Looking to buy the best 355 Manual - Parts / History Concern

Looking to buy the best 355 Manual - Parts / History Concern

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Discussion

jayemm89

2,748 posts

86 months

Wednesday 1st July
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The Lotus Evora suffered a huge dent in its reputation thanks to same said shops.

The early cars had a clutch issue - Lotus fixed under warranty. But as Lotus dealers were few and far between, some people got the work done at their local supercar "specialist". Who charged obscene labour rates for work on a car they didn't know - and to this day the stories of "$10,000 for a clutch" come up every time someone starts looking at an Evora.

Same thing with McLaren - one guy says if the steering rack fails it's £40,000. McLaren have plenty of issues, but nobody I have ever spoken to here has even heard of a car suffering that kind of damage from a failed rack (and they only know of one or two failed racks).

I'm never going to pretend that the 355 or any other Ferrari will be the same as a Corvette to maintain, but the amount of online drama about them is mad. I recall some kid on YT bought a 355 few years back, which did not look like a good car, had sat for a long time, then was shocked when he got a bill for work on it.

If I'm being honest, Porsche people can be no better. The number of guys out there who think you can easily find a 40,000 mile, original, mint 993 in perfect condition are hilarious - and they don't want to pay the price if they can find the car they want.

4rephill

4,326 posts

134 months

Thursday 2nd July
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LotusOmega375D said:
From what I gather, US servicing costs for exotic cars at independents seem to be far, far higher than what we are used to in the UK.......
+1 yes

a few years back, I got into a bit of an on-line argument with a guy in America who'd paid @ $7000 for a belt service on his 348, saying how he got a great deal on it, and couldn't accept that it was actually a bit of a rip off (I asked him if that was for a major service with belts, but he said it was just a belt replacement)

I pointed out to him that the same service in the UK would cost @ £1400 (@ $2000 at the time), and he said he wouldn't trust any garage who did the service for that little amount, claiming they must be a backstreet garage!

I posted the link to The Ferrari Centre (now: Kent High Performance), and another couple of independent Ferrari specialists, showing the prices they charged, and he then tried to claim that they must be cutting corners, and not doing the service properly.

I told him that they drop the engine out of the car, the way Ferrari intended the job to be done, and carry out the service exactly the same way that a Ferrari dealership would, but he still wouldn't accept it! rolleyes

In the end, I gave up on him!




456mgt

2,374 posts

222 months

Thursday 2nd July
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Like several here, the preoccupation with mileage is a bugbear of mine, as is this 'matching numbers' crap.

Mileage is usually used as a surrogate of wear, ie likely future expense on replacement parts etc. But it is in fact a spectacularly poor gauge, for many reasons already raised. You simply don't know what is going to fail and the only accurate measure in my experience is what usually goes wrong on that model. Every one has weaknesses and if you haven't had a common problem yet, you're likely going to at some point in your ownership. Many of these are mileage independent too. The only Ferrari that don't suffer the mileage preoccupation are the really old ones. No one cares about it then.

Matching numbers came into regular use a few years ago, and may the fleas of a thousand camels infest the anus of whoever was responsible for it. It is absolutely and only a metric used by collectors or speculators as a measure of originality. The same people who will buy the car and put it in a cocoon.

Whether you worry about using the car and putting miles on it is a personal thing. There's no right or wrong answer because our circumstances are different. I'm in the 'use them as much as humanly possible' camp and I will sacrifice originality for safety or usability every day of the week. If there's something on the car that was poorly made or a weak point in period, why the hell would I want it back on my car? I get it replaced with better made, more efficient or more reliable stuff. The next owner can sort out the OEM stuff if they feel (financially) motivated.

BlackRPM

21 posts

137 months

Thursday 2nd July
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I've had my GTS for 11 yrs now and haven't run into any issue with parts (yet).

The car has never let me down, not once.

But I did make sure that I bought a good one and was then prepared to continue to maintain it properly. It's been serviced every year since new and if something needs doing it gets done, always. If you can accept that aspect of ownership then they can be such a great car to experience.

I use one of the well known independents and I've spent just over £32k on maintenance in those 11 yrs (including an exhaust) which I think is reasonable for what is now an 'old car'

I have other cars but it's still the one that makes me smile most out on the road.....

sparta6

1,980 posts

56 months

Thursday 2nd July
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4rephill said:
LotusOmega375D said:
From what I gather, US servicing costs for exotic cars at independents seem to be far, far higher than what we are used to in the UK.......
+1 yes

a few years back, I got into a bit of an on-line argument with a guy in America who'd paid @ $7000 for a belt service on his 348, saying how he got a great deal on it, and couldn't accept that it was actually a bit of a rip off (I asked him if that was for a major service with belts, but he said it was just a belt replacement)

I pointed out to him that the same service in the UK would cost @ £1400 (@ $2000 at the time), and he said he wouldn't trust any garage who did the service for that little amount, claiming they must be a backstreet garage!

I posted the link to The Ferrari Centre (now: Kent High Performance), and another couple of independent Ferrari specialists, showing the prices they charged, and he then tried to claim that they must be cutting corners, and not doing the service properly.

I told him that they drop the engine out of the car, the way Ferrari intended the job to be done, and carry out the service exactly the same way that a Ferrari dealership would, but he still wouldn't accept it! rolleyes

In the end, I gave up on him!
Why were you so surprised ?
Different territory, different employment laws, insurance liabilities, labour rates.

Moral of the story; think twice before running a Ferrari in the US biggrin

blueSL

348 posts

182 months

Friday 3rd July
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I have a 1995 Berlinetta which I have owned from new, it’s done 28000 miles, more recently now I am retired and reliability has been pretty good though I was stranded south of Glasgow and relayed back to the Cotswolds by the RAC. All down to the water temp gauge saying the car was overheating when actually it was fine, bad sensor but the risk of a real overheating was too great.

Other than that, it’s settled into my own service regime, minor every 2 years, major and belts every 4. Sticky centre console sorted by sticky-no-more but there are a few age related problems, delaminating windscreen, cloudy headlights, and no heater due to a failed motorised valve which is unavailable even from Saab dealers who also used it.

The car needs careful warming up to avoid a top end engine rebuild and you don’t want to hear the words “inlet manifold” when it’s in for service. Mine’s due for a minor service (still 4 figures) and there’s something going on with the under car cladding drooping. Other than that, it’s fine and a lovely drive.


Candellara

1,295 posts

138 months

Friday 3rd July
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Mulsanne-Speed said:
One had a Berlinetta with 18k miles on the clock, the other, a Spider with 7,500 miles on the clock.

both had periods of 5-10 years without any service history.


Edited by Mulsanne-Speed on Tuesday 5th May 23:27
Walk away. These cars are getting old now. Do you really believe these purported mileages of sub 20,000 miles on a car of such age and a marque that's value is so immensely sensitive to mileage?

Even with a full detailed history, i'd still question such low mileages. It's a well known and accepted fact that "very many" Ferrari's of this era and before were / are driven with disconnected speedometers or "corrected mileages".

It's not that the newer cars such as 458 / 488 are "more driveable". Nonsense, it's just harder to get away with mileage fraud.

Try and find a low ownership car with a fully documented history, get an independent inspection done and ask them to pay particular attention to any possible mileage correction or speedo disconnect at dash or sender.


Bo_apex

1,100 posts

174 months

Friday 3rd July
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Candellara said:
Walk away. These cars are getting old now. Do you really believe these purported mileages of sub 20,000 miles on a car of such age and a marque that's value is so immensely sensitive to mileage?

Even with a full detailed history, i'd still question such low mileages. It's a well known and accepted fact that "very many" Ferrari's of this era and before were / are driven with disconnected speedometers or "corrected mileages".

It's not that the newer cars such as 458 / 488 are "more driveable". Nonsense, it's just harder to get away with mileage fraud.

Try and find a low ownership car with a fully documented history, get an independent inspection done and ask them to pay particular attention to any possible mileage correction or speedo disconnect at dash or sender.

It's funny, on high value vintage Ferraris from the 60's mileage is not seen as an issue.

This mileage sensitivity obsession with contemporary classics was started by a very confused person in his shed with dialup who posted it on his Netscape chatroom account after watching Goldeneye....and it has become conventional wisdom ever since.

You gotta love the internet biggrin


jtremlett

904 posts

178 months

Friday 3rd July
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Candellara said:
Walk away. These cars are getting old now. Do you really believe these purported mileages of sub 20,000 miles on a car of such age and a marque that's value is so immensely sensitive to mileage?

Even with a full detailed history, i'd still question such low mileages. It's a well known and accepted fact that "very many" Ferrari's of this era and before were / are driven with disconnected speedometers or "corrected mileages".

It's not that the newer cars such as 458 / 488 are "more driveable". Nonsense, it's just harder to get away with mileage fraud.

Try and find a low ownership car with a fully documented history, get an independent inspection done and ask them to pay particular attention to any possible mileage correction or speedo disconnect at dash or sender.

It is not "a well known and accepted fact that very many Ferrari's of this era and before were / are driven with disconnected speedometers or corrected mileages". It is oft-repeated hearsay which is not the same thing. Not, for the sake of clarity, that I am saying that it never happens and any potential buyer should clearly do all the due diligence they reasonably can.

I have posted evidence above that usage of 458s is not significantly different to F355s particularly when you allow for newer cars always being likely to be used more often than older ones.

I have been tracking Ferraris (and the plural of Ferrari is Ferraris not Ferrari's by the way - did no-one learn English at school!) for more than 17 years and I'm certainly aware of some cars that have been clocked but I am aware of vastly more that just don't get used that much. I'm sorry to say that even includes my own of late.

The irony, of course, is that many of us are well aware that a low mileage car that hasn't been used is far more likely to give problems and require expensive maintenance than one that gets sensible usage.

As it happens, the odometer on my car stopped working some years back and I can tell you I got it fixed pretty sharpish. It is much easier now with a GPS on your phone or Satnav but at the time it was a far greater risk of getting done for speeding whilst not knowing how fast I was going than any potential gain of not recording a few miles especially, in my case, on a car I had no intention of selling.

When I first analysed the MOT data for all UK Ferraris I was expecting to find a fair amount of evidence of cars having gone backwards, especially given that MOTs started being recorded centrally and electronically back in 2005 but the data was not made available for some years after that. However, that was not the case. I'm not sure that tells you very much since it may equally be that clockers were smarter than to leave evidence via MOTs as that far fewer Ferraris have been clocked than is sometimes suggested. But it does tell you that there isn't widespread fiddling the mileage reading and losing or doctoring a few service records.

Please feel free to let me know the details of all the Ferraris you know to have been clocked or driven for extended periods with odometer disconnected so I can update my database with any I'm unaware of.

FezSpider

639 posts

188 months

Friday 3rd July
quotequote all
Bo_apex said:
It's funny, on high value vintage Ferraris from the 60's mileage is not seen as an issue.

This mileage sensitivity obsession with contemporary classics was started by a very confused person in his shed with dialup who posted it on his Netscape chatroom account after watching Goldeneye....and it has become conventional wisdom ever since.

You gotta love the internet biggrin

Exactly smile

Candellara

1,295 posts

138 months

Saturday 4th July
quotequote all
Bo_apex said:
It's funny, on high value vintage Ferraris from the 60's mileage is not seen as an issue.

This mileage sensitivity obsession with contemporary classics was started by a very confused person in his shed with dialup who posted it on his Netscape chatroom account after watching Goldeneye....and it has become conventional wisdom ever since.

You gotta love the internet biggrin
Not so and naïve to place the blame with a consumer in his shed. Blue chip investment grade cars aside, this mileage fixation was created by the Ferrari Main Dealers (as with other marques i might add) where consumers were beat up when part exchanging their 3 year old tipo.

If the car that had covered anything in excess of minimal miles per annum the Ferrari Main Dealers and Specialist retailers would assess the car as leggy and the consumer would be hammered in terms of the resultant mileage related value.

Is it any surprise that the owners became so fixated on mileage? Hence so many cars being corrected or car's being driven with speedo's disconnected. The reason that so many later cars have higher mileage is not due to the fact that they are more driveable or usable - it's just harder to alter the mileage when the technology is there to verify hours running or travelled via gearbox control units etc

This issue was created by the motor industry - NOT the consumer in his shed

Bo_apex

1,100 posts

174 months

Saturday 4th July
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Candellara said:
Bo_apex said:
It's funny, on high value vintage Ferraris from the 60's mileage is not seen as an issue.

This mileage sensitivity obsession with contemporary classics was started by a very confused person in his shed with dialup who posted it on his Netscape chatroom account after watching Goldeneye....and it has become conventional wisdom ever since.

You gotta love the internet biggrin
Not so and naïve to place the blame with a consumer in his shed. Blue chip investment grade cars aside, this mileage fixation was created by the Ferrari Main Dealers (as with other marques i might add) where consumers were beat up when part exchanging their 3 year old tipo.

If the car that had covered anything in excess of minimal miles per annum the Ferrari Main Dealers and Specialist retailers would assess the car as leggy and the consumer would be hammered in terms of the resultant mileage related value.

Is it any surprise that the owners became so fixated on mileage? Hence so many cars being corrected or car's being driven with speedo's disconnected. The reason that so many later cars have higher mileage is not due to the fact that they are more driveable or usable - it's just harder to alter the mileage when the technology is there to verify hours running or travelled via gearbox control units etc

This issue was created by the motor industry - NOT the consumer in his shed
"Minimal Miles" ?
What was the ceiling specified by the Main Dealer ?



sparta6

1,980 posts

56 months

Sunday 5th July
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Candellara said:
Not so and naïve to place the blame with a consumer in his shed. Blue chip investment grade cars aside, this mileage fixation was created by the Ferrari Main Dealers (as with other marques i might add) where consumers were beat up when part exchanging their 3 year old tipo.
This would conflict with Ferraris lucrative servicing schedules.
Engine out each 30K miles for cambelt springs to mind.

It's entirely possible that certain customers may not have had the "correct" relationship with a Main Dealer come resale time.
Such a scenario should not happen ofcourse.

jayemm89

2,748 posts

86 months

Sunday 5th July
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Cambelt changes are almost always done based on time, not miles though. Even the cars I know which have genuinely done less than 20k miles in 25 years tend to get serviced once every three years - and it's always a cam belt service.

andyleeds

633 posts

175 months

Sunday 5th July
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a very well respected mechanic who know all there is to know on these cars says that belts every 4 years is more than acceptable....

sparta6

1,980 posts

56 months

Sunday 5th July
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jayemm89 said:
Cambelt changes are almost always done based on time, not miles though. Even the cars I know which have genuinely done less than 20k miles in 25 years tend to get serviced once every three years - and it's always a cam belt service.
Their choice.

A parked up car has a greater cambelt risk than being driven regularly and 30K between belt changes.

jayemm89

2,748 posts

86 months

Sunday 5th July
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Yeah, that's why the cars can often be trailered to the dealer for service.

I've also heard from a number of places that belts done every 4 or 5 years is now fine, and I may go to that schedule with my own car as it has had regular use. I'd personally also choose shorter intervals if the car sat for extended periods.

red_slr

11,312 posts

145 months

Thursday 9th July
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IME when I was looking for my 355 its quite common to find cars with gaps in service history.
My own car has a 2 year gap from 06 to 08.

I wasn't bothered by that because

a) it was long enough ago that it makes no difference.
b) the car did very few miles during that 2 year period.

The main thing to look for is invoices to show whats been done. Esp if its advertised as "FFSH".
Main dealer service stamps mean nothing if there is no paperwork to up what has been done / replaced.

Parts wise I have not had an issue and if you look on ebay there are most things, for a price.


Garvin

3,542 posts

133 months

Thursday 9th July
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Indeed, mine will show no service for last year (2019) as it was SORN’d for a considerable time (March to September) whilst it had a complete strip down, corrosion removed, complete re-spray and all the controls removed and sent to StickyRX in the US for refinishing. It will be serviced later this year and will have done less than 300 miles since the previous cam belt change and service in 2018. Lockdown has served to keep the mileage down so far this year!

ghuk

45 posts

104 months

Friday 10th July
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Speaking of the fabulous 355, here's a Top Gear review from Tiff Needell......

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-K9TDFApbA

Skip to 21 mins........