RE: Ferrari 348: PH Used Buying Guide

RE: Ferrari 348: PH Used Buying Guide

Thursday 25th October

Ferrari 348: PH Used Buying Guide

The 348 lives in the shadows of the 328 and 355, but that only serves to make it a more attainable midship V8



The 348 languishes in a gap between the classically pretty 328 and the 355 that has gone on to enjoy a reputation as the blueprint for all modern mid-engined Ferraris. Does that mean the 348 is a clunker, or untapped - and affordable - Modena gold? With prices from £45,000, it’s not cheap but it’s certainly good value compared to its immediate predecessor and successor.

Some will tell you the 348 is justifiably cheap by Ferrari standards because of its poor build quality and unreliability. This was definitely the case when the car was launched in 1989, though initial impressions were all very favourable. It had looks and presence, as well as its 3.4-litre V8 motor mounted longitudinally and lower in the chassis than the 328’s transversely positioned unit.

With 300hp, or 320hp for the Serie Speciale, it was quick by the standards of the time, knocking off 0-62mph in 5.4 seconds and levelling out at 171mph. A five-speed manual gearbox was the only transmission choice. The chassis was new too and used monocoque construction methods to make it much stiffer than the 328’s.

It all augured well until the initial road test reports filtered through. They criticised the build quality and snappy on-limit handling. The good news is these problems are easily fixed now and most 348s for sale will already have been sorted. Ferrari was quick to react to the comments in contemporary road tests with revised suspension geometry and much better construction in the cabin and the car as a whole.


By the time the Spider arrived in the 1993 to join the tb coupe and ts targa-roofed model, the 348 was very much the car it should have been when launched. At this point, Ferrari also changed the names of the tb and ts to GTB and GTS respectively, while the engine was boosted to 320hp across all versions.

Towards the end of its life, the 348 gave rise to a GTC ‘Competizione’ model with power up to 325hp and 190kg stripped from its kerb weight through paring back the cabin trim and composite body panels. Carbon Kevlar race seats dominate the GTC’s interior and only 50 were made in total, with eight delivered in right-hand drive.

Find a GTC for sale and you’ll need around £175,000 to put it in your garage. Look for a standard tb or GTB and prices begin at £45,000 for higher mileage examples and stretch up to £80,000 for perfect, low miles ones. The ts, GTS and Spider command a small premium but condition and colour dictate price much more.



Buyer's checklist

Bodywork and interior

Rust shouldn’t be an issue as most 348s have been pampered. However, the body is all-steel and corrosion can occur around the wheel arches and door bottoms.

The electronic climate control’s ECU can fail and leave the air con not working. The most likely problem is broken connections that can be re-soldered by an auto electrician.

Plastic switches use a rubberised covering that degrades and ends up in a sticky covering. Sorting this means finding new switches or having the originals recoated.

Engine and transmission

Early versions of the 348 suffered from cam chain tensioner wear. Ferrari updated this and most cars will have been improved, but check the history file for evidence this work has been carried out as part of the routine two-year cam belt replacement regime.

Later 348s had the cam belt intervals extended to three years and 24,000 miles.

The cam chain tensioner’s inner support bearing for the cam-drive jack shaft can fail on early engines, though again this should have been resolved by now. Ultimately, Ferrari cured this with a new engine block design.

Second gear is difficult to select when the transmission is cold, so get used to changing from first to third until the gearbox has warmed through.


Clutch is a weak link in the transmission, so feel for any slip and listen for noises that suggest the transfer gears have worn. A gearbox rebuild will cost around £4,000 and is a better bet than a secondhand ’box that’s an unknown quantity.

Look for oil leaks from the cam covers.

Early Delco alternators regularly failed and were replaced by Ferrari with a Nippondenso item. Almost all 348s will now have the later alternator.

The original Motronic 2.5 engine management system suffered problems and was replaced by the later 2.7 version in cars built from 1990-onwards.

Suspension and steering

Ask a specialist to check the spring platforms as they can crack.

Wheels, tyres and brakes

Nothing much to worry about here beyond usual condition checks and age of tyres on cars that have covered small annual mileages.


SPECIFICATION - FERRARI 348

Engine: 3,405cc V8

Transmission: 5-speed manual, rear-wheel drive

Power(hp): 300@7,200rpm

Torque(lb ft): 239@4,200rpm

MPG: 18.0

CO2: N/A

Price new: £67,499

Price now: £45,000 upwards

Author
Discussion

1974foggy

Original Poster:

138 posts

80 months

Thursday 25th October
quotequote all
No mention of the stress fractures appearing at the bottom of the buttresses on the targa and coupe versions.

Slickhillsy

1,749 posts

79 months

Thursday 25th October
quotequote all
Owned two of these, both GTS cars and loved every moment. Cracking car (buy on condition and history) that's fun to drive and doesn't deserve to poor rep history has bestowed upon it. I'd definitely have another and the bargain of the Ferrari range (but for how long)?

406dogvan

5,294 posts

201 months

Thursday 25th October
quotequote all
The "sticky dash" problem affects a lot of cars of that era (and some newer ones) and it's a costly thing to fix

There are remanufactured dash panels which lack the coating and companies who repaint existing panels but they're pricey AND they render a car ineligible for most concours/originality shows etc. (may not be the biggest issue if you're USING the car!?)

It's an odd problem to have but you don't want sticky goo on your hands every time you use the heaters or move the mirror?


Slickhillsy

1,749 posts

79 months

Thursday 25th October
quotequote all
1974foggy said:
No mention of the stress fractures appearing at the bottom of the buttresses on the targa and coupe versions.
This also happened to the 355, not limited to the 348 and is an easy fix...

cmoose

43,055 posts

165 months

Thursday 25th October
quotequote all
Prefer the styling of the 348 to the 355, comfortably. Fantastic looking thing, though would have to be an early car looks wise, not a later car with the coded lower parts.

Wouldn't totally amaze me if I prefered it to drive, too. I imagine the steering is better, at least. PAS in the 355 I drove was pretty pants.
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Slickhillsy

1,749 posts

79 months

Thursday 25th October
quotequote all
348's unmolested steering is some of the best out there...

https://www.evo.co.uk/ferrari/458/12164/ferrari-45...

Dale487

792 posts

59 months

Thursday 25th October
quotequote all
406dogvan said:
The "sticky dash" problem affects a lot of cars of that era (and some newer ones) and it's a costly thing to fix

There are remanufactured dash panels which lack the coating and companies who repaint existing panels but they're pricey AND they render a car ineligible for most concours/originality shows etc. (may not be the biggest issue if you're USING the car!?)

It's an odd problem to have but you don't want sticky goo on your hands every time you use the heaters or move the mirror?
I was gutted when a Tag Heuer glasses case went sticky never mind items in a £45K+ car.


Jex

425 posts

64 months

Thursday 25th October
quotequote all
cmoose said:
I imagine the steering is better, at least. PAS in the 355 I drove was pretty pants.
I've not driven a 348 but the unassisted steering on the 328 is better then the PAS on a 355. I wouldn't say the 355 was bad, but the airbag steering wheel is too big - the Momo on the 328 and 348 is much nicer (but no airbag of course).

DrSteveBrule

1,649 posts

67 months

Thursday 25th October
quotequote all
Lovely looking thing, not a bad angle on it. If I ever find the money from somewhere I'd have one of these without hesitation. I'm not a massive Ferrari fan but the side strakes on a car are like catnip to me. I'm so obviously a child of the 80s it's painful.

406dogvan

5,294 posts

201 months

Thursday 25th October
quotequote all
Dale487 said:
406dogvan said:
The "sticky dash" problem affects a lot of cars of that era (and some newer ones) and it's a costly thing to fix

There are remanufactured dash panels which lack the coating and companies who repaint existing panels but they're pricey AND they render a car ineligible for most concours/originality shows etc. (may not be the biggest issue if you're USING the car!?)

It's an odd problem to have but you don't want sticky goo on your hands every time you use the heaters or move the mirror?
I was gutted when a Tag Heuer glasses case went sticky never mind items in a £45K+ car.
It's broadly the same issue which kills trainers/running shoes/sneakers/kicks (delete according to your age) - all those maniacs with rooms full of rare/expensive shoes which are - literally - disintegrating in their boxes...

The hidden fun of older cars - like "biodegradeable" wiring insulation - not fun!


Dale487

792 posts

59 months

Thursday 25th October
quotequote all
406dogvan said:
Dale487 said:
406dogvan said:
The "sticky dash" problem affects a lot of cars of that era (and some newer ones) and it's a costly thing to fix

There are remanufactured dash panels which lack the coating and companies who repaint existing panels but they're pricey AND they render a car ineligible for most concours/originality shows etc. (may not be the biggest issue if you're USING the car!?)

It's an odd problem to have but you don't want sticky goo on your hands every time you use the heaters or move the mirror?
I was gutted when a Tag Heuer glasses case went sticky never mind items in a £45K+ car.
It's broadly the same issue which kills trainers/running shoes/sneakers/kicks (delete according to your age) - all those maniacs with rooms full of rare/expensive shoes which are - literally - disintegrating in their boxes...

The hidden fun of older cars - like "biodegradeable" wiring insulation - not fun!
I've had that problem with trainers before - the sole completely disintegrated after walking all of 5 paces in them.

All this just proves cars, trainers etc were made to be used and not put in storage.

Dwayne Dibley

10 posts

3 months

Thursday 25th October
quotequote all
This has always been my favourite Ferrari, I just think it's perfectly in proportion, and love the black louvre at the rear.

About 10 years ago (during credit crunch time), these came down into the £20-30k range, and I thought I might be able to afford one at some point in my life, but alas, the prices have gone out of reach now!

cmoose

43,055 posts

165 months

Thursday 25th October
quotequote all
Dwayne Dibley said:
About 10 years ago (during credit crunch time), these came down into the £20-30k range, and I thought I might be able to afford one at some point in my life, but alas, the prices have gone out of reach now!
Hang tight. I suspect combustion cars will be getting very cheap towards the thick end of the medium term.

Mr E

18,285 posts

195 months

Thursday 25th October
quotequote all
cmoose said:
Hang tight. I suspect combustion cars will be getting very cheap towards the thick end of the medium term.
I think it will very much depends on the car.
Modern mass produced saloon, yup. Analogue classics with a dancing donkey on the nose, not so much...

buellboy

41 posts

107 months

Thursday 25th October
quotequote all
Wow first post in years!

Unfortunately, I think it will only be matter of time until your old classic won't be able to circulate anymore...Already Paris is cracking down on old cars. Italy is now making you pay full road tax on every vehicle (older vehicles used to be exempt) and London will soon enforce new rules for the congestion zone.

This will mean old, thirsty classics will be either confined to museums (in which case they will have to be very special cars) OR be converted to run on electric.

Even though the answer, CNG, has been present for years but sadly ignored.

cmoose

43,055 posts

165 months

Thursday 25th October
quotequote all
Mr E said:
I think it will very much depends on the car.
Modern mass produced saloon, yup. Analogue classics with a dancing donkey on the nose, not so much...
I disagree. As the guy above says, the crack down on usage has already begun and it's only going to get worse. If the penny hasn't dropped for you, suggest you take a closer look at what is happening. Whatever the rights and wrongs of it, whatever the rational and empirical arguments in favour and against combustion, sentiment is moving decisively against it. Eventually, only the really rare museum pieces will retain value. As much as I like 348s, they ain't that.

Of course, the problem is that the values will be low because they've been marginalised and made much less convenient to use. Quite apart from restrictions on combustion cars, what if a black box is required to drive legally on a public road or just to get insurance? Lots of possibility all pointing in the same direction and only some of them have to come to pass to spoil the party. So you'll be able to buy one of these things for cheap, but not use it with the same free abandon.

Within 20 years tops cars like this will be very cheap. 10 years from now I'd expect them to have gone off substantially from current levels. We'll see!

J4CKO

25,723 posts

136 months

Thursday 25th October
quotequote all
Do we really think that governments in the future will ban all combustion engine cars ?

Horses arent banned
You can still drive round in a Traction Engine if the mood takes you
Can still drive Vintage and Veteran cars

There seems to be this impression that governments only want to enslave and plus us into the Matrix.

they are democratically elected to manage the country and generally operate with the best interests of the populations (and themselves) anything they clams down on is to avoid us doing stupid st by and large or to extract money for the services we expect/demand, defence, benefits, education, law and order, health etc.

They have a duty to reduce pollution, this benefits health but they dont seem hell bent on banning everything quite as eagerly as folk seem to think, the idea is to chivvy us into more eco friendly transport and that does seem to be for our own good, reduces the death rates and NHS bill, they do this by using taxation and rules, a miss step perhaps with diesels but they are human(ish) and things change.

So if most daily transport, trucks, buses, cars plus all the industrial side, aviation etc can be made more eco friendly, then I am sure that classics and special interest type vehicles can still be used.

At the end of the day, they are elected, if they piss people off too much they dont get in again, they arent simply there as the fun police, usually a reason for stuff, and banning stuff doesnt generate revenue and growth, they foster the classic industry with MOT and Tax breaks.

I fully appreciate I will now get told how naive I am and they are out to get me, listening to my every move but I am 47 and am happy with my lot, I can do pretty much anything I want within reason.

Some people spend so much time worrying about the future and moaning about the current, its all st etc etc, I dont think we know what st is (Go to Saudi, or most of Africa) and I think a lot like to sound knowledgeable and cynical about our future enslaverment and love to over think stuff, crack out the tinfoil !

I think you will still be able to parade round in a bright red aged Ferrari in 100 years if you feel like it, you migth look like a latter day Fred Dibnah but I dont think its going to be banned, new ones are certainly going to be legislated towards the door but even then, if you can afford one and want one, you will still be able to do it, £550 tax on various old V8's, six quid a gallon, but if you want, you still can !







iSore

3,701 posts

80 months

Thursday 25th October
quotequote all
Slickhillsy said:
Owned two of these, both GTS cars and loved every moment. Cracking car (buy on condition and history) that's fun to drive and doesn't deserve to poor rep history has bestowed upon it. I'd definitely have another and the bargain of the Ferrari range (but for how long)?
Indeed - the price difference between these and the top end Mondials isn't that much. I know what'd I'd rather have.biggrin

cmoose

43,055 posts

165 months

Thursday 25th October
quotequote all
Horses, I am afraid, are a poor analogy. They're not seen as polluting and dangerous. It;s all about sentiment, not facts. And sentiment can change fast.

Moves the restrict the use of combustion cars are already under way. Ignore that if you choose. There will be very, very few votes 20 years from now in supporting combustion car use. Hardly anybody will care.

Moreover, it will not take a full and blanket ban to make the use of combustion cars a lot less convenient and in turn impact values. Then there's the impact of driverless tech. If that takes off any time soon, sentiment could also shift decisively against the use of human driven cars on public roads.

Again, it's unclear how much of this will come to pass and when. But there are numerous trends all pushing in the same direction - ie a high probability that the use of human-driven combustion cars will be increasingly restricted in future. And, again, not all of the things I've mentioned have to come to pass for the restrictions to really bite.

Like I said, it's all about sentiment. Not all that long ago, the idea of kids bouncing around the back seat of a car with no belts, let alone carefully age-optimised safety seats, was pretty normal. Now it seems crazy. We're probably a little way off people thinking human driven cars are crazy. But we'll get there!

In short, if human-driven cars end up looking like a threat to the safety of others, bye bye. Personally, I think that's exactly what will happen.

One thing I agree on is that we don't know what st is like. Things are very good right now for car lovers. Enjoy it while it lasts!

theturbs

939 posts

172 months

Thursday 25th October
quotequote all
J4CKO said:
There seems to be this impression that governments only want to enslave and plug us into the Matrix.
"Don't think they are, know they are..."