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Discussion Starter #1
Well as some of you remembered I was searching for a 1989 328GTS. Went to a dealer this last weekend to look at one but it was already sold. Before I knew it, I'm sitting in a 355 and in a trance! Thank God the sales guy didn't stick me in an F430!

So now I'm researching 355s (downloaded the buyers guide) and I'm a little confused. I've heard the F1 tranny option can be problematic. It was improved for the F360 model. So why would the buyers guide rate a 355F1 with a higher rating than the standard gated stick!

So should I return to my 328 desires or go for the 355? Somehow I have managed turning buying my dream car into a soap opera!

Let the opinions fly gents and ladies!

Pyroguy
 

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If you can swing a 355 then you might want to go for it. You don't want to live the rest of your life saying "I should have............."
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Pete, that's how I am currently feeling. Would still like some opinions on the 355 F1 tranny Vs Standard shift
 

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I, personally, have not driven a car with the F1 tranny so I cannot give you any input on the "feel" of driving that. I have heard that they are very expensive to repair when they fail. I remember seeing once that it was an $11,000 option. My buddy was like "Wow, that option costs more than my Ford Focus."

What I can tell you is that the Ferrari gated shifter is a huge part of the Ferrari experience. It is not a mushy shifter like a VW or something. It is positive, it is mechanical, YOU are selecting gears, YOU are engaging them. The sound, the feel, it is magic. I doubt you will find anyone who would disagree with me on the joys of running a Ferrari through the gears.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm pretty much on base with you. I have not heard of anyone raving about the attributes of paddle shifting except for the track. For a "driver car". I hear the paddle shift can be an issue in traffic and parking.

I'm probably going to rent one in Vegas ( don't worry, I know these cars tend to be trashed so I won't expect too much) Just a chance for the wife and I to get a feel for what we want to buy.
 

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Yeah, on the track would be the only benefit I could see to a paddle shifter. You and I are not race car drivers and we aren't taking our cars out on the track (at least I'm not). We can afford the 0.5 seconds it takes to move our hand from the steering wheel to the shifter.

Renting one for a day is a good idea. But for me, if I were in the market for a 355, I think I would "stick with the stick."
 

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Pyroguy,

The 355 uses a unique paddle system unlike all the newer models, i'd avoid the 355 version unless you really 'have to' have it. Other main thing with the 355 is the known header problem, they get hot, burn up... So check to be sure the headers have been changed or are very new.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
355 shifting

Duly noted about the 355 issues. As far as I'm concerned the stick is the better 'Street vehicle". Doubt I'll do any serious track driving although I would like to have the opportunity to take a few laps on a track with the 355.

I am willing to pay the premium price to buy my 355 from an official dealer that has gone through the vehicle to make sure it is "up to snuff". Looking for it to be a pampered "pleasure car' for my wife and I.
 

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I have a bit of experience with both the F1 and standard manual. For the track the F1 is definitely the way to go. When you get used to driving a F1 equiped car on the track, going back to a standard manual feels positively disjointed and slow.

However for the rest of the time you are driving the car, nothing beats the feeling of running a Ferrari stick up through the metal gate.

My 2.57 cents.
 

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Go with the 'stick'. I believe you'll enjoy it more.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yeah, pretty much decided on the stick shift already.
Believe it or not, I actually prefer the Berlinetta!

Now the comments should fly!
 

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I prefer the Berlinetta with manual gearbox as well.

What color are you going for?
 

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I had a '95 355 manual and a 2001 360 F1. With the exception of some tightness in second gear when the car is cold, I think you will be pleased with the 355 six speed. You will find it to be a bit sticky for the first few minutes into second gear and this is normal for all of the 355's. I would guess that a late '99 may be a safer choice for an F1 as it would be logical that some improvements would have been made. Perhaps someone knowlegable with the service histories of the various 355 F1's might shed light on this.

There is really no comparison on the track (or the street for that matter) as the F1 is much faster and versitile. Of couse the 360 was at least as much of an improvement over the 355 as the 355 was over the 348 so it is an unfair comparison in some regard. I would not hesitiate to recommend that you move up to the 355 if possible. My choice if I had to do it over, would be a GTS (painted roof) as you now have the best of all worlds: the lines of the GTB and the open cockpit of the Spyder.

I loved the 355 (mine was a Berlinetta) and found it to be a very comfortable, reliable and beautiful car. I was able to win the autocross competiton at the 2000 National Ferrari meet in Colorado Springs with it against much faster 360's, and 550's by virtue of its shorter wheelbase and excellent manuverablity in the tight turns.

I would recommend red/tan as I think that you will find it to be the preferred color from a resale point of view and I feel subjectively that it is the most impressive presentation of that particular model. No disrespect to any other color meant!

Be sure that you carefully investigate the history of the car and ensure that you are well informed about potential service updates namely cam belts which will require substantial expense but are vital to protecting your investment. Get a prepurchase inspection from a reliable third party. Ask the forum members to recommend a reliable person in your geography.

I can feel your excitement and that's very cool. Good luck and enjoy the ride of a lifetime! :) :) :) :)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Appreciate your input. Just what I was looking for. From my research, it seems the F1 didn't improve much until the 360 came out. I'm not looking to burn up the highway (well maybe just a little, heh heh).
The current front leader for me now is a 1997 Berlinetta. Sorry to disappoint you but my preferred color is Black with tan leather seats.. This one also has black carpeting which I prefer over the tan carpeting. This car was just traded to a ferrari dealer, fully documented service history. It is in the middle of a major service as I personally saw (cam belts, etc.). Carfax is clean.
I'm going to look at a few more in Vegas. Since I have never driven one, I'll probably rent one for half a day, hopefully it won't be a completely trashed rental.
 

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Red/tan will always bring a premium in resale as will F1 but that is only one criteria for a selection. Choose with your heart as well as your head and you won't go wrong. Best of luck to you. I think youll be very pleased with the right car.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
As you mentioned, I am choosing with my heart. I'm n ot looking at this primarily as a financial investment but rather as an enjoyment investment. Still shopping though so until I actually "pull the trigger" anything is possible.
 

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With the exception of some tightness in second gear when the car is cold, I think you will be pleased with the 355 six speed. You will find it to be a bit sticky for the first few minutes into second gear and this is normal for all of the 355's.
Common problem on the 308 also. Switching to Redline synthetic gear oil makes this issue go away.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I'll make a note of that Pete. I believe this topic came up in my original thread when I was looking for a 328.
 
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