Google 'Chris Rea Ferrari' today and you'll be greeted with a stream of 'Driving Home for Christmas' headlines. It's because the Ferrari F355 Berlinetta the singer bought new in 1995 is for sale. Oh, and it just happens to be December.
Bell Sport & Classic knew exactly what it was doing. Only a fool would pass up the opportunity to advertise a car formerly owned by Middlesbrough's finest singer-songwriter during the festive period. There's no point looking for the summer; Christmas is where it's at.
Believed to be the only F355 Berlinetta finished in Blu Scuro Micalizzato, the car also benefits from a six-speed manual gearbox, an original non-airbag Momo steering wheel and early 2.7 Motronic engine management system. Power is sourced from a 3.5-litre V8 engine producing 375bhp at 8250rpm.
It'll sprint from zero to auberge in 4.7 seconds, hitting a top speed of 184mph, all summer long.
Resisting the urge to mention Chris Rea's festive tune, Tim Kearns, managing director, Bell Sport & Classic, said: “We’re proud to offer this ultra-desirable example of the Ferrari F355. This sale represents a rare opportunity to acquire the 355 everyone wants: an early right-hand drive, ‘2.7 Motronic’, non-airbag, manual Berlinetta in a timeless specification. The model also has a compelling backstory, purchased new by noted Ferrari collector, Chris Rea.
“This 355 represents the ‘holy grail’ for Ferrari collectors– a useable example of Maranello’s mid-engined masterpiece, in its purest, most intoxicating form. In terms of design, technical innovation, performance, and handling, the F355 easily eclipsed the competition when it was launched and still offers a beguiling and wholly immersive driving experience today. As the F355 reaches its 30th anniversary, it also represents an astute investment.”
The press release sparked a frenzy of activity, as online outlets rushed to attract the attention of Google's search engine robots using Chris Rea-inspired headlines.
- CAR: Driving home for Christmas: ex-Chris Rea Ferrari F355 the ultimate festive treat
- Forbes: Here’s Your Chance To Drive Chris Rea’s Ferrari Home For Christmas
- Top Gear: Drive this home for Christmas? Stunning Ferrari F355 owned by Chris Rea up for sale
- Irish News: You can drive home for Christmas in Chris Rea’s Ferrari
- Car Throttle: You Could Drive Chris Rea’s Ferrari F355 Home For Christmas
- A N Other Outlet: We can't wait to see those faces in this Ferrari F355 Berlinetta
All good stuff, but Petrolblog has never followed the crowd. Besides, expensive Ferraris aren't really its cup of eggnog. But we do like Chris Rea, having blogged about his drive home for Christmas in 2018.
And as everyone knows, he wouldn't be taking a Ferrari F355 Berlinetta home for Christmas. He'd be at the wheel of a Ford Granada, which is why he'd spend £12,995 on this glorious Ghia X estate.
Remember, a headline is for life, not just for Christmas, so like a one-year membership to the Jelly of the Month Club, our 'road to hell' opener is the gift that keeps on giving the whole year.
Ferrari photos © Bell Sport & Classic, Ford photo © Car & Classic