When the pencil of an Italian car designer lands on paper, what emerges is not a normal car. Instead, it’s art. Pure, undiluted vehicular perfection. Well, for the most part. They don’t always get it right, as the Lancia Thesis goes to prove, but we’re not here to talk about Italy’s Ford Scorpio. No, we’re here to talk about a Ferrari. The F355 in fact, which is for many, peak Ferrari.
Launched in 1994, the F355 was a revelation. Ironically, this car that took the supercar world by storm was in essence nothing more than a reworked 348. The 348, however, was an angular, sharp-edged product of the ‘80s. For the ‘90s ‘upgrade’ the F355 was given softer lines. It was a more sleek, more elegant design. Even down to the new alloy wheels, which again features rounded spokes and soft lines. The car looked lighter, more delicate and balanced.
The same modernisation was brought through to the cabin. Lighter coloured trim options, new seat designs, a new dash, it all felt new. Not like a hastily dolled-up 348. It was clearly different, a positive and deliberate evolution.
Of course, while the work of Pininfarina was nothing short of excellent, it wasn’t simply a 348 facelift. There were some serious changes made to the underpinnings, too. Ferrari wanted the F355 to be a more welcoming machine, a car you could get into and pedal hard without fear or trepidation. They succeeded.
The naturally-aspirated V8 was upped from the 348’s 3,405cc to 3,495cc. A new cylinder head design was employed, which boasted five valves per-cylinder. The result was better intake flow, meaning more power. The F355 in standard trim boasted 375hp. It had forged Ti6-AI-4V connecting rods, forged pistons and crank, too. It was, and still is, a triumph of engineering.
The best way to enjoy an F355 is with three pedals. Happily, that’s what this 1995 GTS model has in the form of a slick six-speed manual transmission. Furthermore, being a GTS, it has the removable roof section meaning you can get some high-speed wind in your hair, too. It’s just a masterclass of the automotive. The perfect F355.
This car has covered a mere 46,000 miles. It has lived a life of correct care, having been maintained by Ferrari specialists over the years. In 2016, the engine benefitted from a £16,000 top-end rebuilt. A cambelt service was carried out in 2020 and the most recent service was in April just gone.
At £84,000, this is no cheap car. But, in F355 terms, it is a veritable bargain. One that, if you have been toying with the idea of owning such a car, you should pounce on. Red paint, cream leather, removable roof, manual transmission. They don’t get much better than this.