Used car buying guide: Ferrari 360

Ferrari 360

The F360’s 3.6-litre flat-plane V8 makes a useful 390bhp

Ferrari’s 360 is the supercar you really can drive every day – as long as your pockets are deep enough

Interested in having a Ferrari 360 in your garage? Consider for a moment the owner of a Modena F1, who last April lavished £9000 on servicing it.

With such cars, the ticket price (the dealer selling this one-owner 53-reg car with 39,000 miles is asking £67,000) is only part of the story.

Not that we wish to put you off buying a 360. The model represented a new chapter in Maranello’s history, for the F360 – unlike Ferraris before it and in particular its immediate predecessor, the F355 – was a perfectly usable and reliable supercar, capable, even, of being a daily driver. It’s why so many have higher than usual mileages and why prices are less sensitive to the odometer reading than those of other Ferrari models. It was launched in 1999 and bowed out in 2005 when the F430 elbowed it aside, so you’ve only six years to choose from. There were just three versions: the Mondial coupé, Spider convertible and track-focused Challenge Stradale, a model that deserves its own guide.

The Mondial and Spider, both offered with a choice of six-speed manual or F1 flappy-paddle automated manual, use a 3.6-litre mid-mounted V8 making 390bhp at 8500rpm. Its flat-plane crank – a main contributor to the exhaust’s delicious howl – vibrates enough to crack engine mountings after around 20,000 miles. The same vibes also weaken the timing tensioner bearings, so those three-yearly beltreplacements can’t be ignored.

Find a used Ferrari 360 on PistonHeads

But for a few issues, both gearboxes are strong and reliable. The F1 can feel a little jerky, so in 2003 Ferrari revised the gearbox control settings to smooth things out. The update is available for earlier cars.

The fully adjustable, double wishbone and coilover suspension system features Continuous Damper Control offering Normal and Sport modes. It’s a reliable set-up but the car does have an appetite for tie-rod ends and ball joints.

Ferrari’s first genuine daily driver was also its first production car with an all-aluminium body. It was light but immensely strong; more so in Spider form after Ferrari beefed up the sills and floorpan. Don’t think being aluminium makes it rust-free, though – you should still look for signs of bubbling under the paint.

The Spider’s folding roof is operated by powerful rams that can spring fluid leaks, so pause the roof halfway through its cycle and inspect the ram seals. There is a smart fix (visit ferrarichat.com), otherwise you’re looking at thousands to fix it.

Power windows and leather trim were standard. Desirable options were xenon lights (aftermarket ones don’t have washers), carbonfibre seats and Challenge rear grille. If Ferrari wing shields are fitted, they should be recessed; aftermarket ones sit proud. Must-haves are a fully stamped service book and the original Ferrari toolkit (a replacement costs £800). All present? Then get that garage spruced up.

How to get one in your garage: 

An expert’s view:

SCOTT CHIVERS, SELF- TAUGHT FERRARI MECHANIC: “A 360 Modena F1 has been my daily driver for almost nine years. Using salvaged parts, I converted it to a Challenge Stradale: carbonfibre brakes, extra power, 100kg weight reduction, the lot. I bought the car with 21,000 miles and now it’s done 70,000 and never put a foot wrong. It’s even on the same clutch. I’ve got 355s but the 360 is a huge step forward in terms of usability and reliability. You have to drop the engine on the 355 to change the belts, but on the 360 you just remove a panel behind the seats. Some parts are expensive, though. For example, the wheel bearings are sealed in the hub, so you need new hubs – at £800 a corner.”

Buyer beware…

ENGINE – Annual servicing is essential and timing belts must be changed every three years. Check for cam cover oil seal leaks and the engine undertray for waste oil. Ensure tappet rattles go as engine warms up. Feel for hesitation possibly caused by failing ignition coils. Check for leaky intake manifold gaskets and rattly intake butterflies. Check condition of engine mounts. 

TRANSMISSION – Check gearbox mounts aren’t broken, allowing the ’box to hang and changes to crunch. On the F1, look for leaks from the hydraulic actuators and check the transmission control unit’s clutch wear record. On manuals, check for clutch slippage, a notchy change from third to second and that the linkage bush below the gearlever isn’t worn.

SUSPENSION AND BRAKES – Listen for noisy front ball joints. Wiggle the steering wheel to check tie-rod end play. Check both suspension modes work. Feel for wandering due to incorrect tyre pressures or geometry.

BODY – Feel for kerb scrapes under the nose. Look for aluminium corrosion bubbling up and behind the undertrays for corrosion and damage. Look for uneven panel gaps and wheel arch damage from track days. Check for worn boot and door seals, loose door handles, foggy lenses. On Spiders, check for hood creases and tears.

INTERIOR – Check window and locking module isn’t corroded and that rubberised trim isn’t sticky. Check door cards and that the instrument cluster lights up properly.

Also worth knowing:

OE parts are often recommended but dealers and enthusiasts often turn to Hill Engineering. Its re-engineered Ferrari parts are claimed to exceed OE quality.

How much to spend:

£49,000-£59,999 – Reasonable choice of coupés and Spiders with less than 50k miles and good service histories.

£60,000-£69,999 – Low-mile, one-owner cars, those with full Ferrari or respected independent dealer histories the most expensive.

£70,000-£84,999 – Mint, fully loaded cars with sub-40k mileages and watertight histories with all major work recently undertaken.

£85,000-£110,000 – Ultra-low-mileage Ferrari-approved main dealer cars, others at specialists.

£135,000 AND ABOVE – A few Challenge Stradales up to £230k.

One we found:

FERRARI 360 MODENA F1, 2000, 37K MILES, £59,980 This car stands out for its full service history, decent mileage, right colour combo (red with cream leather), recent clutch and belts job, Challenge rear grille and stainless exhaust. Badges on wings aren’t original but that’s a detail.

John Evans

Read more

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Source: Autocar Online

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