What year 355 to purchase?

Discussion in '348/355' started by BrianC, Mar 27, 2005.

  1. BrianC

    BrianC Formula Junior

    Apr 6, 2004
    North Augusta, SC
    Full Name:
    Brian C
    I'm considering trading my 328 GTS for a 355 GTB (Berlinetta). I'm only interested in the 6-speed tranny. No paddles for me!
    I would appreciate any advice on 355's to avoid and what I should look for when checking these cars out. Thanks.
  2. LetsJet

    LetsJet F1 Veteran

    May 24, 2004
    Full Name:
    I would suggest the lastest model year. Good luck in your search.....
  3. darth550

    darth550 Five Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    Jul 14, 2003
    In front of you
    Full Name:
    The newest one you can afford.

  4. Dono

    Dono Karting

    Feb 27, 2004
    Full Name:
    Don Neumann
    I'm in the market for an F355 as well but a GTS or Spyder. '98 or '99 are the best years but lore has it that these years had the lowest production conventional 6-speed trannies. My research into available cars bears this out.

    A piece of advice is to have your research game down before you make trips to see cars or you will be wasting lots of time. Ask lots of questions on the phone, get hi-res photos e-mailed to you in advance and possibly talk to the mechanics who've maintainted the car. Put together a form in Excel or Word with all items that are important to you and create a sheet for each car in question. PM me if you want a copy of the form I'm using.

    A second piece of advice is to have a PPI done by someone you can trust. There are many reputable people that can do this, so it's a good idea to research who these folks are and what parts of the country they hail from.

    Best of luck in your quest (and I do mean quest),
  5. ETW

    ETW Formula Junior

    Nov 3, 2003
    FYI, the '95s had the most power, and since you dont need the F1, you dont necessarily need the newest year(newer is better for F1s-better software). It will save you a few bucks too
  6. Four7EightBHP

    Four7EightBHP Formula Junior
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Feb 20, 2005
    USA - Colorado
    The newest in terms of model year. Also, the most expensive one with the least amount of miles that passes a leak down test. Don't get attached to the notion that there is a "deal" out there for you. Why?

    1-If you have a major problem needing parts and\or service, the cost will be very significant because of the dollar exchange rate. If you've never written a check for 15K-25K for service or repair, it's only a matter of time if you drive the car to any length.
    2-The further you get away from'95, the greater the chances are that you won't have a brass valve guide car. Ferrari used up all the guides that they produced even though we think '95 was it. Ferrari engineers have opened '96 models and found the brass guides.
    3-I have not seen where Ferrari has acknowledged and fully embraced some of the 355 design flaws that occur with excessive heat exchange between the valve train, exhaust manifod and brass valve guides. Even if you get a later 355, watch out for breakdown of the exhaust system that leads to excessive heat. Tubi helps to alleviate this concern.
    4-With a leak down test, there is a story coming out of the internal motor parts that no one can refute. Ferrari engineers can give a fabulous description of why a Ferrari motor is truly unique and different. Make sure that the beautiful car you buy has unquestionable capability with the motor.
    5-Depreciation. If you want to upgrade, a newer model year may bring a slight premium. If you are going to upgrade, buy Rosso Corsa on the 355. Don't be offended by the red preference, it just makes economic sense when reselling. It also goes with the lines of the car. Like titanium for the 550, which I would like to have.

    That's it. Have a great day!
  7. f355spider

    f355spider F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    May 29, 2001
    Full Name:
    Hugh G. Rection
    Gotta agree any Ferrari model, later in the production run is always better. The only problem with a 98 or 99 is that most of them were F1's, so finding a manual may take a while longer.
  8. Steve B

    Steve B Formula Junior

    Dec 23, 2003
    Full Name:
    Steven L. Biagini
    The factory literature does not bear this out. All model years of the F355 are listed as 375 SAE net hp and 380 DIN hp. I have owned both a 1995 and a 1998 F355 and the owner's manual in both listed the horsepower as 375 SAE net. Some people claim that the fuel injection setup in the 1995s produced more power but no one I know of has ever confirmed this on a dyno. They both seemed to be the same to me in terms of performance on a "seat of the pants" basis.

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