The Right Vibes: A Lightly Modified Ferrari F430
Old School, New School

A good friend once told me that there are very few parts you can bolt to a car that actually make it better. He’s right, you know, but it all depends on your end goal.

We’ve seen a number of Ferraris here over there years that have been lowered into oblivion. Each time a similar exotic rolls around, people find it within themselves to make a stand. A stand for proper suspension geometry. A stand for purist ideals. A stand for resale value. Each of these fine folks make valid points, I’m sure, but that’s the beauty of owning and modifying a car.

No one is wrong. You can do nothing to it or you can do everything to it, and both choices would be entirely acceptable. I have my own opinions about what I think is cool or sensible when it comes to cars and, since you’re reading here, I’m sure you do too. But sometimes a car manages to strike a balance that really makes sense. It stays with you, floating around the back of your mind, igniting your imagination.

At this moment, that one car to me is a certain lightly modified Ferrari F430 that I came across in Florida last year at The Barn Miami, a collection curated by Gaston Rossato and his brother Renzo.


A few of you might recognize this F430 as the support vehicle that we took out when Sara and I shot a pair of Lancia Delta Integrales with the Rossato brothers. Someone on Instagram said shooting rollers from a Ferrari was the ultimate flex, and as amusing as I thought that was, this F430 is the car that’s left the biggest impression on me out of the Italian trio.


The F430 is a bit of an anomaly personally, as I took great interest in the earlier 360 during my younger years, and then the again in the 458 upon its release. But, somehow, this particular generation came and went during a black hole of automotive disinterest. I never had a poster of it. I never learned its specs. I can’t even remember any specific instances where I saw one in my teenage years. And yet, for as much as I liked the 360 when I was 10 or so, I really feel its immediate successor has aged more gracefully. Meanwhile, neither the 458 nor the 488 are all that captivating to me anymore.


There’s something about the F430 that strikes the right balance from a factory design perspective. It harks to the soft lines of the 360 with just enough angularity and aggression to not appear dated. With a factory-rated output of 483hp and 343lb-ft of torque, its mid-mounted 4.3-liter V8 isn’t much of a slouch, either. And of course, they all sound as fantastic today as they did new. But throw in a few simple modifications and you really have a car that remains truly compelling in 2020.

Nuts & Bolts

Lowering a car is nearly always the right choice aesthetically, but the adjustable coilovers this car sits on means that it hasn’t been pushed so far as to make people angry. Not that there’s anything wrong with making people angry, but at this lowered static ride height you get the best of both worlds in my opinion. Furthering the updated exterior aesthetic is a front lip that makes a world of difference compared to the naked front fascia.


Continuing outside, BBS wheels are a good match for any European car, and the 19-inch forged FIs are no exception here.

Underneath, huge carbon-ceramic discs are paired with 6- and 4-piston calipers that were developed in collaboration with Brembo. So that doesn’t seem out of date, either.


The cabin features a fantastic pair of carbon fiber seats with red Daytona-style upholstery, paired with 2000s-era switchgear. While I will admit a gated shifter would really take this car to 11, the flappy paddles still excite me the same way the electrohydraulic F1 gearbox on the 360 did when I was nine, when it was released.


Then, there’s that glorious F136 V8 under the deck lid. Already a good-sounding engine, a carbon fiber Gruppe M airbox and intake assembly coupled with a valved Capristo exhaust work together to make an absolutely fantastic noise.

Have a listen, if you’re so inclined.


That mostly sums up this relatively simple car, but if you’re cut from the same cloth as I am you’ll appreciate that the whole is much greater than the sum of these parts.


Just about any Ferrari is going to be culturally significant — a status symbol forged in a fire where art, design, and engineering collide. But as desirable as any more modern iteration of this family may be — culminating in last year’s unveiling of the F8 Tributo — the vibes from this F430 are too strong for me to ignore. If I had all the money in the world, I’d still be looking back two decades or more to find my favorite Ferraris.

It might not be logical, but that’s the magic of the automobile. It doesn’t have to make sense to make sense.

Trevor Ryan
Instagram: trevornotryan



Comments are closed.


by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest
Travis Stewart

I agree 100% The smooth lines, lowered at just the right height. Great article.

Jay Soh Tsu Chung

I love the F430 a lot, especially the Scuderia. That's my pick of the litter.

However, my favourite mid-engined V8 Ferrari is still the timeless F355.


smooth indeed . , Love this style of editing awesome contrast


Oh man the F430 has aged so damn well
This is the work of Pininfarina


I would love to have a Ferrari especially the F430
Such an amazing machine


Absolute perfection, the F430 is massively under-rated.


Anyone else kinda underwhelmed by the sound of this car?

Otherwise, great build.


I am. But all modern v8 ferrari tend to sound more like powerdrills than proper engine. Must have something to do with noise regulation. I think the F355 was the last one to sound great.


i wouldn't exactly call this 'modern'. Besides, with an aftermarket exhaust, noise regulations don't come into play any more


That's one of the sexiest cars


That f430 is gorgeous


I always notice that small highlight line behind the front wheels on the F430, with it adding a wing shape/reflection behind the wheel when seen from a lower angle. Love that detail!


I'm gonna be that guy and ask more about that Lancia in the background...I see you hiding back there.


It's linked near the top of the article.


At first both the 360 and the 458 were more visually "shocking" than the 430 when they came out. 430 looked very underwhelming. But after the years passed the 430 aged so much better that both of them


Agree! It's nearly as if I didn't even notice the F430 until more recently. I still really like the rear of the 360 — Challenge grille or base design — but the front and overall proportions aren't as nice as the 430 today.


indeed this is a super car


In my opinion it is the last truly elegant and beautiful Ferrari. They are all technically impressive since but have never again been this good looking.


Man...those exterior shots look amazing. The highlights and shadows are just so rich. The dark to light contrast on the walls and the pavement are magnificent.


Good lord these pics are awesome.
Could be used by Ferrari.


"that’s the beauty of owning and modifying a car. No one is wrong."

Love you Trevor, but this statement needs to die in 2020. There are absolutely wrong ways to modify a car. Why would anyone say there aren't?

We need to stop looking at engineering as some camp fire sing along where we all want to be friends and start acknowledging there are correct ways to modify things. Lowering a car excessively is dangerous as are things like springs that are too stiff or shocks that aren't properly valved.

These are not subjective and it get's very tiring to see mainstream publications pandering to this kind of "respect all builds" nonsense. Seriously, this needs to stop.


I thought of adding a note to that effect but it seemed pedantic. Sure, there are plenty of "wrong" ways to modify a car but putting a Ferrari on air with thought and care is not one of them. Leaving it stock is fine too, or a sort of half-way point like this works as well. That was my point.

I've written about the complete other side of that point plenty here, too. Literally just Google "trevor ryan respect all builds" and you'll see you're preaching to the choir. Putting canards and rep wheels on a Subaru may not make sense, but it's still not wrong. Cutting springs on some rusted out 90s Japanese car and daily driving on corded tires, well, that's wrong, I'll give you that.


It is subjective depending on what the vehicle is used for. The idea that differing opinions need to die is absurd.