Ferrari F355 & 360 Gold Portfolio, 1995-2004.
Ferrari, the very sound of the name conjures up mental images of exciting and stylish sports cars being driven at great speed across the Continent to an important social engagement. Add in the fabulous sound track of the V8’s exhaust and a glamorous travelling companion and you are very close to motoring nirvana. The mid-engined Ferrari sports cars (all descendants from the marvellous little Dino 246) have taken on an aura that guarantees celebrity status wherever they and their owners go. With the arrival of the F355 in late 1994 for the 1995 model year, Ferrari were raising the stakes considerably in their quest for supremacy in their chosen market niche. Certainly sales of the F355 and its replacement, the 360 Modena, have risen dramatically as the world’s mooring cognoscenti have appreciated their allure. Not entirely coincident with this rise in popularity of the sports car side of the business has been Ferrariâ€™s dominance in the Formula One arena. With these mid-engined sports coupes Ferrari has also embraced new technology in ways that were never contemplated with their predecessors. Today we have electronic engine management, F1-style paddle shifts on the steering wheel, high-technology aluminium frame construction of the chassis combined with sensually curved alloy body panels and an environmental awareness that does the company proud. We have social responsibility running hand-in-hand with the storming performance that buyers of these sports cars demand. In many respects this success has taken Ferrari out of the small time cottage-style industry to now being a pre-eminent purveyor of sports cars produced in ever increasing numbers. They might have lost a little of their exclusivity but none of their allure.
Models covered: Berlinetta, Spider, Challenge, Modena & Challenge Stradale.
Engels, paperback, 2005, 160 pages, 140 full color, Brooklands Books.