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Old 17th May 2008, 12:51   #1
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Default The Ferrari F355 - My tribute to the "Greatest Car In The World"

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The Ferrari F355 has been one of the finest sportscars to have come out from the Prancing Horse stable. It started an all new era in terms of technology and design and changed the way the world looked at V8 Ferraris from then on. I for one am absolutely in love with this car and I am sure many of us car guys on this forum. The following is my small tribute to this epic autmobile which has already taken its place in the classics world.

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The 355 was launched back in May 1994 at the Geneva Motor Show admist great fanfare. The 355 was the replacement for the outgoing Ferrari 348. The 348 had design cues from the mighty Testarossa, especially the side airvents, but when it came to the 355 one can see distinct similarties to the 288 GTO and the 308 GTB. The Ferrari 355 is one of the most beautiful designs to have come out from the Pininfarina design studio.

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On the mechanical side, the 355 shared the same chassis taken from the 348, but everything else was all new and a first for a V8 Ferrari. The 355 came with an all new 3.4 litre block ( 3496cc to be precise) with a V8 layout. The engine for the first time featured 5 valves per cylinder and hence the name 355. The 5 speed gearbox of the 348 gave way to a new 6 speed tranny with much improved shifting than its outgoing sibling. The 355 was a scorcher on the track with 0-60 mph coming in just 4.7 seconds, a redline of 8000 RPM with a top wack of 185 mph which made it faster than a 348 and the 512 Testarossa around a track.

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Ferrari launched the Spider with an auto folding top (the 348 Spider had a manual top) and the GTS targa version a year later in 1995. The big moment came in 1998 when Ferrari launched the 355 with the revolutionary F1 transmission with paddle shifters behind the steering wheel, the same as seen in a Formula 1 car. This way Formula 1 technology started making its way into Ferrari road cars beginning from the F355. That goes to show that Spiderman's car is a 1998 model, it being a Spider F1 and the last of the 355s. 1998 was the last year of 355 production as 1999 saw the all new 360 come to life. The 355 was also last to feature the ever so characteristic pop up lights. This is something purely missed on cars from the 360 onwards.

In its entire production life, Ferrari made a total of 3,829 hardtop Berlinettas, 2,049 GTS targas and 2,664 Spiders.

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The F355 will be remembered as one of the finest sportscars of all time. It has the charm which is not seen in todays V8 Ferraris. It is truly one of the most desirable automobiles and if I ever buy a Ferrari someday in my lifetime it will be the 355 however old it maybe. No wonder Mr Jeremy Clarkson once said "The Ferrari F355 is the greatest car in the world"

Production Stats coutesy: Ferrari SPA.
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Old 17th May 2008, 12:57   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dippy View Post
The F355 will be remembered as one of the finest sportscars of all time. It has the charm which is not seen in todays V8 Ferraris. It is truly one of the most desirable automobiles and if I ever buy a Ferrari someday in my lifetime it will be the 355 however old it maybe. No wonder Mr Jeremy Clarkson once said "The Ferrari F355 is the greatest car in the world"
Sigh, and sniff. Hope I get to drive one of them someday, somehow, somewhere. And for Clarkson to say he'd pick his old 355 over the F50 any day (agreed, the F50 was mental, but still) said everything that had to be said about this legendary cocktail of drama and emotion. Nice tribute, Dippy.

Edit: And nice videos on Orkut, too!

Last edited by FlyingSpur : 17th May 2008 at 12:59.
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Old 17th May 2008, 19:40   #3
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Thats a nice write up Dippy , F355 is my favorite ferrai too, Classy and yet has that powerful stance.
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Old 17th May 2008, 21:56   #4
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This ones special to me...have and will always have a soft spot for it.
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Old 17th May 2008, 22:07   #5
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It's in my team-bhp public profile since day one
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Old 17th May 2008, 22:34   #6
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I was thinking of buying a Jaguar XF Supercharged but it occured to me a few days ago that for not much more, I can get an '02 Bentley Arnage R or an '98 F355 Spider, either with under 20k miles.

I am thinking about it.
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Old 17th May 2008, 23:03   #7
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Originally Posted by Harbir View Post
I was thinking of buying a Jaguar XF Supercharged but it occured to me a few days ago that for not much more, I can get an '02 Bentley Arnage R or an '98 F355 Spider, either with under 20k miles.

I am thinking about it.
That Arnage will be a beast to pay for, from insurance to fuel to maintenance. Get the 355 or the XF.
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Old 18th May 2008, 02:03   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harbir View Post
I was thinking of buying a Jaguar XF Supercharged but it occured to me a few days ago that for not much more, I can get an '02 Bentley Arnage R or an '98 F355 Spider, either with under 20k miles.

I am thinking about it.
I realy dont think you need to think. The 355 is really special rather magical. Get one while you can.
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Old 18th May 2008, 12:07   #9
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Nice right up there Dippy.
Although i have never seen this car in flesh (for that matter any of the ferraris) i have developed an instant liking for the F355. It is certainly the best looking Ferrari ever made and a great performer too.

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Old 18th May 2008, 22:36   #10
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thats one awesome ferrari which stands out and does not resemble something else unlike todays crop of ferraris.
I have a snap of the same with me next to it.:-) at the car audio people in dubai.
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Old 19th May 2008, 06:22   #11
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Superb writeup Dippy! Some interesting facts in there.

Ive said it before, but seeing this car in the flesh years and years back on Worli sea face changed my life forever. I remember standing on the divider with a few friends and giving the guy a ferrari pit crew style thumbs up as he made his second pass. After that, any excuse to hang around anywhere between worli sea face and regal circle on a saturday night when he would make his regular rounds was welcomed.

I remember one evening when i was at the race course and i could hear spidermans ferrari all the way from mahalaxmi to worli naka! You wouldn't ever think that the exhaust note of a car could make your hair stand on end and send a tingle down your spine. The sound that emanates from those custom tubis is something you just cannot explain or understand unless you feel it yourself.

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The engine for the first time featured 5 valves per cylinder and hence the name 355.
Yepp. 3 point 5 liter 5 valves per cylinder.


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...a redline of 8000 RPM ...
A bit of a correction here. Redline is at 8500 RPM. Phenomenal considering is a fairly large displacement and 5v/cyl manufactured in the mid 90s! The S2000 (known for its high revving nature) in comparison is 1.5L smaller, 4 cylinders less and 1 less valve per cylinder and it only revvs 500 rpm more! Since we are on this comparison - specific output of the 355 was only 10-14bhp less per liter - but 1.5times the displacement!
Peak power comes in at 8,250 RPM !!!

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In its entire production life, Ferrari made a total of 3,829 hardtop Berlinettas, 2,049 GTS targas and 2,664 Spiders.
Very interesting info there! thanks.

So a total of 8542 355s exist(ed) in the world - thats good to know. (Divide world's 6.6billion population with total number of 355s manufactured to know what you chances of owning one is... ). Decent - there is hope.

Here are a few of my favourite 355 pics :

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cya
R

ps - When i was signing up @ Team-BHP i was very close to making my userID 355, but instead just chose to have the gated gear-shift as a permanent avatar pic.

Last edited by Rehaan : 19th May 2008 at 06:24.
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Old 19th May 2008, 10:03   #12
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Amazing pictures Rehaan, especially the one taken from the tyre showing the air vents in the doors. Your write made me so nostalgic. Even though we have loads of supercars now in the country including Mumbai, those Saturday nights few years ago were something else. Sitting at the seaface speedbreaker just to catch a glimse of the 355 used to be so exciting. And so far that is the only car I have heard coming from one end of seaface while I am at the other that too at full chat. Not to mention Mr Spiderman's driving skills cutting off slow vehicles which were quite a shocker for some.

Now not only have those Saturday nights gone away, even the car has left the city. But its heartening to know it is good hands now that too with a bhpian. Chargerman, if you are listening dont be surprised if you find a bunch of 355 crazy Mumbai boys visiting you Those were the good old days. Quite surprising this thread has only 10 replies so far

P.S Are you sure its 8500 RPM?

Do you high res versions of these. I want them especially the sketches one

Last edited by Dippy : 19th May 2008 at 10:12.
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Old 19th May 2008, 11:51   #13
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One of my Favourite Ferraris of all time. I remember seeing a famous one from Mumbai many years ago. It had the looks to kill and an exhaust note to die for. Also, one of the last Ferraris to sport pop-up lamps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harbir View Post
I was thinking of buying a Jaguar XF Supercharged but it occured to me a few days ago that for not much more, I can get an '02 Bentley Arnage R or an '98 F355 Spider, either with under 20k miles.

I am thinking about it.
Go for the 355 if you drive only on the weekends or have another car to use.
Avoid the Bentley.
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Old 19th May 2008, 13:55   #14
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Superb writeup Dippy. The 355 is one of my favorites from the ferrari stable. Loved the pics Dippy and Rehaan.
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Old 19th May 2008, 23:01   #15
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The F335 is the "classic" Ferrari....the design & sound (which most Ferrari's are bought for anyways) are simply evocative....one of the few modern Ferraris with the charm of the good 'ol days.

Some cars just never go out of style. Great writeup, Dippy and Rehaan.
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