Back in the late-1990s, Ferrari had big plans to mark the advent of the new millennium: they were planning a fresh new model, something to carry on the line that was originally drawn in the sand by the 308 and subsequently eagerly scrawled anew by the 328, 348 and 355. This would be no retro pastiche, no rehash of a timeworn structure, but something engineered from the ground up to be a creation to resonate through the ages. The 355’s replacement boasted a larger 3.6-litre V8, and it was markedly beefed up for global markets – longer, wider, taller, this was to be an everyday Ferrari, something you could use in a manner akin to a Ford Fiesta. Well, kind of. That’s not to say it lost any frisson of specialness, however; in a first for a production Ferrari road car, the 360 Modena featured a stiff, all-aluminium chassis and body, its lightness allowing the larger 360’s kerb weight to match the diminutive 355. If you look at the car from side-on, you’ll spot that it has an incredibly long wheelbase, with almost no rear overhang at all. This is thanks to it being engineered for a smooth and cosseting ride, with the incidental benefit being a negative lift coefficient. This was a taut and aggressive car, but at the same time one that could hold your hand and proffer a friendly smile. As long as you didn’t, say, suggest that its rivals at Sant’Agata were building more exciting cars. Then it’d howl like a trapped rooster and try to smack you in the teeth with the very horizon itself. 5,000 hours in the wind tunnel made the 360 slippery and sylph-like. It lost the pop-up lights of its forebears, but gained an F1-inspired smooth underbody with a sort of air tunnel running from the central front splitter cut out to the rear diffuser. Sure, it wanted to be a sensible Ferrari, but it also wanted to be a freaky race car. Enzo’s DNA is strong in this one. What’s really impressive about the 360’s slipperiness is the downforce – at 180mph it generates 180kg of shove, which is remarkable for a car with no spoilers. So the lines are clean, crisp and unadorned; a simple and elegant design which has mellowed gorgeously with age.
The original owner specced this car very well, as the Argento Nürburgring paint suits the slippery shape of the 360 perfectly, and is tastefully complemented by the Blu Scuro interior. It’s evidently been looked after correctly throughout its life, as the history demonstrates a clear path of correct minor and major services by specialists. Today, with low mileage and proven history, this is a car ready for a new set of adventures with its next connoisseur curator.
All of the original books are present within the correct leather case, and the service book keenly demonstrates how well this 360 Modena has been looked after. In its early life it was serviced by the specialist Lancaster in Colchester, Essex – it received its first major service there in 2001, then annual services in 2002 and 2003, with an annual service plus cam belts in 2005. Duties passed to Surrey’s Maranello Ltd in 2008, when it received a major service, and an annual service the following year. After that, it went to Joe Macari in South London for its 2010 annual service, and in 2011 for the annual service plus cam belts. Since then it’s been looked after by Autofficina in Surrey, with the annual attention from then on running thus: major service, major service plus new clutch, minor service plus cam belts, two more minor services, a major service plus cam belts, and another minor service. Impressive data indeed for a twenty-year-old car with fewer than 40,000 miles on the clock, and there are detailed receipts and invoices for all of this work in the history file.
Resplendent in Blu Scuro hide, the cabin of this 360 Modena is a thoroughly pleasant place to be. The seats are fabulously supportive, and in extremely good condition with no signs of sagging bolsters, worn leather or split seams – it’s all as fresh as you’d expect from a car with so few miles. The carpets are excellent, and all of the interior plastics are in good condition with no significant scuffs, marks, cracks or scratches. It all feels very solid too – when on the move there are no squeaks or rattles to distract you from the joy of the ride. The standard-fit Ferrari audio is in place and working well, and the dials work as they should, as do all the switches and buttons. Inside the front boot, the carpets are in great condition and show very minimal signs of use. We also find up front the original leather Ferrari toolkit, complete with all of its spanners, bulbs, fuses and assorted tools which have clearly never been used. Aside from some very minor lifting of the leather along the face of the dash on the passenger side, and a little minor usage wear to the steering wheel and window switches, it all looks just as it would have done twenty years ago.
Posterity called, and the 360 Modena answered: this is a car designed for the ages – a perfectly proportioned sports car with elegance and style in abundance. Park it in front of a child and tell them it’s twenty years old, and they simply won’t believe you. It’s not just about the design either – the overall condition is magnificently crisp and fresh, it’s clearly a car which has been well looked after over the years. The paint is superb, testament to having been correctly cleaned with the right products, and there are no scrapes, dings, scratches or anything of that nature. The mirrors are un-grazed, the wheels are all in superb condition and wear quality rubber with plenty of tread, and there are no faults in the window glass or engine lid. All of the correct light lenses, badges and trim pieces are present. It looks just as you’d want a 360 to look. (n.b. The private registration number will be removed from the car before sale.)
This, of course, is the Ferrari’s party piece. The Tipo F131 3.6-litre V8 is generally considered to be an engineering masterpiece, serving up a robust 400bhp in the 360 Modena, and we know from the history file that this F131 has always been fastidiously maintained. As such, it’s in very fine fettle today, behaving as eagerly and effervescently as a Ferrari V8 should. And the icing on the cake is the fact that this car has been fitted with a high-quality Capristo exhaust system: costing over £4,000, this system is switchable via the key fob to be subtle and mousy-quiet around town, or raucous and shouty when adventure demands. In this car, the jewel-like V8 is mated to the F1 transmission, which means it can be used as a full automatic but it’s actually a robotised six-speed manual which you shift with the paddles. This is all working well, as is everything throughout the chassis: there are no issues with the suspension, the steering or the brakes, because all of these things have been kept on top of by previous owners with the money spent in the right places. This includes a recent cambelt service in Feb 2021 This isn’t a car with a to-do list – this is a mechanically excellent Ferrari that’s ready to go.
The Ferrari 360 is a remarkably attractive proposition these days. In Modena (coupe) form, its styling is wonderfully cohesive, just the kind of silhouette a desirable performance car should have, and we know full well that this beauty isn’t skin-deep. Every iota of the 360 is superbly engineered to create a machine without compromise: blisteringly quick, hilariously agile, and yet supple enough to be eminently usable in all conceivable scenarios. In the pantheon of used 360s, this one waves its flag high and clear by virtue of how honest it is. The condition is superb, the mechanicals unimpeachable, and everything’s backed up by a thorough history file. And given the enormous price differential between 360s and their later successors, it’s a car that represents extremely good value-for-money too. With style, reliability and hedonistic thrills baked right into the formula, it’s more than ready for its next set of adventures.
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