PH Buying Guide: Ferrari F355


Introduction:
The Ferrari F355 was first shown to the world at the 1994 Geneva Motor Show and it immediately became the most desirable supercar this side of the McLaren F1. It went on sale shortly afterwards in Berlinetta coupe and GTS targa guises, with a full convertible Spider arriving a year later. Prices started at £83,031 at launch and production ran until 1999, when the car was replaced by the 360, which means the 355 is now relatively affordable by Ferrari standards.

In total, 11,522 355 models of all types were made, including 104 stripped-out and roll-caged Challenge race cars. This made the 355 the first Ferrari model to sell more than 10,000 units and 496 Berlinettas were sold in the UK, with 88 of those with the F1 gearbox. A further 434 GTS models went to UK customers (74 of them with an F1 transmission), while 454 Spiders were sold through Ferrari's UK agents (139 Spiders with the F1 gearbox). This ubiquity, in Ferrari terms, makes the F355 a popular entry point to the make.


Choosing the F355 as a first foray into Ferrari ownership need not be daunting. There are plenty to pick from and a number of dependable specialists.

However, any car capable of 0-62mph in 4.7 seconds and 184mph needs careful consideration. So if you haven't got a decent contingency fund, you'd better make sure the family is up for missing out on the odd trip to Disneyland.

Meanwhile, before you dive in to fulfil your own Ferrari fantasy, check out what fellow PHers have to say about buying and owning these desirable machines.

Editor's note: We hope this new Ferrari F355 'knowledge bank' will attract contributions from current and past owners, and anyone who knows these cars well. If you have something to say that will help fellow PHers,please add your comments to the forum thread in the relevant sectionbelow.

We'd also love to illustrate this guide with photos of PHers' own cars, so please email contributions to F355pics@pistonheads.com - we're looking for complete cars from all angles, as well as 'detail' images that illustrate specific items discussed in these pages. Thanks, folks!

Ferrari F355 Buying Guide
Section Menu:

Introduction (viewing now)
Ferrari F355 - Powertrain
Ferrari F355 - Rolling chassis
Ferrari F355 - Body
Ferrari F355 - Interior
Ferrari F355 - General experiences
Ferrari F355 - Search the PH classifieds...

Comments (73) Join the discussion on the forum

  • hiewyj 06 Sep 2010

    I've owned a 355 Spider for 4 years and would thoroughly recommend it. I don't think I will ever sell it.

  • SSpongey 04 Sep 2010

    I love the 355. But the 348 just does it more for me.
    They are both sexier than the 360 though.

  • lotusmad2001 30 Aug 2010

    Forza_Roma said:
    mikebrownhill said:
    Fuelbrother DC said:
    ex vtskid said:
    Really great interesting read, not that I'll be buying one anytime soon!

    And this might be a bit of a dirty thing to say... but does anyone else prefer the 348? boxedin
    I do. Better tail-light design, for me. evil The 355 seems a bit bland in that respect.

    I also like some aspects of the 348 appearance over the F355 but pretty much every body panel is interchangeable between the two models so the differences are in the detail and not fundamental - but I personally do like the Testorossa style side strakes on the doors and I also like the mat black treatment on the spoilers and skirts on the early 348's. The only thing that lets the 348 down in my opinion is the wheels, but fit the F355 ones and it's sorted in the looks department.

    The F355 is undoubtedly the better car but the old 348 is such a good price these days it has to be the best Ferrari bargain out there at the moment in my view.
    I prefer the tail of the 348 for sure, but the side strakes upset me a bit and I'd rather have the cut curves of the 355. Largely interchangeable panels you say.... scratchchin
    Yup i live up in cumbria and there was a classic car show on last weekend where there was a 348 with F355 front bumper and side, looked amazing (Moding a Ferrari is not something i would have the balls to do however) although got us all a bit confused at first. Wow look a 34...no...35...no.. 348355:S......hmmm.

    Jonny

    BTW I have just found the car on www.clubscuderia.com in the forums bit then Gallery i thinks its the post at the very top.

  • JohnGoodridge 30 Aug 2010

    Fuelbrother DC said:
    ferrari spider said:
    Fuelbrother DC said:
    but by owning a Ferrari you may also step into a world of envy, sometimes even hate.
    Your so right, its particularly hostile here in the UK. It ranges from jealous members of the public to so called "petrol heads" who will always have a problem with the owners of Ferrari's. I find they dislike the owners as opposed to disliking the cars them self.
    Interestingly enough in last months EVO magazine Chris Harris wrote a piece on the negative and hostile attitudes towards people who drive nice cars here in the UK, compared to the attitudes of main land Europe. An interesting read.
    Nice Lotus by the way smile
    I honestly don't think its a phenomenon only in the UK, it's the same here in dshermany. I'm in the beginning of my thirties and spent 2 Years of self-employment (self-made - not funded by parents/business angels/banksters) after 2 academic degrees (again: not funded!) and hard work to earn enough for fulfilling my Dream - which was buying an S4 Esprit.

    However, once, I visited a local tourist feature together with a good friend. When we came back to the car, a mid-aged lady stood next to it, marvelling. Instantly, in the same second she saw us (two young guys), her face changed to a grim look. She then made compliments about the beautiful car and asked how much it costs (standard question here... rolleyes). As I told her the price (which is comparable to a new GTI, mind you!), she dared to ask: "Married rich or professional son?" - and walked away. ranting I was so upset that I couldn't reply funny enough - it's a shame people don't see the effort that is sometimes put into things.

    So: when talking about jealousy, find Masters of that here in Germany. Some other mate told my a nice saying (don't know if this translates too well): "you'll get compassion for free but you have to earn envy"

    That's why I'm glad everytime I see a happy guy in his Ferrari or Pork, grinning. He has fun. Which is a positive feeling.
    Hahaha. I like that phrase, and it's a pretty good translation, although slightly more accurate might be 'you'll get pity for free, but envy you have to earn.'

  • Nigel_O 27 Aug 2010

    They were classed as fast when they were launched - 13 second quarter and 185-ish top end (helped by some very good aerodynamics)

    However, compared with some modern stuff, they aren't THAT fast. An M3 will give it a hard time, as would any of the Audi RS cars (I remember once having a go against an RS2 in my 355 - it was four up and full of luggage - we got to some silly speeds before I finally got past - very impressive, and slightly embarrassing)

    You don't need to drive it flat out - its much better to revel in the 355's sublime handling and the simple experience of driving a Ferrari - I don't mean posing - just some quick driving on great roads.

    355s and North Wales just go together SO well

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