Magazine Cover - Classic Cars For Sale - 1000s of Classic Car Reviews, How To Service & Maintenance Guides

Ferrari 360

Ferrari 360 Published: 14th Feb 2018 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Ferrari 360

Fast Facts

  • Best model: Low-mileage, late manual in red
  • Worst model: F1 car with poor history
  • Budget buy: LHD, or less desirable colour
  • OK for unleaded?: Super-unleaded ideally
  • Will it fit in the garage? (mm): L4477 x W1922mm
  • Spares situation: Excellent – but very costly
  • DIY ease?: Hardly
  • Club support: Good
  • Appreciating asset?: Prices levelled off recently
  • Good buy or good-bye?: One of the best modern affordable Ferraris
The latest issue of Classic Cars For Sale is on sale now - Pick up your copy from all good newsagents including WHSmith or click here to subscribe now

Subscribe to Classic Motoring Magazine and save over 20%

Subscribe NOW

Available at all good newsagents including WHSmith

F355 replacement that harked back to earlier traditional values yet is one of the friendliest Ferraris to drive and own plus also represents something of a bargain in Modena circles

Producing a sequel to the F355 was always going to be a tough job for Ferrari. One of the most beautiful cars ever created, the F355 was also highly rated by owners and reviewers alike, after the relatively unloved 348 that came before. When it was launched at the 1999 Geneva motor show the 360 Modena was clearly an all-new car with its faired-in headlights (pop-up lights were now banned) and more aggressive styling.

Technologically the 360 heralded the beginning of a new approach to car design at Ferrari. Modern, lightweight and sophisticated, it featured the company’s first aluminium monocoque, which was 40 per cent lighter than the 355’s steel platform but also nearly 30 per cent stiffer, despite being slightly larger.

The Modena also saw a new word introduced into Ferrari reviews: reliability. The engineering had been more thoroughly thought through, and this was (and still is) reflected in lower servicing costs than for earlier mid-engined Ferraris. You still need relatively deep pockets to buy a 360 though and you also need to buy with your eyes wide open. But find a good one and you’ll soon see that all of the rave reviews that the 360 received when it was current, were well and truly deserved.

History

1999 The Ferrari 360 Modena (coupé) replaces the F355. It features all-aluminium construction (chassis, body, engine and suspension), and a 400bhp 3586cc mid-mounted V8 with a flat-plane crank.
There are manual or F1 automated manual transmissions available, both with six gears.

2000 360 Spider released. It’s mechanically identical to the coupé but features a electro-hydraulic folding roof and it’s 130lb heavier thanks to the extra chassis bracing. In the same year, the 360 Modena Challenge is introduced for a one-make racing series.

2002 A track-only 360 GT arrives, for privateer racers.

2003 Challenge Stradale arrives complete with titanium springs, carbon ceramic brakes, Plexiglass windows, Alcantaracovered carbon seats and a stripped-out interior, along with some carbon fibre panels such as the bonnet. The result is a car that’s 243lb lighter than standard while the V8 pumps out 425bhp. The CS model is available only with the F1 transmission, features 19-inch wheels and sits 15mm closer to the ground.

2004 Dedicated track-only 360 GTC replaces the 360 GT.

2005 F430 replaces the 360.

Driving and press comments

Compared with the F355, the 360 Modena was lighter, stiffer, more powerful, more roomy, better built, featured a muchimproved F1 transmission. The engine was now more flexible, the brakes and suspension were better – no wonder it went down so well with everyone who reviewed it.

Ferrari improved the F1 gearbox with electronics that automatically adjusted the throttle opening when it sensed the driver changing up or down the gearbox.

This helped smooth out some of the jerkiness of the previous 355’s set-up, and in the Challenge Stradale things were even better, with quicker gearchanges. The CS came with Sport and Race settings for the traction control, the Sport setting raising the limit at which the traction control would intervene and the Race mode turning it off altogether. Race mode also gives a Launch Control function.

Modena and Spider editions also came with Continuous Damper Control (CDC), developed by Sachs. The automated system took inputs from the steering, throttle, braking, acceleration and speed to adjust the settings for the dampers. Working in conjunction with the ASR traction control, the CDC offers the driver a choice of Normal or Sport modes, altering how much the traction control intervenes. It can also be switched off. Sport mode also firms up the dampers.

When Evo magazine first tested the 360 in 1999, it was blown away by what an advance it was over the F355: “Don’t be fooled by the Modena’s soft lines, its space, refinement and easy-going nature around town: just below the surface is a hardedged supercar. It’s implicit in the directness of the steering, the bite of the brakes, and especially in the sharpness of the throttle response. Even with a light dab, it feels much more eager than a 355. Initial impressions of the chassis are that it’s a little firmer, and that the nose feels lighter.”

As the 360 was being launched, the Porsche 911 hadn’t long beaten the F355 in Evo’s Car of the Year, so the ease with which the new Ferrari beat the contemporary Porsche was something that took everyone by surprise: “The 360 humbles the 911. That’s no great surprise considering it costs £40,000 more, but consider also that the 911 was good enough to see off the F355. The 355 had begun to feel a bit overpriced at close to £100,000 but, at just a couple of thousand more, the 360 feels worth every penny. That’s an apposite measure of how much more accomplished the 360 is.

“The Modena moves the junior supercar game on significantly, and it’ll take some catching. For us, life just doesn’t get much better than this”.

Values and the marketplace

James Caborn is part of the sales team at the Kent-based Ferrari Centre (theferraricentre.com). Set up by Roger and Claire Collingwood almost 30 years ago, the Ferrari Centre sells and maintains Ferraris from the 1970s onwards.

Says James: “The 360 is the entry-level Ferrari but despite this only a minority of cars are poor examples; this is a car that’s safe to put your money into. These cars are very usable and they tend to be well looked after. Having said this, you’re more likely to find a 360 that’s been neglected than one which has been crashed.

“Buy a car that needs a significant amount of mechanical work and you could end up having to lay out quite a lot of money to get the car up to standard.

“To buy a 360 that isn’t a liability you need to spend at least £60,000, although increasing this to £65,000 will bring a significant number of extra cars into range. It’s possible to save some money by buying a left-hand drive car – there aren’t many of these in the UK but supply still exceeds demand, which keeps prices a bit lower”.

About 30 per cent of the 360s built were fitted with a manual gearbox and according to Caborn these carry a premium of £5000-£10,000. Surprisingly though, the coupé and Spider are worth similar amounts as both have a following and similar numbers of both were produced (around 2000 RHD).

Caborn further adds: “What does make a difference to a 360’s value is its mileage; buyers generally don’t want anything that’s done more than 40,000 miles. However, as long as it’s got a full history and has been well maintained, any 360 will sell if the price is right and these are cars that are easily capable of over 100,000 miles”.

A 360’s colour scheme also makes a significant difference to what it’s worth, with silver and Grigio (grey) cars fetching less than Rosso (red) or the dark metallic blue known as Tour de France. Factory-fitted options can also make quite a difference to a car’s value and desirability. Buyers like cosmetics such as coloured stitching, Scuderia shields on the front wings, Challenge rear grilles and brake callipers.

The one that everybody wants – but which few can afford – is the 360 Challenge Stradale. Caborn concludes: “For one of the unusual right-hand drive editions you need to budget at least £200,000 for something nice, but once again it’s possible to save money by purchasing a left-hand drive example. These start at £160,000 but the much rarer right-hand drive car will always be the better investment as it will always carry a significant premium”.

Improvements

The idea of trying to improve a Ferrari might seem like heresy, but there’s actually plenty that you can do. The Modena and Spider could be specified with carbon fibre sports seats with more heavily bolstered sides, or the Challenge Stradale’s seats can be fitted; the thinner padding provides taller drivers with more leg- and head-room.

On earlier F1 cars a popular upgrade is to install the Challenge Stradale software; cars built from 2003 had improved gearbox control electronics fitted anyway. By installing this later software the gearshift times are speeded up and the gear changes are significantly smoother.

Ferrari got it pretty much spot on dynamically; replacing the suspension bushes, getting a four-wheel alignment or checking that everything in the braking and suspension systems are performing properly could yield big dividends. In contrast, mods may well undo all the good work.

Don’t be too keen to deviate from the factory spec though, unless it’s for the exhaust system. This is the only key area in which non-factory parts are regularly fitted, either to change the noise or to help the engine breathe that bit more easily, boosting power (marginally) in the process.

James Caborn from the Ferrari Centre has some useful advice when it comes to modifications however: “Stick with changes that are reversible and keep any original parts that you take off. It’s rare for a 360 to be fitted with non-Ferrari parts, apart from the exhaust system, but when selling a car on it’s essential that you’re able to return the car to its ex-factory specification if you want to obtain the best price for it”.

Life with the ferrari 360 both on road and track

With his car care company (morethanpolish.com), Mark Wibberley had been involved with the Ferrari Owners’ Club for a decade when he finally took the plunge and bought his own prancing horse. That was six years ago and he’s loved owning his 360 Spider ever since. Says Mark: “I talked to lots of owners and specialists but I didn’t really expect to ever buy anything. Then it started to get more serious. I started taking test drives to see if I liked the driving experience, and it was at this point that I realised how much more modern the 360 is compared with the 355. “Once I’d decided that I would buy a 360, I started to look at what was available. At the time Spiders were fetching a premium but this car was priced to sell.”

Six years and with five seasons of the Ferrari Owners’ Club’s Pirelli Ferrari Hillclimb Championship under its belt, the car hasn’t put a foot wrong. It’s now done 63,000 miles, 20,000 miles with Mark, and the car has been extremely reliable. Insurance costs are £800 per year and annual maintenance costs £500, which doubles every three years for a major service including a fresh cam belt.

“The key is to use the Ferrari regularly – they don’t like being stood for lengthy periods. With a car as usable as this there’s no excuse for leaving it in the garage. I use mine whenever I can; there’s no substitute for a top-down run as the engine and exhaust sound so fabulous. I’m so glad I bought a Spider rather than a coupé; I’d always take the open-topped option now, along with the F1 gearbox. While this transmission is harder to get off the line when I’m hillclimbing, it changes gear so quickly on the move that I’d never be able to do it any quicker myself, and when you’re driving a 360 flat out, you’ve got plenty of things to focus on without having to think about which gear you’re in”.

What To Look For

General

 

  • Ferrari went big on the diagnostics with the 360. A properly equipped specialist will have the necessary SD2 or SD3 Ferrari computer to quiz the car’s systems which monitor and record every aspect of the car’s running. Some of the data recorded includes the engine advance, emissions, timing, temperatures, oil pressure, rev range duration (handy to see if a car has been on a track) and any fault logs or error codes should be easy to see.
  •  

  • Cabins are pretty much the same, but buyers could choose between three different seat designs. The standard option is the most comfortable while the sports seats are very durable but don’t have as much adjustment, although they offer more support in hard driving.
  •  

  • The wide sills and limited ground clearance guarantee tired bolsters, although it’s not hard to revitalise a set of 360 seats. Check the state of the beading if it’s fitted; some specialists reckon you can titivate tired seats only once before you have to invest in a complete retrim.
  •  

  • All 360s came with a tool kit which should be complete. A few cars came with a space saver spare wheel but most have a tyre inflator instead,.
  •  

  • A 360 should never be jump started as the electrical system gets spiked and the damage can be extensive. The correct procedure is to remove the cover from behind the passenger seat; this reveals the live and earth points. If the ECU is spiked, it’s a £2000 replacement; lack of use leads to dead batteries.
  •  

  • There should be two black remote key fobs supplied along with a red master fob for reprogramming new fobs. If the car’s documentation is complete there should be a small folder with the alarm and radio codes inside, you’ll be faced with a big bill if you need a new one to be programmed otherwise.
  •  

  • On the right side of the dash is a row of switches including one labelled ASR. Underneath these switches is a small LED light for the alarm. If this stays on as the engine is running the alarm battery needs to be replaced; a DIY job if it hasn’t leaked.

 

Body & chassis

 

  • Any 360 should have excellent panel fit and shut lines, with a superb paint finish. It’s not unusual for a low-mileage car to have had a front-end respray as the nose gets stone chipped very easily; a caring owner will have invested in some clear film to protect the paint. The low-slung spoiler also gets easily damaged by speed bumps and kerbs.
  •  

  • To help reduce stone chips in the lower air scoops and the rear of the wheelarches, a paint protection film was applied. This sometimes goes yellow but it may be that it’s been replaced already.
  •  

  • All of the 360’s panels are made of aluminium, which can corrode; look for bubbling or hairline cracks in the paint. Any damage should be minor but if it’s more significant it’s because the car has been kept outside a lot. If caught in time there’s nothing to worry about as it can be repaired to as good as new, but if this is put off, the job will quickly grow in complexity and cost.
  •  

  • Make sure that the outer door handles work properly, as the cable that works everything can pop out of position or its retaining clip can break as the cable seizes up.
  •  

  • The Spider’s roof mechanism works brilliantly and the fit should be likewise; check it all very closely as replacing the roof could easily lead to a £10,000 bill. Cars kept outside or used a lot with the roof going up and down constantly, can suffer from wear to the fabric. If the roof doesn’t have a smooth action it’s probably because one of the various sensors is playing up.

 

Running gear

 

  • All 360s are fitted with the same six-speed gearbox; all that differs between manual and F1 editions is how the cogs are swapped.
  •  

  • While the manual gearbox has a conventional linkage, the F1 semi-auto alternative is fitted with an actuator that allows fully automatic shifting, with a sequential manual option using the paddle shifts.
  •  

  • The clutches typically last around 15,000 miles on an F1 gearbox, but twice this on the manual. What makes a massive difference to F1 clutch life is how the car is driven. Cars driven mainly in an urban environment can see things wear out in under 10,000 miles but when driven largely on A- and B-roads this can jump to more like 25,000 miles.
  •  

  • A 2003 software update for the TCU improves usability and clutch life, and a bonus if this has been carried out. Whether you’re replacing the clutch in a manual or F1 edition, expect to pay around £2000 to have the work done. Sometimes the flywheel and clutch release bearing also have to be renewed, which adds another £1000 to the bill.
  •  

  • The gearbox itself is very strong, but sometimes the gearchanges are notchy or there will be a recalcitrance when trying to engage a gear – usually second or third when changing down. This is because the cable linkage needs to be lubricated or adjusted, or it could be that the bush at the base of the gearstick has worn and needs to be replaced – a job that’s not at all costly.
  •  

  • The gearbox mount doesn’t last long – this was redesigned but even the newer part doesn’t last very long. The solution is to fit an F430 mount; budget £750 for a specialist to do everything.
  •  

  • The brakes are superb, but tend not to last that long. Even without any track time, after 12,000 miles the pads will probably need replacing.
  •  

  • The biggest problem with the steel ventilated discs is rot on the inside edges, if the car hasn’t been used very often. What makes a big difference to disc life on cars used sparingly, is whether or not the car has been stored in a dehumidified environment. Obviously you don’t want to skimp when it comes to brake maintenance; a decent set of front pads and discs will set you back around £200 a corner.
  •  

  • As with the brakes, it’s essential that the suspension is in tip-top condition. There are Normal and Sport modes, with the latter the stiffer of the two – it’s a mode that’s too stiff for poorly surfaced roads but on smooth Tarmac it offers superb body control.
  •  

  • The most likely suspension problem is worn ball joints in the hubs; there’s one at the top and another at the bottom. They tend to wear out after 10,000 miles, less if really driven with flair and replacing them costs £250 fitted. You’d be unlucky to have to replace more than a couple of them; if any are in need of replacement there will be a knocking sound when driven over uneven surfaces. Driving a few cars will set a benchmark so you can gauge condition.

 

Engine

 

  • The V8 doesn’t like to be left for long periods as this can lead to the oil draining off the complex valve gear, so it’s not lubricated at start up. Listen for rattles when starting from cold. Oil leaks from the cam covers and crank oil seal are common.
  •  

  • The V8 needs annual maintenance; it has been known for the V8 to run a bearing, although this is very unusual.
  •  

  • An engine that sounds surprisingly tappety isn’t necessarily cause for concern; some 360 engines run quieter than others.
  •  

  • The engine features variable valve timing and on early cars there was a recall for the variator at the centre of this design. It’s essential that this work has been carried out because if it hasn’t, the resulting damage will be extremely costly to put right. From VIN 123399 a redesigned part was fitted.
  •  

  • Early cars can suffer from cracks in the bracket that connects the engine mounts to the chassis. The engine mounts themselves also don’t last long. Expect to pay around £1000 for this to be done.
  •  

  • Check its emissions. Some have had their catalytic converters removed which increases power marginally but it’s illegal.

Three Of A Kind

Lamborghini Gallardo
Lamborghini Gallardo
It’s another mid-engined supercar from Italy, but the Gallardo features an extra pair of lungs and in most cases you get four-wheel drive to help deploy the 500 or so bhp with some degree of security. As with the Ferrari there are manual or e-gear automated manual transmissions to choose between. Prices start at £70,000 but the facelifted car from summer 2008 is the one to go for, priced from £90,000.
Ferrari F355/F430
Ferrari F355/F430
For similar money you could buy the 360’s predecessor or successor. However, the F355 now feels surprisingly antiquated to drive, its dash design is outdated and the build quality isn’t as good – it’s also not as nice to drive. Conversely, the F430 that succeeded the 360 is even better to drive (especially in F1 form), it’s built to an even higher standard and it’s available for much the same money as a 360.
Porsche 911 Turbo
Porsche 911 Turbo
Many claim this to be the most usable supercar ever created; it’s certainly one of the best-built and the most readily available. With £70,000 in your pocket there’s a bewildering array of derivatives to choose from – 996 and 997 editions are within reach but the 964, 993 and 991 models are now generally over £100,000. However, a 997 C4S cabrio could be yours for £60,000, and that’s a lot of car for the money...

Verdict

As with all Ferraris, a 360’s value is influenced heavily by how many miles it’s done. However, this is one of the most usable Ferraris ever created and running costs aren’t inherently high – although this is relative of course, as you won’t be able to run a Ferrari 360 for the same sort of money as a Triumph Spitfire for example. But buy well and an increase in the car’s value might offset some of the running costs over the next few years. This is a moot point however, because while values of most Ferraris have increased significantly in recent years, things seem to have peaked and the values of some models are now starting to soften. But as long as you don’t go into 360 ownership expecting to make a killing, you won’t be disappointed because even if you do spend a significant sum on buying and running one of these V8-powered junior supercars (and it’s not that junior with a 180mph top speed and the ability to do 0-62mph in just 4.5 seconds), you won’t resent a single penny of it.



User Comments

This review has 0 comments - Be the first!

Leave a comment

Keep it polite and on topic. Your email address will not be published. Please do not advertise products, all posts of this nature will be removed. We do not stock or supply any of these products, we independently review these products.

Latest Issue Cover - Click here to subscribe

Subscribe to Classic Motoring Magazine and save over 25%

Subscribe