How good is the 348 ?

How good is the 348 ?

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maserati3200gt

Original Poster:

1,576 posts

195 months

Saturday 17th December 2005
quotequote all
Just spoke with a certain Main Dealer today.

They state that they will not sell the 348 as and I quote 'ferrari apologised' for making the 348 ! (this can't be true seriously ?)

I Personally think its a nice looking car and for the price its appears to be to great purchase.
Especially with the Tubi.

What is the general experience of the owners of the 348 ?
Are there certain years during the 348 history to be cautious of for example ?

Is it a good Ferrari and is the convertible a good car to go for in relation to the 1st Ferrari ownership experience? E.g for around 5,000 miles for the initial year of ownership ?

I note that Verdi have a Black 4,500 mile 348 convertible for sale at present.

Is this a good price in the current market ?

Thanks for the constructive advice guys.

octane

205 posts

190 months

Saturday 17th December 2005
quotequote all
maserati3200gt said:
Just spoke with a certain Main Dealer today.

They state that they will not sell the 348 as and I quote 'ferrari apologised' for making the 348 ! (this can't be true seriously ?)

I Personally think its a nice looking car and for the price its appears to be to great purchase.
Especially with the Tubi.

What is the general experience of the owners of the 348 ?
Are there certain years during the 348 history to be cautious of for example ?

Is it a good Ferrari and is the convertible a good car to go for in relation to the 1st Ferrari ownership experience? E.g for around 5,000 miles for the initial year of ownership ?

I note that Verdi have a Black 4,500 mile 348 convertible for sale at present.

Is this a good price in the current market ?

Thanks for the constructive advice guys.



well of course- asking such a question on here will immediately get all the 348 owners saying what a fantastic car it is! so your not going to get a valid response! As one main dealer told me when dealing with a customer that was returning his 91 car with the complaint of poor build quality-( what does he expect it was s...t when it was new!

BossCerbera

8,188 posts

204 months

Saturday 17th December 2005
quotequote all
From personal experience of driving a 348 I have to say I was shocked by the poor build quality (in particular the interior) and how slow it was. My friend who owned it thought it was fast.

One evening we swapped keys (Cerbera 4.5 for 348). He shot off into the distance while I revved the hell out of the 348 vainly trying to keep him in sight. I thought the handling was dreadful in the 348 too. By contrast, he was stunned by the TVR which he'd assumed would be shoddy and probably about the same performance as his car. The quality of the Cerbera was head and shoulders above the 348 and its performance was in a different league.

Perception's an odd thing. I guess a 348 could feel quick if you'd never driven anything quicker. And the dancing donkey has a whole bullshit aura that TVR can only dream of. But if you get the opportunity to experience both and form your own opinion, it's surprising how big the gap between 'perceived wisdom' and reality can be.

The only bit I liked about the 348 was the noise of the gearstick in the open H-gate, a nice kind of snick-snick sound. Apart from that, it was a truly bloody awful car.

lazyitus

19,891 posts

227 months

Saturday 17th December 2005
quotequote all
I'll agree with BossCerbera here.

I drove a friends 348 some years ago. Although it was a 'thrill' because it was me driving a Ferrari for the first time, it didn't feel mega fast in any way.

Quality seemed OK to me but I was more interested in booting it so I didn't pay too much attention to the build.

Not the best looking Ferrari IMO but all this is reflected in their market value.

Great if you want a 'budget' Ferrari. That should tell you something.

ditomaso

241 posts

183 months

Saturday 17th December 2005
quotequote all
Yep - I had a 348 for 18 months, 1st Ferrari and really enjoyed the car. They are quick if driven to the max, probably leave most other cars standing if driven on a track by someone who knows what they're doing. So when compared to a TVR etc, the Ferrari's a far better & quicker car in the right situation. As for looks - well I loved it - that's because it was the Ferrari I wanted when I was early twenties! - but each to their own I guess.

Ferrari dealers hardly sell these cars because of the margins, but remember the 355 is based on the 348, so how Ferrari can apologise is complete rubbish - that was Montazemolo demonstrating his new vision for Ferrari rather like Blair saying that all before him was rubbish.

Took mine across Europe this year 2,200 miles - never missed a beat whilst other Ferraris were falling apart 355/360's etc

They are fantastic value, get more looks than most other cars, sound awesome with a Tubi decat (as did mine) and you get a great experience compared to the mundane stuff

BossCerbera

8,188 posts

204 months

Saturday 17th December 2005
quotequote all
ditomaso said:
They are quick if driven to the max, probably leave most other cars standing if driven on a track by someone who knows what they're doing. So when compared to a TVR etc, the Ferrari's a far better & quicker car in the right situation.

lazyitus

19,891 posts

227 months

Saturday 17th December 2005
quotequote all
ditomaso said:
So when compared to a TVR etc, the Ferrari's a far better & quicker car in the right situation.




Not so sure.

Top end, the 348 is quicker than a Griff but acceleration times on the Griff 500 are quite a bit quicker (standard formats).

If said 'good driver' drove both, I'd put my money on the Griff anyday. Then put a Cerbera into the equation and it would blow the 348 away.

But, it does depend on which TVR you are referring to?

tiny

415 posts

212 months

Saturday 17th December 2005
quotequote all
Can't comment on the 348 but the 355 I had a few years ago was a great car and one I wish I'd kept - every drive felt special and the sound ( with a Tubi) was just fantastic.On a fiscal note,looked after/low milage examples do seem to be holding their prices well.I wonder how long it will be before early high milage 360 prices reach a similar level ( as seems to be happening with 996 v 993 Porsche)

Regarding performance comparisons with TVR,I have to say that my Griff 500 ( with some slight mods ) feels just as fast and well mannered as the 355 on both road and track. It does of course also have a superb soundtrack.

I'm picking up a Maser Coupe next week and am looking forward to having a Ferrari built engine under the bonnet again.I'm also having a Tubi fitted to the car and can't wait to hear what that sounds like!

maserati3200gt

Original Poster:

1,576 posts

195 months

Saturday 17th December 2005
quotequote all
I was hoping to hear from some owners who could give their plus and minus points to owning a 348 ?

dazren

22,612 posts

222 months

Saturday 17th December 2005
quotequote all
maserati3200gt said:
I was hoping to hear from some owners who could give their plus and minus points to owning a 348 ?


Burriana should be along soon with a lot to say. I think the later 348's had a better repuation with another 20bhp up to 320bhp and some of the parts (such as electrics) being improved and subsequently used on the 355.

DAZ

maserati3200gt

Original Poster:

1,576 posts

195 months

Saturday 17th December 2005
quotequote all
dazren said:
maserati3200gt said:
I was hoping to hear from some owners who could give their plus and minus points to owning a 348 ?


Burriana should be along soon with a lot to say. I think the later 348's had a better repuation with another 20bhp up to 320bhp and some of the parts (such as electrics) being improved and subsequently used on the 355.

DAZ


Thanks Daz

angelis

2,318 posts

197 months

Saturday 17th December 2005
quotequote all
The only Ferrari I've ever driven is a 348, so I'm not really in a position to comment on how better/worse it is compared to other Ferrari models.

My original choice was either a 328 GTS or wait a couple of years and get a 355. I decided against the 348 as I had heard a lot of negative comments about it including:

- Evil handling which will probably kill you
- Appalling build quality
- Awful gear change
- Lack of performance
- Dodgy electrics

Comments that I subsequently found out to be a load of crap (except maybe for the electrics).

Yes, some of the early models did have quality problems, but they were largely sorted out during the cars lifetime.

It’s also amazing what bad memories people have. When it was launched, everyone was praising the 348. The Main Dealers who say the 348’s were rubbish etc, either don’t know what they are talking about or are just misleading everyone.

Here’s a couple of interesting quotes:

"One of the 10 best cars in the world."
1991, Road & Track*


"Should the man who wants to spend £76,000 on a motor car buy a 348 tb? The answer is yes, yes, and yes a thousand times..... If the car had been good, or even very good that would have been enough, but the car is, in fact, a sensation. It makes a laughing stock out of the Honda NSX and, as far as the BMW 850 is concerned, well, this is like watching one of those nature programs when a whale eats a plankton."
Jeremy Clarkson*

(Both taken from an article in FORZA magazine - June 2001 edition).


Mine’s a black 348 GTB. One of the last ones made and has the extra 20 bhp. With the decat, tubi & air filter it might be about 340 bhp. I’ll be taking it to a rolling road in the near future to find out the true figure. I’m also planning to have it chipped which should give me an extra 12-15 bhp bringing it up to 355bhp, just 15 bhp less than a 355.

Only other modification are 355 alloys which are 18” compared to the standard 17” 348 alloys.

The problems I’ve had with the car in 5 months and 2,500 miles was the indicator flasher relay unit (cost £40 to replace) and a blown cat.

It’s also used less than 1 litre of oil over that period as well.

I had the opportunity to take it on a Driver training session along with a friends Elise 111R. Both cars covered the circuit in identical times by the instructor. However, the Elise was easier to drive around the circuit. I was actually faster in the Elise than the Ferrari.

On the high speed bends, my car tends to over steer and the breakaway is much more progressive than the Elise. You get a lot more warning and it’s easier to rectify in the 348. The Elise is much more snappy on the limit.

Acceleration wise the 348 is slightly faster up to 60mph and then starts pulling away. The Elise does the 0-60 in 5.2 secs, so I assume mines about 5.0 secs.

I personally found the brakes on the Elise much better. Never really liked the 348 brakes and am looking to upgrade to Brembo’s when it’s time to change Discs.

Some of the early 348’s tend to have baulky gear changes. Mine is a bit notchy, but nowhere near as bad as I though it would be. From cold, getting into second is impossible until it’s warmed up. Not as good as my old Porsche 944S2, but not uncomfortable to drive. I actually preferred it to the Elise gearbox, where I would accidentally go from 2nd to 5th.

The clutch is’nt heavy and I’ve spent many hours stuck in slow moving traffic with no problems.

Most annoying thing about the 348 is the lack of power steering at parking speeds. But once it’s on the move it’s a fantastic experience. You feel everything that’s happening. I can honestly say it’s the most rewarding car I have ever driven. It makes a Boxster / 996 feel like a bus.

Styling wise, I personally think it’s one of the most aggressively sexy cars I’ve seen. Arguably not as pretty as a 355, but it definitely looks more menacing. Especially in black!!!! LOL

Sure, it’s not as fast as a TVR, but then not a lot of cars are in a straight line, but get a good 348 and it’s an incredible experience.

Only problem is finding a good one. There were only 14 GTB’s & 16 GTS’s imported into the UK. Not sure about the number of Spider’s imported. These all have the new engine with 320 bhp, compared to the 300 bhp of the earlier models.

Best advice is to get the latest one possible, but if you can’t find one get one which has had all the upgrades done. If it’s serviced properly and regularly, then there shouldn’t be any problems. Mechanically they are extremely strong. Electrics can be a little temperamental. It is Italian after all.

If I had listen to what a lot of people had said, i would'nt have got the 348 and would certainly have lost out on a great time.

My advice is not to listen to what the critics say. Most of them have never owned one or driven one. Do your own research and you'll come to the same conclusion as I did.

The 348 is a great car!

>> Edited by angelis on Saturday 17th December 15:16

>> Edited by angelis on Saturday 17th December 15:19

maserati3200gt

Original Poster:

1,576 posts

195 months

Saturday 17th December 2005
quotequote all
angelis Thank you for taking the time out to issue a sensible post.

Much appreciated

Im looking at buying a 348 in the next 3 to 4 weeks and have my eye on the Black Convertible at Verdi's but would ideally like a Red example.
Thanks for your info Angelis.
Pete

angelis

2,318 posts

197 months

Saturday 17th December 2005
quotequote all
Here's a few pics

[URL=http://imageshack.us][/URL]

[URL=http://imageshack.us][/URL]

maserati3200gt

Original Poster:

1,576 posts

195 months

Saturday 17th December 2005
quotequote all
Your 348 Looks great with the 355 Wheels Angelis.

angelis

2,318 posts

197 months

Saturday 17th December 2005
quotequote all
maserati3200gt said:
Your 348 Looks great with the 355 Wheels Angelis.


Thanks.

Just sent you an email.

chrisx666

808 posts

222 months

Saturday 17th December 2005
quotequote all
Hi Pete. I hear on the grape vine that the car at Verdi's may be available direct from the owner for much less. I'll pass on what I know if you are interested.

Main dealers do not like the 348. They like the huge margins that can be had on 355/360's. Anyone who thinks that paying the extra 20k for a 355 over a 348 so they will have no trouble is dreaming - some common 355 faults are very expensive.

Some early 348 had problems that meant they were hanging around in the factory for suspension mods etc. not a great launch and this lead to some of the bar-room talk you still hear today. Build quality did improve and nothing has fallen off my car - look at some other 10+ year old low volume sportscars and compare..

www.shpub.co.uk/gallery/Cerb3/source/cerbera_chassis_resto_23.j.html

I have had my 348 a year and the only fault has been that the clock kept re-setting to zero (bad joint on board) and a couple of wires broke in the door connector (window was slow and speaker crackled).

Bad points for me are crap gearchange quality when cold (OK after 10 mins or so) and the fact the engine has to come out every 3-4 years for the belt change service (£1500).
Sure after 16 years it's not the fastest thing on the road anymore but so what.

As with most other specialist cars, buy a poor one and your wallet will take a pasting, buy carefully (inspected/major sevice done etc.) and have some fun.


Edited to add info from another thread I posted on:

There is loads of info on fchat about this, would be worth a search over there.

There was no defining moment when the 348 had all the improvements implemented, they were gradual. For a start they all had ABS and Bosch electronics so I don’t know why they bothered to mention that.

My car is an early 92’ and has the battery in the front. The battery position is often used as an indication that the car is late enough to have most of the production improvements:

In vaguely date order from what I know..

Change from version 2.5 the version 2.7 ECU’s.
Nippon starter motor.
Alignment spec changes.
Single plate clutch (half the price for plates obviously).
Nippondenso alternator (reliability improvement).
Battery moved in an attempt to improve weight distribution.
Revised suspension pick–up points (I am told this was changed after chassis number 92150).
Interior altered a bit.
Chromed horsies as opposed to matt black.
Body colour sills and skirts.

The GTB/GTS obviously had all of the above plus another 20bhp with engine changes. The +20hp is easy to spot as the plenum chambers are different (taller, and the 5 lines on the top of them only go half way).

Hope this helps.

Chris.



>> Edited by chrisx666 on Saturday 17th December 15:55

chrisx666

808 posts

222 months

Saturday 17th December 2005
quotequote all
Well why did you bother reading this thread?? To troll??

Edited to add:

The post I replied to seems to have vanished...

>> Edited by chrisx666 on Saturday 17th December 17:53

angelis

2,318 posts

197 months

Saturday 17th December 2005
quotequote all
chrisx666 said:
Well why did you bother reading this thread?? To troll??


Who was it this time?

burriana

16,556 posts

215 months

Saturday 17th December 2005
quotequote all
lazyitus said:
Not so sure.

Top end, the 348 is quicker than a Griff but acceleration times on the Griff 500 are quite a bit quicker (standard formats).

If said 'good driver' drove both, I'd put my money on the Griff anyday. Then put a Cerbera into the equation and it would blow the 348 away.


Hi Daz, I'm here!

Did you own both Jon?

I went from Griff 500 to the later 348 Spider and then stuck a Tubi on it and seemed to lose the cats somewhere along the way! So from it's standard 320bhp it maybe had 330-340.

The Griff is 4.1 to 60, the 348 is 5.3 - 5.5 depending which book you read.

The Griff 500 is 175 mph the 348 176mph.

So, on paper the TVR is faster ... in reality, they are very similar in acceleration (because the TVRs just cannot get that power down on to the tarmac) but once the 348 hits 4500 revs and really starts to flex its lungs then it flys. It is pure F1 howl with the Tubi and I had it at a verified 161mph through the lasers at V.Max still accelerating steadily and as stable as a rock. The Griff, although very very fast, did not have the same speed mid and top range.

Yes, I spun it once on the bottom bend at about 100mph ... because i was TRYING to get it to slide. Damn near impossible with P-Zeros on.

They have very neutral handling, with the cats removed are even more wonderfully free revving and stop people in their tracks wherever they go (someone even posted mine on exoticspotter.com when i took it down to the Costa del Sol last August! Look under 348)

I loved the 348, it is VERY underated and often maligned by people who have not taken the chance to get to know them. True, they are not an EASY car to drive, but neither is a classic 911, but immensley satisfying.

I was lucky enough to have both TVR and Ferrari for a while and having been out in the Griff, hearing that roar, feeling the masses of torgue and coming back with a huge grin on my face ... I then took the Ferrari out. it was then that i realised what Ferrari was all about. It was simply leugues ahead in feel, quality and, that all important feel good factor.

Anyone who says that TVR build quality is higher than a Ferrari 348, well, certainly the later ones, must have been looking at a particularly good TVR and a particularly bad 348.

In summary, 348s are great cars. Get a later GTB, GTS or Spider... stick a Tubi on, dump the cats and go and have some fun. i would be VERY surprised if you ever regretted it.

al


ps - I did 13,000 miles in the first year as a "weekend car" including two 3,000 european trips. It was fantastic.