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My personal icon: Ferrari F355 Spider, CAR+ May 2016

Published: 01 April 2016

► Sourein Jabourian tells us about his personal icon
► He bought his dream F355 Spider in summer of 2015
► 'Engine and manual gearbox make it an absolute joy'

> ‘As a teenager in the ’80s I was a serious Lamborghini fan – the Countach was my ultimate supercar – and I realised that dream 16 years ago when I bought the last right-hand-drive Urraco that came off the line. Ferrari wasn’t on my radar. The looks of the 308, 348 and Testarossa didn’t do it for me, and those cars that did turn my head, like the 246 Dino, Daytona Spider and 250 California, required a lottery win. But then the F355 Spider came in 1995, and it caught my eye. It was a truly elegant car, the perfect balance between prettiness and performance, and it oozed charisma. The day after I first saw it I started saving.’

> ’Two years ago I was finally in a position to go out and start looking for my dream F355 Spider. I took my time and waited until I found exactly what I wanted. I finally found it last summer, for sale in London. It was a Ferrari in Verdi Silverstone – a green Ferrari. Only 11 Spiders were painted in this rare colour, 10 in left-hand drive and only one – this one – in right-hand drive. Beautiful tan leather and 35k on the clock. The owner started it, and as soon as I heard the engine I knew I was going to buy it.’

> ‘I love driving this car. In a world full of turbo this and hybrid that, with electronic gears here and three-stage dampers there, its naturally aspirated engine and manual gearbox make it an absolute joy. It’s still technically advanced – 40-valve head, titanium conrods – but I love it for its mechanical purity. It’s is such an engaging car to drive – it’s intoxicatingly fast, beautifully composed and is incredibly charismatic.’ 

> ’There’s a generation of drivers who won’t ever experience what it’s like to enter a tunnel, dip the clutch, drop down into third and send a high-revving nat-asp Ferrari engine up to its 8500rpm redline. I’m so grateful to have been able to experience this.’

> ’It’s no garage queen either. If the sun comes out and there’s no salt on the roads, I drive it. It makes me feel alive. Would I ever sell it? I very much doubt it. I bought it because I fell in love with it, not because I saw it as an investment. I’ll drive it until I can no longer drive.’

Read more from the May 2016 issue of CAR magazine

F355 interior

By Ben Whitworth

Contributing editor, sartorial over-achiever, HANS device shirt collars

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