give you the best value. To avoid nightmares the most important thing is if the car has been properly serviced; number of owners is a non-issue. I bought a F430 coupe with F1 as I didn't want to deal with belt service on my 1st f-car and preferred the appearance of the F430.

    In my late 20s I was in the hunt for a 246GTS and became scared(not sure of what, life?, possible execution if I bought the car?) and backed off. To this day I regret me hesitancy, and wonder all the amazing memories I could have had.
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  11. Stev-o

    Stev-o Karting

    Sep 18, 2020
    Central Texas
    Full Name:
    Stev-o de Italiano!
    We bought a 360 F1 last year and absolutely love it. Beautiful body and the motor sounds awesome.
    Had the major service done [$5K] as part of the sales deal.

    On the 360, seems a gated model is a $10K premium, there are times I wish we had it. The F1 is a bit of a dog out of the hole, the single clutch is now old technology, but when shifting at 7K rpm it is a dream!

    Find one for sale in your area and go test drive a 360, you will love it.

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  13. ama9910

    ama9910 Rookie

    Mar 13, 2021
    Sydney, Australia
    Make sure you’ve considered/sat in/driven a California or California T as well. Although very different to a 360/430 and not what you asked for, I was glad to be given this advice as a first time Ferrari buyer.

    Turns out I really did want a mid-engined V8 and went for a 430 Coupe, but it was good to have the perspective.

    Sent from my iPhone using mobile app
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  14. Husker

    Husker F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 31, 2003
    western hemisphere
    #11 Husker, Apr 15, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2021
    Agreed. The Calis are really nice cars and much more driver friendly. The 348/355/360/430 lineup are all street legal race cars - and they act like it.

    I recall driving a 348 from Dallas to Amarillo once - 350 miles - and I felt as though I had been beaten when I arrived home.

    8 miles from home is my limit in the 360. :)

    If I was looking for a mid-engine Ferrari for under $100K, I would consider a proper 348/355/360/430 - all good cars, all with their pluses and minuses.

    The best Ferrari I ever owned was this ‘ol 1990 model. ;)
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  15. KC360 FL

    KC360 FL Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Jun 20, 2017
    Melbourne Florida
    Full Name:
    I'm a visual kind of guy. I chose to look for a 360 because of my preference of the flowing lines of the 360. To me the 430 was not as aesthetically appealing. FWIW.

    As others have said here, the belt issue versus the chains in the 430 is kinda overblown. I don't plan to let mine go for more than 5 years. Not bad when you amortize that cost.

    The Spider's top can be costly to keep up and running as the years go by. So there's that to consider. And if it's a 430, it can easily cost more than a timing belt job on a 360.

    I bought my car with a new clutch installed and it is an F1. I drove the gated 360 and decided (after years of stick 911 Porsches) that it wasn't for me. If you are accustomed to gated shifters you may feel different.
    This was my first non stick shift car-- and I love it. When I want to drive it hard it shifts like an animal. When I want to just take it out and drive to dinner, have nice conversation with my wife, I can shift it normal (at 4K to 5K RPM) and still enjoy the ride. But with that said, my car is a 2003 360 with the latest TCU. If you buy an earlier 360 you may find it not so much the same. But of course the TCU can be "re-flashed" to the latest iteration. Big difference. I purposely looked for a 2003 or newer for that reason.

    Most importantly, records on maintenance are very important no matter what car you choose. As these cars approach 20 years plus, things will need attention and a car that has had that attention will give you a better experience. I steered clear of cars that had over 6 or 7 owners. I'm the third owner of my car. The last guy had it for over 10 years-- and I tend to think a person that owns a Ferrari for that long is not the guy that simply wants to drive the hell out of the car and then sell or trade it in before he has to "pay the piper".

    Good luck, enjoy the hunt, and don't wait any longer. As an old guy myself I had my reservations. But I can truly say after my purchase three and a half years ago, I never looked back. None of my 911's made me feel like I do behind the wheel of my 360 at the redline.
    grtoz, EastMemphis and Husker like this.
  16. CarAholic

    CarAholic Formula Junior

    May 10, 2016
    If you want a manual go with the 360. The F430 premium for a stick is not worth it. Both are amazing cars and if your sticking with F1, which I personally really enjoy, I would drive both and see which you like more. Like an above poster said F1 is a great trans but at slow speeds it can’t match the engagement of a stick. Wouldn’t be to concerned with maintenance they will be fairly similar between the two.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  17. one4torque

    one4torque Formula 3

    May 20, 2018
    Full Name:
    When I was looking for my 360 gated car.., I remember my Porsche buddy’s say they would not drive a Ferrari because of fear of looking like a tool. But they that would be fine choice for me. Since. I’m already a tool!
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  18. Sj_engr

    Sj_engr Formula Junior

    Sep 15, 2020
    Full Name:
    Late model F430 spider in F1 would be the easiest to own. Lots of small things on the 360 seem to pop up w age. Make sure to get pre-purchase inspections on anything you make an offer upon.
  19. andy308

    andy308 Formula 3
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    Jan 16, 2005
    Cumming, GA
    Full Name:
    Let us know your location, might be someone local who can show you his/her car and discuss more in depth the options.
  20. cole328

    cole328 Formula Junior

    May 9, 2014
    55 yo. First Ferrari. Bought a 2007 f430 spider two years ago, F1 Tran . Never been happier and never looked back. An incredible car for the money. Make sure to get a good PPI before you pull the trigger, and don’t look back. Image Unavailable, Please Login

    Sent from my iPhone using FerrariChat
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  21. CSX55

    CSX55 Rookie

    Mar 30, 2021
    Tucson, AZ
    #19 CSX55, Apr 16, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2021
    Bottom line up front - if you have the means, there is never a better time than the present to fulfill one of your automotive dreams, so there's no reason you shouldn't buy the right Ferrari if it's available.

    As many others have stated, this is a highly personal decision - rule of thumb says to always buy the newest model you can afford due to gradual engineering changes/process improvements over the course of a model's run, but with a few exceptions (no doubt to the extreme up front production costs), low run models like the F cars stayed relatively identical over their runs (unlike say standard production cars from larger manufacturers that could see 2-3 major facelifts/interior/options changes over the lifespan of the same chassis). So I believe it comes down primarily to history/condition/options here.

    I don't personally fear multiple owners. In fact I have an expectation that many of these cars will have had many owners - tastes change, people come into new means and want to upgrade, or they simply wanted to have the experience of a particular vehicle for a year and move on. Maintenance history should really be the driving factor for the most part - my 360 had 8 owners (I'm #9) but a solid maintenance history and major service just before purchase. It was clear the previous owner put a lot of money into making the vehicle solid, and the owner was stand up enough and presented the car well enough that I purchased even without a PPI (I'll make a new thread here with my own story for those interested) but I also came in armed with years of research under my belt and knew exactly what 360-specific weaknesses to poke at.

    I always advocate for a PPI if you can but I also think PPIs can be a double edged sword - they could shed a light on otherwise unknown issues but they could also generate undue fear over things that by the book "need" to be replaced but realistically don't. For example, I agree with some of the previous comments - the cam belts issue seems overblown. Having seen so many examples of running/driving 360s that have popped up all over the internet in recent years with 7-10 year old cam belts (or older!) and not finding any easily accessible cases of engine failure over a broken cam belt tell me 3 years is excessive for a belt change for the manner in which most of these cars are driven. That isn't to say a belt failure wouldn't cause engine failure, it definitely could - just that the 3 year maintenance interval seems unnecessary given the general robustness of the belts, but this could make/break an owner's decision if it came up in a PPI

    I can't comment on the 430, but the OP asked about specific model years...I can comment on some of the 360 changes by year. In general,

    1999: No pre-cat in the header (a plus frankly), older motor mount design (can be retrofitted with newer design), potentially incorrect TCU software from the factory (dealer can address)
    2000 - 2001: Phase (exhaust) variators prone to failure (should have been fixed under factory campaign, ask seller about history)
    1999 - 2002: Self-learn TCUs could shorten F1 gearbox clutch life (changed to programmable TCUs in 2003, check history to see if already updated)

    I believe there were also some steering/suspension changes made for the 2003 model year to address 99-02 issues but the details escape general, I think it's generally agreed on that the 03-04 are the least problematic having benefited from the factory improvements over the years.

    Lastly, as a new gated 360 owner who has watched the market for years before finally diving in, I think some of you are grossly underestimating the premium for gated cars these days...$10k or 20% over an F1? Not even close. Easy $30k-40k difference to get into a gated car nowadays unless you get lucky. I'm a purist so I wouldn't consider a "fun" vehicle without a stick.
  22. Shark01

    Shark01 F1 Rookie

    Jun 25, 2005
    Other than the struggle with math (hope you aren't the guy doing my taxes....LOL) your desires clearly point to a manual 360. The good news is a manual is not all that rare on them. As long as you pick a good car (PPI is a must) you will probably not spend alot on maintenance.

    And they are easy to get in and out reason I bought a Ford GT over a Porsche GT3 and McLaren recently.
  23. Wragtop

    Wragtop Rookie

    Dec 31, 2020
    Full Name:
    Raymond Stabilito
    You raise an excellent point, Friend. I surely do admire the look of the new Portofino, and I would want to consider that. The California seems to be downplayed by naysayers (not a real Ferrari, etc.), but I don’t have any firsthand knowledge on which to base a judgement. I pretty much consider any F car from the 348 forward to be automotive art. Thanks for your insight.

    Sent from my iPhone using FerrariChat
  24. cpep

    cpep Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 11, 2017
    new york
    Full Name:
    I originally walked in to the dealer looking at a cali and bought a 430 spider. I would look for a dealer car first so you get some sort of warranty. The warranty put me at ease with the whole transaction. I work on my own stuff but still wanted to be covered for the big things like the top or major catastrophic failures. So far after two years the only problem I have had was a bad spark plug.
  25. BrettC

    BrettC Formula 3

    Aug 13, 2012
    Full Name:
    Bottom line is you will have some maintenance costs. So Friggin what.....get what calls to your heart, do a Image Unavailable, Please Login PPI and don't look back. Bought my gated 2004 7 years ago...cost some serious bucks a few times? Yup and worth every can't take it with you so drive it like you stole it. Good luck with your search.
  26. 360trev

    360trev F1 Rookie
    Project Master

    Oct 29, 2005
    isle Of Man
    Full Name:
    Cannot go wrong with a 360 or F430 both are very similar in many ways. The F430 is easier to drive fast and suffers ham fisted driving better than a 360 would or you could say it another way, the 360 is more analogue and you have to drive it yourself. The electronics are doing more for you on a F430 and its guided by a 25% more powerful magnet. Whether that matters to you or not could make the difference. Personally I think an analogue car in the modern era of do everything to protect the driver from themselves cars is a breath of fresh air...

    Here's my 360 and I couldn't be more happy with it :)
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  27. FiatAbarth850

    FiatAbarth850 Karting

    Aug 2, 2020
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
    Full Name:
    Bill H.
    There is also a third possibility. Do not forget that a PPI can generate a false sense of security. If the person doing the PPI misses something, or more than one thing, that could end up being an unwelcome, expensive surprise to the new owner. Always remember that a clear PPI is not a guarantee that there is nothing wrong with a car.

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