∙Superb condition ∙Only 51k miles from new with full history ∙Cambelt and major service fewer than 200 miles ago ∙Ready to be enjoyed
The Ferrari 348 was introduced in 1989 and represented a first and last for the marque: the first series production model not to have a separate tubular steel chassis frame (instead using a monocoque with a tubular steel engine sub-frame bolted to it) and the last V8 model to have been developed under the watchful eye of “il Commendatore” Enzo Ferrari himself, though it was launched posthumously.
The 348 replaced the popular 308/328 models and Ferrari again looked to Pininfarina for the design which incorporated side strakes and rectangular tail lights reminiscent of the flagship Testarossa model. Badged 348tb for the Coupe (Transversale Berlinetta) and 348ts for the targa (Transversale Spider), the 348 featured a longitudinally mounted 3.4 litre, quad-cam, 32 valve, dry sump, mid-mounted V8, “transversale” referring to the transverse mounting of the five-speed manual gearbox. Performance was comparable to the competitors at the time with 296hp and 238lbft of torque making it good for 0-60 in 5.6 seconds and a 171 mph top speed.
Dynamically, it’s fair to say that at the time, the 348 wasn’t regarded as Ferrari’s finest hour, particularly when it was pitted against the Senna-developed Honda NSX. This has kept values of the 348 at the more affordable end of the range but if you’re not driving around on the lock stops (and, let’s face it, most owners don’t) then it’s still a great looking, great driving classic V8 Ferrari with a manual gearbox which means that most of us would regard it as a relative bargain these days.
This example, presented in the classic combination of Ferrari Rosso Red with a beige leather interior, is nothing if not well travelled, having been apparently originally purchased by a US Military General from Walnut Creek Ferrari in California in 1991 and followed him around his postings. This has seen it shipped to Germany, back to the US in Florida and then finally to the UK. After leaving its first owner, it had two further owners in the UK before the seller acquired the car (having had it checked over by a Ferrari specialist) just before Christmas 2020 from a consignor who was selling it on behalf of the estate of the previous owner. As a “bucket list” purchase, it’s sadly been short lived as an imminent house purchase means that one of the toys has to go.
The service records show that the car covered most of its mileage in the first decade of its life and has enjoyed fairly light usage since, a fact which is borne out by its condition. Indeed, prior to its sale last year, the car had been dry stored since around 2016 when it had a full service including cambelt, tensioner and bearings and is also thought to have received a respray. Since acquiring the car, the seller has also had some items attended to, including new speedo and fuel sensors, a new lambda sensor and a repair to the driver’s seat bolster. It will be sold with a fresh MOT.
The car is accompanied by a reassuringly large sheaf of paperwork. As well as a set of stamps in the original service book from the varied locations in which the car has resided, there is a set of MOT certificates and invoices including the last cambelt service which was carried out in 2016 less than 200 miles ago together with invoices for the more recent work. All of the original manuals are present, as are both keys.
From its attractive three spoke steering wheel with a prancing horse badge in the centre, to the metal gated shift plate and beige leather covering both the sports seats and the lower half of the dashboard, the interior is everything you would hope for from a classic Ferrari. It’s all in great condition, with the Ferrari-branded floor mats in the footwells concealing the only sign of ageing which is a little fading of the carpets. What’s more, all of the switches and buttons work as they should, including the radio which is concealed behind the leather-covered panel in the centre of the dash. The air conditioning is also fully operational and blows cold.
Being an American-spec car, it’s obviously left hand drive but also features the automatic seatbelt which may be a little unfamiliar to Europeans at first. This brings the diagonal belt forwards when you enter, it slides back across you when you close the door and you simply fasten the lap belt to make a full three point belt. The targa roof, which is in mint condition, stows behind the seats inside the original bag which is provided and is also in as-new condition. The ‘Frunk’ i.e. front trunk, or boot to us Europeans is also in good order. Overall, this car’s interior is hardly showing its age.
As you can see from the pictures, this car looks fabulous. The respray was clearly high quality as the paintwork is in mint condition and, having received a ceramic coating at some point in its life, is very easy to clean. The only blemish is a touched in chip on the edge of the driver’s door and otherwise the paint is immaculate. The front splitter has been refurbished and the wheels have been shot blasted and powder coated in the original colour and wear OEM Pirelli P-Zeros with 6.5mm of tread. The shutlines are all tight and the bodywork is very straight, with the Eighties signature feature pop up headlights functioning just as they should. Wherever you take this car, it will surely turn heads.
While the 348 hails from a time before Ferrari started to actively dress its engine bays and install a glass engine cover, there’s no mistaking the sight of a thoroughbred V8 nestling under the rear bonnet. The engine bay looks great and the car starts first time, every time. It drives well with plenty of wear remaining in the clutch and strong brakes. There are no knocks, bangs or untoward noises from the suspension or the transmission. In fact, if anything, the current owner finds the car a little too quiet and was considering an exhaust upgrade so as better to hear the high-revving V8 but that’s a decision for the next owner.
Well, just look at it! But here’s a purchase that can appeal to both head and heart. After being under-appreciated for a while, around five years ago, the market started to realise that there was still much to recommend a Ferrari sports car and prices of 348’s have been steadily on the rise ever since. However they haven’t seen quite the meteoric rise of some other Ferrari models, which means that they remain relatively affordable. And with electrification ahead and manual, naturally aspirated V8’s receding in the rear view mirror there is surely headroom for further growth.
This example has obviously been cherished and has seen very modest use over the last decade but has been regularly maintained and is ready for new adventures. Naturally, being left hand drive, it would be well suited to continental jaunts of the type that aren’t currently possible but that time will surely come again and what better way to celebrate than by firing up your Ferrari, popping the roof off, and heading for the south of France? Sounds like a perfect tonic so start your planning and get bidding!
** The photos in this listing have been provided to us by the seller **
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