The search for a life-changing Ferrari: Icon buyer, CAR+ October 2015

Published: 16 September 2015

► In search of a Maranello metal
► Interview with Ferrari Specialist Jeff Fosker
► Here are some hot tips when buying a Ferrari

Ferrari F355 Berlinetta

£70k-110k, 1994-1999 | F355 Berlinetta: 3496cc V8, 375bhp, 4.7sec 0-62mph, 183mph

> Is this a good idea? ‘This is the definitive modern classic Ferrari. Some classic Ferraris are only as fast as a hot hatch these days but the 355 can still hold its own as a sports car. It also makes a noise like an F1 car as you wind it to the redline, and it’s a timeless shape – you won’t find anyone who doesn’t think the 355 is beautiful.’

> How much? ‘The market now regards this car as a genuine icon, so an 18,000-mile UK car in Rosso Corsa with cream hide and a manual gearbox will cost £100,000 or more.’

> What’s going to break? ‘The exhaust manifold is a weak point, being prone to corrosion, cracking and bowing. A car driven with a damaged manifold will run too hot, potentially damaging the valves. Some cars will have replacement manifolds. Others have had theirs welded, which is fine so long as it’s been done properly by a respected specialist. The paint can bubble around the rear buttresses. It tends to happen every five or six years and it’s a £1200 fix.’   

> Crippling running costs? ‘The annual service costs £720, the bigger 12,500-mile service £1200 and the engine-out cambelt service £1700.’


£80k-£180k, 1975-1985 308 GTB/GTS: 2926cc V8, 252bhp, 8.1sec 0-60mph, 159mph

> Is this a good idea? ‘Just a gorgeous classic car, and the first mid-engined two-seater V8 Ferrari.’

> How much? ‘£180k for a perfect fibreglass-bodied car. The sweet spot is the cheaper carburettor steel-bodied car.’

> What’s going to break? ‘Bodywork corrosion is the problem. It’s not unusual to see evidence of minor bodywork repairs but it won’t affect a car’s value.’ 

> Crippling running costs? ‘Put aside £2k a year. Many are still on 14in wheels, so at least tyres are cheap.’

575M Superamerica, just a mere £280k-£350k

£280k-£350k, 2005 575M Superamerica: 5748cc V12, 533bhp, 4.3sec 0-60mph, 199mph

> Is this a good idea? ‘A little leftfield but it’s an amazing and rare car, and I think values will soar soon.’    

> How much? ‘£300k or so, but values will rise. The HGTC package (stiffer suspension, sports exhaust, huge carbon-ceramic brakes) is nice to have – makes a good car fantastic.’ 

> What’s going to break? ‘They’re pretty reliable but check the roof carefully. Glass panels can show signs of delamination. A new roof is about £19k.’

> Crippling running costs? ‘Budget £2.5k a year for maintenance. Rear tyre wear can be heavy.’

By Ben Miller

The editor of CAR magazine, story-teller, average wheel count of three