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The Ferrari 348 Spider is a beautiful example of pure Italian artistry and engineering. The cars are not only brilliant to look at but offer dependability and reliability in an exotic vehicle. They combine beauty, exhilarating performance, and later model build quality. The Ferrari 348 represented a huge step forward from the popular and successful 308/328 platform. Production began in 1989 and ended in 1994, with just under 3,000 348TBs produced in total. Featuring a 3.4litre 300 horsepower V8 and a 5-speed gearbox, the 348 would top out an astonishing 171 mph, very impressive in 1994 . One of the more notable features of the 348 was the highly evocative “Testarossa” style air intakes extending along the doors.
Of course, as a “Spider”, the car offers the benefit of a full “top-down” experience. Finally, in typical Ferrari fashion, they are built for performance but unlike the early Ferrari’s, offer more in the way of “creature comforts” with all the niceties ranging from air conditioning to power windows.
This particular Ferrari has been enjoyed and accumulated just over 13K miles during the past 20+ years, and a total of 20K miles since being sold new by nearby Ferrari of Los Gatos on 12/13/93 at a total delivered cost of over $130,400.00. The Ferrari has been enjoyed on an occasional basis but never stored for prolonged periods of time, and has received regular basic maintenance including oil changes, smog inspections and other ongoing service. Many Ferrari specialists, including the experienced Ferrari mechanic that works on many of our foreign and exotic cars, believe that a Ferrari that is used and serviced regularly is generally a better car than one that has not seen use, and is simply a “garage queen.”
The independent inspection of the Ferrari, performed within the previous one hundred miles by a mechanic with Ferrari experience, shows the car to be very solid, totally rust and damage free. Our long-time customer treated the car with incredible care and made regular visits to our enclosed showroom with the Ferrari has indicated that it never saw rain during his ownership. In fact, the car was used virtually 100% of the time with the top up because the owner preferred protection from the sun…. and he didn’t want to crease the top and rear window. The 348 will be delivered to the new owner with 2 keys, a complete original tool kit, owner’s manual, receipts, a clean Carfax report and ownership history.
FERRARI 348 SPYDER – OVERALL COSMETIC CONDITION
While some vehicles can be a challenge to describe, frankly, describing this Ferrari is relatively straightforward. The “ 348” represents a very original and unmodified example with the added benefit of having spent its entire life in Northern California. The quality of the car both inside and out reflects the care of its long-time, owner. Additionally, the car is finished in striking “Nero Daytona” black with matching black leather interior and original canvas top.
The Ferrari exterior condition shows very well supporting its limited use and exposure to the dry Northern California climate. Except for minor, characteristic lower spoiler imperfections, the car is free from significant front end spoiler damage. The body is extremely straight and without any damage. The paint is high gloss and shows a few minor imperfections that one would expect of a car with 20k miles but without any damage or issues that detract from the overall appearance of the Ferrari. The only report of repainting is to the front spoiler that matches well. The original convertible top is excellent condition, functions properly, and has a clear rear window. The owner/driver is a “mature” driver and has been the only driver of the Ferrari since he acquired the 348 over 20 years ago. The Car Fax report documents the cars original delivery in California, a history of passing California’s strict smog tests, and ongoing service/preventative maintenance.
The car has been garaged for its entire life and has received the benefit of high quality, professional and thorough detailing. The exterior trim is equally as good with no nicks or scrapes on the bumpers (a “suburban car” so there is none of the “big city” parking damage), door damage or indications of current or previous body damage. The lenses, glass and other exterior components are also in excellent condition. The wheels are factory Ferrari 17” wheels that have literally a few very minor imperfections that require a close critical inspection to be noted.
The interior on the Ferrari is in very nice condition reflecting shows only the patina of fine Italian leather materials. The seats, dash, door panels and other parts of the interior are free from any damage or signs of other than normal light use.
All of the electrical system and gauges are fully functional including the power windows. The carpeting is in particularly good condition. The original soft top boot is included (shown on the car in several photos) and matches the black convertible top and interior.
Driving the 348 is pure joy. The 348 lacks the electronic gadgetry that is so prevalent in newer cars allowing the driver to fully enjoy the classic Ferrari driving experience. For the relatively low price of admission comparable to some new family sedans, you can drive one of the most sought-after Marque’s in the world, a Ferrari!
Regular maintenance documented on the Carfax report and in individual receipts include the following (additional details can be seen on receipts listed):
- 7,500 & 15K services completed
- R&R spark plugs within 500 miles
- Brakes (front & rear) noted as 50% remaining
- Brake fluid change(s)
- Coolant change(s)
- Multiple oil, air & fuel filter changes
- Replace gear oil
- Replace clutch release bearing
- Replacement gaskets, seals
- Numerous smog inspections with positive results
- Within 100 miles
- Charge A/C system
- Replace front hood strut
- Replace engine hood strut
- Repair electric window
An inspection of the Ferrari’s underside reveals a straight, damage free, rust-free chassis and suspension components. Characteristic “seeping” is noted on driveline components, but the car is free from major leaks of oil, anti-freeze or other fluids. The engine fires up immediately, idles smoothly and emits that intoxicating, wonderful Ferrari exhaust note. The suspension is nice and tight with no odd noises, vibrations, or alignment problems when driving. The recent independent inspection revealed no major findings and supports that this is a “348” that will be happy to serve its new owner for many years and miles to come.
DRIVING THE FERRARI 348 SPIDER
As expected from a low mileage Ferrari, the “348” runs and drives beautifully. A recent mechanical inspection revealed no major issues, and the car passed the California required safety inspection within the past 100 miles.
While we haven’t begun to explore the handling or performance capabilities of the Ferrari, it is clear from our time in the drivers and passengers’ seat that this is a car that was designed to be driven, not just looked at. As we begin to drive the car a little harder and faster around the sweeping country roads in our area the car begs to go faster and faster, grips the pavement and demonstrates neutral handling characteristics. It is simply a pleasure to drive.
No attempt has been made to alter the pleasing factory exhaust note by adding and aftermarket system. You can hear the car coming from some distance and there is no mistaking it for a Ferrari. The exhaust note is anything but offensive or overly loud; the car has the perfect blend of intake roar, mechanical “melody” and lovely “whine” that has us reaching to turn off the cars sound system to better hear the car’s engine. As the revs rise, the exhaust tone becomes increasingly pleasing.
The Ferrari is also a comfortable car to drive under virtually all conditions and could even be utilized for the occasional daily commute to, well, more spirited activities. As always, Ferrari has designed and delivered a superb driving instrument in the “348”. The car combines precision, balance, gusto, style, and what we imagine would be impressive test-track results if that is your forte.
WHAT DO THE EXPERTS SAY ABOUT THE FERRARI 348 SPIDER?
The Ferrari 348 made its debut at the 1989 Frankfurt Auto Show. “To many, it was best in Show,” said Road & Track. “Free of Testcrossed excess — in width, overhang, and styling — this 3.4-liter V-8 is compact, quicker on the track … ideal.”
In a Road & Track comparison of exotics, the magazine concluded the Ferrari 348 was “The better exotic” and would later name it “One of the ten best cars in the world.”
FERRARI 348 SPIDER SPECIFICATIONS
Engine: DOHC, 32 Valve V8, 3405 cc
Power: 312 bhp (239 kW) @ 7500 rpm
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Chassis: Steel platform & sub-frame
Suspension: Independent all round
Brakes: 4-wheel Disc ABS
0-100 km/h (62 mph): 5.6 sec.
0-161 km/h (100 mph): 11.5 sec.
1/4 mile: 13.8 sec.
Top Speed: 171 mph
FERRARI 348 SPIDER – HISTORY
The 348, badged 348 TB for the coupe (Berlinetta) and 348 TS (Spider) for the Targa versions, features a naturally aspirated 3.4-litre version of the quad-cam, 4-valve-per-cylinder V8 engine which was originally found in the 288 GTO sports car. Thus, the model’s name, 3.4-litre 8-cylinder engine. The engine produced 300 hp (224 kW) at launch and sits longitudinally with a transverse gearbox. The transverse gearbox gives the model its “T” on TS and TB. Overall, 2895 units of 348 TB and 4230 units of 348 TS were manufactured.
All 348s were shipped with dual-computer engine management with twin Bosch 2.5 Motronic ECUs, and double-redundant Anti-Lock Braking systems. Likewise, all 348s were shipped with on-board self-diagnosing Air Conditioning and heating systems.
USA imported Ferrari 348’s have functioning on-board OBDI engine management systems, though European variants do not come with the self-test push button installed, which is needed to activate this troubleshooting feature.
Similar to the Testarossa but departing from the BB 512 and 308/328, the oil and coolant radiators were relocated from the nose to the sides, widening the waist of the car substantially, but making the cabin much easier to cool since hoses routing warm water no longer ran underneath the cabin as in the older front-radiator cars. This also had the side effect of making the doors very wide.
All Ferrari 348s use racing “dry-sump” oil systems to prevent oil starvation at high speeds and in hard corners. The oil level can only be checked (accurately) on the dipstick when the motor is running due to this setup. Also, all 348s have suspensions independently adjustable for ride height, as well as a removable rear sub-frame to speed up the removal of the engine for maintenance.
Late versions (1993 and beyond) have improved starter motors and power generators to improve reliability, as well as the battery located within the front left fender for better weight distribution.
Nearly 9,000 348s were produced, and the car’s straked side air intakes resemble those of the Testarossa, as do the rectangular taillights. The 348’s successor, the F355, returned to the styling cues of the 328 with round taillights and rounded side air scoops.
Changes for 1993+ Model Year
In late 1993 the 348 was revised, featuring subtle styling changes (front grille, rear chrome Cavallino and removable seat cushions) and more power, this time producing 312 bhp (USA cars) from the same 3.4-litre engine, with an improved engine management system – Bosch Motronic 2.7, increased compression ratio from 10.4:1 to 10.8:1, higher plenum chamber on inlet manifold, new exhaust system (single muffler) and different camshaft timing.
The revised cars are called 348 GTB (252 made) and GTS (137 made) and were presented to the public as the 348 GT versions, equipped with the F119H engine (as opposed to the original F119D and US F119G).
For these models, both the engine hood panel and lower body skirts were body-colored instead of black, and the rear track was one inch wider due to the mounting area, on the inside, of the rear wheels being thicker. The suspension geometry was revised which greatly enhanced its handling, ride, and body control. The fuel tank was also smaller (88L) to reduce overall weight and provide space to improve chassis rigidity.
The 348 Spider (convertible) model was also introduced, in-line with the phasing out of the Mondial Cabriolet. A mere 1,090 cars were produced.