The Ferrari F355 was built by Ferrari from May 1994 to 1999. It is an evolution of the Ferrari 348 and is a mid-engined, rear wheel drive, V8-powered two-seat coupe, targa, or convertible. Design emphasis for the F355 was placed on significantly improved performance, as well as drivability across a wider range of speeds and in different environments (such as low-speed city traffic.)
Apart from the displacement increase from 3.4 to 3.5L, the major difference between the V8 engine in the 348 and F355 is the introduction of a 5-valve cylinder head. This new head design allowed for better intake permeability and resulted in an engine that was considerably more powerful, producing 375 hp. The longitudinal V8 engine was bored 2mm over the 348’s engine (85 mm rather than 83 mm), resulting in the small increase in displacement. The frame is a steel monocoque with tubular steel rear sub-frame with front and rear suspensions using independent, unequal-length wishbones, coil springs over gas-filled telescopic shock absorbers with electronic control servos and anti-roll bars. Although the F355 was equipped with power-assisted steering (intended to improve low-speed drivability relative to the outgoing 348), this could optionally be replaced with a manual steering rack setup by special order.
Aerodynamic designs for the car included over 1,300 hours of wind tunnel analysis. The car incorporates a Nolder profile on the upper portion of the tail, and a fairing on the underbody that generates downforce when the car is at speed. The car’s standard seats are upholstered with hides from Connolly Leather, and are fitted asymmetrically in the car; this results in the driver being slightly closer to the car’s centre line than the passenger.
In 1997 the Formula One style paddle gear shift electrohydraulic manual transmission was introduced with the Ferrari 355 F1 (note the dropping of the F before the 355) adding £6,000 to the dealer asking price. The F355 was the last in the series of mid-engined Ferraris with the Flying Buttress rear window, a lineage going back to the 1965 Dino 206 GT, unveiled at the Paris Auto Show.
The nomenclature does not follow the formula from the previous decades, i.e. engine capacity followed by the number of cylinders. For the F355, Ferrari used engine capacity followed by the number of valves per cylinder (355 = 3.5 litres engine capacity and 5 valves per cylinder) to bring the performance advances introduced by a 5 valve per cylinder configuration into the forefront.
Total production of 11,273 units made the F355 the most-produced Ferrari at the time.
RHD, UK Supplied, Electric seats, Electric Hood, Capristo sports exhaust, Power windows, Electric heated mirrors, Adjustable sports suspension, ABS, Pioneer Radio and CD player.
This cherished example is finished in the classic shade of Rosso Corsa which gleams beautifully all around the car accentuating the clean, cohesive styling that helped the 355 earn its title as one of the greatest production sports cars of its time. The paintwork is in fantastic condition and in keeping with the cars age and use, likewise the contrasting black soft-top remains in great condition and free from any marks or tears. Lights are clear and free from cracks or marks, with fitment and finish of surrounds and trim in excellent order. The hood arrangement nestles nicely behind the rear seats, attesting to an excellent design that does well not to disrupt the flowing lines of this wonderful convertible.
Sit behind the wheel of the 355 and the level of quality is immediately evident from inside. The piped crema leather seats contrast beautifully against the black leather wrapped around the top of the dash, with the Bordeaux carpets again working perfectly to create an elegant and sophisticated feel to the interior. This stunning example shows minimal signs of wear to the vulnerable seat bolsters, whilst the airbag insert retains good fit and appearance.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
The major difference between the V8 engine in the 348 and 355 was the introduction of a 5-valve cylinder head. This new head design allowed for better intake permeability and resulted in an engine that was considerably more powerful. A hoarse bark greets the starter, then the engine settles to a deep, resonant idle. As the revs begin to rise however, the flat-plane crankshafts, valve gear, induction system and exhaust all combine to create at first a purposeful growl of which soon rises to a breathtaking F1-style scream through the higher revs. This example presents in perfect mechanical health having benefited from careful ownership and regular servicing throughout its life.
WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES
The classic 5 spoke Speedline wheels are in unmarked condition wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sports – all of which show plenty of tread. The brakes perform as they should, with no adverse pitch, pull or drone. The black calipers are free from chips or corrosion and complete the overall fantastic condition of this Ferrari.
First registered on 09/10/1998 this 355 F1 Spider has enjoyed careful ownership throughout its life. Upon inspecting the extensive history file there are a number of invoices carried out by highly regarded specialists, backed up by a healthy maintenance log book showing routine servicing carried out from new. Having just returned from a major service by Autofficina in May this year – to which cam belts, drive belts, alternator belts and power steering belts were all replaced alongside new engine mounts – this well cared for Ferrari is ready to be driven and enjoyed by its next custodian.
The original leather owners wallet with all supporting handbooks are present in the history file alongside a spare key.
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