Hagerty.com

The 1996–99 Ferrari F355 has had a volatile market

The F355 marked the end of the crisp Ferrari styling DNA that tied the brand to some of its most recognizable 1980s supercars. It’s perfectly sculpted Pininfarina design is still striking today, yet the collector market seems unsure of what to make of it.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2019/05/31/1996-99-ferrari-f355-volatile-market

"The F355 marked the end of the crisp Ferrari styling DNA " and that’s WHY the market doesn’t know what to do with it. Put a prancing horse on what could be a 1990 LeBaron convertible concept car, and it’s confusing.

I’m not sure why the article is ignoring the 1995 F355s.

Also, the Challenge cars are only available with the manual transmission. The sentence is worded a little awkwardly, but seems to be saying the opposite. I can personally attest to this, as I have a rather close personal relationship to one. :grinning:

I think these were the last of the engine out services (belts and hoses) affecting the resale if not current?

I actually own a low mileage 1996 F355 Spider 6 speed manual and you forgot to mention that it was the first year Ferrari offered a power convertible top for their cars. And yes, every 6 or 7 years (or 8,000 miles of driving) you need the Belt change “Major Service” service work. If there are no major problems during the service, you need to count on between 7K - 8K USD for that major service work. But getting it done on an F50 would you more like $ 25 K. I went thru this twice and it is just part of the Ferrari ownership experience. Any other service work that needs to be done on any Ferrari can add up quickly, so be forewarned. Owning a F355 Ferrari (Or any Ferrari for that matter) is fun, but there are cost associated with it. Hey, if it was cheap to own a Ferrari (or a Lambo) more people would have one in the garage. But they do turn heads and get lots of attention when we drive ours.

In all honesty this is probably the major reason why I have not purchased a Ferrari. I could afford many of them, not all, but I love Ferrari Styling, my dream is a Yellow Maranello, 550 or 575. But in the end the Ferrari experience of costly routine maintenance that I cannot do on my own… it just ruins it for me. Part of car ownership for me, is the fact that “I did that” or “I am able to repair it” There are some things I don’t do, but to own a car that I really cannot enjoy all the time without major “regular maintenance” I guess I will leave that for those with more money than me. I know a local guy that had a Countach, and then he found another body in Germany, had it shipped to the states and he made a tubular frame and installed a Chevy running gear… he says the nice thing is it is 1) more reliable, 2) Faster 3) it is not a constant drain on the wallet 4) He enjoyed it way more than his authentic one, so he sold the all original one.

To all who like to talk about f355 ownership but have never actually owned one, I say this. The sound of an 8500 rpm 40 valve V8 is worth the price of admission. If you can’t afford it, can’t take care of it or won’t value it, find a nice Camaro. You’ll be happy. I’ll keep my F355 gated dream car and enjoy every minute (even the maintenance calls).

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Talk to me about the F360… no engine out service and modern styling. That is where I am focused.

The F355 does not require engine-out service for routine maintenance. To access belts and hoses it has a removable panel in the rear firewall behind the seats. It was the first mid-engine Ferrari to offer this concession to simplify maintenance. Its fully depreciated price reflects its dated styling and low horsepower relative to its brethren that came after. Their reputation for aged fuel lines to leak and burst the car into flames is well documented. Nonetheless its age is in a gap between too young to be a classic and too old to be relevant to the newer models. I’m not knocking it and like all Ferrari’s it’ll probably escalate in value someday. But for now it is what it is.

Just the look of the Interior Picture above with the gated gearbox and shifter and the lovely color interior and the overall character of the Car are worth all the Accolades! The enjoyment and pleasure is in the driving experience of the car not necessarily it’s speed and 0-60 time etc etc., but the sound of that wonderful engine revving to 8500, and the handling of the chassis etc etc., is a complete experience of a well sorted one!! I personally have owned 3 Miata’s and love them, and of course they are not fast at all, but handle great, but the overall pleasure of driving them on our twisty mountain roads is really fun! I used to Finance classic Cars back in England and have driven many exotics i.e. XKE, Aston Martin DBS V8, Three Lotus’, Porsches, and have been driven in a Ferrari Dino and a Daimler Dar (SP250) etc etc to name some, and yes I liked them all, but so is my naturally aspirated NC Miata with just 180hp which rev’s to 7200rpm and handles great (I have made a few modifications to make it breath better and had the engine mapped for extra torque and hp over stock). But a really great affordable real Sportscar. Many modern sportscars are WAY over powered and as such it is impossible to ever use that power safely in a road situation, and how often are you going to the track to really exploit it’s power and handling potential?

I wasn’t giving my personal assessment of the F355 as much as the market’s. My personal views are in alignment with yours. The F355 marks a turning point for Ferrari V8 road cars. The lore is, while driving a then-new 348 fresh CEO Luca Montezemolo got beaten on an Italian road by a Golf GTI. Afterward he vowed a Ferrari car, no matter the engine, would no longer lack horsepower. The F355 was born and was a vast improvement over the prior V8 cars both in power, build quality and maintenance accessibility. It was a large leap forward into what would become increasingly formidable future V8 models. The story goes, whenever anyone asked Montezemolo what his favorite Ferrari is? His answer is always the same, “The next one.” Anyway, until the market wakes up, which given Ferrari history it probably will, the F355 languishes in “its just a used car” purgatory which is great news for those who’ve lusted after a Cavallino Ramparte but never thought they’d own one.

I have always loved the F355 but I would never have a car where you need to drop the engine every 7-8k miles for a belt change.
WTF, can this even be real- YES!