My First Ferrari


After all of these years with Porsche’s, I still have had a strong desire to own a Ferrari. While I was attending the Euro Auto Festival, I talked with some Ferrari owners. The first guy I talk with had a 328. I have always liked the styling of the 308/328 so it was interesting talking with him about his ownership experiences. For a couple reasons, I always thought that if I got a Ferrari, it would be this series as this is the last series that does not require the engine to be removed for service and the prices are in my ballpark.

Later that day I made the mistake of talking with a couple 348 owners. I have always liked the looks of these cars as well but did not know much about them. As for reliability, the one guy who had owned his car for eight years mentioned that he had had some electrical issues but that the motor and transmission had been bulletproof. I asked the owners if the owner does his own major maintenance, does that really affect the value of the cars. Both of them said that as long as it was documented and done correctly, they did not see that as an issue. They also said that it was becoming more common for these cars to gravitate towards owners who did their own work. Another guy there used to own a 348 and now has a 360. He said he felt the 348 had a lot more feel to it than his 360. Turns out the 348 is the last of the Ferrari’s to not have power steering or brakes and no driver nannies other than ABS. It doesn’t have airbags either.

10-31-13 exterior 9 sm 10-31-13 exterior 8 sm 10-31-13 exterior 3 sm 10-31-13 exterior 5 sm 10-31-13 engine sm 10-31-13 interior 2 smWith the difference money from the Corvette deal burning a hole in my pocket, I did a search for 348’s and found one at an independent Ferrari dealer here in NC, less than two hours from my house. I had thought I wanted a 996 twin turbo as my next car and drove one just prior to visiting the Ferrari dealership. Great car and very fast and I am sure I would have been very happy with one.  However, once I saw and drove the Ferrari, it was all over. I added $2K to the difference I got for the Corvette and am now a Ferrari owner. It is a 1990 with 33K miles and all the records from day one along with the books and tool kit. It has been very well kept and I love the way it drives. Plus it is pretty cool looking. Last Saturday I drove it to the Charlotte Cars and Coffee and that afternoon my wife and I put another 100 miles or so on it checking out the fall colors on some great sports car roads in this area. My son drove and loved it and my 13 year old grandson really enjoyed his ride in it. I even had to take his mom for a ride!!!

 

 

10-31-13 garage cars 3 smI thought my next door neighbor was buying the 1957 Chevy I had taken in trade on my 1964 Corvette.  He unexpectedly backed out which created a very full garage.

 

 

 

It looks like a new car but the reality is it is 23 years old. I have both air and water leaks around the targa top. I looked up this issue online and sometimes the leaks can be stopped by adding additional shims to the mounting block so the roof can be pulled down tighter. Since the shims are $14 each on one site I looked at, I decided to make mine from some scrap metal.

 

 

11-9-13 targa spacer 3 sm 11-9-13 targa spacer 4 sm 11-9-13 targa spacer 5 sm 11-9-13 targa spacer smUpon disassembling the block, I discovered that I was not the first one to want to pull the roof down. Washers were used as shims. Using one of the factory shims as a pattern, I traced it on the scrap metal and cut it out using an air powered metal saw tool making two shims. Drilled the necessary holes and re-installed everything. Have to take it for a drive now to see if the air leaks have been reduced. If this doesn’t work I will be looking at replacing the seals.

 

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2 Comments

  1. I happened to see your blog after seeing who has been brave enough to do their own timing belt. Congratulations on doing it. I look forward to stopping in every once in a while to see how the 348 is coming along.

    • Thanks. It wasn’t all that bad. Once the motor is out, everything is in front of you so it is fairly easy to work on. The hardest part was lining up the 12 mounting holes on the firewall when we put the motor back in the car.


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