Supplied new via the Evans Halshaw dealership in Birmingham, this Ferrari F355 is an exceptional example and is presented in its original colour scheme of Rosso Corsa with Crema interior. The first owner of chassis number 106698 was a Mr John Greasley. It was delivered on 24 October 1996 with engine number 44013.
Over the course of its life, the F355 has been maintained by some of the most respected names in the Ferrari world. Its full service history starts on 8 September 1998, when it returned to Evans Halshaw having covered 5307 miles. It was back there on 14 December 1999, when it had its cambelts replaced – a job that was also carried out in October 2002 at 7886 miles, then again in 2006, 2009, 2013, 2016 and 2019.
In 2006, the Ferrari had been sold to its latest owner by world-renowned specialist Bob Houghton. The car had covered 12,626 miles and it has been looked after by Houghton ever since. As well as the usual service items, work has included the refurbishment of the interior trim panels in 2015, plus the renewal of the engine mounts and front suspension hubs in 2019.
The F355’s most recent visit to the Houghton workshops came in June 2022, when it was given a full service – including the removal of the engine so that the cambelts and auxiliary drive belt could be changed. The bearing for the alternator belt tensioner pulley was renewed and a compression check was carried out on the V8 engine.
Ferrari’s paddle-shift ‘semi-automatic’ transmission was an option from 1997 onwards, but this car features the six-speed manual gearbox that is perfectly suited to the free-revving 3.5-litre V8. Fewer than 500 right-hand-drive F355 Spiders were built, from a production total of more than 11,000 cars, making this a rare example of the breed.
Fastidiously maintained regardless of cost and presented in superb condition, this Ferrari F355 Spider is offered for sale complete with its leather wallet containing a full set of owner’s books.
The F355 was launched in 1994 and was based on the 348, but the intention was to make it more useable and more rounded than its predecessor without compromising on performance. It was therefore heavily modified, beginning with the 3495cc V8 engine, which featured five valves per cylinder rather than four.
The result was 375bhp at 8250rpm – enough to mean that the 0-60mph sprint took less than five seconds, and 0-100mph took less than 11. Its top speed was 183mph, and its specific output of 109bhp per litre bettered even that of the McLaren F1.
Beneath the Pininfarina-designed bodywork – finalised after extensive wind-tunnel testing – was a steel monocoque with a tubular rear subframe. Drivers could switch between two damper settings – Comfort and Sport – and a heat exchanger was added in order to warm up the gearbox oil more quickly. The F355 was initially offered with only a six-speed manual transmission, but in 1997 the revolutionary Formula 1-inspired ‘paddle shift’ semi-automatic gearbox was added.
The convertible Spider and the targa-roof GTS joined the Berlinetta in 1995. The Berlinetta was the most common of the three, with 4871 being built. The Spider was next (3717) and the GTS was built in the smallest numbers – only 2048 leaving the Ferrari factory.
The F355 was developed for competition use in the Ferrari Challenge, with a range of modifications being available. It’s thought that only 108 cars – all with the manual gearbox – were built to Challenge specification.
While the previous 348 had suffered in comparison to the Honda NSX and Porsche 911, the F355 put Ferrari back on track and it won universal plaudits for its looks, handling and the ear-splitting noise from that sublime engine.
Almost 30 years since it was introduced, it is now recognised as the point at which Ferrari refined its mid-engined V8 concept away from the compromised models of the classic era and towards a new generation of cars that continued with the 360, 430 and beyond.