The Heythrop Classic Car Sale
Heythrop Park, Enstone, Chipping Norton, OX7 5UF
SATURDAY 11th MAY 2019
1999 FERRARI F355 GTS F1
Chassis Number: ZFFXR42C000115096
Engine Number: 52513
Number of cylinders: 8
Year of Manufacture: 1999
RHD/LHD: Right Hand Drive
Estimate (£): 60,000 - 70,000
(+buyer's premium of 15% including VAT @ 20%)
- 1 of 74 F355 GTS F1 delivered to the UK, showing just 34,500 miles and finished in Rosso Corsa
- Longitudinally mounted 375bhp V8 with an F1 electro-hydraulic, 'paddle-shift' six-speed gearbox
- Lovely interior with Nero leather and Bordeaux carpets. Leather showing very little wear, no sticky switches
- Accompanied by a full maintenance schedule with no expense spared, complete tool kit and book packs
- Arguably the most desirable configuration of the F355, examples this good rarely come to market
Inheriting the proportions of its predecessor, the 348, the F355 was outwardly a much better-resolved proposition, both aesthetically and aerodynamically. However, beneath the fabulous styling and smoother skin, were further major advancements, including power steering, variable damping, and a 100cc engine enlargement. The longitudinally mounted 3496cc V8 generated a market-leading 380 horsepower at a spine-tingling 8,250 rpm and the gearbox now had six speeds with a revised synchromesh making gear changes so much smoother. New electronically adjustable shock absorbers varied their stiffness within milliseconds to suit the road surface and the result of all these developments was evident around Ferrari's 1.86 mile Fiorano test track when the 355 was two seconds a lap faster than the 12-cylinder 512 TR.
This particular F355 GTS is a UK-supplied, right-hand-drive car specified with the F1 paddle-shift gearbox, Nero leather and Bordeaux carpets, probably the optimum specification for an F355. At the time of launch, the F1 gearbox utilised, as the name suggests, technology descending directly from the 1989 Ferrari Formula 1 programme offering, for the first time in a production sports car, the ability to change gear from the steering wheel without the use of a clutch pedal, an expensive £6,000 option making the F1 the rarest of all F355s produced. A total of 2,577 GTS models were built, with 2,048 delivered with the 6-speed manual transmission and the remaining 529 with the F1 transmission. This was the last production Ferrari to offer a Targa body style until the La Ferrari Aperta.
Always dry stored correctly, this example presents in superb condition, the paintwork is excellent and the interior shows little signs of wear and, importantly, all of the switchgear notorious for going 'sticky' over time is in good order. To suit our vendors driving position the decision was made to change the standard steering wheel for the more aesthetic early version, however, the original steering wheel accompanies the car. Turn the ignition key to position 1, listen to the pumps prime, fire the engine into life, and the resulting explosion of sound from the Ferrari V8 makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand to attention. Addictive.
Accompanying this car is a fully documented maintenance schedule, most recently a full cam-belt service in October 2017 at 33,715 miles followed by an annual service in October 2018 at 33,979 miles. The service book is stamped with supporting documents periodically by either respected marque specialists or Ferrari main agents. All books are present as are the tool kits and spare keys with fobs.
Sitting on the cusp between analogue and digital, the 355 is considered the forerunner of all modern Ferraris and, as the last of the hand-built cars before the 360 and later descendants moved to mass production, will inevitably slip into the role of 'Classic Ferrari' with ease becoming increasingly sought after as time goes by. Examples this good rarely come to market, and in a classic colour combination with a comprehensive history and the desirable F1 transmission, this could turn out to be a rather shrewd purchase.
SELECTED BY IDRIS SQUIRREL