A NEW APPROACH IN AN AGE OLD BUSINESS+44 (0) 1926 691 141
Estimate: £70,000 - £80,000
+buyer's premium of 15% including VAT @ 20%
Inheriting the proportions of its predecessor, the F355 was outwardly a much better-resolved proposition, both aesthetically and aerodynamically. However, beneath the fabulous styling and smoother skin, were further major advancements, including power steering, variable damping, and a 100cc engine enlargement. The longitudinally mounted 3496cc V8 generated a market-leading 380 horsepower at a spine-tingling 8,250 rpm and the gearbox now had six speeds with a revised synchromesh making gear changes so much smoother. New electronically adjustable shock absorbers varied their stiffness within milliseconds to suit the road surface and the result of all these developments was evident around Ferrari's 1.86 mile Fiorano test track when the 355 was two seconds a lap faster than the 12-cylinder 512 TR.
The F355 Spider (most of us like Italian convertibles to be called Spyder, however, Ferrari have always insisted on Spider) debuted in 1995, its Pininfarina-penned lines honed by even more hours in the wind tunnel. To make up for the lack of a roof and the associated loss of torsional rigidity, the 355's structure was cleverly strengthened without making the Spider any heavier than the Berlinetta. Pininfarina is very experienced in designing convertible roofs for other manufacturers and their efforts here have resulted in a blend of elegant style and aerodynamic performance and, for the first time in a Ferrari, the semi-automatic soft-top was powered electronically. Initially, the Spider was fitted with the 6-speed manual transmission, prior to being offered with the innovative, electro-hydraulic F1 transmission, however, over time, it's become accepted that the manual box is that much more satisfying to use and that has tended to be reflected in the car's value.
Sitting on the cusp between analogue and digital, the 355 is considered the forerunner of all modern Ferraris and, as the last of the hand-built cars before the 360 and later descendants moved to mass production, will inevitably slip into the role of 'Classic Ferrari' with ease becoming increasingly sought after as time goes by.
This lovely, right-hand drive, manual gearbox F355 Spider finished in Giallo Fly was supplied new by Maranello Concessionaires to its first owner, a Mr Randall, in early May 1997. After a period off the road in dry storage between 2014 and 2017, our vendor commenced a program of refurbishment with the intention of returning the car to a pristine, factory-fresh look and in this, he has undoubtedly succeeded.
The car was fully stripped and treated to a glass-out repaint in its original colour to a superb standard. Whilst this was being carried out, the engine and gearbox were fitted with new oil seals and gaskets, the cambelts replaced, and all fully detailed before being refitted. The subframes and wishbones were removed and refinished, the radiators rebuilt, the wheels refurbed, new body undertrays were sourced, new headlamps fitted, and the braking system was fully refreshed with new discs, pads and handbrake shoes. Most ancillary components were replaced or returned to original factory condition and throughout the rebuild, the correct fasteners, screws and nuts were used to emphasise the original factory look.
The car has still only covered 26,000 miles and is accompanied by its roof cover in the original storage sleeve, the full key set, leather handbook wallet, original tool kit, a fully stamped service book and a history file containing invoices for thousands of pounds for parts and labour relating to the refurbishment. It will be freshly serviced prior to the sale.
Manual gearbox, UK-supplied, yellow 355s are rare, particularly in this amazing condition, and this lovely example will reward close inspection.