Following the timing belt disaster at Silverstone back in September, I finally have my 360 back—all fixed, and then some! For a brief breakdown: complete service including timing belt, head gasket, water manifold gaskets, complete set of intake and exhaust values for the right-hand cylinder bank, and numerous seals for the clutch release bearing. This last set of items have remedied the occasional low pressure in the F1 system, so hopefully no more not-going-in-to-gear after sitting at traffic lights or a roundabout.
I cannot thank the guys at RNR Performance Cars enough, for diagnosing the issue while they were at a race weekend and then recovering my Ferrari from Silverstone back to their base in Kent. They have been upfront and accurate with their estimates, so although it has cost a small fortune, I’ve not been blind-sided with any surprises. I definitely recommend them and will look to use their services again in the future.
Ever since moving into our new house last August, I have been on the lookout for somewhere local to have the 360 serviced. And although Silverstone is home to many independent supercar specialists, and is only 30 miles away, that’s not quite local enough for my taste. After some sleuthing I eventually stumbled across Dove House Motor Company, and despite them focusing more on Porsche’s they do offer servicing for several Ferrari models, ranging from the 308 through to the FF.
It’s been three years to the day since I lost my first 360, and also nearly lost the love of my life! Thankfully the one who really mattered pulled through and we’ve pushed ahead with the rest of our lives together. And although 2020 was not much of a year for car shows and the like, there was a brief few weeks between the various lockdowns where my fiancée and I were able to make good and move out of our tiny flat in the centre of Watford to a nice house in a small town in East Northamptonshire—complete with driveway and garage!
It has taken two months but my 360 was finally ready to collect. Obviously when service centres started to open at the beginning of June, everybody descended upon them to get their cars serviced and in the world of Ferrari, my 360 is pretty low on the priority list. The top of the list being reserved for those lucky people ordering their cars from the factory all shiny and new. And just as I predicted, our house moving date is now here.
I always knew that this service was going to be pricey, but unfortunately I wasn’t expecting it to cost quite as much as it did. Having said that, everything necessary to keep the car on the road was undertaken, with cosmetic items being deferred until next year. Regrettably, with our house move now only a few days away, the only option was to put the car back into storage as I trade the Ferrari for a Transit van—such a rock-n-roll life. That all said, once we’re settled, the search can commence for somewhere local to east Northamptonshire for storage and servicing.
A couple of days after dropping my Ferrari 360 off at Dick Lovett’s, and the technicians sent me a video health check of my 360. A few things I was aware of (such as the brake caliper colour, the under-trays, interior issues), some are not too surprising (such as the engine and gearbox mounts, brake disk condition), and some are a bit more serious and unexpected (leaks, broken/disconnected cables). Thankfully there is nothing that will take the car off the road but in the midst of moving house, some items have to be prioritised and others left for a rainy day.
A few months later than planned but I was finally able to get my Ferrari out of storage and take her out for a spin. Nothing too fancy, just a quick drive to blow the cobwebs out and as it happened, give the new dashcam a trial. It was actually easier to fit the camera in my 360 than in my Clio, as I didn’t have to remove a chunk of the dash. Although with the view out of the rear not being great to start with, when viewed through the rear-facing camera it’s even less clear what’s going on.
The comings and going of my Ferrari are hardly the most important topic at the current moment in time, but nonetheless it’s probably worth typing this up to give me something to do during the lockdown.
I had scheduled for my 360 to be dropped off for its annual service at the end of next week, with Dick Lovett Ferrari, as it is close to both where she’s stored and where my parents live. The latter being important as it means the car can stay on their nice big driveway for a few weeks between servicing, any self-repairs we would have chosen to do, as well as the long weekend for Easter. (This was actually one of the reasons I chose to store her at Rudler’s in the first place: their village is a better starting point than the middle of Watford.)
Unfortunately with the governments announcement that we should all stay at home, collecting the 360 and getting her serviced has now been pushed back, as has the MOT. Hopefully this won’t be an issue in a few months—unlike if I’d booked a service closer to my home—as it’s entirely reasonable to get from Rudler’s to Lovett’s for an MOT, whereas driving halfway across the country might draw unnecessary attention from plod. The downside to this, is that I won’t really have the opportunity to give the Ferrari a spring shake-down, so if any gremlins crept in during the winter the first I’ll know is when I get a phone call explaining what work’s been carried out. Hopefully though, everything will be okay on the night, so to speak.
So until there’s more freedom of movement and everywhere starts to open their doors again, this could be it; stay safe.
There isn’t much to say this time, other than my Ferrari 360 is finally off my parents driveway and properly stored away for the next few months, care of Rudler Car Transportation and Storage. Next up will be deciding where to go for a service in the spring. So until then, here’s a quick walk-around:
It’s finally time for a final update regarding the cosmetic changes I started at the beginning of the summer. So just a quick recap first: I wanted to change the rear grill and the front air-scoops to their challenge-style counterparts, all of which was successful. Unfortunately as we were finishing—the wheels were back on, all we had to do was get the car off the axel-stands—and my dad cracked his head on the driver-side wing mirror. Unable to source a replacement within the UK, I decided to switch to carbon fibre. (Yes, I could have asked Maranello, but the third-party mirrors said they would be available within a couple of weeks.)
Back again, to finish the work started a few weeks ago: swapping the front radiator air-intakes from their original standard egg-box get-up to the Challenge-style mesh. And once again we are following the guide by Aldous Voice to remove the front bumper and make the necessary changes. As mentioned in part 1, before we could remove the front bumper, we needed to get hold of a low-profile jack that would actually fit under the jack-points. Having made sure that we had everything necessary after finishing the rear, it was just a case of waiting for a weekend where both my dad and myself were free to get started. Oh, and it had to be before the Goodwood Festival of Speed!