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Inheriting the proportions of its predecessor, 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.
The F355 Spider (most of us like Italian convertibles to be called Spyder, however, Ferrari have always insisted on Spider) debuted in 1995, its Pininfarina-penned lines honed by even more hours in the wind tunnel. To make up for the lack of a roof and the associated loss of torsional rigidity, the 355's structure was cleverly strengthened without making the Spider any heavier than the Berlinetta. Pininfarina is very experienced in designing convertible roofs for other manufacturers and their efforts here have resulted in a blend of elegant style and aerodynamic performance and, for the first time in a Ferrari, the semi-automatic soft-top was powered electronically. Initially, the Spider was fitted with the 6-speed manual transmission, prior to being offered with the innovative, electro-hydraulic F1 transmission, however, over time, it's become accepted that the manual box is that much more satisfying to use and that has tended to be reflected in the car's value.
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.
Offered here is a very desirable, UK-supplied, right-hand drive manual example that’s finished in the extremely rare colour Verde Zeltweg complemented by a Tan interior. We believe this is one of only three examples finished in this striking colour. Only 22,000 miles have been covered from new and this immaculate 355 has resided in the amazing private collection of Rock legend Jay Kay since 2015.
This car really needs to be seen to be believed – it's been looked after by some of the best in the business, such as marque experts DK engineering and the results are clear to see in the metal. Sounding as good as it looks, this is an exciting opportunity given its almost unrepeatable quality, rarity and the driving experience on offer and Silverstone Auctions highly recommend coming and seeing for yourself.