evo’s editor has fulfilled his dream of owning an F355, and is hoping his emotive purchase won’t break the bank
|Kilometres this month
|Costs this month
|L/100km this month
It was the summer of 1994 and I was back in Dubai on holiday from university visiting my parents, which happened to coincide with my mother’s purchase of a brand new Jaguar XJ6. Having recently acquired my driving licence and with it an obsession for cars, I of course tagged along when she went to collect her prized possession from the Jaguar dealership, Al Tayer Motors.
When we arrived we were led to a large parking lot behind the showroom where the car was kept ready for her to take home. While my mum inspected her new pride and joy, my attention was hijacked by the sight of half a dozen or so mostly red Ferrari F355s that were on the other side of the yard. As Al Tayer is also the UAE Ferrari dealer, it was the first consignment of Maranello’s latest V8 to arrive in the country, and there was a bit of a commotion as it was the first time anyone had seen them. Dubai was a very different place in the nineties and, unlike today, supercars were a rarity, so as you can imagine the sight of so many Ferraris in one place was a special occasion. It was the day I fell hopelessly in love with the F355.
Nearly a quarter of a century has since passed and my infatuation for the F355 has never subsided. In my eyes it is the last truly beautiful Ferrari, and while there have been many great models that have come along since, none of the Italian manufacturer’s modern cars are what you would call classically pretty. The F355 on the other hand has aesthetics that make me go weak at the knees. Over the years I have carried out numerous searches of the online classifieds but never pulled the trigger, as they are relatively hard to come by in the UAE and have a reputation for being temperamental and ruinously expensive to maintain. I had toyed with the idea of importing one from Europe or America where they are more readily available but could never bring myself to follow through.
Not too long ago, however, I received a text message from an acquaintance of mine, telling me he was leaving the country and heading back to his native France. He had made the difficult decision to not take his F355 with him and was wondering if I’d be interested. As you’re reading this page you’ve probably guessed correctly that my response was positive. I sent the car off for an inspection, the results of which were mostly positive, and after a brief negotiation we agreed a price I was happy with. The car has a list of minor repairs needed to get it close to perfect, but mechanically it is in great shape and has been very well looked after.
So after all these years, my dream has come true and I’m now the proud owner of a 1995 red on tan leather Ferrari F355 Spider. Over the coming months I’ll be sharing with you what it’s like living with a 23-year-old Italian supercar. Hopefully
my decision of the heart is not one I’ll come to regret, but for now I couldn’t be more excited about getting to know this utterly gorgeous modern classic.