348 Looking to buy my first Ferrari 348 or 355? - Ferrari Life
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post #1 of 54 Old 11-04-2011, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
 
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Looking to buy my first Ferrari 348 or 355?

Hello,
Im looking to buy my first Ferrari realistic budget between 30k to 45..im a very accomplished European car technician so maintenance costs are a non issue as 99 percent of repairs will be in my garage. For years i took care of a customer that had a 1991 Mondial T as a daily driver and an F355 spyder as hi weekend car so these two models i can service with my eyes closed or in other words i know them very well. That being said i prefer things that are manually operated. I am contemplating these cars
Mondial T 1991 or 1992
348 spyder 1993 or 1994
F355 spyder
Yeah i know with my budget the 355 is a long shot but i have seem them trade in this range. Prefer no salvage or higher thn 50k mile vehicle not really a fan of red but thats an option as well. I know what it cost o service a Mondial and 355 properly being the lose relationship to the 348 im thinking its similiar cost?
Power in not a real concern as this will be a cruiser.
Is the daytona seat in a 348 tough to find an buy?
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post #2 of 54 Old 11-04-2011, 11:49 AM
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355

,i would go for the 355,,,i have seen decent examples from 40k to 55k as well as higher..when you find one,,make sure the exhaust manifolds have been replaced by non oem,,,such as the Fab Speed brand,,thats spoke of on this forum...also you want to make sure the valve guides have been replaced,,early 1997 and prior,,i believe the problem was corrected late 97 through 99,,,there is also a member on here that got rid of the UGLY 355 steering wheel ,,he replaced it with one from a 360 i believe,,,YOU TUBE has some cool videos that captures the sick sound that a 355 produces,,,with and without aftermarket exhaust systems,,such as my favorite TUBI ,...i found a beauty on HMN,,,it was a B model ,,low miles,,at Symbolic in La Jolla .,CA,,,,asking 60 but im sure that was negotiable,,good luck,,,Brett
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post #3 of 54 Old 11-04-2011, 02:01 PM
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Please drive them both... the differences between a 355 and a 348 are (IMHO) massive. Although I haven't driven a Mondial myself, I expect its also a very different experiance that either.

I personally much prefer the more raw feeling of the 348.

Lane

Previous owner of 348ts SS #64, Now Ferrariless
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post #4 of 54 Old 11-04-2011, 02:25 PM
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Dr- Welcome. If you can do your own work, not much difference in the three except preference and performance. The F355 will blow the other two away on performance, and if you can fix it yourself, parts costs are the only issue. 40 new valve guides tend to be expensive, but you get a break on those, too.

Taz
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post #5 of 54 Old 11-04-2011, 03:59 PM
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I agree, and have driven them both. The 355 is the better performer, and with almost the same costs in maintenance +/- a K or so, it will be worth the experience. Most headers, and fuel line issues have been sorted, and of course 366 is newer in tech over its replaced 348 sibling.

Becomes a question of looks and, in the case of the Mondial, 'practicality'.

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Last edited by Granucci; 11-04-2011 at 04:15 PM.
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post #6 of 54 Old 11-05-2011, 05:00 AM
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As a cruiser I feel the Mondial t is the better car and although under rated, in my opinion a better handling car than the 348.

The 355 is a little jerky in city traffic.

Good luck with your search.
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post #7 of 54 Old 11-05-2011, 06:22 AM
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Although not on your list would you consider a 328? Although not nearly technologically advanced as the 355 it is a beautiful car that is nice to drive and not all that difficult to maintain....especially for someone experienced as you are. Otherwise I would recommend the 355. My reasoning is that in the long run these are two of the more desirable cars that Ferrari has built. Accordingly the value will always be there. Especially if you keep them in tip top shape.

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post #8 of 54 Old 11-05-2011, 09:39 AM
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Hmmm...Does nobody agree that the 348 and 355 feel so very different. To me they are like night and day. While I agree the 355 is much faster, the power steering totally isolates me from the road. (I also agree that the 348 needs to be properly set up)

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post #9 of 54 Old 11-05-2011, 10:31 AM
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Lane- Is the power steering that bad on the F355? It is wonderful on my 575M and I thought they were very similar units.

Both the 348 and F348 are pretty sensitive to suspension geometry and tire pressures, from what I have heard.

Taz
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post #10 of 54 Old 11-05-2011, 11:30 AM
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Not trying to imply the power steering is a bad thing, I just think it provides a buffer/filter that changes the feel of any car dramatically. Disregarding the electronic shock adjustments in the 355, the cars should feel approximately the same. (same balance, same shape, same geometry). To me they feel nothing alike.

I adore the raw un-interupted feel of the 348 where the 355 I drove felt very much more ...how shall I say it... reserved.

I certainly do not wish to imply the 355 is not a masterpiece...just that its different from the 348 perhaps describing the difference like touring vs. sporting. Any prospective buyer trying to choose should experience both.

I agree the 348 is very sensitive to set up. Earlier models absolutely REQUIRE rear shims and so many owners have replaced the (IMHO) ugly 348 wheels without consideration to geometry changes. You'll find incredible differences in each 348 from ride high to weight distribution issue's because of this but once properly adjusted the car is nothing short of amazing.

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post #11 of 54 Old 11-05-2011, 12:01 PM
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355 steering

i completely agree about power steering being a buffer between you and the road,,when i drove a 355 GTS..i could tell the difference in the steering compared to my 328,,,,with that said,,,,it still felt pretty good,,and i was able to feel the exellent mechanical grip that the 355 provides,,,now,,,if one still wants a stiffer feeling while steering the 355,,,maybe you can disconnect the power assisted steering unit,,
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post #12 of 54 Old 11-05-2011, 01:20 PM
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Brett- The F355 was originally optionally available with manual steering. A different steering box was used with 3.45 turns lock to lock vs the hydraulic steering's 3.2 turns. Never heard of one in the US, but who knows? The 348 was 3.25 turns, but for a larger turning circle, so roughly equivalent to the manual 355's 3.45 turns.

Wonder if that is why Section E is missing from my 3 Volume WSM? Anybody have an F355 WSM with Section E, Steering?

Taz
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post #13 of 54 Old 11-05-2011, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saint Bastage View Post
Not trying to imply the power steering is a bad thing, I just think it provides a buffer/filter that changes the feel of any car dramatically. Disregarding the electronic shock adjustments in the 355, the cars should feel approximately the same. (same balance, same shape, same geometry). To me they feel nothing alike.

I adore the raw un-interupted feel of the 348 where the 355 I drove felt very much more ...how shall I say it... reserved.

I certainly do not wish to imply the 355 is not a masterpiece...just that its different from the 348 perhaps describing the difference like touring vs. sporting. Any prospective buyer trying to choose should experience both.

I agree the 348 is very sensitive to set up. Earlier models absolutely REQUIRE rear shims and so many owners have replaced the (IMHO) ugly 348 wheels without consideration to geometry changes. You'll find incredible differences in each 348 from ride high to weight distribution issue's because of this but once properly adjusted the car is nothing short of amazing.
That is a great point, Lane, and thanx for bringing this to our attention. Personally, I have never driven 348 so I cannot make a comment there, but I agree in full that one should get behind the wheels to decide for oneself, what you like at the end. A little off topic, but, my respected dealer friend test drove the new 458 and he felt that the car was so "easy" to drive, like an average daily driver almost. Not that it is good or bad. I suppose it is up to the individual to decide for oneself. w/ smiles Jimmy
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post #14 of 54 Old 11-05-2011, 01:55 PM
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Steering is such a personal thing it is sometimes hard to make an objective statement. I remember when I went from a 69 911S to a 72 Dino 246 GT, I really much preferred the Dino's steering. Same when I went from an 08 Z06 to the FHP 575M, I much preferred the Ferrari's steering and it feels about as good as the Dino's did. Two great steering systems for high speed driving were the 80s and early 90s Mercedes SECs and the Daytona, but one was powered, one was not, and they both had worm and roller instead of rack and pinion.

Having never driven a 348 or an F355......

Taz
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post #15 of 54 Old 11-06-2011, 07:36 AM
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Although I have not driven a 355 I can speak about my 348. The steering is so precise and grounded to the road it feels like you are in a go cart. Without power steering it makes you work for it in the corners but work for it in a way that makes you grin from ear to ear. However, the downside is at parking lot speeds you really wish you had the power steering! But then you get out on to the road and that grin pops back up!!! Whatever Ferrari you choose you will not be disapointed, they are truly wonderful cars and a joy to own and drive...

And on a complete sidetrack, I am in Afghanistan again and we just got more rockets!!! WHOOOHOOO!!!!!
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post #16 of 54 Old 11-07-2011, 05:02 PM
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If you really don't have a preference one way or the other, drive both and see which you like better. If you still can't decide, go with whichever is less expensive.

Fair disclosure: I just bought a 355, so the rest of this response is admittedly biased, but no less valid as I made my choice due to the following.

The 355 is one of my favorite Ferraris styling wise, has that wonderful engine that at the time had the most power per displacement of any naturally aspirated production engine (and still ranks up there) and has a better interior. It is also surprisingly civil in normal driving. The only argument I see for the 348 is the steering feel, but if you really need that feel the 355 rack can be de-powered or replaced with a non-power rack. The 348 and 355 are essentially the same chassis, the 355 is just improved in almost every way, and in some ways drastically so. Unless there's something about the 348 that tugs at you, I don't see how it's much of a contest.

The single biggest jump in performance of the mid engined v8 lineup was the 348 to the 355, which is pretty amazing considering it's the same chassis. Given the choice (and I of course had that choice), 90%+ would take the 355 hands down. Good luck.
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post #17 of 54 Old 11-09-2011, 01:51 PM
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The major factor here should really be dollars for you. The last thing you want to do in buying a Ferrari is spend your entire budget on the car itself, leaving nothing significant aside for maintenance. Most 355s under $50K have not had a major done and that is an easy 5-6K right there. It is possible to get the proverbial <$50K with a major, but even then, you will spend some serious dough keeping it in tip top shape. I'd say stay away from a 355 unless you have $50ish for the car and a bankroll of $5-7 in case you have a major expense.
Bill
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post #18 of 54 Old 11-09-2011, 11:40 PM
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Have you also considered a 328?

It will be easier and less expensive to maintain and you should be able to find a very nice example within your budget.
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post #19 of 54 Old 11-10-2011, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BKniep View Post
The major factor here should really be dollars for you. The last thing you want to do in buying a Ferrari is spend your entire budget on the car itself, leaving nothing significant aside for maintenance. Most 355s under $50K have not had a major done and that is an easy 5-6K right there. It is possible to get the proverbial <$50K with a major, but even then, you will spend some serious dough keeping it in tip top shape. I'd say stay away from a 355 unless you have $50ish for the car and a bankroll of $5-7 in case you have a major expense.
Bill
Very good point Bill. In comparison, $30-$45K will get the OP a very, very nice 348, with a few dollars left over for a nice set of 360 starfish wheels. It's amazing how sexy those cars look with starfish wheels on them!

1997 F355 Berlinetta, Rosso Barchetta
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post #20 of 54 Old 11-10-2011, 08:15 PM
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355 steering

im happy to hear,,that the other poster said a 355 power assisted steering rack ., can be replaced with a non power unit...thats excellent,,what a set up that would be ,,,a 355 with a non power unit,,and a 360 steering wheel,,or with a 3 spoke momo..i think i would go with a 3 spoke momo..!...who needs a Ferrari with an airbag anyways,,!!! LOL
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