I had full major service done, after the belt which drives the air conditioner let go. This was quite scary as the cockpit filled with black smoke - it turns out it was just the belt remnants burning on the engine.
However, the worse nightmare was the convertible top. It would routinely stick (both up and down) and often refuse to move at all. I had both regulators replaced (a Jaguar sourced part), then the entire rear piston mechanism, at a total cost of $6,000.00 The top broke again a couple weeks later (half-way open), I was forced to use the emergency ratchet tool (which only cranks on one side of the top, twisting it brutally. I wouldn't have even dared to do this had I know a replacement convertible top frame is over $30,000 if bent. That fix was less, but I had enough and traded it a month later.
Owning a 355 Spyder was my dream. I had previously owned a 1986 328gts which was largely trouble free. I had sold the car and bought a new 2002 996 cab; however, I found the cab a bit boring after the 328, which was half it's cost.
I was nearly in tears of joy upon picking up the 355 two years ago. Unfortunately, these quickly turned to a different kind of tears. Simply put, the convertible top was unliveable. I read another review with a similer experience and they made the comment that they just leave it down. That's great unless you take it to the shore and are subjected to heavy rains (and can't get the top up). When you drive a Ferrari, a certain amount of people will hate you and enjoy pointing and laughing as you either drive through the rain or struggle with the convertible top. In the end, despite a great engine and transmission and reliable starting, the car ruined more weekends than I care to recall and I traded it back in on another Porsche. I miss the sound and the stares, but the Porsche never misses a beat.
I would be curious what people's experience with the 348 and 360 spyder tops are. Are these better? I would love to get another one someday, but as I told a friend, a Ferrari is not a third car, it's a fourth one in addition to a more reliable sports car if you love to drive as much as I.