360 F355 vs 360 Modena first time buyer advice - Ferrari Life
 
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post #1 of 13 Old 12-26-2012, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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F355 vs 360 Modena first time buyer advice

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.
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post #2 of 13 Old 12-26-2012, 08:54 PM
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Lol, that was my original question I guess I didn't check back into that original thread.

But thanks for such an honest and detailed review of the 355 vs 360. I think personally I want more of a DD Ferrari so that's why I have chosen the 360'. Now I just have to find the perfect one for me...

Maserati GranTurismo MC - Giallo yellow
Porsche 911 GT3 RS - black with orange accents - wife's car
F355 Berlinetta - Giallo Modena, 6-speed manual, carbon sport seats -recently traded in
Porsche Cayenne Turbo S
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post #3 of 13 Old 12-26-2012, 11:00 PM
 
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Great answer! I am looking for a DD Ferrari as well. My personal opinion is that the Ferrari 360 CS has the most elegant shape out of the lot. Just wish it came in a manual spec :/

Thanks again!

Matt
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post #4 of 13 Old 12-27-2012, 08:03 AM
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Thanks for posting your experience.
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post #5 of 13 Old 12-27-2012, 09:16 AM
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Great overview! I was battling back and forth between a 355 and 360. I went with the 360 for all the same reasons as you!

I also have a 2002 360. How can I tell if it is with the updated F1 TCU?
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post #6 of 13 Old 12-27-2012, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob4092xx View Post
Great overview! I was battling back and forth between a 355 and 360. I went with the 360 for all the same reasons as you!

I also have a 2002 360. How can I tell if it is with the updated F1 TCU?
I'm not an expert, but I believe that an updated TCU has a label on it with a "later" part number. I'm not sure what that part number is, but you may find more information from Terry in this post on a thread I started (where he talks about the assembly numbers corresponding to updates):
http://www.ferrarilife.com/forums/fe...pider-too.html

#3 might be a winner for you.
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post #7 of 13 Old 12-27-2012, 12:35 PM
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Raj- There were two new TCUs in the 02 timeframe and the part number is on the TCU itself. The TCU is under the carpet and an access panel behind the starboard seat. Parts numbers are listed on this page in Ricambi's online parts catalog.

Ferrari Parts, Ferrari Accessories, and Ferrari Performance Products - Ricambi America, Inc.

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post #8 of 13 Old 12-28-2012, 04:21 AM
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I think comparing the F355 with the 360 is a bit futile really...
Ideally one should have both cars in your stable!


The F355 is classic and elegant car, its grown older very gracefully and should be considered that way. It should be treated with respect it deserves. Both models have quite a few common faults which are well known by know so be prepared to do your homework well and then go and find the perfect car!

The 360 was produced in significantly higher production numbers so availability is higher (I think it was as much as double in the end off the top of my head!). Its a car from a different "era" of tech and that may appeal or may not depending on where your mind is. In the classic gated H-gate (the majority sold) you really drive the F355, and if you make a mistake many less nannies are helping you out so that is good or bad depending on your perspective (Personally I think good!). On the 360 its harder to find a manual, most cars sold are actually F1 spiders.

I'd say don't limit yourself to a model, just go out and find the perfect car (its fun!) but make sure you get an inspection done before committing by someone whom knows these cars like the back of their hand.

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post #9 of 13 Old 12-28-2012, 08:50 AM
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I have just gone through the same issue recently when choosing over either a 355 or 360. My criteria were simple, the car has to be a spider with manuel gearbox. During this time I have study extensively over the models and asking all my friends with previous experience. Later realized that the 360 is indeed much easier in terms of maintainance and the fact that it has an all aluminium chassis makes it even more irresistable. Many 355s in my area has fairly serious rust and corrosion being developed.

Choices with stick shift are indeed very difficult to find and my experience with the 355 spider was unfortunately not very pleasure one. There is one that during my two visits the top had failed to operate, and that totally put me off and the fact that it has to drop the engine for belt change make it even more so. But the 355 still look absolutely gorgeous for those with the patience and knowledge to upkeep I do think it is still worth it. Finally I ended up buying a 360 spider and since the previous owner really took good care of it the car is absolutely wonderful to drive.

Winsome
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post #10 of 13 Old 12-28-2012, 09:48 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winsome View Post
I have just gone through the same issue recently when choosing over either a 355 or 360. My criteria were simple, the car has to be a spider with manuel gearbox. During this time I have study extensively over the models and asking all my friends with previous experience. Later realized that the 360 is indeed much easier in terms of maintainance and the fact that it has an all aluminium chassis makes it even more irresistable. Many 355s in my area has fairly serious rust and corrosion being developed.

Choices with stick shift are indeed very difficult to find and my experience with the 355 spider was unfortunately not very pleasure one. There is one that during my two visits the top had failed to operate, and that totally put me off and the fact that it has to drop the engine for belt change make it even more so. But the 355 still look absolutely gorgeous for those with the patience and knowledge to upkeep I do think it is still worth it. Finally I ended up buying a 360 spider and since the previous owner really took good care of it the car is absolutely wonderful to drive.

Winsome
That is so true. When you have driven/owned a 355 it really makes you appreciate the 360 even more for all the reasons you mentioned above. I really did enjoy my 355 but feel so much more headache free now with my 360 and so far it has been an absolue joy and flawless and I drive it constantly.
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post #11 of 13 Old 12-28-2012, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Roberts View Post
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
Thanks for the great write up John! I went from a 355 spider stick to a 430 spider stick, and although my 430 is just so solid and a joy to drive, my 355 was the only car I owned, that I felt a little sad letting go.

... and yes ... with two weeks to the end, I would also pick the 355 to drive.
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post #12 of 13 Old 01-05-2013, 06:17 PM
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I love my 360 spider and have even had it on the track a few times, but it is scary at the limit. I've had a 360 Challenge that was also scary at the limit. So I bought a 355 Challenge and added a few turbos. The 355 is a much more forgiving car and I can drive it at the limit (my limit, not the car's) without needing diapers. The 355 is also a much more focused car, a real race car that you can drive on the street. You wear a 355 while you sit in a 360. So I agree with the above posts-for every day use the 360 is much more comfortable and smooth (I have a 6 speed. Had the F1 system on the 360 CH and hated everything about it except for the fact that it is much quicker than rowing through the gears and that makes a big difference on the track). But the 355 is the one I would drive if the apocalypse was coming.
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post #13 of 13 Old 06-29-2014, 06:06 PM
 
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John and Solly and all, thanks for your answers, since I'm only looking for a weekend driver, it sounds like the 355 Berlinetta is a good fit for me.
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