Ryan Dan­durand’s Fer­rari F355

Super Street - - Contents - WORDS Jonathan Wong PHO­TOS Larry Chen

As I’ve crossed over to my early 40s, I’ve no­ticed a cou­ple of things that seem to be very com­mon with oth­ers in the same age bracket. We still re­ally love the cars we grew up with, but now we’re ready to rea­son­ably test our fi­nan­cial lim­its. Point be­ing: I love my Civic (al­ways will), but I can’t (and won’t) drive it for­ever, and I’d like to add some­thing a lit­tle more grown-up to the fleet. Com­mon buzz­words thrown around in­clude: ITR, any gen­er­a­tion M3, some­thing air-cooled or 997-up if it’s wa­ter­cooled, or some ran­dom Euro­pean car. Dream cars of yes­ter­year that have be­come highly de­sir­able but very pricey within the past few years, and for good rea­son: They re­main time­less.

I can’t speak for Ryan Dan­durand en­tirely, but I get the feel­ing he thinks about cars sim­i­lar to the way I do. Hav­ing owned a highly mod­i­fied SW20 (sec­ond-gen) Toy­ota MR2 since the mid’90s, he would later own sev­eral Porsche and M cars, but, ac­cord­ing to him, they just started to lose their fla­vor after a while. “I didn’t have a hy­per­car bud­get, and modestly priced sports cars were ei­ther no fun to drive or too dif­fi­cult to tune,” he says. “And since the world is full of RWB 911s and tuned R35s, I knew I had to stick with my ’90s style and go on the hunt for some­thing more vis­ceral, ex­cit­ing, and within my bud­get.” After two years of search­ing, Ryan likes to say the Fer­rari 355 found him.

There’s this scene in the Ni­cholas Cage ver­sion of Gone in 60 Sec­onds dur­ing which Cage’s char­ac­ter, Mem­phis Raines, cases a Fer­rari deal­er­ship for a score. Roger, the car sales­per­son, in­dulges his de­sires, agree­ing that if he were to drive a ’67 275 GTB, he wouldn’t be a self-in­dul­gent weiner, but in­stead a con­nois­seur. “Pre­cisely! Cham­pagne would fall from the heav­ens. Doors would open. Vel­vet ropes would part.” The GTB is stolen later that night, along with many other sought-after ve­hi­cles that are to be de­liv­ered in or­der to save his younger brother. What does this have to do with Ryan’s F355? Ac­tu­ally, noth­ing…akin to what he knew about the car when he first bought it. “I didn’t know much about the car and its ten­den­cies,” he says. “I just knew [Cage] liked to steal them in Jerry Bruck­heimer movies.” This is prob­a­bly a good point in the story to segue to­ward its mod­i­fi­ca­tions.

First on Ryan’s list: re­plac­ing the fac­tory head­ers. They’re known to melt, and the en­gine then sucks up pieces of the melted metal, which can po­ten­tially lead to cat­a­strophic fail­ure. He up­graded with Fab­speed head­ers and had a Tubi ex­haust, Capristo test pipes, and Fab­speed car­bon in­take boxes bolted on. “It ab­so­lutely screams now—sounds like an old F1 car,” he says with a smile.

Look­ing to get the F355 a “lit­tle” lower to the pave­ment, Ryan looked to Fer­rari Chal­lenge, a per­for­mance/rac­ing divi­sion of Fer­rari, for sus­pen­sion com­po­nents. “You can ac­tu­ally buy [Fer­rari Chal­lenge] parts from the dealer,” he ex­plains. “Un­for­tu­nately, Fer­rari for­gets about your car after 15 years, so parts for older cars have to be ac­quired on­line, typ­i­cally from Ital­ian web­sites or Ya­hoo Ja­pan.” He was able to source a set of dampers and match them to H&R per­for­mance springs, fi­nally bring­ing the ride height down low. Wheels were equally tricky; the 5x108 bolt pat­tern doesn’t give much in the way of op­tions, ex­cept for BBS or Fer­rari Chal­lenge Speed­line wheels, both of which are far too com­mon for 355 en­thu­si­asts. A lo­cal shop sug­gested he con­tact Work Wheels Ja­pan, which was more than will­ing to lend a hand. “I had to guessti­mate the width and off­sets,” Ryan ex­plains. “I didn’t want them sunken in like OEM wheels, but I didn’t want to risk any dam­age to the fen­ders by go­ing too flush with the wheel­wells.” The black Meis­ter S1RS with gloss lips and satin spokes be­came an in­stant com­ple­ment to the over­all look of Ryan’s ’Rari.

As this model is noted by Fer­rari purists as be­ing one of the best look­ing from the fa­mous Ital­ian sta­ble, it’s hard to mess with per­fec­tion. Go too far, and it can eas­ily be­gin to look like “an MR2 with a bad body kit.” As a fan of ex­otic Ja­panese tun­ing com­pa­nies like An­jia and 1048style, Ryan wanted to make sure most of the ex­te­rior mods were Ja­panese, not to men­tion fresh­en­ing the 18-yearold Rosso Corsa paint. He says, “Fer­rari doesn’t make dis­as­sem­bly of its cars easy. Dan at Screamin’ Paint­works took on a job that most shops would turn down. The front fen­ders are spot-welded on, many bolts are near im­pos­si­ble to reach and re­quire spe­cial tools to re­move, and if a trim piece breaks, chances are it’s dis­con­tin­ued and can’t be re­placed.” Over a year’s time, Dan had the 355 dis­as­sem­bled, and Ryan brought him more dead-stock Fer­rari Chal­lenge parts, such as car­bon front and rear bumpers (good for tak­ing 80 pounds off) and sev­eral other JDM pieces, in­clud­ing M-tec­nolo­gia Ja­pan car­bon aero, JDM Fer­rari clear cor­ners, and car­bon ca­nards from Rize Ja­pan.

Within the 355 world, the Berlinetta hard top with three ped­als and Rosso Corsa red and tan in­te­rior is the “it” car, and, as a gen­eral rule of thumb, most Fer­rari own­ers leave their cars un­touched in an ef­fort to pro­tect their re­sale value. But Ryan isn’t here to please Con­cours crowds.

“I love mak­ing cars my own. A lit­tle imag­i­na­tion took my 355 as far as you see it now. See that Su­per Street sticker on the wind­shield? It’s there for a rea­son.”

See the sim­i­lar­i­ties? This is Ryan's SW20 Toy­ota MR2 fea­tured in Mod­i­fied '12!

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.