Advice for a Virgin please.....

Advice for a Virgin please.....

Author
Discussion

basher

Original Poster:

998 posts

253 months

Monday 27th May 2002
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Currently own a 4.5 TVR Cerbera and I am thinking of adding a 355 to the garage too as I ahve just fallen in love with an F1 Spider. Can I let you light the touch paper and give me the pros and cons of this model. Reliability is something that I am used to not depending on although relative to others I have been very lucky with the Cerbera..so come on give me the low down on the 355 F1 Spider (cos I have driven the 360 and it does not do it for me !!!)

frostie

428 posts

244 months

Monday 27th May 2002
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Basher,

I have an F355B and had a Cerbera 4.5 also ( now a Tamora ) and over the two years I ran the two concurrently I had a number of issues with the TVR, mainly down to a very poor dealer ( who I have now changed ), but the Ferrari has been trouble free. In fact cost wise the TVR cost me about 3k over the period and the Ferrari 800. TVR's are very nice cars with huge amounts of character, but Ferrari's are in another league. The ride, handling, build etc etc is superb. As long as you use it regularily ie don't leave garaged for months and buy/service at a main dealer it will be fine. Go for it, you won't stop smiling.

PS. It will make you realise just how quick a 4.5 Cerbera is in a straight line as well

>> Edited by frostie on Monday 27th May 21:28

>> Edited by frostie on Monday 27th May 21:29

ninja_eli

1,521 posts

236 months

Tuesday 28th May 2002
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Hi Basher,

I have just recently bought a 355 Spider. I got it from Ferrari dealer and its an R reg. I have only had it around a week or so but already done 1000 miles in it. The build quality in general is really good, much better than my Supra TT and better than the 996's that I saw prior to deciding on the 355. At the moment everything seems to be working okay and I find driving it a blast.

Beware of the following, although they shouldn't, and wouldn't, put you off buying one:

The electric roof on the Spider needs to be bled every 12 - 18 months, and can sometimes go wrong. You have to use it once in a while to keep it in proper condition. You should use the tonneau(sp?) cover (fiddly little clips) when the roof is down but I can't be f**ked until I know the roof doesn't have to come up in an emergency (i.e. deep in the middle of summer).

The electric seats can also fail, but these are usually due to a actuator component (whatever that is).

The front bumper, bonnet, inside front wheel arches, etc can get shagged by stonechips very easily.

London roads are not good enough for this car so you will find yourself "tiptoeing" through some london roads. The brakes are amazing as I found out yesterday when I noticed a speed bump very late!

Leave the suspension on the soft setting if you want to keep your fillings (assuming you have any!).

Otherwise the car is a fantastic car. The only thing is you mention the F1 shift. I think that you'll find that this is not the most satisfying to drive. I tried it and was not really a fan. Brilliant concept and if I could have two 355's one would be a Spider with manual shift and the other would be a 355GTB with F1 shift. I have heard that they can be troublesome and in their 355 incarnation not really as refined as the later paddle shift Ferraris (I have yet to try a 360F1 so can't comment from experience).

Seriously, think twice about the F1 shift and talk to some of the Ferrari dealers about their honest opinions (talk to Andrew from Graypaul on 01509232233, telling Ali says hi!). I have heard stories that the clutch can smoke in traffic and 3 point turns on an incline can be another smokey affair.

Check your garage to make sure it'll fit, as you'll hate leaving it on the drive (my gardeners left a whole load of leaves and shit all over the car) and leaving it on the street??, I dont think you'll sleep at night!

But other than that the 355 Spider is a beautiful car and you will enjoy it massively.

Sorry about the long post, but when I was deliberating over whether to get one, the responses I got from people here were invaluable to me so I thought I would try to give my experience of one so far.

Also check out threads called Top Marks for 355 and Berties 355.

Regards and good luck

Roadrunner

2,690 posts

236 months

Tuesday 28th May 2002
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How do you define 'quality'. Are you talking about solid mechanics that won't go wrong, or the detail of stitching on the leather etc?

ninja_eli

1,521 posts

236 months

Tuesday 28th May 2002
quotequote all
Nah, not the detailing. Interior actually looks a little dated and IMO is shit for a car of this price. What I refer to when I say quality is the actual "build" of the car. Its just seems so well put together, the materials used feel like proper sturdy solid equip. The doors are well made solid heavy items that close with a really satisfying clunk. The interior trim is also solid and well fasten, not a rattle or loose bit of trim anywhere. The leather feels nice and thick and is top quality leather. The seats are hard but comfy and feel like they could stand a lot of service. The car feels very solid when driving and you don't feel a hint of body roll etc. Overall it feels very well put together. It feels nearly or as good as the Porsche 993 in terms of solidness.

The only really annoying thing is the pedal position, which is shit to be honest but there you go, silly Italian cars for you!

PS. 996 just felt a little "lighter", but that said it would outlive the Ferrari 3 times over!!! The wait for your 996 must be driving you made, but IMO it is worth it as late 996 used prices are indifferent to new. It'll be brand spanking new with that new Porsche smell and exactly the way you want it!
Regards

basher

Original Poster:

998 posts

253 months

Tuesday 28th May 2002
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Thanks ninja....

456mgt

2,482 posts

235 months

Tuesday 28th May 2002
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Thank God for that; Ninja's is a manual. I deleted a post I made yesterday just in case his was an F1. I know two owners of 355F1s and both say they are hard on clutches. One of the two had done 10K miles in his car and gone through 3 clutches.Other than that it is a bloody lovely car. And don't let me get onto the subject of how it sounds at full chat.....

Kevin

ninja_eli

1,521 posts

236 months

Tuesday 28th May 2002
quotequote all
Ha ha ha,

Kevin, I nearly got a F1 Spider that was for sale in one of the Ferrari dealerships, but after speaking to many people, I kept hearing talk of a lot of "smoking", which is bad news coz we not talking about tyres!

No, luckily I stayed away from the F1. I prefer the sound of the clack clack of the manual gearbox and there was something missing with the F1. Quoting you "me and the F1 didn't get along"; stands true for me too.

PS Sunday should be good weatherwise, looking forward to it! Took the car for a burn yesterday, instinctively using the most tunnelled, valleyed, roads to get where I was going. I hope this obsession wears off soon!!

Regards

456mgt

2,482 posts

235 months

Tuesday 28th May 2002
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"Hope this obsession wears off"



You're sooooo hooked! Take it from me, it's like being an alcoholic: one is too many, and two is not nearly enough.....

See you Sunday Ninja. Looking forward to it.

Kevin

manu

768 posts

232 months

Tuesday 28th May 2002
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I too have never been a fan of the F1 shift.
Ninja - a tired yarn I'm sure but, my cousin had a 355 F1 that went through 2 clutches in 9 months!!!

And no the obsession never EVER wears off, however I do disagree with Kevin in saying one Ferrari is definitely enough - financially . Two Ferraris would have me robbing banks. You'll hear more on Sunday but I once cracked the front splitter on a 550 and it almost brought me to tears as I realised I could not AFFORD to fix it...
And don't anyone speak to me about insurance - Ninja - I would be VERY interested to hear who is insuring you - premiums have KILLED ME......

I'm looking forward to this Sunday. Drive safe and stay sane guys (at least until Sunday!)

manu

768 posts

232 months

Tuesday 28th May 2002
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P.S. Kevin, can I still ride shotgun in the 360?

456mgt

2,482 posts

235 months

Tuesday 28th May 2002
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Manu- of course!!! Wouldn't have offered if I didn't mean it.

CU Sunday mate

Kevin

Roadrunner

2,690 posts

236 months

Wednesday 29th May 2002
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manu,

Would it be rude to ask how much it costs to insure such an awesome car as the 550? My quote on a C2 is 'only' 1350 at age of 27. I think it gets a bit silly when premiums go above 2k. Who's being robbed the most by premiums?....

bertie

8,322 posts

253 months

Wednesday 29th May 2002
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456mgt - How's the 360 going then and what colour scheme did you go for.

Mine is still too far away to spec up yet but I'm still spending far too much time trying to work out the spec I want.

Roadrunner

2,690 posts

236 months

Wednesday 29th May 2002
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As a bystander I've seen loads of red 360's in london and two silvery grey ones. The black looks awesome in pictures but I've never seen one in the metal. All the ferrari interiors I've seen in cream look tatty around the seat edges. Black on black would look sooo sexy.

ninja_eli

1,521 posts

236 months

Wednesday 29th May 2002
quotequote all
Manu, I sort of know the feeling... I don't bother to ask about the wing mirror until I feel I have made use of the car more.

Re insurance, I had a real problem with it all; no one wants to know until you are at least 25, even privilege weren't interested. Bastard thing is I still have the Supra insured but now without the no claims bonus. You can imagine the price hike after moving 6 yrs NCB. I hate insurance and it hurts me when I think about it, right now I am running 3 policies (inc Mazda 323) but should be saying bye bye to the Supra as will be sold soon.

No doubt we will go into this Sunday, but when I hit 24 next year premiums should drop to 2700 or so, for now add around a grand to that price and you see why I feel so gutted about the subject, Swinton and its4me were my only hope, and its4me were better. Not too bad for my age as Norwich Union want 6000 for a 25 yr old!! I think the value of the car made a big difference rather than the category of car. At one point I was going to undervalue the car, and that would have reduced my premium by around 600, but that would mean undervaluing it by 30,000 or so!! I wasn't willing to take the risk so I paid the extra.

Anyway, see you Sunday!!!! Oh, why aren't you bringing the 550??

ninja_eli

1,521 posts

236 months

Wednesday 29th May 2002
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I just spoke to the Ferrari dealer that I bought it from, and they tell me that it could be possible that the leak could be unrepairable!!!

Does this sound like a load of bollocks or what?

I'm going to take the car to Maranello' late next week so we can see what they say.

bertie

8,322 posts

253 months

Wednesday 29th May 2002
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Remind me what's happening on Sunday?

Also Ninja, did you try the AON / Ferrari owners club scheme?

ninja_eli

1,521 posts

236 months

Wednesday 29th May 2002
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Hi Bertie,

Sunday we are meeting up in a pub in Hatfield for a drink and a blast with a few Ferrari's and any other cars that sound good, so you are more than welcome to come along, would be nice to see your TVR. I was considering to drive to Chatsworth but its a little far from where I am so don't know if I can make, though its still not totally out of the question.

I did try AON but they can only insure over 25's and couldn't help me. And none of the insurers the Ferrari dealers recommended could help either, all to do with my age. I was seriously considering waiting another year, but once I started to look at some 355's there was no way I was waiting.

domster

8,428 posts

239 months

Wednesday 29th May 2002
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Ninja, re your leak, never believe 'unrepairable' from a main dealer, whatever the car. Always get a second opinion...

My ex-Lotus Carlton had a small running fault (felt like plugs and leads). Went to one of the 13 Lotus Carlton specialists in the country, and they claimed that they couldn't find the fault. What's more they charged me 400 quid and took two weeks, not to find it. Then said 'if you want us to investigate further, we'll take the head off' (a 9 grand job at this main dealer).

Guess what? Took it to another authorised dealer, who fixed it in a day. Diagnosis? Plugs and leads, plus a few tweaks to throttle position sensor and wastegates.