I figured that I haven’t done this for a while, so I had better tell you about another car in my top ten list. This one is another older car, but it will certainly still turn heads today. There is nothing like the speed and thrill of an Italian car, and there is nothing like driving a Ferrari.
The first supercar that I ever saw with my own eyes was a Ferrari 355. I was instantly hooked from its lines that were at the same time sharp and flowing. You could tell that the car had a shape that had been honed by people who really cared about the end result. I was in Munich, Germany in an airport hotel. And to my surprise, they had this red 355 in the lobby. I remember being bowled over at the thought that there was a real Ferrari in the hotel that I was staying at. Up until this point in my life, I only had a small love of cars, and this changed everything.
Since that time, I have always dreamed of having a red Ferrari F355 Berlinetta in my garage. Of course it would also have to be the 40 valve V8 with 380 horsepower and a six-speed manual transmission. Oh and it should have those shields on the flanks as well. That would be the perfect car for me. And in many ways, this was the Ferrari that was perfect. Not only was the 355 pretty to behold, it was comfortable to sit in and was easy to drive. You could easily control it around town or on the track. As I often refer to him, I will do so again because this is one of the cars that Jeremy Clarkson actually owned. And if he owned one, it must have been damn good. There is just such grace and character that flows from this car.
The interior is also very understated for an Italian car. It doesn’t contain all of the switches and buttons that new cars do, and that is nice. You can fully concentrate on the driving experience from the cockpit of a 355. The engineers at Ferrari put just enough to keep the driver happy without overstepping their bounds and making it look chincy or over the top. It is very purposeful and everything in it is driver oriented.
Another great thing about the 355 was how it changed around the fortunes of the company that made it. In the late 80s and early 90s, Ferrari was in a funk with its road cars. They were all right to look at, but they had some problems in other areas. They were clunky to drive, broke down and not all that comfortable. Then the 355 came around and everything changed. It was like someone at Ferrari had actually driven another car and found out that people like to have things that work and like to be able to drive a car in comfort. After their customer car fortunes turned around, they also hired a man by the name of Michael Schumacher to their F1 team and he brought them back to glory there too.
In many ways, the F355 is my perfect car. Sure, it doesn’t go as fast as modern Ferraris and it isn’t as technologically advanced, but it is one of the most beautiful ever to be made and the shape remains fresh to this day. Plus, the sound it makes is one of the best out there. If you get a chance, look up Kreis-sieg exhaust and watch their videos of the F355. It will blow your mind. It is how cars should sound.
This car is in my top ten because of the beauty, the sound, performance and the fact that it is one of the best Ferraris ever to be built. And because it is two model cycles old now, you can find a nice used one for around $70,000. This is one of the great Ferrari models that is actually attainable for many people. My dream garage just wouldn’t be complete without a Ferrari F355 in it.