I am trying to decide if I should even look at buying a 95 F355. I have heard some really bad things about them. Can anyone who owns a 355 tell me what is true/not true, and what to look for. Thank you in advance
What kind of problems do you fear ?
1995 is I believe the year the 355 came out so, as with any car, the very first models to come out suffer more quality problems, and reliability matures over years. Intrisic design flaws remain though.
As with any of these cars, be super stringent on maintenance history, intervals must be respected and the car must be treated with due respect.
I have a '98 355 GTS F1 (pics in the garage section) and it runs fine but ...
- the dealer never got the fuel gauge to work accurately
- I had a leaking exhaust manifold replaced this winter, a seminal problem on 355s according to my dealer, Ferrari took it under warranty (nice). Part costs 2500$ + labour.
- the other manifold has just started leaking, it makes a very recognizable garbling noise at mid revs while it should just howl like an angry cat
- the interior build quality is a shame and the leather needs a lot of care to remain in decent condition.
- I've read of one other owner around here suffering a rather severe problem in one of the cylinder heads, leading to a 10'000$ engine rebuild
The 355 is a superb car, handling, engine noise are genuinely unique, but you've better pick a car in good condition with pristine maintenance history. The ideal is to obtain an offical 1y Ferrari warranty, and buy from an official and quality-conscious dealer.
I've read everywhere that the 355 is the first car of the Montezemolo era, where Ferrari started realizing that their cars sucked in quality. The early 355 and 550s are not exempt of finish weaknesses (soft touch coating on window switches peeling off are systematic for instance), but they are said to be way better than the preceeding models.
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