F355 Looking to buy: F 355 Berlinetta, 6-speed manual. - Ferrari Life
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post #1 of 5 Old 01-07-2014, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Dec 2012
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Looking to buy: F 355 Berlinetta, 6-speed manual.

I am hoping this is an appropriate place to place this thread; the buy/sell section doesn't seem to have a "Ferrari Wanted" option...so please redirect me to the best spot if need be.

So, having poor luck on eBay so far...

I thought I would try here since I spend a lot of time on Ferrari-Life.
WANTED: Any year, well sorted Berlinetta, with a manual shift.

The color is less important than the service history. I seek a well-taken care of F 355, with complete documentation.
I am looking to spend somewhere in the range of $45,000, perhaps $50,000 . There are cars available for less/more, but I know I can find something solid for this price region.

Any help?

Yes, I am aware that the bulk of the cars for sale are going for $45,000 to $100,000 depending on which dealer is inflating the price. Hoping to perhaps find a private seller.

Prices seem to be trending upwards, but I have been watching prices every single day for the last 14 months.....the cars which are SELLING are selling for $40 to $60K. The cars that are LISTED seem to be from $65K to $75K. Private sellers sell for less. Dealers tend to relist their cars over and over since their inflation is out-running the market a bit. There are also less cars online during the winter, it seems. So here I post, and I hope my friends at Ferrari-Life can help. Thank you.
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post #2 of 5 Old 01-12-2014, 06:53 PM
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I just bought what you were looking for and I think you'll have to raise your target price a little- from what I could find the well sorted below 30k miles cars start at around $55k and go up from there depending on add ons and how motivated the seller is. Most everything less than $55k seemed to either need a Major belt service or had very little if any service history- you have to remember, by the time the current owner has dealt with valve guides, exhaust manifold/cats issue and a recent major service, he is not going to be motivated to give the car away-everyone I found below that $55k number needed 1 or more of the above. Good luck with your search! Here are a couple pics of my new one
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post #3 of 5 Old 01-13-2014, 05:14 AM
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Very nice and the carbon fiber seats are a real bonus.
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post #4 of 5 Old 01-15-2014, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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GORGEOUS CAR!!!!!! Love Giallo...and thanks for the input.

BIG update:

I made my purchase. I planned to get a Berlinetta, but I really always wanted one in blue. Because they are so scarce, I went with a 97 F 355 Spider in Swatters blue with Tan interior, blue top, tan bonnet. 14,563 miles. Service history below. Last 6 of VIN: 108076 (Ferrari registry shows two mistakes on the vin# and interior color as blue. Odd.)
I am in LOVE with it despite the lack of it being a coupe. That's fine, I plan to save up again over the next few years and buy a GTS with a painted top, so it has the effect of a coupe with open-air capability. I will then have all 3 models, ostensibly. Green would be nice. They are scarce as well.

So, The service history is as such: Ferrari of Long Island did a belt service in 2002, verified. There was another belt service in 2011, August, unverified. (?! Paperwork!?) Also, new battery, new clutch, pressure plate, throw-out bearing. (Verified, saw the paperwork when the dealership had it serviced at (North Coast Exotics, Ohio) So...What about the paperwork for the 2011 belt service?! Here is what I was told, as per the dealership and carfax:
It was sold new at Beverly Hills Ferrari, then made its way to Florida, where it had another owner for 6 years, approximately. Then it went to Ohio. This car was then bought at a well-known auction (forget the name the fellow mentioned) The person who purchased the car was part of the management at Valley Mitsubishi, Medina Ohio, and the dealership purchased it. He no longer works there, and was unable to be reached...but was the fellow who listed the car for the dealership to sell. It sat and sat and they had a few gawkers, never a test drive. I found her on Autotrader.com I believe. I know roughly every F 355 listed for sale online, having been searching EVERY SINGLE DAY for 15 months. SO, anyway, having a hard time selling it, they dropped the price to $50,000.
I flew to Cleveland 2 days later on a red-eye flight, cabbed it to Medina, Ohio for $75 with tip. Pulled out my flashlight and went over every single visible inch of the car. Everything looked fine. Test drove it. Everything felt great. TONS of power, solid. Smooth. Clean. Consistent. Interior is GREAT, minus the vent-stickies. Dash looks good. Plastic looks good.
The bad:
The check engine light is on. The slow-down light flickers. There was a new battery put in.....hmmmm. They didn't reset the CEL properly I think. I will do that tomorrow...disconnect the battery, let it idle till the second fan comes on etc etc. THEN I HOPE the check engine light doesn't come on again. If it does I will be trying to diagnose this on the forum by searching the topic. Love this forum.
Also, the E-brake is inop. It just pulls up and down freely. Thus, the first step in opening the convertible top is impossible. I HOPE that when I fix it that the top works. It was down in the listing pictures.
So, I took all of this info and my knowledge of the F 355, and got the car for $45,000, cash. The way I look at it, If I have to replace the headers and valve guides, the car is still worth $55,000 at this time in this market. Prices are going up quickly, although they are being inflated a bit by online listings at $103,000 for a NON Fiorano spider with 2000 or 3000 miles, for example.
I think I got a good deal, all things considered. Perhaps an INCREDIBLE deal depending on the status of the manifolds and valve-guides.

I LOVE the car. Floored by its power and looks. Floored. So, I plan to diagnose the dash lights and keep her very-well maintained. The first thing I am going to do is replace the stock manifold. I am going to attempt to verify the 2011 belt service by tracking down the guy who listed it. That's important.

Any feedback is of course welcomed. Thanks! Scuderia Ferrari!!!!! and let's hope Schumacher gets well soon. Cheers for Kimi Raikkonen as well.
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post #5 of 5 Old 01-15-2014, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by FCBanned4Life View Post
Very nice and the carbon fiber seats are a real bonus.
Glad to see this car....beautiful gated specimen.
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