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Thread: My first year of Ferrari ownership

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default My first year of Ferrari ownership

    Having seen Jay's thread, I thought I would make by contribution to the forum. Apologies in advance, it's a bit of a long read!

    I've had my F355 Berlinetta for just over 12 months. It was one of my life goals to get one by the age of 35 and I'm grateful the opportunity came thanks to Karl Verdi and lots of encouragement from a good friend that recently passed away. It all came about following a casual chat with Karl about a car - he knew I had been thinking about buying one and thought I might like take a look. It was a 2.7, rosso corsa/black leather, Berlinetta with 3 previous owners and 26k miles. So on the following weekend, I took a trip down with my wife (by coincidence it happened to be my birthday that day!) to see the car. Karl let us both drive it to get a proper feel for the car and gave us a full run through of the service history, condition and compare it with other cars he had for sale. As this was to be my first Ferrari - I really was in his hands and trusted his judgement completely.

    A couple of days and sleepless nights passed thinking it and questioning what the hell I was doing. I was just a normal guy, with a 3-bed semi-detached - Ferrari's were only for the rich. I had a sit down with my wife, went through the finances and checked our garage dimensions. It was no good, my mind was made up and hearing my wife say I should go for it and achieve my life's dream was the final push. Funds were duly transferred and then it was just the agonising wait for the car to be prepared for collection. I must have driven Kabir potty with my daily calls/emails to find out when I could collect it! Then the day finally came - I was so excited on the drive down to London. I completed the paperwork, Kabir gave a run-through of the controls and we were on our way back up the M40. I must admit during the first 20mins I did worry that I'd made a mistake, but then I began to relax and enjoy the special moment - I was at the wheel of my first Ferrari!. The motorway was empty, so I decided to see how many of those 375 horses from the factory were still present - let's say the stable felt full and in fine fettle to me!

    Stopped at Jn10 M40 services for fuel - I couldn't stop smiling as I walked back to the car - it was really mine! Got home and it was the nerve-wracking first attempt to squeeze it into the garage - hopefully my measurements were accurate and it would go through the opening. I live in a cul-de-sac and some of the neighbours' curtains were twitching to see what was making all the noise! It was a tight squeeze, but thankfully the mirrors are pretty much level with the rear arches so I used them as a guide. Phew! We couldn't stop staring at it after I'd parked it safely in the garage - we had to pinch each other! The next morning, I had to have another peek to check it was still there!

    The first month was spent polishing, cleaning, showing my parents, friends and general posing . I wanted to take it to work, but was unsure about what the reaction would be from colleagues. My FD summed it up - it was my money and I could choose how to spend, fu*k what anyone else thought! So I brought it in the next Friday - I did get a couple of sarcastic comments, but the rest were genuinely pleased for me.

    It was back to Verdi's in late August for an MOT and sort out a couple of niggles such as the obligatory sticky throttle. I didn't drive it as much as I wanted during the next couple of months due to the crap weather - I think my wife drove it more than me! Winter came and went - I invested in an Accumate when I discovered the battery had gone flat after the car hadn't been started for over a month. Thank you Ferrari for at least putting the engine charging points in a sensible place unlike the oil reservoir !

    January - Went to the rolling road meet at Jay's. It was good to meet a few of the guys and fellow owners who I discovered were just as passionate about Ferraris as me if not more! I was pleasantly surprised with the figures my car produced: 364bhp - certainly raised a few eyebrows amongst the 360 boys

    April - Got a call from Karl asking if I'd like to join their display at Auto Italia Brooklands - I didn't need long to think about that! The 10 car convoy of Ferraris to the venue and back was one of those memories I will take with me to my grave - pure heaven. Following another F355 that had got a Capristo exhaust also finally convinced me that I had to get one!

    May - Met a few of the guys from the forum at Stanford Hall (Keith KW355, SteveW and Barabus)
    and the Top Gear trio. Felt proud parking my car next to the others there, especially as the last time I came it was as an distant admirer.

    June - Trip down to Karl's for the exhaust fitting. My wife had pre-arranged it as a secret birthday present . Fitting took a while as Harvey was paying particular attention to the the alignment and following the initial test drive we discovered the expansion tanks (aka Heinz Baked Bean can) was leaking. That was quickly replaced and I was off again down the industrial estate for a second test run - this time with a Porsche owner in the passenger seat who'd come to the garage to look at another 355 for sale. What a noise! Pure orchestra. Youtube videos just don't do it justice. And as for my passenger?? He was now a Ferrari convert! It's been the same reaction from everyone that's heard it since and I particularly like the bypass valve system so you can drive relatively quietly when needed. Unfortunately it's very hard not to drive like the devil just so that you can hear the noise!

    The future? Well it's back to Karl's next month for cambelts, major service, sticky throttle and a couple of other minor bits but hopefully nothing else too major.

    In summary, it's been a dream first 12 months of Ferrari ownership with none of the dreaded big bills that everyone fears about Ferraris. I'm definitely going to drive it more and ensure I enjoy the car. All being well we hope to make the pilgrimage to Maranello, Italy, sometime this year and get a picture of us and the car outside the factory gates. It's going next to a picture taken 20 years ago of me with a 288 GTO and will have the enscription "Dreams can come true."

    Mina

  2. #2
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    Congrats and great write up.
    I really dont think I will leave Ferrari now, maybe go for a different model in time or even look for an older classic as this is something I reckon would be a good move for me.

  3. #3
    MalcH's Avatar
    MalcH is offline Post whore with no life, no friends, and a problem fitting into normal social circles Club Member
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    Brilliant write-up

  4. #4
    360trev's Avatar
    360trev is offline Kid's bed - The Ferrari F50 Club Member
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    +1
    Strive for perfection in everything we do. Take the best that exists and make it better.
    When it does not exist, design it. Accept nothing nearly right or good enough.
    Henry Royce

  5. #5
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    Good reading

  6. #6
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    Great, sums it all up. The 355 is one of the best Ferrari's ever. I was out in mine yesterday and even after many miles in various Fezzas over the years, the 355 is something special. It may not be the quickest compared to 430's and the like, but it just has a certain 'something' and nothing compares to the looks in my opinion.

  7. #7
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    That is a great write up, not something that i have the skill to do tbh


    Hmm wonder if i could strech the budget to a 355 and trade in the 348

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris honeywell View Post
    That is a great write up, not something that i have the skill to do tbh


    Hmm wonder if i could strech the budget to a 355 and trade in the 348
    Would you be happy then ?
    Reason I ask is that I want an older ferrari, maybe a 348, maybe a 355 maybe a 308 ?
    The newer cars look, the more I like the classic looks of the older ones.

  9. #9
    t1grm is offline It's basically an old car with a stripe - The Ferrari Challenge Stradale Club Member
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    Congratulations and a great write up. Glad you are enjoying the car.

  10. #10
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    Great write up, Capristo for your birthday ? what a a great present

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