1999 Ferrari F355 F1 Spider 3.5L V8 from North America
It's an every day dreamcar
Main hydraulic rams for the convertible top failed.
Catalytic converters failed.
RH exhaust manifold cracked.
LH external door handle broke.
Trunk struts needed replacement.
First, the looks are stunning, and it drives as well as it looks. The performance is about what you get from a new Corvette; zero to 60 time in about 4.7 seconds, and a top speed of about 183. Where this differs from the Corvette is in cornering. There is nothing I have ever driven that comes close to the way this car sticks to the ground.
The practicality of the car is underrated. You can use is almost every day -- and I have, driving it an average of 1,000 miles a month, even in winter. The seats are comfortable and so is the ride -- it's better than many sedans I have been in. The trunk space is enough for a cart full of groceries, and it averages 16+ mpg combined and 20-21 highway.
Outside of a poor sounding sound system, it's very expensive to maintain due only to the price of parts. Mine now has 38k miles on it and I've only had a few things go wrong with the car since I bought it -- but nothing has been cheap. If you are going to get one, I would make sure you could afford $10k for maintenance should something pricey need to be replaced -- and considering the age of the car, something probably will, as parts are getting to their age/wear limits. Also, every five years it needs an engine-out belt service, and the clutch only lasts about 20K miles.
I bought my '99 F1 Spider in June of 2011 and absolutely love it. My car was built in July of 1998, and there isn't a thing wrong with the interior, and no rattles or squeaks, it's unreal.
I live in Michigan, and average driving it 1k miles a month, only garaging it when there is snow and ice on the roads. It's a car that loves to be driven, and driven hard.
I picked mine up for less than $60K from a Ferrari dealership, and it's the best money I have ever spent. Sure, for that price you could get a new Vette, Boxster or whatever, but they are just cars, a Ferrari is a dream.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 14th May, 2012
Sure it's not a maintenance nightmare vs a dream. I don't get it; clutches and low mileage engine out maintenance. Having to set aside 10k a year for repairs. And that's acceptable?
For the experience you get with this car? All I can say is "Yes"! They do need a lot of care for sure, but as long as you do the "normal" tasks, the car will treat you well (i.e. warm it up to operating temperature before pushing it over 3k RPM, don't push it past 7500 RPM too much, turn on the engine twice a month and run it to temperature, and drive the car once per month, giving the brakes a hard workout).