Used buy­ing guide

Fer­rari 360s from un­der £50k

Autocar - - THIS WEEK -

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 belt re­place­ments can’t be ig­nored.

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.

Must-haves are a fully stamped ser­vice book and the orig­i­nal Fer­rari tool­kit

14mpg Yes, it’s a daily driver – if you’re a mil­lion­aire…

Mileages tend to be higher than other Fer­rari’s

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

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