H.R. Owen Ferrari has just completed one its most challenging projects yet: the full mechanical recommissioning of a ‘barnfind’ Ferrari F355. Found by its current owner in Macau covered by a sheet and left standing for over 12 years, the H.R. Owen Ferrari team was tasked with getting it running in perfect order once more.
The F355 is definitely a `Marmite’ Ferrari, with its 90s styling attracting some enthusists, whilst others think it looks alarmingly similar to a Toyota MR2. It will cost you way more than MR2 prices to buy and F355 and insurance value on this model – once fully restored – likely to be around £100,000 for an example that has undergone such a well documented restoration by a prestige dealership.
H.R. Owen Ferrari’s customer found the car while hunting for a Ferrari 512 TR. Having found a great example, he noticed the F355 hidden next to it, and pulled off the sheet to reveal a rare Verde Silverstone finish. Additionally, this particular F355 comes fitted the sought-after gated manual gearbox and carbon-fibre racing bucket seats – another option not often ticked on the order sheet. Further research revealed this F355 was first registered in Macau in July 1995.
The H.R. Owen Ferrari London Service team were specifically recommended to the customer by a fellow Ferrari enthusiast, and the car was shipped to London for work to begin. Having covered each one of the 10,000km showing on its odometer before 2007, the F355 was now in need of some serious mechanical work. Rodents had chewed through key wiring components, lubricants had long since dried up, while natural corrosion and general wear-and-tear had played havoc with all the major mechanical functions.
Following a lengthy and meticulous analysis of the car’s condition, the H.R. Owen Ferrari London team began the process of recommissioning the car in late 2019.
Now back to fully perfect running condition, the F355’s engine was removed, disassembled, deep-cleaned and had a number of its key parts replaced, including faulty pumps. The gearbox had its clutch replaced and the flywheel was totally overhauled. Elsewhere, the fuel tank and fuel lines were drained, a new catalyst system was installed in the exhaust, two catalytic control units were replaced and fresh fuel was circulated around the system. With the addition of a new battery, a number of new fuses and a whole host of other mechanical tweaks, the F355 was finally fired up for the first time in well over a decade.
The work also included the replacement of the whole air-conditioning system, an entirely new set of wheels and tyres, new brakes and brake discs all-round and the suspension received fresh shock absorbers on all four corners.
The next phase of the recommission will see the vehicle undergo bodywork restoration in the form of a full paint respray of the F355’s exceptionally rare colour scheme. Following completion of the project, the owner will be submitting the car for Ferrari Classiche certification at H.R. Owen Ferrari.
Built by Ferrari between 1994 and 1999, the F355 is one model in the long and distinguished lineage of Ferrari’s mid-engined berlinettas. Powered by a 3.5L V8 engine with 375 hp, the F355 could sprint from 0-62 mph in 4.7 seconds and 0-100 mph in 10.8 seconds, with a top speed of 183 mph. During the late 1990s, the F355 was the most popular Ferrari to-date, with over 11,000 being sold.
Ken Choo, H.R. Owen CEO, said: “We’re delighted to be able to showcase the extraordinary level of training that our H.R. Owen Ferrari aftersales technicians go through with a project like this. The F355 was one of the most advanced sports cars of its era, and it’s no easy task to restore one to perfect working order after having spent 12 years parked. What the team at H.R. Owen Ferrari Aftersales have achieved here is spectacular, and we’re delighted to have been able to play a part in the recommissioning of this rare and important piece of Ferrari history.”
H.R. Owen Ferrari operates a showroom in South Kensington and – during 2019 – opened a new flagship showroom in Mayfair’s Berkeley Square. H.R. Owen Ferrari also offers the Classiche-approved Ferrari Service Centre in West London, where all work on this F355 was completed – it’s the largest Ferrari Technical Centre in Europe.