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Discussion Starter #1
I am a newbie to FF as a "member";however, I have browsed the site for a long time and I thank you all and applaud you for your knowledge, insights, and brilliance regarding everything Ferrari! Like most of you, I'm sure, I have been in love with the marque for most of my life and now that I'm finally in the market to purchase one of these works of art it is nice to know that there are others as obsessed as I am with the prancing horse!

I will purchase a 355 within the next 6 months or so, and I am feverishly researching my model options. I am leaning towards a GTS (manual, not F1) as I live in Boston and I feel that I would realize more days of open-air use than if I owned a spider. I just sold my 1996 Porsche C4S that I owned from the showroom and I enjoyed the true coupe feel, but I also enjoyed opening up the sunroof often as well.

All of the posts I read on FF regarding the 355 are quite insightful as have been the various articles over the years in Forza (I literally study the respective F355 Buyers Guides from both sources). My question, specifically, is this: Should I avoid considering any particular year of manufacture, and if so, why? Forza's BG suggests avoiding 1995, but FF's does not. I have been doing most of my searches on 1997, 1998, and 1999 models. Also, other than the insistance on a full, written service history (with no gaps in time whatsoever), is there any other must-have deliverable that I should expect from a perspective seller? Any other insights for the first-time Ferrari owner are greatly appreciated!

Thank you all in advance for your help!!
 

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pmm, I think you have a pretty good idea of what you need to look for. Find a car you like and get the PPI done. Full service history is a must and a recent cambelt change is a plus. As a F355 GTS manual owner, I have to appaud your choice. Regarding the years, some people recommend avoiding the 95's due to the very misunderstood valve guide issue. If the car had a problem, it would have had to been sorted a long time ago. If not, the PPI will pick it up. I have a 95 and have never had a problem with it. Good luck with your search.

P.S. I assume you have seen the F355 Buyers Guide in the Members section.
 

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Thanks, Boxer! I appreciate your direction, especially since you own exactly what I'm searching for! I'm happy to hear that, as long as I do my homework, I should have many years of happy motoring with the ultimate GTS of my choosing. Thanks again!
 

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the GTS sometimes has the problem that the roof squeeks a little, but with all you research, I'm sure you already read that. Looks like you know exactly what you want, and what to look for. Start looking around, and I think mostimportant, drive a few cars, so you know how they should feel. When you finally drive the car you want, then you will know or it feels good or not.

Good luck!
 

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The latter year models are better of course because they would have ironed out all the little "niggles". I had owned a Berlinetta and have no complaints but my friends (note the plural) who had owned the GTS all swear that they will never buy another GTS. The roof squeks and in heavy rain there's every likelihood of "leaks". Unless you're living somewhere where it's sunny most of the time, avoid the GTS.
 

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Thank you, Dr. Bob and Stradale, for your insights. While I had read in the past about the potential of a squeaking roof with the GTS, I had no idea that the problem was so prominent across the model. Stradale, thank you for your personal touch with reference to your Berlinetta experience as well as the apparent horror of your friends with their GTS antics. Again, I live in Boston so I thought that the idea of an extra-large sunroof (a-la the GTS targa) was a more appropriate open-air strategy than the spider. I can say with clarity that any ongoing squeaking would simply drive me crazy, with no guarantee of being topless all or most of the time.

Many of you have also mentioned the tendency of the spider to leak in the rain as well. Is this typical of most spiders or is it a selective "sickness" for certain years?

Perhaps I should simply focus on a Berlinetta?? Has anyone seen/heard of a power or manual sunroof in the Berlinetta or is it a hardtop only? Sorry for my ignorance; however, I simply want to make the best decision I can and be thrilled with my new (pre-owned) ride. Thank you all again for your help.[/u]
 

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I guess I have been fortunate as I have never had a major problem with the squeaky roof. I believe part of the squeaking is caused by not putting the roof back on properly and part by the rubber seal degrading over time (which will happen more quickly in hot humid climates). The issue on leaking is very real. Not an issue when you are moving, but when parked or sitting in traffic in a heavy rain you can get 2 small trickles running down the front corners of the roof. It is annoying but you go forget about it when the top is off on a brilliant sunny day. Suggest you drive a GTS (with top on and off), Spider, and Berlinetta then see which you prefer.
 

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Ferrari doesn't have a sunroof fot the Berlinetta models. They're either Berlinetta (hardtop), GTS (Carrera top) and Spyder. Frankly you'd be better off with the spyder. The same friend that bought the new GTS then sold it and bought a used spyder and he swears in terms of "leaks" the spyder is better "sealed". But beware the mechanism tends to go faulty quite easily, because the seats move automatically forward when the hood is bing put on or off. So make sure you know where the manual lever is situated and how to work the roof when it's stuck!

I suggest you just enjoy a Ferrari first, that is get the Berlinetta because that is the easiest to live with. Trust me, when the problems start to happen you'll be cursing the car and yourself! :D
 

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I'm not a fan of ferrari... but I suggest that you first and foremost research a car that you like. The one that really, REALLY takes your breath away.

That would be my first reason for buying a car. Any mishaps with a car are just little things that CAN (but not nescesarily (damn that word) do) give a car it's charm. Just little quirks... see my point?
 
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