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San Diego F355 I could try to sit in?

Discussion in '348/355' started by RudyP, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. RudyP

    RudyP Rookie

    Dec 6, 2018
    6
    Hello folks -

    My first post here, I am a long time Porsche guy thinking about branching off a bit into another of my favorite nostalgia cars I used to obsess over in high school - the 355.

    Problem is, I'm very tall and that often poses a problem with older sports cars (although I do have a 1996 Porsche 993 that most wouldn't recommend for a tall guy but I manage to fit in OK).

    So before I get too interested in pursuing this, I wanted to see if I could just try sitting in a manual F355 and see if it is even an option for me. I can't find a local one for sale that I could go check out so I thought I would ask on the chance that an owner here in the San Diego area might be willing to let a fellow car enthusiast just try sitting in their car for a few minutes.

    Thanks in advance!
    Rudy
     
  2. TrojanFan

    TrojanFan F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Nov 17, 2008
    3,479
    So. CA & NV
    Full Name:
    Peter
    How tall are you? Im 6'1" with pleanty of room. My brother is 6'4" but has only been in the passinger seat.
     
  3. RudyP

    RudyP Rookie

    Dec 6, 2018
    6
    Haha. I left that factoid out on purpose - because I suspect it will trigger some pretty negative responses to the original question. But of course, it is fair. I am 6'6" (1.98m for our non US friends) - with a lot of height in my legs (36-37" inseam).

    Conventional wisdom will suggest the F355 is not the right car for me but I will add a few other points:
    1) people my height are used to barely fitting and calling it good enough. If I have a quarter inch of clearance over my head and in front of my knees, I consider that 'fitting'. Shorter people tend to need a lot more excess room around them (for obvious reasons!) and would not be comfortable with clearance I can live with.
    2) As I mentioned, I have a 993, which is kind of the 355 of the 911 lineup, It is MUCH smaller than the 996 that followed (and subsequent 997, 991, 992). It's tight for me but I make it work. I have also managed to fold myself into a Lotus Elise, Miata and various other small cars. But there is a limit. As a track instructor, I have had to pass on teaching students with an Exige, several Lamborghinis and Ferrari 308 because I just could not fit in the passenger seat with a helmet on, no matter what contrived yoga pose I tried.
    3) I'm not looking for a daily driver or something I can do road trips in. If I have enough room to safely manipulate the controls and can be sort of comfortable for about 20-30 minutes, that is fine by me.

    For reference, I fit very comfortably in a 360 or 430 but those cars do not appeal to me the way the F355 does.
     
  4. INTMD8

    INTMD8 F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Jun 10, 2007
    4,890
    Lake Villa IL
    Full Name:
    James Moran
    I had a 993 and it seemed to have more head room but I never have a problem with that at 5' 9".

    One thing you could do on an F355 is remove the seat sliders and solid mount to get you another .750in.
     
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  5. Qavion

    Qavion Formula 3

    Feb 20, 2015
    1,521
    Sydney
    Full Name:
    Ian Riddell
    It might be a tight fit. I'm 6'3" (admittedly with a lot of that height in my legs) and own an '89 spider and my hair sometimes brushes the roof, but this may be because I have to sit relatively upright (the 355 steering wheel does seem a little far away). I guess my legs are more bent than what's considered ideal (but since I don't know how to heel and toe, so it's not really going to affect my driving).
    I had an '89 Lotus Esprit and that was a problem. I had to add a boss to the steering wheel to stop my knees and hands colliding during turns. However, there is plenty of room left/right on the Ferrari. I'm not sure how hard it is to add a boss to the steering wheel on a later model 355s with airbags. There should be no problem on '95 cars.
     
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  6. steved033

    steved033 Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Apr 12, 2017
    1,095
    Atlanta, GA
    Full Name:
    Steve D.
    I'm 6'3, 206 lbs, with a 34" inseam. I have the 2" steering spacer in my 348. The turn signal stalk on left turns tends to be an exercise in contortion, and if it weren't for the spacer, it'd be miserable.

    I was fairly surprised how well i fit.

    sjd
     
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  7. RudyP

    RudyP Rookie

    Dec 6, 2018
    6
    Thanks guys for the feedback. Sounds like it might be feasible with some tweaks (bolting direct to the floor and perhaps a steering spacer). Definitely would be tight either way, but it might work...

    I’ll wait to see if a kind local owner is willing to help out for a quick test fit!
     
    WATSON likes this.
  8. taz355

    taz355 F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Feb 18, 2008
    4,333
    Indio Ca/ Alberta
    Full Name:
    Grant
    My friend is 6ft 3 and he drove my F1 fine but getting in and out was a chore he weighs over 300.
    I lauged at him getting in but once in i was more the belly to knee to steering wheel clearance that was tight.
    I think a clutch would have been a pain in his butt and i know the. Narrow seats were ha ha.

    You need a test fit t be sure but my gut is saying its gonna be close.
    You will fit but not sure how comfortable it will be especially getting in and out.

    Pile up some books 5 inches off the floor and try to sit on them without falling.
     
  9. RudyP

    RudyP Rookie

    Dec 6, 2018
    6
    Thanks - the width, contortions and ease of ingress/egress do not worry me too much, I am still relatively young and fit so as long as I physically fit once in, I'm sure I can manage the transitions...

    It does not look all that likely that I am going to find a local owner who can help me out (the Ferrari world is definitely smaller than the Porsche world!) so I may have to go up to CNC Motors who have a coupe and a convertible for sale and try them out.
     
  10. vvassallo

    vvassallo F1 Veteran

    Aug 4, 2006
    8,137
    Palos Verdes
    Full Name:
    Vince V
    Rudy I would definitely pass on a 355 or a 348 or anything older. I would start at a 360, although there is more room in the TR. Once you enter the 12 cylinder arena, you will find better fitment. Ever thought of a 612? I am afraid these 80s/90s era V-8 cars are not going to suit you.
     
  11. rob

    rob F1 Rookie

    May 22, 2002
    3,264
    Vt
    A mondial t coupe is also comfortable for bigger guys.
     
  12. taz355

    taz355 F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Feb 18, 2008
    4,333
    Indio Ca/ Alberta
    Full Name:
    Grant
    Let me kniw how you fit, i am curious
     
  13. eight8toy

    eight8toy Rookie

    Jun 8, 2017
    4
    I'm in SD too and am interested how you'll fit, granted I'm a few inches shorter. I've been looking recently online and did notice there is a spider at Symbolic motors which is by Ogara just off the 5/805 split. Have you looked into checking that one out?
     
  14. RudyP

    RudyP Rookie

    Dec 6, 2018
    6
    I did not know that. Will look into it.
     

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