Secondhand Saint: Ferrari F355

The three offerings of F355, the Spider (front), GTS (mid), and Berlinetta (rear). I prefer the GTS because it is a nice middle ground of the three.

This is somewhat of a departure even from the other cars we have featured in this section, but the F355 is a fantastic value if you have the money for it. While it cannot be had for the price of a new Corolla (like many of the other cars we’ve featured), it is one of the most iconic modern Ferraris and it can be had for the price of a BMW 5 series, so it is still a fantastic value.  

F355 with some opposite lock

The F355 was a huge step up from its predecessor, the 348, which was very hot and cold with the automotive press. The Travel Channel listed driving a Ferrari F355 on their “Top 100 Things To Do Before You Die” list, and it was praised to the highest degree by pretty much everyone. Even today, an F355 will still give you that full Ferrari experience without compromise. Sure, it isn’t as fast as its successors (it would be silly if it were) but its 375hp is still a lot and enough to get it past 180mph and to 60mph in under 5 seconds. Please believe the speed is there, even by modern standards.

F355 Spider

Looks and image wise, once a Ferrari, always a Ferrari–people will be staring in awe at an F355 just as much as a new 458 Italia, and experience-wise, many purists would prefer an F355 with a clutch pedal over the newer ones with their paddle-shift transmissions. The Ferrari 355 is in many ways the end of an era for Ferraris. Yes, it had an F1 transmission as an option, but at the time, such technology was still very crude and a proper manual was still generally preferred. It is really a part of a final generation of “pure” Ferraris before the space-age technology took over everything about the cars. Because of this specific appeal about the F355 I believe that values will increase in time, so you could even call buying one an investment, if that is what you must do to sway you significant other.

with the lights up. Beautiful figure

The appeal of this car is obvious.  It is an iconic Ferrari: fast, stylish, engaging, and fun, while its small V8 offers an incredible sound. Prices range from as low as $45k all the way up to around $100k, but given the nature of the way these cars are used, none of them have high mileage and most have only a few thousand, so if you can handle the running costs, I would say $50-75K is a solid range to look in if you are concerned with value and possible appreciation. So while it’s definitely not a “cheap” buy, it is certainly worth it for any enthusiast who lives and breathes The Prancing Horse. What a truly incredible car the Ferrari F355 is, it will surely never disappoint.

And just listen to it:

-Nick

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