Talk me out of getting a 355?

Discussion in '348/355' started by StealthDriver, Nov 27, 2007.

  1. StealthDriver

    StealthDriver Rookie

    Sep 30, 2007
    Hi all. I am in the market for a fun weekend/nice weather driver. I am turning 40 in March and this is my gift to myself with my wife's blessing. Having owned a Porsche prior (Boxster S) I have been looking at upgrading and picking up an 01/02 996tt - which are running in the 60K price range. I am a member of 6speedonline and about a month ago someone suggested that I also look into either a 348 or 355 Ferrari, which can be purchased for around the same price. I signed up on Ferrarichat and have been reading every post listed on this 348/355 forum page. I am in love with the 355, how it looks and how it sounds (based on video/sound clips from youtube) - and I have changed my mind on being dead-set on getting a 996tt and I am seriously considering joining the Brotherhood!

    I know that buying the right 355, with the right service performed and with the right prior owner is key - and I understand that there can be major service costs for the 355 if something major goes wrong. Everytime I mention getting a 355 on various message boards, I get the same response: Be prepared to spend a fortune on maintenance.

    I will not be using the car as a daily driver, but to drive to work on nice days and for weeekend cruises. I am not overly mechanically inclined, but can do basic maintenance. I am seeking some feedback from you, the 355 owner, on why I should or should not get the 355 over a 996tt. I apologize if this subject may have been talked about previously, but I could not find any specific articles on it in searching.

    Talk me out of getting a 355!
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  3. Pengster355

    Pengster355 Formula Junior

    Mar 9, 2006
    You would probably find better opinions at I would imgaine most people on this chat have not much to say about stopping you from buying one

    good luck
  4. No Doubt

    No Doubt Six Time F1 World Champ

    May 21, 2005
    Full Name:
    Mr. Sideways
    Bah! What are ya gonna do, go to yer grave sighing "I coulda, I woulda, if only I had done xyz"?!

    Go live your dream. Buy what you want. Drive the snot out of it.
  5. GrigioGuy

    GrigioGuy Splenda Daddy
    Global Moderator Owner

    Nov 26, 2001
    E ' ' '/ F
    Full Name:
    Chris P. Bakon
    355 -- check the valve guides, cat converters, and headers. All are problematic and expensive if needed. I don't own a 355, but I have local friends that do and I pay attention when they talk about the work done to their cars.

    That said, the 355 is to lust for. The last truly beautiful Ferrari.
  6. UConn Husky

    UConn Husky F1 Rookie

    Nov 11, 2006
    Full Name:
    Keep in mind, what you read on forums are worst case scenarios - people post here for help when the worst does happen! (as I would). I've owned my 355 for a year, zero maintenance cost after $1k in stuff to get he right after purchase. (depends on when you accrue the annual oil change, etc). There is a belt change for $5k+ every 3-6 yrs (depending on appetite for risk). Bottom line, if a Ferrari is your dream go for it. Personally only Ferrari was my dream, so any higher maint cost was no deterrent.
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  8. cuneo

    cuneo Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 20, 2006
    #6 cuneo, Nov 27, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Couldn't agree more, this car will be way more fun than a TT. I had a "leftover" 99 996 (non-turbo) for about two months after I bought my 355 so I had plenty of chances to do side-by-side comparisons, and though the 911 was more predictable in handling, the acceleration characteristics/handling of the 355 was WWWWAAAAAYYYYYYYYYY more fun. I know a 996 TT will spank a naturally-aspirated 996, but I am pretty sure the "driving-feel" is similar. A Porsche 996 (TT or otherwise) is a very civilized animal until you let 'er rip. Shifting is effortless, there is enough room for a size-12 shoe, maintenance costs are low, etc., etc.
    A Ferrari, on the other hand, is truly a wild beast that requires skill to keep it from going crazy and attacking innocent bystanders. I drove mine today with a friend (I'll admit I was showing off a little), and at around 80-85 MPH the back end broke free a little bit on a pretty sharp turn. The car recovered instantly, but my heart was in my throat, and my balls were in my stomach, and I was so buzzed on the adrenaline I didn't care. GET THE 355, don't be one of the guys I always see drooling over my car that are thinking "I wish I had done it when I had the chance." Do you want to wake up on saturday and think "I'm going to go drive my Porsche." Or do you want to wake up and think "OH MY GOD I AM GOING TO GET IN MY FERRARI AND DRIVE IT REALLY REALLY FAST!!!!!"
    Sorry for yelling, I just wish I'd waited to buy my 911 and saved the money so I could have bought my Ferrari sooner. Love Porsches, and I will definitely own a few more before I die, but Ferrari is where it's at, and the repairs aren't that bad, especially if you find one with 30K major/headers/cats/exhaust/valves done. Oh yeah, mine is a 355 Berlinetta , 1995, with Capristo stage 3 exhaust and Hyperflo cats (unfortunately still have stock headers, replacing at upcoming service). The sound is absolutely insane, and gunning it thru tunnels is literally a religious experience for me. A Porsche will never sound or drive like a Ferrari. Like me, you've had german food, now try the Italian restaurant! Here's my baby...
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  9. Allen F

    Allen F Formula Junior

    Mar 29, 2006
    AZ / PNW / NYC
    Full Name:
    I say get the Ferrari; however, I don’t think you can find a quality 355 for $60K (if that is the top of your budget). If $60K is it, then you should consider a 348. The 348 is a fine vehicle and I don’t think you would regret the purchase of a well maintained 348. However, if you purchase a “cheap” 355 you may end up hating the car.

    I've owned a 355 for nearly two years. I really enjoy my 1999 355 Spyder. Earlier this year I looked at purchasing a 996tt as a daily driver, but decided against it in the end because I constantly compared it to my Ferrari (even though the Ferrari is NOT my daily driver).

    Here is what the Ferrari has that most other choices don't:
    1. Design, but this I mean "art". I really believe that the car is a piece of artwork unlike anything else.
    2. Sound, again, unlike anything else. My 355 has a Tubi, and I'll never forget the first time I idled through a parking garage (and set several car alarms off – just idling).
    3. Feel, the car handles like it is on rails.
    4. Smell, I love the smell of the Connelly leather & the exhaust smell too.
    5. Heritage, continued racing heritage.
    6. Pride, I don’t care that my car is nearly 10 years old, it is a FERRARI and other’s appreciate that too.

    Now, and in the future it will be a Ferrari, it won’t loose anything from the above list. The Ferraris age like a fine wine, most other cars just get old.
  10. cuneo

    cuneo Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 20, 2006
    +1, well put
  11. TheOnlyest

    TheOnlyest Formula 3

    Sep 25, 2007
    Las Vegas Nevada, US
    Full Name:
    IMO, buying any Ferrari is a passion purchase... unless you're some level of obsessed with owning a specific Ferrari. stick with your 1st instinct, buy the Porsche. A Ferrari can give you alot of grief, and keep your bank account empty... only a true passion for owning one can make you ok with that.

    For me, its like this... I put up with infinitely more BS from my new girlfriend with incredible natural D-cups than I EVER did from my flat chested ex! lol

    Bottom line, if you're thinking of buying any Ferrari for ANY reason other than, you HAVE to own that car because it makes you ''feel funny in the pants'', then dont.
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  13. UConn Husky

    UConn Husky F1 Rookie

    Nov 11, 2006
    Full Name:

    Well said! - $60k may be a bit low for a happy 355 experience, maybe more 348 territory. Again to me #6 is most important - the 355 is nearing or at it's depreciation bottom...and it's not common everywhere like Porsche. Any given day I'll see 5 Porsche's on the road but zero Ferrari's. Go with the F1 racing heritage!!!
  14. gothspeed

    gothspeed F1 World Champ

    May 26, 2006
    Full Name:
    #11 gothspeed, Nov 28, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    I guess as a fellow owner I need to post...... as you have read, heard and apparently seen (youtube) the 355 ruuuuuules!!! I will echo the guys above in that I also believe "it is the last truly great Ferrari"!!! I had a 993TT and I thought it was all about speed.... the 355 is not only about speed its about sound and raw driving feel that is mildly put..... exhilarating!!!!

    Its like when you are a kid and you thought music had to be loud to be enjoyable...... as you now know that is not the case.... you know there is that symphony that can weaken the knees with its dynamic passion..... :eek:

    The 355 IMO has me thinking of not ever selling it..... I thought I would tire of it as I have other cars... I have yet to tire of it...... as a matter of fact I now need a 355 coupe..... in addition to the spider........ :D!!! The 355 has it all............:cool:
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  15. Bullfighter

    Bullfighter Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Jan 26, 2005
    Fullerton, California
    Full Name:
    I've driven Boxsters, a Boxster S, and several 996s. Honestly, I wouldn't say the 996 is night-and-day different -- all of the water-cooled Porsches are cut from the same cloth, IMO.

    I passed on the 355, due to the service costs, so I can't give you the ownership story. They do look and sound as good as these guys have been saying, though. My concern would be that for $60K+ you can certainly buy a 355 GTB, but the first $10K 'service + other stuff bill' is going to hurt and might kill the joy.


    If you want a fun/weekend driver, I'd actually steer you to a great '84-'85 308 GTS QV for $40K-$50K, or a nice 328 GTS for $50K-$60K. I think your budget would buy a better car, and you'd have fewer expensive repairs/catch-up maintenance costs to worry about. A Porsche 996 would be a much better daily driver, but if you're buying a fair weather weekend cruiser the 308/328 are ideal.

    That said, the 355 is more than a full second faster to 60, and the 308/328 won't do much past 150mph -- meek by modern Ferrari standards. And you'll have to make do without airbags, power steering, power seats, adjustable suspension, paddle shifters and a lot of stuff we take for granted now. But definitely drive one before you decide. The last 355 I was in was a red/tan GTB, and the owner sold it and later bought a red/tan 328 GTS to replace it. So, if you want a Ferrari, there are options.

    -- A public service announcement from the 328 Syndicate
  16. Bullfighter

    Bullfighter Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Jan 26, 2005
    Fullerton, California
    Full Name:
    When are you going to wash that thing? :rolleyes:
  17. RossoCorsaItaly

    RossoCorsaItaly F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jun 9, 2004
    Full Name:
    I can't talk you out of getting an F355, it'd be the most irrational thing I'd ever have to try to convince you do.
  18. PAP 348

    PAP 348 Moderator
    Moderator Owner

    Dec 10, 2005
    Mount Isa, Australia
    Full Name:
    Welcome to Fchat Stealthdriver. :):)

    I can only encourage you to get a 355 buddy, because you only live once and you MUST experience driving Ferrari at least once in your life! :):)
  19. HerrBremerhaven

    Oct 30, 2005
    San Diego & Houston
    Full Name:
    Gordon Moat
    1. you will have a grin so often it will leave creases on your face
    2. you will meet many people and become the center of attention almost anywhere you drive it
    3. the sound will remind you of an F1 car, and compel you to press the throttle ever closer to the floorboards on a regular basis
    4. a short drive will make you forget how sh*t your day might have been, so you will seldom be miserable
    5. owning one means you will not know how it feels to want to own one

    Anyway, I will let a few others add to this list . . . and definitely no peer pressure here . . . .


    Gordon Moat Photography
  20. cuneo

    cuneo Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 20, 2006
    test drive one, and insist on driving it through a tunnel under WOT. The decision will be clear.

    Nice shots Goth!!! Reason enough right there.
  21. Shark01

    Shark01 F1 Rookie

    Jun 25, 2005
    This should be easy......

    You can't buy anything more than a bucket of bolts 355 for $60k
    As The Chairman said, if you think the first $10k repair bill gives you a sour feeling, wait till you get the second one
    You will find the attention factor extremely annoying after awhile if you don't live in SoCal
    Is your local repair shop top notch? You need an alternative to a dealer just for sanity alone
    If super high performance is your goal, a 996TT is a better platform to build from

    I drive a 996TT myself, FANTASTIC car. WAY more appropriate jump from a Boxster. I am just now getting to the point where I feel comfortable with some of the issues I stated above..........nothing magical about turning 40 and have to have a full exotic. Take a couple of years to think about a 996TT in the meantime.....the boost bong can be really fun.
  22. 355dreamer

    355dreamer F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Apr 3, 2006
    DC Metro
    Full Name:

    I was waiting for that...

    Anyway, the 355 is the best irrational decision I ever made. Go for it! What's a 8k$ service every 4 years or so (knock on wood...)? My VW W8 Passat has cost me twice that in the last year to keep on the road! :D

    By the way, anyone know of a nice 545i for sale?
  23. vvassallo

    vvassallo F1 Veteran

    Aug 4, 2006
    Palos Verdes
    Full Name:
    Vince V
    I have a 2001 996 TT and a 1993 348 TS Serie Speciale. The TT is all about rocket speed. I does what it does very well and with stealth. It seems that only Porschephiles notice it. It's lapis blue so it's not exactly in your face, but it's not silver either. The handling is different in a Porsche, even one with 4-wheel drive. Mine is lowered and has a stiffer adjustable suspension. It is truly a great car, an exotic performer with a low-budget cost of maintenance. Nevertheless, it is for sale.

    The Ferrari is a sports car, not a high-tech refinement of automotive exotica. It is slower and definitely has more rough edges. It gets under your skin. Once bit, you just cannot accept less than the Ferrari experience. It does make certain demands of you, but you willingly pay.

    My advice it to try them both and let your gut/heart tell you which way you want to go. If you are truly a tifosi, then the choice will be obvious. If you have reservations and conditions after you drive a Ferrari, get the TT. Obviously no one at this forum is going to tell you a 355 or 348 is a piece of junk. If we were honest we'd tell you that you need to choose for yourself. Of course, I would not want you to miss the Ferrari experience which, for me trumps whatever awesome performance threshold any Porsche meets.
  24. J. Salmon

    J. Salmon F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Aug 27, 2005
  25. Big D

    Big D Karting

    Nov 7, 2003
    Tarzana, CA
    Full Name:
    Demetri N. Zafiris
    I have to agree with oz, Ferraris are about passion, I have owned my 308 for 10 years and the 355 for three, expensive YES,but I smile everyday just looking at it in the garage, my wife and I always find something to do and somewhere to go on the weekends with the Ferrari, she enjoys it almost as much as I do. I redid my will this year and asked my kids which of the 10 cars I own do they want - they both said where are the keys to the Ferrari dad.
  26. Oengus

    Oengus F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed

    Sep 29, 2004
    Between timing belts or FL, SC.
    Full Name:
    Buy a will not be dissappointed!!
  27. Theo

    Theo Formula Junior

    May 6, 2002
    Westford, MA
    Full Name:
    Theo Pappas
    I have had my 355 F1 spider for little over a year. I have driven it hard putting about 7k miles on it. For the first 9 months no problems. However, during the last 2 months I had some issues, mostly ECU and one electrical issue. It cost me close to $7k total to fix but now she runs like a top and don't expect to see a problem for another 10k miles. However, I need to wait until the spring to find out (she is put away for the wiinter)!

    No regrets! Life is too short. When I am old, I won't care how much $ I spent on maintenance. But I will remember the sounds. The wailing 8500 redline sounds!

  28. wingfeather

    wingfeather F1 Rookie

    Feb 1, 2007
    rock bottom
    Why not get a 348 Spider?

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