To be OFFERED AT AUCTION at Auctions America’s Fort Lauderdale event, April 1-3, 2016.
Chassis No. ZFFXR48A5X0116556
Estimate: $200,000 - $250,000 US
In the 1970s, Ferrari changed the Berlinetta formula from two-passenger front engine V-12s to a mid-engine V-6 with the Dino and then a V-8 powerplant with the introduction of the 308 GT. This basic formula evolved over the years as technology advanced, but took a major step forward with the F355 introduced in 1994. The successor of the less than warmly received 348, the F355 was based on the same layout, but the two models are definitely generations apart.
Shortly after the F355 Berlinetta was introduced, Ferrari released a Spider variant that with over 500 additional hours of wind tunnel testing and additional bracing produced astonishingly similar performance figures to the closed car.
The standard 3,496-cc, 375-hp, 268-lb/ft, five valve per cylinder, aluminum block V-8 engine in the F355 was a major technical achievement and supplied stunning performance. Belt-driven dual overhead camshafts and hydraulic tappets resulted in a valve train that was unexpectedly quiet in operation – even up to its 8,500-rpm redline. The 180-degree crankshaft, which produced equal firing intervals on each cylinder bank for perfect exhaust timing, had a firing order more like two straight-fours than the four V-twins of a typical V-8 arrangement. On account of these innovations, the F355 produced a sound like no other Ferrari.
Extensive chassis and aero tuning enabled the F355’s suspension to take the enormous power of its engine in stride. This was achieved through an electronically managed variable shock-absorber system that reads data from various sensors and adjusts damping forces to control wheel movement. The driver could control the level of this system or shut it off entirely from the cockpit of the car. As a result, the F355 feels just at home in a high-speed corner as it does on a rough city street. Also new was the TRW power-steering system, which was a vast improvement over the stiff manual steering of earlier Ferraris.
For 1999, Ferrari introduced a limited production of F355 Spider models designated, "Serie Fiorano". Both the Serie Fiorano and the F355’s successor, the 360 Modena, were launched at the 1999 Geneva Auto Show. This limited production run of 100 planned units (it is reported that104 actually were produced) included a number of enhancements increasing the race track performance closer to the Ferrari Challenge versions.
Among the features seen on the exclusive Serie Fiorano cars are Competizione-derived Fiorano suspension pack, with wide track, stiffer springs, lowered ride height and a stouter anti-roll bar; cross-drilled and ventilated brake discs and competition brake pads in red calipers; Competizione-sourced steering rack; Challenge rear grilles; enameled Scuderia Ferrari shields; suede-covered steering wheel; numerous carbon fiber elements such as inserts on the center console and door sills.
It is reported that there were 100 Serie Fiorano units delivered to the U.S. market. Of those, 74 were delivered with the F1 transmission and 26 with the six-speed manual. This well-kept and sparingly driven example is one of the scant 26 with the traditional manual gearbox. Among the equipment is a power top, power windows, air conditioning, radio with CD and power assistance on the aforementioned competition-oriented steering setup and four-wheel disc braking system. The total production figure was expanded from the intended 100 figure when an additional four units were produced with three of them being European models and one with a South African delivery. The American units were delivered with a numbered plaque affixed to the dashboard.
The final F355 produced by Ferrari was a truly special car; it topped a respected model line and will be remembered fondly in the progression of Ferrari development. 1999 Ferrari F355 Spider Serie Fiorano