‘Complex, sophisticated, and very fast, it is the quantum leap that has enabled the Ferrari V8 to run in proud parallel with the 456GT and 550 Maranello,’ enthused Car magazine’s review of the F355. First presented to the motoring press in May 1994, the F355 effectively re-forged the reputation of Ferrari’s V8 which, 328 and 348 notwithstanding, had suffered since the introduction of the Mondial ‘world car’. The latter, with its four seats, well-appointed interior, and relatively soft ride, was considered far too sensible to be a ‘proper’ Ferrari; the F355 though, was cast in the mould of that great driver’s car, the Dino 246GT. Just how great an advance it was may be gauged from the fact that the F355’s best time around Ferrari’s Fiorano test track was three seconds quicker than the formidable 512TR’s.
Despite its prodigious performance the F355 was no mere ‘racer on the road’, but a thoroughly modern automobile employing state-of-the-art technology – in the form of computer-controlled variable damping – to reconcile the differing requirements of ultimate road holding and acceptable comfort. A light-action clutch, proportional power-assisted steering, and driver’s air bag were other features calculated to make the car reassuringly user-friendly.
The heart of the F355 though, was its phenomenal 3.5-litre V8 engine. Equipped with four overhead camshafts and five valves per cylinder – a layout borrowed from Ferrari’s Formula 1 engine – this remarkable unit produced a claimed 370bhp at 8,250rpm, with 268lb/ft of torque available between 5,000 and 6,500rpm. A six-speed gearbox, mounted transversely behind the longitudinally disposed engine, ensured a sufficiency of ratios to keep the motor on the boil whatever the situation.
Testing an F355 in 1994, Autocar achieved a top speed of 173mph, with the 0-60mph dash covered in 4.3 seconds. ‘The F355 is, we’re certain, a landmark car for Ferrari,’ declared the esteemed British motoring magazine. ‘Not only is it good enough to tear down the walls of the class you think it should be in and cause deep blushes throughout the one above, but it is also the best sports car Ferrari has turned out since the 246 GT Dino some 30 years ago.’ Praise indeed.
Supplied new to Brussels, this Ferrari 355 F1 spider has covered only 29,000 miles from new and has just three recorded owners. The car is UK registered and comes to us with a UK V5 document and a fresh MOT along with all its original paperwork, tools, book pack, two keys, alarm as well as a Ferrari car cover. The car is finished in beautiful Tour De France Blue and is complemented by the blue mohair hood- which glides easily up and down at the touch of a button. Under the lightweight boot lid, the engine is in immaculate condition and is highly detailed.
The car is upholstered in Tan hide throughout with matching carpets, and the power seats are in fine order. The car sits on four unmarked alloys shod with excellent tyres. The paddle shift gears make driving a pleasure, it makes all the right noises and is taut and responsive. A full service is being performed by a marque specialist prior to sale. To sum up, this is a low mileage well cared for car that needs nothing.