The Poor Man’s Exotic: Ferrari F355

Ferrari F355
Chris Wevers via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

By no means is the Ferrari F355 a poor man’s car because it’s in fact an actual exotic, but due to depreciation, this beautiful car is within reach for some car enthusiasts. The first Ferrari to be put on the “Poor Man’s Exotic” list, the F355 hits the heart strings for many, also bringing back memories from its cameo in the First Fast & Furious movie. What is probably one of the more under-appreciated and sometimes forgotten Ferrari, the F355 was the predecessor to the 360 Modena and F430, which began the race with Lamborghini to build and create supercars that amaze us every time one passes us by.

Starting off with the prices that you can expect for an F355, you’re looking at a $50,000 starting point, and gradually work your way up to close to $90,000 for one in mint condition. You’ve got the choice between the spider, targa, or hard top, and manual or automatic. Best of all, the F355 was one of the last Ferraris with a pure manual and not the dual clutch transmissions which can now be found on all modern Ferraris. A car that brings you back to the late 90’s which still carried the tradition of driving in the 20th century, this Ferrari is one of the last cars that defines its era.

Most the F355’s that are listed within a 250 mile radius of Boston have very low mileage, even the cars that are priced around $50,000 come with 21,000 – 30,000 miles. These beautiful cars were definitely taken care of, as a car like the F355 would be driven on the weekends or taken to car events. That’s what’s great about Ferraris that are older; they’re more likely to have been treated very carefully as opposed to a 2010 Nissan GTR which, at least from what I’ve seen, is harder to find in great condition.

With performance you will receive 375 hp, and a 0-60 time of 4.6 seconds, which even with today’s standards is pretty fast. The F355 comes with the typical exotic MPG of 9 MPG in the city and 14 MPG on the highway, but the excitement, adrenaline, and fun you’ll have supersedes the amount of times you’re going to visit the pump.

In the two previous articles in the series, the Alfa Romeo 4C and Lotus Evora are much younger and newer, with more of that off the assembly line look and appeal. The F355 offers a retro alternative, but still turns heads, even those of younger car enthusiasts. It’s also an opportunity to own a Ferrari for less than $75,000. The 360 and F430 are still priced above $100,000, and until they begin to depreciate in value, the older ancestor of the Ferrari brand is great choice to go with.

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