The 360 Spider is a Ferrari for the 21st-century. With a top speed of 175 miles per hour, it is blindingly fast. Its mid engine layout and active suspension give it the cornering capability and feel of the modern supercar. Unlike in many predecessors ergonomics has been emphasized. The plush leather cradles you. Activate the power convertible top and the civilized experience continues; occupants can talk at speed. All this and that sensual blat of the Tubi exhaust makes this the complete package.
Not all previous owners are known but the most recent owner was an experienced collector with a stable of over 90 cars. When not being exercised, the Spider remained in climate-controlled storage. It presents well. The interior sports Daytona seats and the Ferrari Hi Stereo ; leather is well preserved. Less than one in ten Ferraris are blue and its appearance is remarkable in a unique Azzuro California Blue with Scuderia badging and a Rear Challenge grill.
“The Ferrari (360 Spider) should get 11 out of 10 in the fun category.”Peter Robinson, Car and Driver
The 360 Modena rolled off the Ferrari assembly line in 1999. Named for the city of Enzo Ferrari’s birth, it had to be special. An all new aluminum frame replaced the steel chassis of its predecessor, the 355. Its larger frame was 28% lighter and 40% stiffer. Pinninfarina, designer of 162 previous Ferraris, in a radical departure offset the air intakes from their classic central location. Glass covered the engine bay. The design was more fluid and curvaceous; it generated four times the down force of the 355’s. Engine size increased to 3.6 liters; thus the moniker 360. An aptly named paddle actuated F1 transmission offered performance superior to the manual gearbox. Creature comforts were addressed with bigger seats and a bit of luggage room. To no one’s surprise the 360 became Ferraris biggest selling model.
Looking at the long term, one must anticipate expense and the 360 is special. Its belts can be changed without an engine out service. Clutch wear for the F1 transmission can be easily determined. An expensive trap for a 360 was a failed timing variator (think bent valves, other head and piston problems); many but not all were replaced by a service recall. A technical bulletin from Ferrari assures owners that cars like this one built after chassis number 125418 have a better unit free from the defects of the earlier device.
One might decry the concept of an entry level Ferrari but if an exotic is on your radar, this is one to consider. Previous models like the 308’s, 328’s and Testarossas all caused Ferrari Frenzy in their first few years. After the price spike, values fell and auction and sales prices languished for many years. Now they have shot up again and it is rare to find them at the prices where a 360 can be easily obtained. No one can predict the future but there seems to be a pattern here.
Revolutionary design, added lightness with an aluminum chassis and modern super car feel, amenities and performance with an affordable entry make this the Ferrari to be purchased, and used and enjoyed for years to come.Mark Moskowitz