I have officially owned a 2000 Ferrari 360 Modena F1 for 8 months now. In this time, I have taken my Ferrari to many places and done various things with it in order to test the myths and theories of Ferrari ownership. Here are my findings.
[Note: Some of my findings are 360 Modena specific, some are Ferrari in general. It is also wise to note I live in Las Vegas, which differs greatly from owning a Ferrari in say, Nebraska, or possibly Philadelphia.]
Some of you may remember the article I wrote nearly 7 months ago proclaiming the savior (or possibly the anti-Christ depending on your views), Doug DeMuro, to be woefully wrong about the 360 Modena. Let’s set the record straight. After 8 months, I have a love hate relationship with this magnificent Italian pile of steaming crap.
Let’s start with a follow up to Doug’s post.
Gas stations: According to Doug, this was his spot for constantly being accosted at. I proclaimed, one month in, that this was not true. I still stand by this statement. Now to be fair, the majority of the time I filled up at the chevron station by my house, which is located in a secluded suburb of Las Vegas, and for some perspective of the neighborhood, Floyd Mayweather lives less than an 1/8 a mile away. I distinctively recall an instance when I pulled into this gas station and there sat a Rolls Royce Wraith, a Range Rover Autobiography, and the new Maybach all filling up. As I filled up a 991 Turbo pulled in, and as I left, a GT-R pulled in. So expensive cars were not really a wow factor at this gas station.
I did manage to stop at several gas stations through town, with the occasional “nice car” while I was filling up, but only once did I ever get a conversation. I was out for a drive outside of town and stopped to fill up, a rented RV pulled up with about 5 mid-20-year old guys who were heading up to Zion Canyon pulled in next to me. They were cool and we had a good conversation, mostly about Zion as I had spent an extended weekend there 2 weeks prior. No Prius owners berating me for not getting 40 MPG, No rednecks in Camaro’s explaining to me why their car is better…
You can’t drive this every day: Okay so I will give Doug a 50/50 on this. I drove mine as a daily for 4 days, just to see. It’s not 100% fun, I will admit, but it is possible. The 360 is cheap enough (as far as Ferrari’s go) that if you have the cash to buy a well maintained, higher mileage one that is not in collector condition and don’t care about it too much, you absolutely can. During my 4 day stint, the biggest complaint I had was seat comfort. Even with the seat bolsters at their widest, the seat’s on the 360 are too tight, too short, and too hard. Driving this car for an extended period of time would be a literal pain in the ass (for reference, I’m 6’0” 180lbs athletic build, so you need to be a rather small person for the OEM seats to work for you).
The other concerns with daily-ing this car would be the obvious parking lot damage, other drives not seeing you, and maintenance costs of driving a Ferrari 10,000 miles a year. Again, if the money isn’t a concern, and you replace the seats with something out of a newer Ferrari (seriously, the F430 spider seats are 1000x better and those are still not great), you could, theoretically, daily drive this car.
You won’t get more chicks: I called this one true 7 months ago. Now I will give it a 50/50 with the pre-qualifier “you won’t pick up the right kind of chick in this car”. Unless your name is Kanye and you want to complain about gold diggers and then marry one, this car is not the “hey ladies” car for you. That’s right, if you are interested in a ‘hand in your pocket, buy me something’ kind of woman whose vocabulary consists of Gucci, Fendi, Prada, Louis… then this is the car for you. Otherwise, don’t buy this car as a replacement for your pickup lines, as it won’t work, just like your pickup lines.
Insurance is a P.I.T.A. (look it up): When Doug initially bought his 360 he went on a diatribe about how many hoops he had to jump through to get his insured. I knew going into this that my primary insurance company would not cover this car, so I didn’t even try. How did I know this? 2 years ago I almost bought a Maserati Quattroporte, then decided against it after shopping for insurance and getting the lowest quote of $4,200 per year… Since then, I learned more about how insurance works and discovered more “collector” type insurance companies.
To be fair, it took my 3 whole days to get insurance in place. I had to submit an application, speak to an underwriter, send in several pictures for verification including VIN and mileage, get an approval, and then pay; most of which was done via email, and the company is located on the east coast, and I am on the west coast, so exchanges were like this: receive email at 9am PST ‘we need pictures’. Get home from work 6pm PST take pictures, email pictures at 7pm PST a.k.a 10pm EST. wait for response overnight… So 3 days was more than reasonable.
So onto some general myths about Ferrari’s and the 360’s
The most common question I received was “How expensive is it to maintain?”
Not very. Yes, you do need to complete a full engine service every 15k mi. Yes, parts, and more specifically labor, is very expensive for a Ferrari. I purchased mine with 18,364 miles. The 15k service was first completed at 12,xxx miles, and then again at 17,774 miles as the car was in storage for several years, all by the previous owner.
So how much does one of these 15k services cost? On the 360, expect $4,500 to $6,000 depending on where you take it. The good news is, this is basically a full engine checkup and repair every 15k miles, so these things run like a charm.
Besides the major services, an “oil service” needs to be completed every 2 years or 2,500 miles. This is at a cost of nearly $1,000. Now I know what you’re thinking; $1,000 oil changes!!! Yes. But this includes the oil test, which can inform the tech of potentially catastrophic situations, as well as swapping the trans fluid, and several gaskets and seals. Ferrari also recommends replacing the clutch at 80% clutch life, which is a $5,000 expense (more on that later). Everything else is pretty standard.
So far, my cost to maintain this car has been $176.00. It’s about due for an oil service, and will likely need a clutch in the next 2,000 miles as it is currently at 60% clutch life (I know, I’m such a rebel).
MPG: “You must be at the gas station every day, huh?”
No. Actually. Many of you may be surprised to learn that the 360 Modena has an absolutely massive fuel tank. It actually has two, 12-gallon fuel bladders located behind each seat, for 24 total gallons of fuel carrying. As far as MPG’s go, the EPA says 8 city 11 highway. I have never actually calculated my MPG’s, but I am led to believe the MPG’s are so low as it is not possible to drive this car economically. It begs for more throttle. If nothing else, for the sound of that flat plane V8.
The real question is, if you’re buying a Ferrari, why are you concerned with the fuel consumption?
Do you get a free hat with purchase?
No, but they will give a discount on purchases…
Do you carry a fire extinguisher with you at all times?
No, but I like to live dangerously… uncoincidentally however, my particular 360 was optioned with a fire extinguisher from the factory. It had long been removed from the car though.
You’re a brave man, I wouldn’t touch an early F1 transmission with a 10 foot pole.
Thank you, and why not? Yes I have seen the plethora of people having issues with their F1 trans. However, like everything else, if you maintain it, you won’t have issues.
Allow me to explain. The early F1 trans was a single clutch system that was hydraulically activated. The “F1 relay” likes to fail, but I not overly expensive to replace, so replace it often. The clutch needs to be adjusted and set by a trained tech, so bring it to a dealer and pay the premium, it will be worth it in the long run (over an indy shop). Change your fluids on schedule. Know how the system works.
I drive in sport mode all the time as this engages the clutch quicker and keeps it engaged longer, this means less wear on the clutch in exchange for a slightly harsher engagement. These transmissions are also set up to rev match on the down shift under throttle only. Downshifting while braking or decelerating without throttle can be damaging to the clutch and transmission systems. The only issue I had with my transmission was when the little tabs for the reverse lever broke, causing it to think it was in reverse and forwards at the same time. The lever cost $150 to replace, but luckily, the previous owner had a spare in the car when I bought it…
As far as driving experience goes, under normal throttle, the 360 is very smooth. Shift engagement is based on throttle input, so less throttle = slower gear changes and less harsh engagement. Full throttle means faster gear changes and harsher engagements, and my god, a harsh engagement in a Ferrari F1 means getting slapped in the back of the head, hard.
You will feel every bump in the road:
True. It’s a sports car, not a Honda. If you don’t want a stiff suspension, don’t spend six figures on a sports car.
Is it overly stiff? No. Would I want to hit every pothole? No.
The previous owner lived in LA and drove it through downtown LA, which has potholes the make my truck climb through them… This is also why my 360 has F430 wheels.
The 360 is an amazing machine, and at today’s prices, a steal. The 3.6l engine is still one of Ferraris most reliable, and, in my opinion, best sounding V8’s. Maintenance costs are reasonable when you take everything into relativity, and while not an overly comfortable car, it’s one of the better vehicles I have driven in the past few years. Owning any Ferrari is an experience if nothing else, and should you be afforded the opportunity, I recommend jumping at it, even if only for a short period of time.
I purchased this car with the intent of flipping it once the title arrived. It was good enough for me to keep much longer than expected, and that’s saying something. Soon it will be gone, and the hunt for the next big value flip will be on.