1996 Ferrari 355 Berlinetta
Good evening. I am looking to purchase my very first Ferrari. I have always wanted to own a 355, preferably a coupé (red or silver) with only an exclusion to the Spyder - My intentions are to drive and enjoy the car over being seen (so let's get that out of the way, ha!). I would appreciate real, first hand information from a solid knowledge base... that is why we are all here, yes? If you are curious as to why the 355, it is because the 355 was the first Ferrari I drove. I was 15 at the time and it has stuck with me ever since... first impressions last a life time (bought my M3 for the same reason). I would like to know about the maintenance on the car to include yearly operating cost and how much of it I can do myself. I am a solid and patient mechanic with 16 years of experience. My experience varies from lawn mowers to $40 million dollar aircraft(s). I have extensive education and training as well as having multiple certifications. Most importantly is that my confidence does not double as arrogance which reduces the chance of making unnecessary mistakes or undertaking tasks that are better left to individuals who should rightfully be preforming such maintenance. I also would like information on specific maintenance requirements and intervals, specialized tooling and part availability. I understand that there will be a certain amount of time and money dedicated to proper upkeep, and I am prepared for that, but I would like to keep it on the road more than on the rack. I have read extensively on this specific car and of course Ferrari, but I would like to get some information from actual owners, mechanics and historians. There are so many opinions out there and information that can support both sides, but too many times I find myself reading from authors that seem to either be repeating what they have heard (passing off as their own experiences) or having little interaction with anything Ferrari. Here are some specifics on the car: Listed as "excellent condition", 25,704 Miles, Tubi exhaust, garage-kept, non-smoker, current owner purchased it in 2001 - three total, registered member of The Ferrari Club, engine out service completed at 23,000 miles (timing belt and new clutch installed in 2005), original red paint, no scratches or dents, good interior condition - however does have some "sticky" parts and minor shrinkage around dashboard edges, 8 cylinder and has an auto check score of 84.
Everything is in order with regards to the title. I have not seen it in person, but the pictures provided show an excellent looking vehicle, but of course pictures can only do so much... and typically do that. Also, should I steer clear of any sites or dealers? What price range is reasonable for this specific models condition? I would really like to stick with the 355, but I am also not thick headed and if this is a car I should "get over" and pursue other models, please point me in the right direction. I own, or have owned, Porsche and BMW M class autos and would love to stick with my beloved Germans, but I feel that I would have major regrets later in life if I did not experience owning a Ferrari. Thank you for your time and information. I apologize for such a long post. I will update all of you on my decision and post as much information as possible.