In the 1980s, Ferrari came to rely on the mid-engine V8-powered 308 GTB and GTS as its bread and butter. This, the spiritual successors to the brilliant 246 Dino, soon became the best-selling model in the company’s history and did enormous good for the firm’s bottom line. As the 308 reached a decade in production, it evolved into the 328, which was a brilliant car but it was beginning to show its age. Ferrari wisely continued with the theme of a compact V8 mounted amidships for its subsequent “entry level” models. Following the 328 was the 348, then the F355 which represented a big leap forward in terms of quality, development and performance. Today, the F355 is seen as a bridge of sorts between the old-world Ferrari and the new, modern Ferrari. It was adored by fans and journalists alike, but it was not without its flaws, so the formula was even further refined for the next evolution of the theme: The 360 Modena. With the 360, Ferrari fully entered the modern age and made massive leaps forward in terms of reliability and build quality. Thanks to a partnership with Alcoa, aluminum comprised both the body and chassis, while the Tipo F131 V8 was a glorious, high-revving masterpiece in alloy. That V8, which produced 400 horsepower at a screaming 8500 rpm was developed with a great deal of trickle-down Formula 1 technology. And while the output wasn’t that much higher than the outgoing F355, it was much more tractable, reliable, and in combination with the drastically lighter chassis, imparted the 360 Modena with breathtaking performance. Throughout production, the 360 could be had with a traditional gated six-speed manual gearbox, or a six-speed electro-hydraulic paddle-shift gearbox developed from Formula 1 technology.
Thanks to that lightweight and rigid aluminum construction, the 360 Modena was a genuine supercar capable of 190mph performance, with handling and precision to match. Another benefit of the inherent rigidity of the platform is that is lent itself well to lopping the roof off to create the 360 Spider. Replacing the metal roof with a soft top took little additional work for engineers, and the results looked just as gorgeous as the berlinetta. The soft top itself is a brilliant piece of engineering, disappearing beneath a body-colored hard boot in the span of a 20-second mechanical symphony. With the top folded, occupants can more easily hear the wail of that fabulous V8 and feel the full effect of the magnificent performance and handling. Comfortable, remarkably fast, yet docile and easy to drive at city speeds, the 360 (in Spider or Berlinetta form alike) is a totally usable, approachable modern Ferrari that provides a deeply satisfying experience at a fraction of the cost of its newer siblings.
Our featured 2003 360 Spider is a beautiful example of Ferrari’s first truly modern sports car. This is a car that is well-known to us, and it comes with a comprehensive service history and is fully up-to-date and ready to be enjoyed. This 22k miles example is a highly desirable six-speed manual spider finished in beautiful Grigio Titanio over a rare and attractive light-gray interior featuring Daytona-style seats with black inserts and silver stitching. The bodywork is straight, very clean and in excellent condition. Paint and panel gaps are consistent and in very good order. A few minor blemishes affirm the mileage, but it remains a very attractive and thoroughly usable example that has been carefully and attentively looked-after. The interior is beautiful, showing excellent leather trim, no “sticky” plastic on the switchgear, and everything functions as it should including the air conditioning and stereo.
The clutch, gearbox and engine are spot on and fully serviced. It has recently been fitted with fresh tires on excellent original wheels, so it truly is a turn-key example that needs nothing. With the robust nature of the Ferrari market, this 360 represents an excellent value. These are truly good cars that will reward careful maintenance with reliability and a thrilling drive. This great example needs little more than a twist of the key to enjoy, and comes in a very desirable specification meaning it is not likely to drastically depreciate in the near future. The sale includes books, tools, recent service records and spare keys.
Aug 30, 2016