Selling my 550 and buy a 355 GTS...? What ya say ?

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by AndersJL, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. AndersJL

    AndersJL Formula Junior

    Apr 16, 2001
    Full Name:
    Hi, I have had my 550 (-00) for 3 years now. Great car, handles brillinatly, fast (very fast), good looking etc. BUT it does not give me the "feeling of a sportscar". Yes, you heard me. The car is simply too perfect: too easy to drive, too gentle, too quite (well, that can be taken care of but I don´t want to turn the wonderful car into some street car with no mufflers and exhausts at the size of drainage pipes).
    So, I am thinking about buying a 355 GTS. -Why not a 360 or 430 you may ask. Well, it comes down to personal feelings. I like the look / shape of the 355 more than the 360, and the 430 is still too pricy (I just hate to loose money on cars, and the 430 will come down, and still, the looks is very much the same as the 360).

    Why do I then write this, well, I am just curious to hear your pro´s and con´s for either of the cars.

    For example, it has been debated a lot, and there are tons of posts on the 355 valve guides, exhaust manifolds etc.
    However, what I can´t find is any information on if things has become any better. Is the 355 today a better car than back in the late 90`s ? (providing these items has been changed / taken care of)
    What´s your experience ?
    What about maintenance in general, for example. -Does the engine HAVE to come out when it is time for the belt change every 3-5 years ?

    Is it a car that can be recommended, or should I rather look the other way ?

    All and any comments are highly appreciated.

    Thanks and kiund regards from Anders in Sweden
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  3. dm_n_stuff

    dm_n_stuff Global Moderator
    Global Moderator Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Dec 10, 2003
    The Sunshine State
    Full Name:
    I'd rethink the 360 as an option.

    Prices on first and second year 360s are coming down, and the difference in reliability/repair issues is worth considering. 355 major or belt service is engine out, 360 is not, right?

    360 doesn't have the engine issues a 355 can, and I've always felt that the simple rule of buy the newest best car you can afford applies, even to modern Ferraris.

    Although I do have to say NOTHING sounds better than a 355!

  4. SCantera

    SCantera F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Aug 4, 2004
    Living Falls NC
    I have owned them all and still enjoy the V-12s the best. You just can beat the low end torque to set you back in your seat. I agree the 550 then 575 are sooooo easy to drive fast. The only real way you can get comfortable with your decision is to drive them all. I went from a BB to a 355 to a 360 to a 550 then 575. IMHO the 360 was the only one that disappointed. I waited 2 years for it and kept it 9 months. But this is only my take. I do like the 355 for its size and handling [assuming you aren't too tall]. But 483 hp V-12 to 360 hp V-8? Make sure you are happy b4 u plunge.
  5. AndersJL

    AndersJL Formula Junior

    Apr 16, 2001
    Full Name:
    Well, I used to have a 328 GTS -87 during a period of 6 years. -Why did I sell it? Lack of power. Now, I seem to have "lack of feeling".
    So where do I go ? I want to have more real down to earth go-cart feeling.
  6. BT

    BT F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    Mar 21, 2005
    FL / GA
    Full Name:
    Bill Tracy
    But why then do I see prices quoted for the 360 major service of $5k and up? I paid less than that for the major service on my 348 (including lots of non-major service items) that everyone says is an expensive model to service. I agree that the 355 is more expensive to service than the 360, but only by around $1000 every three years, or about $1 per day. Not a big consideration. I think that the service price on a 360 has been inflated since the newer car buyer can probably afford a high price.
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  8. tonyc

    tonyc Formula 3

    Oct 19, 2003
    Monterey, CA
    Full Name:
    Tony C
    Hi Anders,

    I owned a 355 for a few years and now I own a 2002 360. The 355 I had was pretty much bullet proof. Some say the 355 looks dated, but it defined a period where wedge shapes were exotic. Although my 99 355 did not have many cosmetic issues, I was always looking out for the melting parts and shrinking leather. Looking back, I think it added to the exotic feel of the car. It was not a car you jump in and go, you really had to plan your desitination, because of the long nose you have to be extra careful not to scrape, let it warm fully warm up for the gears to be smooth, it has a smaller cabin and a little more difficult to get in or out. The noise a 355 makes is glorious. I think the 355 cockpit had more of a fighter jet look to it. I like my 360 and it is a blast to drive, it is almost too easy to drive. Because of that I feel it looses some of the exotic feel.

    The 355 sounds like what you are looking for. Also the 355 had the right amount of power for the street to make it fun to go through the gears. So if maintenance costs are not a concern and you do not mind the drop in torque from the 550, the 355 maybe what you are looking for. Plus a lot of the cosmetic issues have been taking care of by after market parts.
  9. amenasce

    amenasce Two Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Oct 17, 2001
    Full Name:
    Joe Mansion
    You will miss the torque .
  10. bounty

    bounty F1 Veteran

    Feb 18, 2006
    San Diego, CA
  11. ferraridriver

    ferraridriver F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed

    Aug 8, 2002
    Bay Area Calif.
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    Interesting, several years ago I was in the position to essentially trade my 99 355 for a 2000 550. I had an offer in hand for the 355, and had a friend who wanted to sell his 550.

    I borrowed the 550 for two weeks for a long term test drive, and after comparing the two cars side by side, opted to keep the 355.

    I think it was the “sports car” effect that swayed me, although I really like the 550, in the end the 355 won out.
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  13. PhilNotHill

    PhilNotHill Two Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Jul 3, 2006
    Aspen CO 81611
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    I like open top driving. go for the F355 GTS.
  14. wetpet

    wetpet F1 World Champ

    May 3, 2006
    a lot of well sorted 355's out there. Just find the right one and most of your reservations will be taken care of by previous owners.
  15. Bullfighter

    Bullfighter Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Jan 26, 2005
    Fullerton, California
    Full Name:
    I know what you mean about the 550 being "too perfect". I think it's a great car if you already have a sports car sitting in the other side of the garage, because it has the comforts and subtle good looks that make it good for normal driving.

    I found the 355 to be more comfortable than my 328, but still a real and impressive sports car. I love the looks of the 355 GTS (almost as much as the 328 GTS), and the power is as much as I can imagine anyone wanting for use on public roads. I also like that the 355 GTS offers proper open-top motoring without the complicated power top mechanism of the Spider.

    I decided against the 355 personally, however, due to the design flaws in the car. Those flaws, and the parts costs, felt way out of whack compared to the 328 back when I was Ferrari shopping.

    As far as 360s, I have one acquaintance here in San Diego who had a blown engine in his low mileage Modena (and has since bought a Gallardo...), but in general I've heard of few problems. I think values will continue to fall, given the huge supply of cars and the soft economy. My biggest hangup with the 360, apart from the blobby/cross-eyed styling, is that it's too big. In the 328, you're all tucked in like a race driver. In the 360, I felt like I was sitting in a nicely-trimmed living room. The 355 is about right -- less snug than the 328, but still a no-nonsense place to pilot a car.

    So, FWIW, my recommendation is to keep the 550, which is a great car, and:

    If you can deal without a lot of power, pick up another 328 GTS for those times you want to go wrestle some curves, pop the top and get all loud and sweaty.


    If you want lots of power -- and I'll probably get a temp ban for this -- get a used Gallardo. FChat'er JeffSD had an orange Gallardo with God-knows-what kind of exhaust, and the car was brutal. Lambo build quality seems way better with Audi running things, and it's nice to have Audi parts support for things like the climate control and some switchgear. Also, IMO, the Gallardo just looks better than the recent Ferraris.
  16. coledoggy

    coledoggy Formula 3

    Apr 8, 2007
    ole miss
    Full Name:
    service on a 355 every 3 years for 1000.00??? please tell me where you get that deal at, and i may buy another 355. 3yrs/1000.00, not happening, not even close.
  17. PSP

    PSP Formula Junior

    Mar 31, 2001
    Lake Forest, CA USA
    Full Name:
    Patrick S. Perry
    I think he meant $1,000 every 3 years MORE than a 360.....
  18. Rosso328

    Rosso328 F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Dec 11, 2006
    Central FL
    Full Name:
    Ooooh! Them's fightin' words..... ;-)

    But, it does bring to mind a funny story that illustrates the point. I had parked my 328 in downtown Monterey during last year's Concourse Week. There were a couple of 360's, 456's, maybe a 550 nearby. A little kid, maybe about 8 or 9 years old stopped dead in his tracks, pointed straight at my 328 and said "Wow, Mom! Look at that car!" She asked him "What kind of car is that, honey?" And he replied "I don't know, but it's realy cool!" I don't think that happens a lot with the modern cars.

    That said, Anders, if you are lokoing for the real go-kart, sports car feel, the 355 is a great choice, and it looks fantastic too. The 550 is a fantastic touring car, but just does not give the same 'seat of the pants' feel. As noted above, find a well looked after example where the known issues have already been addressed, and you should have no problems, except trying to get the smile off your face when you drive it.
  19. TheOnlyest

    TheOnlyest Formula 3

    Sep 25, 2007
    Las Vegas Nevada, US
    Full Name:
    Well, first off, realize that the 355 GTS is a rare car, most of the cars produced were Berlinetta's, and even more spiders.
    I HIGHLY recommend you get educated about the 355's, spend a ton of time surfing around the 348/355 section and learn about what you're getting into. The 355's have some serious notorious isses like cracking headers and flawed valve guides in certain production years.
    There were also some significant production changes through the run, like the change from Motronic 2.7 to 5.2, and the switch from OBDI to OBDII... the F1 tranny was also introduced mid-production and the manual-shift cars became more rare after 1997.

    I totally agree with your thoughts about WHY you want to make the switch, but do yourself a favor, get as much info as you can prior to making your 355 purchase.
  20. wingfeather

    wingfeather F1 Rookie

    Feb 1, 2007
    rock bottom
    But then he'll end up buying a 348 Spider, the superior car ;) Hehehehe...
  21. mseals

    mseals Global Moderator
    Global Moderator Owner

    Sep 9, 2007
    Full Name:
    Mike Seals
    I think he will definately buy a 348 after he calculates the additional cost of the annual hair gel requirement.

    Mike in Kuwait
  22. AndersJL

    AndersJL Formula Junior

    Apr 16, 2001
    Full Name:
    Appreciate all your thoughts and comments. However, the 348 is not an option, if you don´t mind ;-)
  23. chris marsh

    chris marsh F1 Rookie
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    Aug 30, 2005
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    Chris Marsh
    #20 chris marsh, Mar 5, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    I am confused by this statement; isn't "GTS" and "spider" synonymous?

    Back to the OP's question. Why not have both?

    All I know for sure is 355 is a beautiful car:
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  24. TheOnlyest

    TheOnlyest Formula 3

    Sep 25, 2007
    Las Vegas Nevada, US
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    GTB = Full closed roof
    GTS = Targa removable roof panel
    Spider = Convertible folding canvas roof.

    The pic you posted is a GTB Challenge car

    Thats too bad, the 355 is an AWESOME car! But the 348 is that, AND the last TRUE ''drivers'' sports car Ferrari ever made.
  25. parkerfe

    parkerfe F1 World Champ

    Sep 4, 2001
    Cumming, Georgia
    Full Name:
    Franklin E. Parker
    I say don't do it. While the Ferrari v8s are fine little cars, they do not have the pedigree of the V12s...Its great to own both, but if you have to own only one Ferrari, let it be a V12...
  26. chris marsh

    chris marsh F1 Rookie
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    Aug 30, 2005
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    Chris Marsh
    I thought
    GTB= Gran Tourismo Berlinetta
    GTS= Gran Tourismo Spider
  27. TheOnlyest

    TheOnlyest Formula 3

    Sep 25, 2007
    Las Vegas Nevada, US
    Full Name:
    1 outta 3 aint bad! ;)
  28. chris marsh

    chris marsh F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Aug 30, 2005
    Full Name:
    Chris Marsh
    But wasn't this true back in the 308/328 days?

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