1996 Ferrari F355 Berlinetta
The F355 was a comprehensively re-engineered evolution of the 348 and the first project of Ferrari’s then new CEO, Luca di Montezemolo. Reportedly, he previously owned a 348 and lost a traffic light drag race with a Volkswagen Golf GTI, so when he returned to Ferrari as CEO (he previously ran the company’s F1 program in the 1970s), his first item of business was to improve Ferrari’s mid-engined sports car, and thus the 355 project was born. The heart of the 355 is the engine, a masterpiece of natural aspiration, with a 107hp per liter specific output thanks to quad cams, five valves per cylinder, titanium connecting rods, dry sump lubrication, an 8500 RPM redline, and an 11:1 compression ratio. It also happens to be regarded as perhaps the best-sounding 8 cylinder engine ever put in a Ferrari road car. The 375hp powerplant transmitted power via a 6-speed gearbox, available with F1 actuation, or more desirably, a 6-speed gated shifter.
The F355 employed a steel monocoque structure with tubular steel rear subframe and independent suspension with 18 inch wheels and Brembo brakes, all of which was clothed in beautiful yet aggressive Pininfarina bodywork that ranks it as among the best looking Ferraris ever made. The changes over its predecessor were successful and the F355 delivered remarkable performance, including a 0-60 time of 4.5 seconds and top speed of 185mph.
Among the many mechanical advances developed for the 355, Ferrari also integrated advanced wind tunnel testing to refine tail contours and intake ducting, underbody downforce assistance via a specialized chassis fairing, and numerous other improvements benefiting both high-speed stability and fuel consumption. Offered in coupe, GTS (targa), or spider configuration, the 355 has emerged as a modern classic thanks to its combination of a sensational engine, sensational looks, and the iconic gated manual transmission.
This particular car is a European market example which was imported to the United States in 2004. It spent about 15 years in Virginia before being purchased by its current owner. In September 2020, the car received a comprehensive service including timing belts as well as the remainder of the major service. The engine oil, gearbox oil, coolant, brake fluid, spark plugs, air filters, and timing belt tensioners were all replaced. Additionally, the heads were removed and the valves and valve stem seals were replaced. The transmission and motor mounts were also replaced, as was the airbag module. In 2021, a new set of Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires was fitted. The car comes with books, tools, and spare tire repair kit.