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post #1 of 22 Old 09-25-2007, 09:37 AM Thread Starter
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newbie alert!

Hi everyone, allow me to introduce myself... My name is Steve, I am 40 years old and I live in Las Vegas Nevada, USA. I have been lurking on your site for a very long time, and I have been a paid member for about a week now, and i've really enjoyed reading all your posts!
I do not yet own a Ferrari, but I have finally saved, borrowed, and stolen (kidding) enough money to finally realize my 25 year obsessive dream of owning a Ferrari. I am probably not anywhere near the tax bracket of 95% of you folks, but I work very hard and I deserve to finally do this... (even if it keeps me broke for the rest of my life!). ok so, i'll get to the point now....
I can easily afford the average 308 or 328.. and I LOVE those cars, but the car within my reach that really gets me wet, is the 348 (no flaming please). I know how some of you guys feel about these cars, especially the early ones (89-92) but could I get as many of you as possible to hammer me with real-life feedback about the pro's and con's of the different years, why or why NOT to get this car... or any specific year or version? also, any common issues with any specific year or version and typical costs associated? Lastly... is there anywhere that I could obtain the actual maintenence schedule for this car? ive googled the heck out of this, but I cant find it anywhere!!
PS. yes, I have downloaded the buyers guide... great reading, but not very specific about anything! Thanks everyone!
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post #2 of 22 Old 09-25-2007, 10:36 AM
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Welcome Steve. Great for you that your dream car is coming close. I love the 348 (although I would not buy one, I'd rather have a 328, but that is just a matter of personal preference), it is a Ferrari in every conceiveable way and therefore worthy of total and utter worship.

The first point I'd like to make is that a lot of Ferrari owners are normal people with not that much money to throw around who just sacrifice a lot for the priviledge of owning one of these cars. You will definitely not be the only one to have to dig deep for realising your dream.

Second, within most Ferrari circles there is preciously little snobbism in my experience. If you own one, you're part of the club, no matter what it is. If you don't own one but have your heart in the right place, you are often still part of the club.

Thirdly, I cannot recommend enough that you do your homework before buying your 348. I spent several months this year gathering information (particularly concerning costs) before I bought my 550 in June. I am but a "poor" engineer and have to run this car off my salary so I needed to know what to expect. Work it out in detail (insurance, storage, mileage per year, mpg, tyres, brake pads, labour rates, services and so on) - it is the only way you can find out what a car like this really costs. The info is available on the forums, and you can ask 348 owners - they'll be happy to tell you. Once I had the necessary information, I started putting every 550 I saw for sale into the spreadsheet. This allowed me to calculate a cost per month for each one and this way you start understanding pricing and what is a bargain and what not. Should I buy the cheap one with lots of miles, or the expensive one with very few? It is a very difficult question to answer and almost always is down to the invidual car itself: how many miles, what work was done, what needs to be done soon, what is the asking price?

Once you finally have done all the homework, and you give yourself the green light, you can forget worrying about it and just enjoy the car.

Fourth, I would not recommend getting a loan for your car if that is the only way you can afford it. Personally, I could buy the car cash but only just. So I took a loan for 20% of the value of the car just to make sure that if something bad would happen I could cover it. I would not have bought the car if I needed a 50% loan or more.

Best of luck with the hunt - I found a thoroughly enjoyable process, and it paid off for me in a big way finding a really special 550. I hope you find your 348 soon.


Onno



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post #3 of 22 Old 09-25-2007, 10:56 AM
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Steve, welcome.
Like you, I'm not made of money and I dreamed for 20+ years before I had accumulated enough for my 89/90 328 GTS.
Onno has covered almost everything and I agree with him.
I also considered a later 93-94 348 GTS (I think they were referred to as the 355 test mules and they had an extra 20 BHP) and many of the earlier models teething problems had been sorted out.
In the end I opted for the 328 as 95% of the people I talked to said it is one of the most reliable Ferrari's there is, and is cheaper to maintain, as well as being a beautiful car.
Which ever tipo and year you choose, good luck and keep us updated.

Archie
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post #4 of 22 Old 09-26-2007, 04:25 PM
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Hi Steve and Welcome.

I am the VERY proud owner of the most beautiful car ever built, a Nero (black)1993 348 Serie Speciale, #64 of 100. I have been a fan of the 348 since my first introduction on memorial day 1991 at Limerock Park. It took me 15 years to save the money but I finally got my love June 14th this year. After attaining the financial capability to own one, I made a deal with the Dev....uhhh, wife and searched the country for the perfect fit. I kissed a few toads, drove a few buckets, and researched all possibilities until I settled on this one. To date I've driven about 1500 miles in her and love every minute of our relationship. There is no other car for me.

That being said, there are some real problems with some of the cars you will look at. Be very cautious regarding Catalizers, Belt change dates, clutch replacements (on ther earlier twin plate models) and actual car condition. I would not trust a "car fax" for anything other than a suggestion it might be OK. Look yourself, get it on a rack, drive it, get to know it intimately before you commit.

I highly recommend a website called www.club348.com In their technical section there are quite a few suggestions regarding prepurchase inspections. PPI's can be costly and there are a few things you can verify yourself prior to kissing a toad. It's also a great place for details of ownership and maintenance suggestions.

My car came with original documentation including the manual with service and maintenance schedules. I'll be happy to scan them if your interested but hey are probably on The 348 site already. Let me know if you need them.

I have read Onno's and Archies responses and agree with every word. I'm not rich financially, I'm rich cuz I have a great life, Wife, Children, and a Ferrari that all serve there purposes in making me the person I am. I'm glad they also understand the Ferrai thing and allow me the resources to maintain my dream.

There's plenty more but I don't want to waste the thread on details. PM me with any specific questions I might help with.

Lane
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post #5 of 22 Old 09-26-2007, 08:22 PM
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She looks great, Lane. 348's really work in black, IMHO.


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post #6 of 22 Old 09-26-2007, 09:44 PM
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I really don't have much to add. Both JazzyO and Saint Bastage have covered it brilliantly. If you are intending to track the car regularly get the Berlinetta, if not, I would go with a late (94) Spider.
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post #7 of 22 Old 09-27-2007, 06:07 AM
 
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Well we are all in good company. Most people think I am some wealthy fella. If only they knew, I am just a motorcycle mechanic, I just built a business and worked towards the dream. And fixed a hell of alot of bikes.
If a 348 is your car, do your home work and get it as soon as you can.
You will have bits and pieces to repair, so what. Life is wonderfull behind the wheel of your very own , hard earned Ferrari.
Good luck
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post #8 of 22 Old 09-27-2007, 10:17 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone so much for all your input, I had 3 cars I was interested in that fit the bill for me, based on your input (aside from the berlinetta vs. spider suggestion from Boxer) I have made my selection and purchased my very 1st Ferrari!! The TS is what I really wanted, so I am the VERY proud new of a 1991 348TS, Rosso Corsa/Saddle flawlessly maintained and maticulously documented.
In simplest terms of a used 348, and based on what ive looked at lately, I give it an overall solid 9! I take delivery friday (tomorrow), noonish.

the car I bought has 68,300 miles on it, that comes to an average of 4268 miles a year, which is exactly what I wanted...
I am leary about the low mileage ''garage queens'', I wanted a car that had been driven (properly) enough to keep everything moving and work the bugs out.
The car had a full engine-out major a year ago with full clutch service including a kevlar disc and gearbox update (the ''spring loaded goo'' dampner setup was eliminated) I talked to the mechanic (25 year certified) for about 2 hours yesterday, he has been exclusively servicing the car since '99 and he explained it all. The owner was a high ranking Army officer (Colonel I believe) and a lawyer, apparently no expense was ever spared to keep the car perfect, and totally stock, I guess his big thing was to keep the car with all OEM parts. I was told that the car was brought in at least once a year for a complete inspection, and anything that was worn or needing replaced was resolved... including melting intertior panels and seat bolster wear.
I will be the 3rd owner, and I paid $41,500 for it... and that was talked WAY down from $48K. The added bonus for me is, the car is in southern CA, and I live in Las Vegas... they are delivering the car to me tomorrow at NO COST to me!! It just happened that they were coming to Vegas this weekend on another car related matter anyway. ;-)

So, i'm broke now, does anyone have a sweet deal on a clean used Tubi for me??? lol
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post #9 of 22 Old 09-27-2007, 11:06 AM
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Steve, congratulation on your purchase, sounds and looks like you got a great deal.
Now you've come out of the dark and joined in the forum, make sure you become a regular and share your experiences with us (for better or worse - expect both).
You must be like a kid waiting for Santa now, I know I was when I signed the order form on mine.
Best wishes

Archie
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post #10 of 22 Old 09-27-2007, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archiegibbs View Post
You must be like a kid waiting for Santa now, I know I was when I signed the order form on mine.
That just about sums it up!! less than 24 hours to go!
i'll let you guys know how the transaction plays out.. but I expect not a hitch.

Thanks for the welcome BTW, its a true honor for me to join your ranks!

PS. Gorgeous car Lane, you should be very proud!
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post #11 of 22 Old 09-27-2007, 04:47 PM
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Steve,

Welcome to the site, it looks like you got a great 348, enjoy!
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post #12 of 22 Old 09-28-2007, 05:52 AM
 
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Stunning car.
You are going to have a blast.
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post #13 of 22 Old 09-28-2007, 09:43 AM
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Congratulations on your purchase Steve, like yourself I plunged into the elite group of ferrari owners this year. I cannot agree more to what "saintB, jazzyO, and archie" adviced.

Welcome to the forum and great driving with your new baby. I can see that you are very excited on the arrival of your dream car and wonder how you found a beauty in such a short time since you had initially posted.

The car looks great. Watch out parking and not make the same mistake I did by parking too close to parking spot and scratching my lower part of the bumper.

Chicago_Pete
hey slow driver
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post #14 of 22 Old 09-28-2007, 10:19 AM
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Tick.

Is it there yet?

Tock.

Is it there yet?

Tick.

Is it there yet?

Tock.

Is it there yet?

Tick.

Is it there yet?

Tock.

Is it there yet?

Tick.

Is it there yet?

Tock.

Is it there yet?

Tick.

Is it there yet?

Tock.

Is it there yet?

- Man are you going to be getting on everybody's nerves till she arrives!

Congrats, man. She looks gorgeous and it sounds like she has a good history file. Enjoy her in good health (physically and financially)!


Onno



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post #15 of 22 Old 09-28-2007, 10:31 AM
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Sweet ride...I said welcome to the site before...now I get to say "Welcome to the Club". I love the Saddle interior. IT works so well with the red and black cars. Did you check out the 348 club? Did it help with your decision?

Drive with the confidence and class only a Ferrari owner can experience and don't let those stupid Vette owners tease you into a bad decision on public roads. Speeding Tickets SUCK.

I remember seeing a used Tubi someplace. I'll keep my eyes peeled for ya.

Lane

Previous owner of 348ts SS #64, Now Ferrariless
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post #16 of 22 Old 09-28-2007, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks again guys, for all your warm welcomes, well wishes, and kind remarks. You're killin me Onno! today is the day, and no contact as of yet... this has been the longest morning of my life!!!
Lane, I have looked thru the club 348 stuff, and I read thru that insanely long webpage from that ''brotherhood'' guy, but I havn't actually communicated with anyone there... I basically used the advice from you guys to make decision.

Monza, thanks for the parking advice, i'll definately take it! :-)
I didnt really ''find'' the car fast as it may seem, ive actually been shopping for over 2 years... I had decided on 1 of 3 cars a week prior to posting here...
1990 348ts
1991 348ts
1994 348 Spider
All of which had their strong and weak points... I hadn't slept for about 10 days trying to choose.. so I paid to be a member of this site, and asked for your help. I know most of you would have pushed me toward the '94, so I didnt get specific about the cars when I 1st posted. The '94 had the most miles of all of them, it had the poorest paint condition, the rubberized coating on the interior was gone on much of the panels and had not been repaired. There were damaged parts all over the car (worst being a broken fog light) that would have cost nearly $6K to replace and make it JUST acceptable to me... that's aside from the paint.

The only real weak point MY car had was the fact that it was all OEM parts, I would have liked to buy one that already had a Tubi on it, perhaps the seat belts modified, maybe even some 355 or aftermarket wheels... (ive never been fond of the OEM wheels) but I can work up to all that in time... its worth it to have a more mechanically sound and visually flawless car.

Anyway, the wait continues... i'll keep ya's posted!

And not to worry, I dont do street races... most guys already know i'd waste them without risking my ass to prove it :-)
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post #17 of 22 Old 09-28-2007, 12:11 PM
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And not to worry, I dont do street races... most guys already know i'd waste them without risking my ass to prove it :-)
Very wise:thumbup: Can you imagine how much the cops would love to pull up a speeding Ferrari.
In the UK we have 'Boy racers' in modded Japanese cars and BMW's (I think you call them Ricers), they always pull up next to me at lights and look over to see if I want to play, I never do. It's more fun watching them burn off at hyperspeed and running the risk of the numerous speed camera's we have over here.
My 328's more at home on the open roads, going around bends in a low gear with high revs and the exhaust singing, I'm not interested in seeing how fast I can do a 1/4 mile in between lights and running the risk of crashing or worse still, killing a pedestrian, cyclist or child.

Archie
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post #18 of 22 Old 09-28-2007, 12:47 PM
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I'm right with you on the wheels. I'ts the only flaw in an otherwise perfect car. I'm looking to do something with mine as well. Let me know if you find a good aftermarket wheel. I want classy not trashy. The 355's are nice but also real pricey.

One of the sponsors here is Wheel Executives. They handle some beautiful stuff. Those 360 wheels with the composite overlay are awesome looking on the floor. I wonder how they'd look on a black 348 SS. Perhaps they would like to mount a set and take some marketing photo's. I guess the problem is that the wheels would then be "used". But then...I know a guy in the market for a used set. (wink wink )

Lane

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post #19 of 22 Old 09-28-2007, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archiegibbs View Post
Very wise:thumbup: Can you imagine how much the cops would love to pull up a speeding Ferrari.
Indeed, listen to Arch, 2 weeks ago I was cruising the NJTP (newjersey turnpike) goin speed limit with my f355 following my neighbor with his vette z06, both convertibles. We pass this cop waiting along the road trying to tag speeders. We were on the rightmost lane not speeding, yet the "pig" i meant cop, pulled out and followed us for about 5 miles till he turned around.

These cars are definitely cop magnets, so keep vigilance and watch out for them. Once you see a clear line, then let it all out, drop down to 2nd or 3rd throtle up to 8k and enjoy the sound.

Chicago_Pete
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post #20 of 22 Old 09-28-2007, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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<sigh> the wait is over... I HAVE A FERRARI IN MY GARAGE!!!
Its official, and I cant begin to describe my feeling (I know you guys understand), BUT its gonna take some time to get used to driving this thing! Reverse is 1st, 1st is 2nd... yikes! I of course knew the shift pattern, but I still catch myself trying to go to 1st mid-turn. The car is as clean and gorgeous in person as in the pics, but there are a few minor issues I wasnt aware of, all with the interior... but I can likely resolve them myself. The one that sorta pissed me off right away was the fact that the passenger seat lever that allows adjustment of the seatback is locked up, so the seat back cant be adjusted, making stowing the roof panel interesting to say the least. The shoulder belts only retract about half way, but I can re-spool those. the turn signal stalk doesn't lock well into left, right works perfectly... the owner probably never realized it because Californians dont know what turn signals are anyway! lol ;-)
Anyway, I have the original bill of sale, the car was $117,905 new, I dont have the window sticker tho I also have a mountain of maintenence and repair records (very interesting) from 1992 to yesterday. The books, tool kit, etc are there, but no spare tire... is there supposed to be one??
Clearly the car once had the coolant line problem that leaked into the trunk, the trim panels are spotless and perfect, but the toolkit and manual pouches have mildew stains, and look pretty bad, and the metal buckles and parts are slightly rusty... no biggie, the contents of both pouches are fine, and the manuals are not water damaged at all.

A side note about the police subject... I am in the satellite TV/Internet/Radio business, I have dozens of cops in every jurisdiction in Vegas as customers. One of my very good friends is a captain of the Nevada State Highway Patrol, and his cell AND home numbers are in my cell phone speed dial!
I also have another NHP captain as a customer and also, my best friend (and neighbor) has a son-in-law who is a Vegas cop.. and ive known him since he was still in high-school... also in my speed dial!
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