I will try to answer a few I know until others with 348's chime in.
1. What are some of the mechanical issues with this particular car? If any.
-pretty reliable but has had clutch issues due to the packing.
-- The packing is a problem sometimes, but the real issue is gearbox rear 'nut' that may work loose. A good mech, can take off the cover reach in there and see if it's on tight. There were a certain run of 348 trans, where they handtighted the trailing nut onto the spindle instread of pressing them on like they should have. Some worked loose and catastrophic gear damage...called the '348 gear issue'. to some
-- belts are always an issue.
-- Alternator if NOT upgraded/updated with better released parts, can fail. not a big issue in these can be rebuilt, and taken off in situ.
-- ECU upgrade for leveling on suspension: New one costs about $800-1,100 for new software being made.
-- Fuse blocks. They tend to delaminate and/or fry due to such: about $800-1,200 for new [lucky to find one].
-- Front wheel bearings which require two to a side, where a pair [youll need two] = $1,100 each AND GOOD Luck finding them. Used on the F40 TRs and most 308/328 models.
--water pump replacement/fix requirs an engine out, which might as well replace the belts while in there etc. = if just engine out = $6,000 from mech...if doing a timing and belts = $6-8k.
--bilstein suspension rebuilds: about $200 per item in/out, sent, rebuilt each.
--'sometimes' an adjusting/leveling motor goes out...not a big deal about $100. Gear can be bought better than OEM for $100/four.
-- TS had leaking issues to removed top, but can be fixed: I like the TS of the 348 series.
--switches = BOSCH, = not to bad, just getting to them is the issue.
--tensioners/bearings. Get the better Hill replacements = $600-800 each and sleep better.
2. Understanding that Ferrari maintenance cost are higher than a normal car, how is this particular car compared to other Ferrari's with regards to maintenance cost?
-engine has to be removed for most major services but it should be in-line with most. I'd figure $1k-$2K per year in average costs.
--greag has it right.
--oil changes [I highly recommend ALL fluids even radiator as too caustic on these older alum. jobs] for your price or mech charging <>+/- $500-1,200/year.
--get K&N air Filters and not a future issue.
--tires about every two-three years...depending on your habits.
--battery tender $80 onetime
--upgraded/enhance booster for starting = $80 onetime
--a light here, a bulb there, an air strut in-between, cleaning
self, or not,
--oneoffs like hoses as these are older
--Steering reservoir had two types, older one replaced with upgraded release = $600-800. Steering hoses cost about $200, and some need rebuilding = $300. BUt good to go for years once done.
3. What is the general feeling of the car? Such as reliability, desire, fun factor, and anything else you may think of.
-great car to drive. No power steering. Later years have a bit more HP.
--Mondial T has power assisted steering RP, but not the 348.
--T HP vs 348 is only about 5HP diff, but, T=heavier.
--348 engine is rock solid. Reliable unless you f##k up the belts/don't do maintenance.
4. If you are or were an owner of this car, what are your feelings about it and why?
-I can't answer this one!
--no answer to this: You like/love it or get something different. I know where you want to go, but that'll be a specific owner question.
5. And finally, does anyone expect the value and market price to drop any further or has it already hit it's low point? I've seen cars like this decrease in value and market price over the last year, is there an expectation that these cars will pick up value in the future or remain the same?
-hard to know but with ferwer than later models built these should hold their values and maybe in a year of so climb a bit.
--It'll drop. Some will sell theirs short, some will not/never as I probably. There are NO bargains in Ferraris, there are only ones that truely need to acquire their equilibrium and that requires one to bring it up to its critical mass or get it sorted correctly. They basically all cost or are about the same. IF you see one less, good as probably needs stuff etc etc.
FIND the best, sorted and loved model you can find. Leave a buffer in first 1-2 years for an issue to creep up, say $5k, and go from there. If it needs stuff, especially a QUALIFIED tuning/major, that is a huge negotiation point and will not qualify it as top dollar.
Just remember that these cars are 20+ years old and things happen especially electrically!