The four year anniversary

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Another twelve months have shot past and it is once again time to pause and reflect on a further year’s ownership of a Ferrari F355. You can review the previous anniversaries here:

One Year Anniversary

Two Year Anniversary

Three Year Anniversary

So with the fourth anniversary done with a celebration of fruit and flowers, let’s review.

Costs

The major costs this year where the replacement of the high tension leads that were causing stuttering (after initially thinking it was the angular sensors). Half the leads were replaced early in the year and half later in the year when the spluttering reoccurred. I also replaced the thermocouple on the 5-8 side of the engine (passenger side) because that warning light was starting to appear.

This resulted in a lower kilometres travelled this year (only about 6,000 which is a about a 33% drop compared to last year). This also resulted in a 33% drop in the annual fuel bill. There was also a handy 12% drop in annual insurance. The repairs costs were also about 24% lower compared to last year but remember that I had the engine out for a major service that year.

Thus, the total costs were around $10,000 for the year which is about a 20% drop over last year. The car also pass the 60,000 total kilometres travelled mark which averages out now to about 3,000 kilometres per year over its 20 year life span. The next major milestone is passing the 66,000 kilometres mark. At that point, I will have driven the car further than all previous owners combined! Hopefully, I should pass that mark before we reconvene for the next annual update.

So, some unexpected repairs this year but necessary given the age of the components (high tension leads, 20 years plus). That resulted in lower overall travel when compared to previous years.

Travel

The car has now done about 27,000 kilometres since purchase, completing around 6,000 kilometres this year which was a 33% drop compared to last year (mainly due to time off the road for repairs). That averages out to 116 kilometres per week versus 170 last year.

This year’s learning’s

1. As always, a car like this is only as good and enjoyable as the person who maintains it. For that, there no one better than Sal DiMauro from Racing Red. He was good enough to come out when the initial spluttering started and perform some onsite diagnosis. When the issue proved not to be the angular sensors, he squeezed me in to get the car fixed. Once again, I can’t stress how important it is to have someone knowledgeable and experienced to look after the car and for my money that is Sal DiMauro from Racing Red and I recommend him unreservedly.

2. I learned how to drive my car onto a tilt tray. Never done that in any vehicle before. I had to do this to get the car across the Sal twice this year. You read more about one of those experiences here:

I knew this day would come

Luckily, I now also have a good contact in case I need further vehicle towing. Again, I highly recommend Carlingford Towing who responded very quickly, were easy to deal with and whose rates were also very reasonable. Another important contact to have.

3. Most importantly, I learned that you MUST wear long pants when you visit the Ferrari factory for a tour, even in the blazing heat of an Italian summer!

Low points

The biggest frustration this year was troubleshooting the stuttering issues. It started out as something very small but became quite a major during a drive day. Having the car conked out on the freeway on the way back after cutting the day short. Then having to limp it home was quite stressful. That was the worst the car has really been to drive. It really felt that it was going to cut out at any point and that is not a good feeling in traffic.

It was frustrating changing the angular sensors and then finding that the problem was not in fact that.

Having to send the car via a tilt tray for the first time was also not the greatest feeling. However, it made to Sal without issues (which was much better than having to nurse it across town in the traffic honestly).

Of course, it was also frustrating for the same stuttering problem to resurface about 6 months later with the remaining leads. However, this time it was clear what the problem was so the fix was much quicker but the car, once again, had to be loaded onto a tilt tray (this time in the rain) which is never the most pleasant experience for any car owner.

However, all in all, I don’t have anything to complain about here. Twenty year old cars have issues with their 20 year old parts (i.e. the leads) and these parts have perform well over the years and will always need to be changed at some point. Again, I have nothing to complain about, honestly.

High points

The major high point this year was of course travelling to Italy, attending the Coso Pilota and visit Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc. You can read all about my adventures in great detail here:

Touch Down Modena

Pilgrimage – doing the Ferrari ‘stuff’

Alien Territory – doing the non-Ferrari ‘stuff’ like visiting Lamborghini

Corso Pilota Day 1 – Part 1 – experiences on the Ferrari test track

Corso Pilota Day 1 – Part 2 – experiences on the Ferrari test track

Corso Pilota Day 2 – experiences on the Ferrari test track

Reflections – recommendations and reflections

What I learned doing Corso Pilota – improving my driving skills

 

This was by no means a cheap exercise but I’d certainly do it again and am in fact already planning to return and do it all over again. If you are planning on doing the Corso Pilota or simply just visit all the Ferrari and other car sites in the region I suggest you have a read through all my articles because there is huge amount of information there that is pretty helpful.

I didn’t get to go on as many drives with the Ferrari Club this year due to the car being out of order for longer than expected. However, I thoroughly enjoyed those that I did go on (where the car didn’t have issues obviously).

Value

All of this again is totally subjective but I think it is still a good indicator. Part of the rationale for purchasing the F355 specifically was the belief that it’s value would increase over time as it became a ‘future classic’. Not the main reason for purchase but certainly a justification for the capital investment. That capital investment requires maintenance (such as the belts being changed) to retain its resale value, like any capital investment.

The average asking price for a F355 last year = $154,000

The average asking price for a F355 this year = $200,267

that’s an increase of 30% from last year. Not a bad ROI eh? Add to that a 20% increase from the year prior and I’d estimate that my car’s value is at least 50% above what I purchased it for.

That could of course change tomorrow as prices readily fluctuate I agree. However, over time you can see a general trend of the F355 asking price being on the rise.

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I reckon the price is going to keep rising over the foreseeable future. Fingers crossed.

Again, for me it is about the emotion side rather than the pure financial numbers, but hey, healthy dollar values don’t hurt any do they now?

Summary

Overall it has been a frustrating year sorting out the stutter issue with the car. However, it has also been a unbelievably memorable year after visiting Italy, the Ferrari factory and doing the Corso Pilota. The importance of this is the fact that owning an F355 isn’t just about the car itself I believe, it is about being part of the Ferrari family and taking advantage of everything that has to offer.

I hope regular readers enjoyed the information I posted last year. Things have been busy so I haven’t posted as much as I’d have liked to but I do try and get my weekly price updates out regularly. Don’t forget to visit my YouTube Channel where you’ll find all the videos from my time at Fiorano posted. 

I’m looking forward to another year of ownership and unique experiences that bring and I thank you for reading along with my journey.

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