In the last 30 days several people have asked me my oppinion on the 355 vs 360 as a first Ferrari-or Ferrari period. I recently upgraded from a 98 355 F1 Spider to a 2002 360 Modena F1 Coupe and have posted this answer in the other welcome thread and figured it might benefit someone if they're in the marker for a first Ferrari and looking at 355 and 360 or just want an oppinion on the 2 cars. This is not about which car is better etc-the question actually specifically asked which one I would pick if I could only have one of the two and had to chose. The answer below reflects only mho and I'm sure there's other people out there who had both and can chime in. Since I was asked this question a lot I hope this will help someone and if you have more model specific question feel free to message me.
Here's the question that was asked:
Originally Posted by Gransport Guy Love your 360. Welcome. I'm considering the F355 vs 360. Since you owned both, can you give your pros/cons of each, and which you would choose if you can have only one.... Congrats again!
Here is what I answered:
Thank you so much, I really appreciate it. Your question is brutal to answer. There is such a wide variety of opinions on this topic when it comes to comparing the 355 and 360. You're right, I have been very fortunate to own both. Even as a child, since I can remember I wanted a 355, to me back then it was and still is to this day one of the most striking Ferraris and cars period. The 355 and the 360 are very different cars and also very different philosophies altogether. But your question specifically asks if I actually had to choose one of the two which one would I take. On one hand I could answer very simply by saying I would take the 360 because it is a newer and "better" car. It is much cheaper on service, it has newer technology, way better F1 tcu shifting etc. It is also a more every day car, I can take it anywhere without any worries. To me the 360 is a little bit of a crossover, it is still a pure Ferrari however much more convenient and luxurious than a 355. When I was young and I first saw the 360 I actually very much loved the curvy lines. The 355 is not confused, it knows exactly what it is: a pure sports car. When I was finally ready to buy my first one I knew so much about these cars that sometimes even the dealers I was talking to were struggling to give me certain answers. I owned the 355 for about seven months then I was fortunate to upgrade to the 360. I had an absolute blast with the 355, I did very thorough investigation before I committed to one because do understand this, the 355 can be a problem car. I bought a 1998 red tan F1. And that's probably the one and only mistake I made when I bought that car, I should've bought a stick shift. It doesn't matter which way you slice it, the F1 at that time was not ready and it was a beta. It was still impressive and worked fine but I personally would suggest you do not go with a F1 transmission until late 2002 when they finally came out with an upgraded TCU. That's why I made sure that my 360 was late 2002. Even that TCU is not the best, but at this point it's actually worth driving and fun. I also bought a 355 spider, and that roof is known to have a lot of issues, especially because most of the time you're going to have it down and then you're going to have to bleed the system, it was very overengineered and once it doesn't work anymore it can set you back a lot a lot of money. If I could go back I would hands-down buy a Berlinetta. Also keep in mind that the 355 has a major service that requires a engine out compared to the 360. Some people have this useless argument of saying that with the money they save compared to buying a 360 they can spend on the engine out, but real life never works that way and that argument is completely unlogical since you're talking about a newer and more advanced car with the 360. Personally I never had a problem with my 355, I bought mine from fast cars in Redondo Beach and this guy Craig was nothing but superb and never tried to sell me just any 355, he tracked down one that was really ready to go and it just proves that if you spend the time and do a PPI it really will give you a headache free car. I knew that the 355 can be a money pit that's why I wanted to minimalize the risk. People also say that the two cars are very similar in performance and the way they drive but nothing could be farther from the truth. The 360-is to the 355 what the 430 is to the 360. Minor upgrades, but worlds apart. The 360 is a beast, the engine is superbly tuned,it sounds fantastic and the torque is much more immediate. I can do certain things in the 360 that wouldn't be possible in my old 355. Although I will say that the 355 is the best sounding Ferrari I've ever heard or owned-period. When you hit the gas on the 355 and you get to 6000 RPM there's nothing that sounds more vulgar than the 355. The 360 is more deep and more aggressive because it is more fine-tuned and you can totally tell the difference in advancement. Then there's also looks, but that's very subjective and unlike most people I actually think that both are very beautiful in their own way. Although imho the 355 is one of the most striking looking Ferrari's ever. Strangely I think the 360 is more elegant than the 430-even though the 430 is better of course. But again-subjective.
My answer is probably way longer than your interest, I hope I'm not boring you LOL But now I will actually answer your question: If life was going to go on normal as it is I would take the 360 because like everything else in life you out-grow things and there's the desire for newer and better. After almost 4 months of owning the 360 I have not once regretted selling the 355 to upgrade- the 360 totally fulfills me. The 360 is a fantastic everyday Ferrari. Even my girlfriend loves it, it's very comfy, luxurious and very convenient and yet it can be a monster if you want it to be. However, if the world was going to end in two weeks and I had to choose which of the two I want to drive until the end I would hands-down without thinking twice take the 355, it is a true and pure Ferrari experience-It is a car that knows exactly what it is: a Ferrari.