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355 What would I be getting into?

Discussion in '348/355' started by Snewton94024, May 19, 2020.

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  1. Snewton94024

    Snewton94024 Formula Junior

    Apr 24, 2015
    412
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    Steve Newton
    Currently own a 2016 California T.
    I have always been interested in the 355 Spyder and have talked to one owner in the Bay area in person briefly about his car.
    My main concerns are frequency of maintenance and or repairs and finding a reputable shop to do the work.
    What am I getting in to?
    I've heard about the annual service and oil changes being labor intensive.

    Any help would be much appreciated.
     
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  3. yelcab

    yelcab F1 World Champ
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    Nov 29, 2001
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    Mitchell Le
    Annual service and oil changes are NOT labor intensive anymore than any other Ferrari. Major service every five years is going to be $5,000 to $10,000 depending on whether you take it to a good indy or the dealer to have it done.

    Buying into a 355 requires some serious PPI and evaluation of paperwork of previously done services. You want to buy a car that already has valve guides done, headers replaced, and a recent engine out service. You want to see good compression across 8 cylinders.

    For a spider, you want to be "prepared" for the spider top headaches.

    Other than those points, any Ferrari is going to cost you a lot more than any Toyota for maintenance, service, and things that will just break. It's called the Ferrari tax, and you can't get out of it. Newish models of Ferrari may not need to have an engine out every five years but they do have other very pricey repairs.
     
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  4. Snewton94024

    Snewton94024 Formula Junior

    Apr 24, 2015
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    Steve Newton
    Thanks, very helpful.
    Not sure where the Toyota reference comes from but will say my California T has been problem free.
     
  5. yelcab

    yelcab F1 World Champ
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    Nov 29, 2001
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    Well, your 2016 California is barely out of warranty. Give it some time. Did you not see that thread about a California ppi that requires $76,000 to bring it right?
     
  6. audi_328

    audi_328 Formula Junior
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    Jul 13, 2005
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    Audi
    It's only 4 years old, though; the youngest 355 is 21 this year.

    Mitchell covered the main things to look for - if you find one that checks those boxes, you're likely most of the way there. Get a good PPI and double-check everything you can - I paid a dealer to do a PPI, and while they checked the main items, compression, etc., they apparently glossed over some items - the first time I went to turn the heat on, there was no heat (PPI said heat/ac was good). 25 year-old car, so the failed heater ECU is NLA. Dealer charged over $2K to send it out for repair. If I didn't just want it done, maybe I could've had it repaired for less, but the Ferrari tax is a real thing.

    Good luck in your search, a sorted 355 is a blast!
     
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  8. fboutlaw

    fboutlaw Karting

    Dec 3, 2014
    155
    Woodside, CA
    As far as your concerns, there are a bunch of shops in the Bay Area that you can go to. Some even know what they're doing!

    Like yelcab said, the routine maintenance isn't difficult. Fluids and ports are not all that difficult to access.

    You do need to know thought that you'd be buying into a 20-25 year old vehicle. Anything rubber could be suspect. Wiring can be suspect if a previous owner messed with it. And there are the few known issues (valve guides, headers) that could be large upfront costs to fix if there are issues. If you can accept that, then go for it.
     
  9. Ferrarium

    Ferrarium F1 Rookie
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    Jul 28, 2018
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    Expect problems and issues and constant annoyances. Then if you don't great! Many don't, many do. It varies but I follow the expect the worst hope for the best. Literally some folks spend little on the car in 20 years, those posts ARE out here. But then again they don't drive it 15K miles a year either so you have to balance that with it. Some buy a used one and get saddled with endless repair bills, regret buying it then then sell it. It varies so much depending on all kinds of things. Jsut go in with eyes opened and not just with hope and your innate ability to "pick a good one". Do a leak down check before you buy any 355.

    Hoping it to be problem free like your California "may" set yourself up for expectation violation and ultimately resentment. Try running some searches and be advised the same search on any car will lead to similar things this is not 355 specific, replace 355 with Gallardo and some other site and its the same. Still it is good to research for yourself and decide for yourself. google - > "ferrari 355 problems site:ferrarichat.com"

    Generally speakoing, "No one ever sells car because it runs too good."
     
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  10. yelcab

    yelcab F1 World Champ
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    Nov 29, 2001
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    Not true. When I sold my 1995 355 Berlinetta, it was running in tip top shape. Having four Ferraris was just too much.
    Rockminster just sold his well-sorted 1996 F355 Berlinetta for absolute top dollars in one week. It was running too good but he also had 10 cars... with something else coming.
     
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  11. Ferrarium

    Ferrarium F1 Rookie
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    Your misinterpreting what I am saying. Generally I said, its something to considering when buying and used car, buyer beware and all that. In the same manner that you are not actually saying there is no need to even check a used Ferrari as every Ferrari sold is always sorted. Eyes open when buying, be skeptical until proven the other way is all I am saying. Certainly that is good advice.
     
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  13. Mmckee

    Mmckee Formula 3
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    I’m one of those lucky guys. I brought a 1995 Spider four years ago & it’s been nothing but joy. So it can happen. Other than annual fluid changes, it’s “almost” been problem free. The prior owner did tons to it to include converting it to a manual top, which I really like.
     
  14. taz355

    taz355 F1 Veteran
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    Feb 18, 2008
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    I think Mitchell summed it up for you. Spend the money on a good ppi, then buy the one you like,may or may not take a few bucks to get it to your level
    But that’s why a ppi.

    the more you drive your 355 the less it will cost you is my experience.

    Mitchell is an excellent mechanic that knows these cars well so you have that going for you in that area if he is taking new owners.
     
  15. taz355

    taz355 F1 Veteran
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    Feb 18, 2008
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    What you would be getting into is a very different car than you have that you would likely enjoy. Get serious and go drive one you want to buy and then you will know within the first pull to 8000 rpm.
    You will either buy one or not based on that drive, not much will stop you if you like it as much as many of us owners
     
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  16. The Outcast

    The Outcast Formula 3
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    Agreed...once I drove it, no one was gonna talk me out of it...
     
  17. ttforcefed

    ttforcefed F1 World Champ
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    Aug 22, 2002
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    any headaches are far ovewhelmed by the pure joy a 355 brings to all 6 senses...and yes there are 6 when it comes to the f355
     
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  18. Ferrarium

    Ferrarium F1 Rookie
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    The 355 in unique for certain. it has something newer ones don't in a few dimensions. California is nice I'd like one but lets be real....yawn. The 355 is a very different visceral type experience not duplicated since.
     
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  19. PaulK

    PaulK F1 Rookie
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    Apr 24, 2004
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    Remember, 355s are old cars now and have the typical old car problems. Things dry out like hoses, interiors go sticky.

    And I don't care.

    I love this car too much. I wouldn't want it any other way, just don't ask my bank account.
     
  20. Ferrarium

    Ferrarium F1 Rookie
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  21. taz355

    taz355 F1 Veteran
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    I liked mine so much did not even do a ppi.
    It was like I am taking this home now!!!
     
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  22. taz355

    taz355 F1 Veteran
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    Almost crashed because did not know how to drive the f1
    Ha ha it was a great experience
     
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  23. 308 GTB

    308 GTB F1 World Champ
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    :D
     
  24. jdlegg

    jdlegg Karting

    Dec 22, 2009
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    James Legg
    Previously owned a '95 F355 Berlinetta for ~7 years. Bought with ~10K miles and put on another ~13K. Did quite a bit of track driving with it as well. It was a reliable car but did have some expensive maintenance bills (cracked headers, belt changes, shocks, brakes, etc.). F-car ownership isn't for the timid -- they do cost $$/mile but the smiles per mile are immeasurable.
     
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  25. tres55

    tres55 F1 Rookie
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    Sep 18, 2012
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    I've owned many cars far better on paper than the 355. I don't even own a 355 right now...but this subforum is my most visited of all forums even outside of FChat altogether.

    The 355 is very unique. I'm waiting for the right spec to pop up and at that point I will likely take that car to the grave. :)
     
  26. Ferrarium

    Ferrarium F1 Rookie
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  27. jfink

    jfink Rookie

    Jun 20, 2013
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    @Mcmkee, would it be possible to put me in touch with the former owner of your car. I am contemplating converting my top to manual and would love to speak with someone who has done this work.

    appreciate your help, cheers, jon
     
  28. tatry68

    tatry68 Karting
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    Oct 27, 2013
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    I've never sold a car because it had problems. I sell a car when it doesn't excite me anymore cause I just had it for too long and just want something different to experience. But I get your point.
     

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