Car: Ferrari 360 Spider Manual
Owned since: November 2013
Previously owned: Z4M, Monaro VXR, S2000, Mk1 MX5
Currently owned: Integra Type R DC2
I would guess that my love of all things Ferrari started in the same way as many other people's; as a wee lad, my wall was covered in Ferrari posters. Whilst I was interested in any particular fast car at that age, Ferrari was a brand that stood out for me.
"When the 360 was released I remember ogling it, thinking it was the best car in the world. I was in school at the time, but had already started day dreaming about owning my very own Ferrari. So when I graduated from university I set myself a goal of saving up to buy a 355 within 4 years (as 360's were a lot more expensive back then).
"November 2013 arrived and things just fell into place for me. I had found out a distant relative was considering selling his 360, it just happened to be in my perfect spec (I'll get onto that later). In the days leading up to the viewing, I lost so much sleep just lying in bed, excited. I went to view it and drove away with the car. It was the first and only car I had viewed."
"On the day I went to see the car, I was so excited I didn't even notice a warning light on the dash (due to being jump started, a no no with 360's). In fact, as it was a relative, I didn't even test drive it or get it inspected. It has all worked out as it's a good car, but in hindsight I'd advise others in the same situation to try and not get carried away with the situation.
"One thing I didn't expect was just how quickly the engine revs. I am used to heel and toeing in pretty much any car, but it took me a long time to be able to shift smoothly in the 360. Even on upshifts I regularly have to blip the throttle as the revs drop so quickly when changing gear, and the 'box doesn't like to be rushed, especially when cold. I also wish I'd known how much attention the car would attract - nothing will prepare you for this - 99 per cent of it has been very positive, with lots of people making nice remarks about the car whenever I'm washing it on the drive. I do have one neighbour who has become very bitter ever since I bought the car, but I don't let that detract from my ownership experience."
"Where do I start? First and foremost, I have to say I love the noise. My car is fitted with a Capristo Stage 2 exhaust which is the perfect level of sound. A little boomy perhaps below 2500rpm, but a real F1 style screamer at high revs. I also love the spec of mine and the fact it's unique as far as I know. It's a Manual Spider in Rosso Corsa with Racing carbon factory seats in black, red carpets, Challenge rear grill, Capristo exhaust, Challenge (18-inch) wheels and lowered 15mm to Stradale ride height.
"The seats are incredible and I don't think I'd ever buy a Ferrari without the Racing seats now. They hug you in all the right places and it's such a comfortable place to sit for long journeys. Most of all though, they allow me to sit nice and low in the car which is rare as I usually struggle to find that perfect driving position. One unexpected perk has been the access that owning a car like this gets you. From exclusive test drives, car launches and private clubs, there have been a whole host of events for me to get involved in.
"Away from those though, there is just something very special about going for a drive on a Sunday morning and seeing the prancing horse on the steering wheel. I've owned and driven all sorts of performance cars, but nothing ever feels quite as special as a Ferrari."
"I don't really hate anything about the car. One dislike perhaps is that it is an A to A car. I don't really use it to go anywhere as I avoid parking in busy car parks for fear of door dings.
"The car really attracts a lot of attention. On a typical motorway journey, I regularly see people taking photos whilst driving or sitting a few inches from my rear bumper. Whenever I'm asked by kids for photos or revs, I will happily oblige as I believe all owners should do their part to ensure these cars are seen and heard, and to inspire the next generation of petrolheads."
"Over four years I reckon I've spent around £12-16k on maintenance and running costs, excluding insurance or fuel. I have had just one breakdown which resulted in a £4k bill for a new clutch and synchro rebuild. Annual services are £400-700 and a cambelt service is in the region of £1,500 depending on who you use. Ball joints are practically a consumable, so I have already replaced a few with stronger Hills Engineering products.
"Insurance when I first bought the car at 25 was £1,000. The main issue was finding someone who would cover me as I had no ownership experience of a similarly powered vehicle. My premium has now dropped to £800 as I've owned the car a few years and more insurers are prepared to provide cover. With regards to fuel consumption, I have so far refused to calculate the mpg on this car, as I don't want it to effect my enjoyment whilst out driving. However, from what I can tell it doesn't seem to be too thirsty on a run if I drive sensibly as the fuel gauge comes down relatively slowly considering its performance.
"Overall though, I've been fortunate that values have increased during my ownership so I could technically sell tomorrow and the 360 won't have cost a penny. Whilst I didn't buy the car to make money, it's a nice feeling knowing that it hasn't been a money pit so far."
"I have mainly attended meets, events and convoys rather than going on any epic road trips. One standout moment for me was a 100 Supercar convoy through central London on the way to Cliveden House. Shamefully I've covered less than 5k miles in 4 years. I plan to put this right next year by taking the car back to Maranello, via the Monaco GP and various Alpine passes."
"My ultimate dream car has forever been the F40. I don't think I will ever sell my 360 unless I somehow find myself in the fortunate position to be able to afford an F40. I recently test drove a 488 GTB which had phenomenal performance. I have considered whether I would swap mine for a 488, but on reflection a naturally aspirated V8 Manual Ferrari is something to cherish. After 4 years of ownership, I still sometimes find myself walking into the garage just to admire its lines and curves. It's safe to say that this prancing horse will remain in my stable for the long term."
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