Ferrari 360 Buying Guide

Values are starting to rise for the Ferrari 360, making now the right time to buy. Here's what to look for

How much to pay

• Project £40,000-50,000 • Good £50,000-80,000 • Concours £100,000-150,000 •
• Most expensive at auction: £250,000 (2004 Challenge Stradale)

Overview

Practicality ★★
Running costs ★★
Spares ★★★
DIY Friendly
Investment ★★
Desirability ★★★★

The Ferrari 360 Modena arrived in 1999, ushering in a new age of technological innovation with an aluminium chassis construction, electronically-controlled suspension system and an aerodynamic body design.

It was the body styling that first kept the buying public from accepting the radical new 360, although the advancements under the skin were substantial and the lighter and faster 360 soon proved its worth.

The 3.6-litre V8 was a development of the 3.5-litre unit used in the 355 and in standard form offered 395bhp, swelling to 420bhp in the stripped-out 2003 Challenge Stradale. In between the two a Spider variant was unveiled in 2000, alongside track-only race cars. No targa top was offered this time round. The roll-out of the F1 electrohydraulic manual gearbox was in full swing by this point and fewer than 30% of owners ended up ordering the six-speed manual version.

While the 360 introduced Ferrari owners to previously unseen levels of reliability and usability, early models did have some teething troubles.

Your AutoClassics Ferrari 360 inspection checklist

Engine

Engines are robust and benefit from regular use, so don’t be too taken by low-mileage garage queens. Electronics can suffer if batteries run flat so investing in a decent trickle charger is advised.

The dreaded labour-intensive engine-out cambelt change that plagued earlier mid-engined Ferraris is a thing of the past with the 360. The resultant time saving greatly lowers the overall maintenance costs. Budget on replacing the belt every three to five years.

Noisy tappets are normal when cold although if they persist then it may be worth getting the engine checked. Gaskets and cam covers can weep some oil so check for any leaks. Regular oil changes, every 6000 miles or annually, are vital in keeping the engine running smoothly.

Early cars suffered from premature cam variator failure and while all should have been rectified at dealer level, if you are looking at a pre-2001 model make sure this has been attended to.

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Gearbox

Both the manual and F1 automated gearboxes tend to be reliable if cared for. A single-plate clutch was used on both and lasts around 30,000 miles. The F1 gearbox works well when driven hard but can be jerky around town. The clutch wears out far quicker in these conditions too.

Manuals are better in this regard, however worn linkages can make it difficult to change between second and third gears.

Suspension and brakes

Modena and Spider models have steel brake discs and adaptive dampers. Both are hard-wearing and should be relatively trouble-free. If the steering wheel shudders under braking the discs may be warped, which could indicate hard driving or an abusive life.

Challenge Stradale cars came with carbon ceramic discs, which should last an extremely long time but replacements items are extremely pricey so check them thoroughly. CS cars also came fitted with 19in alloys; these can be retrofitted to the standard Modena but tend to spoil the ride quality.

Ball joints wear out every 10,000 miles or so and if you hear any knocking noises over bumps they may be due for replacement. Specialists can install upgraded items to extend replacement intervals.

Bodywork

The 360 featured an aluminium bodyshell, which bodes well for rust resistance, although corrosion can still occur around the windscreen and around drainage holes if they become blocked.

The front bumpers tend to suffer from pitting due to stones and some owners have applied a plastic protective film over the nose of the car to avoid an expensive respray.

Challenge Stradale cars had a carbonfibre bonnet and lightened bumpers, which may be pricey to repair If damaged.

Interior

The interior of the 360 was a big step up from the somewhat disappointing plastic-dominated 355. The leather seats tend to look good, other than the side bolsters which wear and fray from years of use. Some switches and buttons can perish over time, with window mechanisms expiring before long.

Challenge Stradale cars offered far fewer luxuries, with Plexiglas windows and no radio. Carbonfibre-backed sports seats were standard fitment and optional on the Modena and Spider.

Spiders featured an electrically operated fabric roof, a little stretching of the material occurs over time, but what you really need to look out for are tears or worn areas.

Faulty mechanisms are generally down to damaged sensors or microswitches and, if this is the case, should be easy to rectify.

History

  • 1999: Ferrari 360 Modena coupe released featuring and all-aluminium design and updated 395bhp 3.6-litre flat-plane crank mid-mounted V8.
  • Six-speed manual and six-speed ‘F1’ automated gearbox options available.
  • 2000: Ferrari 360 Spider released, mechanically identical to Modena with electrically folding soft-top and chassis reinforcing adding 130lb to overall weight.
  • 2000: 360 Modena Challenge introduced for one-make racing series.
  • 2002: 360 GT introduced, a non-road legal race car made available to customers intending to use them for track events.
  • 2003: Limited edition Challenge Stradale introduced. Changes included standard carbon ceramic brakes, extensive weight-saving features such as plexiglass windows, Alcantara-covered carbon seats and stripped-out interior meant a 243lb lighter curb weight.
  • 2004: 360 GTC replaces 360 GT and remains track-only derivative
  • 2005: Final Ferrari 360 rolls off the production line to be replaced by F430

AutoClassics say…

Its looks may not be as instantly likeable as its forebear, but under that aluminium skin the Ferrari 360 offers real daily usability, allied with performance that is still impressive today. Mileages can be a bit higher than in earlier Ferraris, a testament to increased reliability.

If you are set on a manual then you will need patience as the majority of cars came equipped with the F1 automated manual option. The split between the hardtop Modena and Spider models was relatively even and used values are broadly similar too.

The hard-core Challenge Stradale made do without air-conditioning, leather seats, carpets, sound-deadening and a radio but offered a much sharper driving experience, especially on track. The CS also promises to rise in value faster than its standard stablemates.

Evidence of regular maintenance and a once-over by a specialist are key in ensuring that big bills won’t be lurking down the road. As happened with the 355, prices are now rising steadily and the once maligned 360 is fast becoming a favourite among collectors who are more interested in driving their cars rather than just looking at them.

Specifications

3.6-litre V8 Modena
  Power 395bhp
  Top speed 184mph
  0-60mph 4.3sec
  Economy 17mpg

3.6-litre V8 Modena
  Power 395bhp
  Top speed 184mph
  0-60mph 4.3sec
  Economy 17mpg

3.6-litre V8 Challenge Stradale
  Power 420bhp
  Top speed 186mph
  0-60mph 4.0sec
  Economy 17mpg

Ferrari 360 cars for sale here.

For more information on Ferrari 360 see FerrariChat

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