Ferrari F355 - review, specs and buying guide - What to pay ,'I bought one' and rivals

The Ferrari F355 introduced modern-day Ferrari and it’s still a great drive. Few evo 'icons', are more worthy of the name

'I bought one' 

Matt Faizey

‘I had wanted to buy a yellow, manual Berlinetta, but I finished up with a red, F1 GTS! It was bought as a private sale – people in Ferrari circles thought I was crazy – and I didn’t bother with an inspection, which confirmed I was insane. I just applied normal logic to buying a car.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to our exclusive new offer and SAVE 39% on the shop price, get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £20!

‘I’d been to see a number but couldn’t find a really good one. I’d been browsing the classifieds for a long time and noticed this car had remained for sale, so I took a chance, went to view it , and met a lovely guy who kept the car in a carpeted garage. I had a feeling it would be a good one – and it was. It drove well, it was absolutely straight , the history checked out , and I did the deal.

‘That was February 2011, and I’ve never had a moment’s regret . The mileage was 26,000 when I bought it and it’s now 36,000, and absolutely nothing has gone wrong. ‘I think a lot of reported problems are down to owners being idiots – they don’t wait for the F1 gearbox pump to prime and they don’t wait for the engine oil to fully prime before they start the car. Or they sit at traffic lights with the car in gear or rev the engine before the clutch has fully engaged. I’ve used only 15 per cent of the clutch in 10,000 miles. You’ve got to understand these cars and drive sympathetically.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

‘For servicing, I stayed with the independent that had been looking after it – Adam Eyre at AE Performance, who I can’t recommend too highly. The car has been serviced every year, which I’m certain has helped with its reliability.

‘I’ve loved owning the 355, but after six years I’ve decided to sell it , and it’s with the Ferrari Centre in Kent . But I know I’ll miss it . It was created for petrolheads and you can feel everything. It is also physically impossible to climb out , walk away and not look back at it.

What to pay

While you occasionally see 355s for £50k-60k, most are left-hand drive or in less desirable colours. Right- hand-drive cars start at around £80,000. A really nice manual Berlinetta in red with cream leather and impeccable history is currently around £110k from a specialist , while the same car with an F1 ’box would be just under £100k. Manuals generally attract a 10 per cent premium, despite being more common; Spiders tend to be a little cheaper.

Rivals

Porsche 911 (993)

The final incarnation of the air-cooled 911. Prices vary widely, from £40k for a Tiptronic Carrera to £150k for a low- mileage Turbo. A really nice Carrera S is £60k-70k.

Lotus Esprit Sport 300 & Sport 350

Advertisement - Article continues below

The ultimate Esprits: early-’90s Sport 300 used a 300bhp version of the turbo four and just 64 were built. The late- ’90s Sport 350 was based on the V8 Esprit and was even rarer, with just 48 made; they’re £50,000-plus today.

Honda NSX (NA1 & NA2)

The car that no doubt hastened the development of the Ferrari F355. Prices start at £40k today, with the very best fetching up to £70k. 

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/aston-martin/202217/2020-aston-martin-vantage-roadster-revealed
Aston Martin

2020 Aston Martin Vantage Roadster revealed

Two-seater Aston Martin Vantage Roadster gets a sleek new look and a new roof
12 Feb 2020
Visit/lamborghini/201900/819bhp-lamborghini-aventador-based-v12-hypercar-nears-production
Lamborghini

819bhp Lamborghini Aventador-based V12 hypercar nears production 

Track-only Squadra Corse machine fired up for the first time at Sant’Agata Bolognese factory
11 Feb 2020
Visit/ford/mustang/202231/1969-ford-mustang-mach-1-given-986bhp-twin-turbocharged-v8
Ford Mustang

1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 given 986bhp twin-turbocharged V8

A pair of turbochargers and a modern Coyote V8 turn this ’69 Ford Mustang into a near four-figure quarter-mile hero 
13 Feb 2020
Visit/features/22907/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-col-de-turini
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Col de Turini

We take the Hyundai i30 Fastback N up the Col de Turini, a 31km stage of the Monte Carlo World Rally Championship
19 Jul 2019