Test drives are important, but they can sometimes end in tears, as Tarek Salah found out recently while going for a ride in an early Ferrari F355 he was looking to buy.
Having flown from Los Angeles, California, to Marseilles, France to test drive the car, he was understandably excited. Sadly, while sitting in the passenger seat on the highway, the car started to smoke and eventually burned to the ground.
In the opening to the video, he says, from the passenger seat, that “it’s been a dream of mine to drive a ‘355 on the streets of France.” Indeed, it seems a rather nice drive, because, as Salah notes, the car was a “very well maintained” example that had been kept by a “very meticulous enthusiast” who had owned it for years.
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Finished in silver, it had carbon sport seats, which are sought after among collectors. Apparently built in 1994, the car must have been an early example of the breed, which was in production from 1994-1999.
While it’s not clear exactly what went wrong in this video, a fuel leak may have been to blame. Salah says in the video that he smelled gas while they were on the highway, but assumed it was just running rich. A few moments later, another driver was waving them down, warning them that the car was smoking badly.
Ironically, the pair were on their way to the seller’s mechanic to make sure nothing was wrong with the car when the fire started. According to Salah, all of the fuel line recalls had been completed on the car, no doubt making the incident all the more frustrating to the owner.
An unfortunate reminder of how quickly and how completely fire can consume a car, footage of the aftermath of the fire shows the extent of the damage to this F355, which, I think it’s safe to say, is totaled. At least everyone got out safely.