Exceptional 'Holy grail' spec. ex-Chris Rea F355 Berlinetta now available.
Blu Scuro Micalizzato with Crema interior
A highly collectable early-production run F355 Berlinetta, the car presents in superb condition after a comprehensive mechanical and cosmetic refresh by our specialist Ferrari technical team.
This ultra-desirable example of the Ferrari F355 represents a rare opportunity to acquire the 355 everyone wants: an early right-hand drive, ‘2.7 Motronic’, non-airbag, manual Berlinetta in a timeless specification.
Introduced at the 1994 Geneva International Motor Show, the F355 made an immediate impact on media, Ferrari owners and the public alike. A replacement for the somewhat underwhelming 348, the F355 was a true game changer; a harder-hitting, more modern mid-engined Ferrari that was just as wonderful to drive as it was to look at.
As the F355 reaches its 30th anniversary, now is the perfect time to take stock of just what a significant car it was for Ferrari. The F355 holds a special place in the marque’s history, emerging at a crucial moment for the brand, signaling the return of Ferrari technical, design and sheer driver engagement dominance after a period, some would argue, of drift and mediocrity.
At the F355’s heart as with all Ferraris, is the engine, a flat plane crank V8 masterpiece. An engineering tour de force which, at the time of the car’s debut, delivered the highest specific output of any road car (107bhp per litre) – eclipsing even the mighty BMW V12 of the McLaren F1. With titanium con-rods, and the hugely innovative five valves per cylinder technology inspired by Ferrari’s Formula One programme, the F129B engine produced 375bhp at a heady 8250rpm – all from just 3.5 litres of displacement. So proud was Ferrari of this F1-inspired engine that the F355 Berlinetta’s model name unusually comes from a combination displacement and the number of valves per cylinder – 3.5 5.
With the ability to surge to 62mph in a mere 4.7 seconds and reach a top speed of 184mph, the performance of the F355 was in a different league to not just that of the 312bhp 348 that preceded it, but also contemporary rivals such as the Honda NSX, Lotus Esprit and Porsche 911 993.
The chassis of the Ferrari F355 was equally important to the car’s phenomenal performance, offering nimble mid-engined handling. Double wishbone suspension, electronically adjustable, two-stage dampers and hydraulic power steering lent a dash of modern sophistication to the classic Italian supercar recipe. Compared to its predecessor it was faster, safer, more comfortable, and genuinely something for daily use be that charging up the Col de Turini or tackling a London trader’s Docklands commute.
The F355 was, as Autocar concluded in its 1994 road test, “a landmark car”. Jeremy Clarkson hailed the 355 as “The greatest car in the world, ever!” and the world’s media concurred. What they couldn’t have appreciated at the time is the wider context – the F355 Berlinetta’s extraordinary technical revolution, production volumes and overall bandwidth forced successive Ferrari models to be truly great cars. So the 355 is not just important, some say it’s the most significant car in Ferrari’s entire history. With almost 30 years to reflect on the car’s impact it is fair to say that the 355 is ready to assume genuine classic status as it reaches this landmark anniversary.
The ex-Chris Rea F355
This original, right-hand drive UK car was ordered new by musician Chris Rea, a well-known and highly regarded Ferrari enthusiast, via Maranello Sales. An early 1995 example, it ticks all the boxes as a ‘2.7 Motronic’, non-airbag manual car. Specified in the rare colour of Blu Scuro Micalizzato over Crema hide with Blu carpets, the car covered just 25,500 miles before being the subject of a comprehensive refresh by our team.
This F355 ranks among the best we’ve encountered. The team has, as ever, put everything into the painstaking recommissioning process, and the results speak for themselves. This F355 is the perfect example of a truly great Ferrari, one that can hold its own in the world’s most exclusive collections. Now presenting in perfect condition, this unmodified example of an iconic model, in the ultimate specification with a compelling backstory, is ready to be enjoyed by its new owner.
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