1999 Ferrari F355 F1 Spider from North America - Comments

10th Aug 2012, 07:15

So based on your monthly usage of 1000 miles per month, every 4 months you have an engine out service. That's why you see so many low mileage used Ferraris for sale. Sorry, I will take a 2012 Vette, 600 plus HP, and not have any of it.

12th Aug 2012, 09:22

Why on earth would you drive a car like this in the rain? I have a lift at home, and even detail the undercarriage of my cars. I actually drove one of mine through inspection, and could not find the wiper switch at first.

21st Sep 2012, 02:59

As an update, I've been driving it almost every day, including taking it out on a track (road course) three times this summer, and am nearing 44k miles. I've had no maintenance issues, knock on wood, since my initial review. I just wanted to follow up on some of the comments/issues posted to my review:

1) I said set aside $10K IN CASE something expensive needed to be replaced, not set aside $10k/year.

2.) The engine out service is every four to five years, not 4k miles. This is also a drawback on 360’s as well.

3) The dealer told me the clutch would last 20k miles; however, I've put on 16k and there is no sign of it beginning to slip -- again, knock on wood.

4) This car can be driven in the rain, it won't melt. Granted, on real rainy days I'll drive my Jeep, but getting caught in a rainstorm is inevitable and won't hurt the car. The entire undercarriage from the front bumper to the engine is completely covered by a flat protective plate for aerodynamics, so things don’t get exposed to the elements.

5) The reason you see low-mileage used Ferrari's for sale isn’t due to the running costs or service schedules — people who can afford a $150k+ car aren’t worried about servicing it. You don’t see them because the owner wants to get rid of it before having to do a major service, because they will have to do it or nobody will buy it -- anyone looking at buying one knows to check what services are due. You see low-mileage used Ferrari's for sale because: (a) people who would want one just don’t realize they can get a used Ferrari in excellent condition for the same price as a basic 5-series Bimmer and hence they don’t even think to look for them; and (b), most people who buy them, simply just don't drive them.

I've met dozens of Ferrari owners over the last year at dealer sponsored events, and almost all view their cars as an occasional treat in the summer. Why? Because when you are talking about people who are buying new or used late model Ferraris, you are talking about people who are loaded and older than you might think. I’m 36, and most of the owners I have met are my dad’s age — after all, not many 30 or 40 somethings can afford a $150-$400k car. The majority of owners I’ve met are in their 50’s, and admittedly have a harder time getting into and out of such a low car, and for every day use, like to drive something friendlier to the age of their joints. I don’t have that problem.

Believe me when I tell you I’m the exception to the rule. Nobody puts on the kind of miles on their Ferrari that I do; in fact, the head of the service department was stumped when I asked him how many miles between oil changes, because nobody in his 15 years there had ever driven theirs so much they had to ask. The staff at my dealership, including the owner, loves the fact I love and drive mine so much, that they give me free fluid changes and basic services.

As the one commentator said, if you take care of the car, it will treat you well. Frankly, outside of the initial issues I listed, which were caused by either 14 years of wear or too much time sitting at the dealer and not being used enough, I can honestly say that it’s been more reliable top to bottom than every other new car I have ever had. The black leather interior is almost showroom new, with nothing having even faded; nothing has come loose; there are no odd rattles; no glitches of any sort; no problems with the air or heat; no problem with the top; no issues with the seals — knock on wood (again), she’s been solid as a rock.

21st Sep 2012, 10:48

People avoid using them to protect the resale values. Simple as that.

I agree that Ferraris can take the miles, if you are prepared to keep the maintenance up. They are like any other machine, and they actually deteriorate with disuse.

I drove a 130,000 mile, but meticulously maintained 550 Maranello a couple of years ago, and to be honest it drove like new. But it was worth half what a typical 20-25,000 miler would be. That's a big hit to take if you bought it new, or even at a couple of years old. 130,000 very expensive miles.

22nd Sep 2012, 00:51

You can have all your money tied up in a used car monthly payment, and live in low cost housing, I hate to say. I know a guy that cashed in his 401k and lives in a tiny house with a car worth more. You can't go by what someone drives and say they are affluent. I own a couple rare domestics that have greatly appreciated over a long time, as an average individual. I could flip and drive right next to you. I just enjoy, rather than dwell on money.

3rd Oct 2012, 05:28

First off, congrats to the guy who put 130k on the 550; it's great to hear of someone else driving and enjoying their car that much.

Yes, it is true that racking up the miles will hurt the resale value, but personally, I'd rather enjoy the car and take the hit if I ever sell it, than pay an absurd amount of money for a car I just look at 95% of the time. I completely agree with you when it comes to buying a new car or one that's only a couple years old, halving the value would be a tough pill to swallow, but when you're talking about a 14 year old car, it's not nearly as bad. In five years, if the average price of a car like mine with lower miles is $50k, mine will still be worth close to $40k. The market for Ferraris is pretty predictable. For me, because I got the car when the market had bottomed, even with the miles I've put on, I'd break even if I sold it now because of the appreciation. However, I have no plans on doing so.

As for the comment relating to having all your money tied up in a used car payment, I would agree if we were talking about a newer used Fezza, but we’re not. We’re talking about a 14 year old car costing less than 60k, with payments of $491/month. While that goes to your point of not always being able to judge affluence by what someone drives, if someone is in a 458 or a FF, it’s safe to assume they are well off, and probably not living in a shack near the airport. After all, they still have to have the income to not only make the payment, but to qualify for financing -- it’s not comparable, financially, as having a 1969 L88 Vette that you paid $7,500 for forty years ago that is now worth a few hundred grand…

Add another comment

Note: A Comments RSS Feed is available. New comments appear in the Members Area before the main site