This Ferrari F355 Challenge was once owned by car connoisseur Jay Kay and was supposed to be auctioned off on the internet - without success for the time being.
The music of Jamiroquai has already sparked numerous heated debates in living rooms, at regular tables and in front of concert stages. "I can't bear it," say some. "There's nothing better," the others reply. #A matter of taste. Jay Kay's taste in cars, on the other hand, is beyond reproach. It feels like there isn't a strictly limited premium sports car that the Jamiroquai front man didn't own, at least for a while. The Briton is particularly taken with Ferrari products. This is where the car featured in this story comes in, which was recently scheduled for auction on the online platform Collecting Cars .
It is a Ferrari F355. But not an ordinary one for the road, as is easy to see. But a racing car for the fast one-make cup, which the Italians established in 1993 with the 348 and in which the 355 was also allowed to start from 1995. It is not known whether Jay Kay took part in races in the series. In any case, he brought the mid-engine Ferrari to Great Britain – also to use it for a special purpose. According to the provider, the coupe is said to have been used as a camera vehicle for shooting Jamiroquai music videos, with the appropriate brackets allegedly still being on board.
From racing to road car and back
Even after Jay Kay handed in the F355 Challenge, illustrious names can be found in the list of owners. In addition to Nigel Chiltern-Hunt, the chairman of the British Ferrari Owner's Club, the painter Mark I'Anson, who specializes in footballer portraits, and racing driver Tristan Simpson also had this car under their wing. They used it in various racing series, with the Italian taking circuits all over Europe under his tyres. At times he also drove on public roads; however, the last MOT test (the British equivalent of the German TÜV) was 15 years ago.
Compared to a normal Ferrari F355, a representative with a Challenge signet has some motorsport-specific characteristics. The exhaust system is not only a bit louder, but also lighter than that of a road car. The clutch is just as reinforced as the chassis. The 14-inch brake system was also used on the 1980s F40 supercar. At the back, it also differs from the tame sports car by an XXL rear wing. There are also special features at the front end: retrofitted lights can be found in the lightweight bumper; the pop-up headlights were removed to save weight.
"Safety first" in the interior
Inside, the Ferrari awaits the driver with a cockpit typical of racing cars.The central element is a roll cage, in whose lap there is a racing seat with belts from OMP. The fire extinguisher and the emergency stop switch also contribute to the topic of safety. There is also an airbag-free Momo steering wheel. Despite this equipment, the Ferrari F355 Challenge can be converted for use on public roads with just a few modifications.
The varied racing career has not exactly preserved the delivery condition of the 355. On the contrary, stone chips are found throughout the front end, there are a few scuffs on the center console and the left side mirror has been repaired in the manner that such damage is repaired on a race weekend – with excessive use of duct tape. Most recently, the Challenge Ferrari suffered damage to the rear side panel and rear bumper. However, both were repaired, as was the previously worn racing seat.
3.5-liter V8 with 380 hp
In general, however, the car was intensively serviced on every race weekend. The 16,414 miles (26,416 kilometers) that have now been driven should not have particularly harmed the 3.5-liter V8. In addition, the mid-engine received a general overhaul in 2018, which is why almost all of the original 380 hp and a maximum of 363 Newton meters should still be available. Then as now, a Bosch Motronic 2.7 takes care of the fuel supply and ignition. A manual six-speed gearbox with - typical Ferrari - open shift gate is responsible for the power transmission.
Five days before the end of the auction, the bids for the F355 Challenge were 75,000 pounds (currently the equivalent of almost 88,000 euros); three days later it was £97,500 (almost €114,000). In the end, however, apparently not enough money was offered to convince the dealer to give the car to a new owner. It is therefore still for sale; Interested parties can turn to "Collecting Cars" with confidence.
In street-legal specification, the F355 doesn't exactly embody the most glorious era in the Ferrari mid-engined V8 lineage. In the Challenge guise, on the other hand, the Italian is not stingy with his charms. You could easily get weak, bring the Ferrari over to the mainland and plunge into the next track day adventure. Or put it away and wait for the Jay Kay celebrity bonus to finally take full effect financially? However, nobody seems to have been found at the auction who was willing to spend the necessary money. Maybe it will work next time.