"The F355 is a nightmare to own, operate, and maintain. If the federal government had owned an F355 in the ’60s, they never would’ve landed on the moon. "Sorry President Johnson," the head of NASA would say. "We can’t afford it this year because we have to do a belt service on our 355." — Doug DeMuro, 2015
I’ve never been more proud of myself than at this moment, as I successfully traded off my perfect Acura NSX for a broken 1995 Ferrari F355 Spider. I can’t believe that I own one of the greatest-looking and -sounding Ferraris of all time — although I can only drive my 355 in its current condition if my mechanic pushes me around while making Ferrari noises. Clearly, I’m the smartest man you’ve ever met.
It all started at a sushi buffet, where I was explaining to a good friend of mine how miserable it was to sell my Acura NSX. Even though the first-generation NSX is considered an exotic, bordering on a supercar, it still brings out all the Honda fanboy idiots thinking they can get $10,000 off the price using their dull wit and ego. My friend, Rob Santore, is a great listener for these kinds of rants. He also owns several cars, including a Ferrari F355 — and for as long as I’ve known him, this Ferrari was always broken. ALWAYS. Every time he fixed his 355, I would schedule with him to make a video about it, and he always had to cancel because something new would break. About 6 months ago, he took his Ferrari up to my mechanic, the Car Wizard, for a full sorting — and he was thrilled with the result. That feeling lasted about a month before a massive coolant leak developed, and it’s been sitting in his garage broken ever since.
It was clearly a joke when he offered to trade his Ferrari for my NSX plus $5,000. He probably thought it would make me feel better about my situation, as my car is actually operable. Being the shrewd negotiator that I am, I offered my NSX plus $10,000. It took another 5 minutes to convince him I wasn’t joking, and we finally made a deal over a giant plate of the finest Kansas-made sushi. We’ve spent the last couple of weeks trying to line up our schedules so we can make the trade, and asking all of our friends which one of us was the bigger idiot. So far, it seems pretty evenly split.
When I consulted Doug DeMuro on this purchase via text message, a stream of expletives came flying back, along with a stern warning to not ruin my life with this purchase. When I told him I’m doing it anyway, he seemed to warm up to the idea, as it would no doubt provide great content for the people of Oversteer.
Now comes the really scary part, as the Ferrari is now up at the Car Wizard’s lair awaiting its fate. The previous owner, Rob, insists he quit driving it immediately after the massive leak started, and never overheated it. He also says the leak was way back in the engine bay, around where the radiator and associated hoses live. So I could get this 355 back in action with just a $100 hose — or I could be rebuilding a motor. It’s also been 5 years since it had a major engine-out service, so it’s due again. I think the Car Wizard and I can handle that job easily enough — but if we screw it up, we do have some experience with LS-swapping.
Don’t worry, the LS-swap part was a joke, but the DIY Ferrari major service is not. If the coolant leak is an easy fix, I plan on at least enjoying this car through the spring before tackling the major service. But I’m getting a little ahead of myself at this point — as of right now, all I can do is sit in driver’s seat and pretend to be driving my Ferrari. Cross your fingers for me that it’s just a busted hose. Find a used Acura NSX for sale or Find a Ferrari F355 for sale
Tyler Hoover went broke after 10 years in the car business and now sells hamburgers to support his fleet of needy cars. He lives in Wichita, Kansas.