Breathtaking is the only word to describe the 360, introduced in 1999. From its sculpted looks, crafted over a superbly fabricated aluminum chassis, the Modena exudes Ferrari at its best
The line of Ferrari Berlinettas has been a long and distinguished one. From the first 166 Barchetta through the 195, 212, and then the highly collectible 250 GTs of the 1960s, the cars were always characterized by being for two people only, light, nimble and with a powerful and reliable V12 engine.
In the 1970s, with the 308 series, the Ferrari two-seater Berlinetta changed from a front-engine V12-powered car to a mid-engine V8. The resultant models included the iconic 308/328, the 348, the 355 and now the 360 Modena.
Breathtaking is the only word to describe the 360, introduced in 1999. From its sculpted looks, crafted over a superbly fabricated aluminum chassis, the Modena exudes Ferrari at its best. The engine is turbine-like in its power delivery through a six-speed gearbox, rocketing the driver to a top speed of 190 mph, with 0-60 mph coming in just 4.3 seconds. A standstill to 100 mph takes just 10.2 seconds, accompanied by extraordinary handling and braking.
The Modena Coupe pictured here is in superb condition, having covered just 1,837 miles from new. It has been regularly serviced and maintained since being purchased in 2001. Finished in Ferrari red with a tan interior, this low mileage 360 Modena is as one would expect-simply stunning and virtually new. A perfect modern Ferrari for the most discerning buyer, this example offers no disappointments.
This 2000 Ferrari 360 Modena sold for $159,500, including buyer’s commission, at the RM Monterey auction, Aug. 16-17, 2003.
Traditionally, Ferrari was a refiner, rather than an innovator. Advancements like disc brakes, mid-engine design and serious aerodynamics were in common use elsewhere long before Ferrari picked them up. Indeed, Ferrari’s reliance on powerful engines kept it competitive during onslaughts of new technology, but seldom did it answer the competition with its own advancements. That is, until Luca Cordero di Montezemolo took the reins of the company in 1992.
Di Montezemolo’s vision of Ferrari is that it make history, not just be a part of it. He doesn’t just talk the talk, he make things happen. His marketing expertise has included putting a Ferrari dealership in a major casino and leveraging the Ferrari brand with myriad lucrative licensing agreements. His influence is found everywhere in the company, from the champion Formula One team to the new state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities.
While the new Enzo may, in time, prove to be di Montezemolo’s finest accomplishment, it wouldn’t exist if the 360 hadn’t been paying the rent. It follows the 308, 328, 348 and 355 as the standard-bearer eight-cylinder, cars that now account for nearly two-thirds of Ferrari’s production. Under di Montezemolo’s watch these have evolved from lower-cost siblings into serious alternatives to the traditional twelve-cylinder Ferraris.
The Modena had specific design targets: superior performance and reduced weight over the 355, with a larger cabin and more luggage space. A bigger interior takes just the strike of an engineer’s pencil, yet it’s usually antithetical to reduced weight, so the Modena had to be designed from a clean slate. The major innovation was an entirely aluminum spaceframe, a first for a Ferrari street car, co-developed by Alcoa and made of both castings and extrusions.
The suspension was also aluminum and the whole package was wrapped in gorgeous aluminum skin designed by Pininfarina. The styling house looked back into Ferrari’s history and found styling cues from the 250 LM and the Dino. These were blended with modern aerodynamics to produce the most aggressive looking and performing eight-cylinder Ferrari ever.
The 360 is 10 percent larger than the 355, but 28 percent lighter and 40 percent more rigid. Lighter weight obviously helps performance, but not as much its new 3.6-liter engine, 400-horsepower engine. That, along with a new braking system and improved aerodynamics, helped the car to circulate Ferrari’s Fiorano test track almost three seconds faster than its predecessor.
But value-wise, the 360 Modena is starting to show the first signs of getting a little long in the tooth. After all, it’s been available for nearly five years now, and seeing one on the street no longer stops you in your tracks as it once did. The base MSRP on a 2004 Modena is $153,182, and sources tell me that if you’re willing to pay sticker, you can have one today, in your choice of colors. You might even be able to wrangle a small discount. Used coupes are now available from $130,000, depending on miles. (The Spyder still commands a premium; its MSRP is $175,750, but it will take $200,000-$225,000 to put one in your driveway without a wait.)
Coupe prices will stay relatively flat until the successor to the 360 Modena is announced, which should happen sometime in the next 12 months. At that point, everyone will rush to be first on the block with the newest toy, and the former newest toy, the 360, will become yesterday’s hot item and values will plummet.
The seller of this 360 Modena Coupe was wise to market it when and where he did, and the result achieved last August in Monterey would be hard to replicate today. If you’re in a Ferrari for the short term, selling it sooner is better than later. If you’re a potential buyer, just be patient. Time is on your side, and prices will only come down.-Steve Ahlgrim