First Ferrari on a "Budget" - Ferrari Life
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post #1 of 5 Old 05-27-2015, 11:06 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2011
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First Ferrari on a "Budget"

Hiya folks. It's been awhile!

I've decided this last couple of weeks to quit waiting for "the car" and get started with "a car". By that I mean that I've been saving and planning for what I've been describing as my last car.... the ultimate. But my definition / target keeps moving as I fall in love with one model or another. And in the meantime, the price-point keeps growing, meaning it'll take longer for me to get there. All this is happening while I'm not enjoying any Ferrari.

So I've decided I'd like to pick-up a good First Ferrari, instead of my Last Ferrari.

I'm looking at the 348 and the 355. I've got a budget in mind of $40k-$60k. I've downloaded the Buyer's Guides for both cars, and I'm still torn. I would value some opinions from some of you who've been where I'm at.

I'm a tinkerer. I love tuning, wrench-turning, playing, cleaning, maintaining, etc etc etc. I'll do some of that on whatever I own. So it is important to me that the car be friendly for some of that. I'm not talking about doing my own cam-belts or clutch-work. I'd enjoy it, but I see how that sort of "Home-Maintenance" impacts the value of the car... so I'll leave the major stuff to the dealer.
I guess the other really important thing for me is of course the experience behind the wheel. I would only consider the non-F1 355, because that gear lever is part of the sensation for me. And the sound. Here's where I get hung-up. The 355 is very special when it comes to the sound.

One of the issues I'm having is the limited exposure I've had to either car. I'm in Salt Lake City. Our local dealer has very recently changed ownership. They seem to be focusing on more modern cars at this stage; I can't recall the last time they had an example of either of these two cars on-hand. The local Ferrari Owner's chapter is non-existent. (the "pres" is a professional associate of mine; he's a J/A and doesn't own a Ferrari). I've traveled to look at a few cars, only to be disappointed in their condition, so they didn't really offer me something to base my judgements on.

Any opinions about what I'd be most happy with? I can't imagine this is an uncommon dilemma.
I'll post a "wanted" in the classifieds section, but if anyone is aware of some really good-value examples of either car for sale, I'd love to hear about it.

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post #2 of 5 Old 05-27-2015, 04:01 PM
Italian Lover's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Far end of the P pond
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Maytag, good decision on your part.

I do not know much on 348 but have owned a 355 manual before. With that, I can say 355 is your choice because of the sound alone. The problem is that you need to find a well maintained 355 to avoid unhappy findings later. I would leave the technicals to other experts here.

If you can manage the budget wisely, I would recommend 355.

Saying that, I do not think 348 is any less attractive at all. Consider the price points of the two to reach your decision.

w/ smiles

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post #3 of 5 Old 05-28-2015, 04:11 AM
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Location: Exeter, England
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First off, good decision to buy the Ferrari you can afford now, instead of waiting for the one you can't yet - you never know what is going to be around the corner, so enjoy Ferrari driving while you can.

My experience of owing Ferraris is limited to my 550, so I cannot advise you from personal experience on your choice between 348 and 355; and I live in the UK, not the USA, so my knowledge of prices relates to the UK market, not yours. However, from what I see and read, I would conclude that:

1. The 355 is the better car by a margin greater than the apparent similarities would at first sight suggest.
2. It is also the most aesthetically pleasing.
3. Probably because of the above, 355 prices are considerably higher than those for 348s, so you should be able to get a better 348 than a 355 for the same money. This may be particularly significant if your budget won't stretch to a 355 in the condition that you would want.
4. Going only on the basis of age and the fact that newer models are generally less easy for the DIY owner than older ones, I would imagine that you would be able to do more work yourself on a 348 than a 355.

I hope these thoughts are of some help.

Best wishes, John
Ferrari: 550 Maranello S/N 110995, Dino 246 GT S/N 6934
Other: 1990 Bentley Turbo R, 1989 Porsche 911 C2, 2004 Mercedes 500CLK, 2011 Mercedes E350 CDI, 1972 VW T2 Camper, 2014 Fiat 500C, 1963 Jaguar E-type 3.8 FHC, 2015 Maserati Granturismo Sport
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post #4 of 5 Old 05-28-2015, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Italian Lover View Post

Saying that, I do not think 348 is any less attractive at all. Consider the price points of the two to reach your decision.

w/ smiles
Agreed with your think
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post #5 of 5 Old 05-28-2015, 09:51 AM
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I do not think the amount of maintenance of the 348 vs 355 is greater than the other regardless of even the 355's 5-valve needs: both will cost about the same with little spread.

The greater car, IMO, in all respects is the 355. Much better bang for the buck.

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