TR or 348 spider? - Ferrari Life
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post #1 of 8 Old 01-20-2006, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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TR or 348 spider?

I know these are completely different cars, but they are both in my price range. I am interested in the pros and cons. I was looking for the spider, i really like it. but for around the same price-12 cylinders. Also, a dealer told me the tr's have hit bottom price wise and should start going back up. On a different note, how are the tr's regarded in the world of ferrari? respected? sorry, for the possibly dumb questions, i have never owned a ferrari before. But I've got the fever. Thanks.

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post #2 of 8 Old 01-20-2006, 05:04 PM
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Well, I own no Ferrari, but I'll try. Afterall, the experienced enthusiasts can always correct me:

The 348 does not match the TR in performance, and is also not as highly regarded as the TR. For a while,. the TR was the fastest production car in the world. I'm sure that the TR is highly respected.

I personally like both. The 348 isn't as good looking in all views (and I've heard it has some reliability issues) but you can find them for a good price. I'd personally prefer the TR for performance and looks, but I don't know much about them.
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post #3 of 8 Old 01-20-2006, 05:40 PM
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I personally love the 348. I like the looks probably more than the TR. Although the TR is an awesome car. I'd love to try one out.

I guess I'm just scared of the 12-cylinder maintenance. From my understanding, with the 12-cyl I think pretty much all major maintainance involves removing the engine. But also, from my understanding, the TR engine is fairly easy to remove.

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"Time is what prevents everything from happening all at once."
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post #4 of 8 Old 01-20-2006, 06:45 PM
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It really boils down to what type of "driving experience" you want. If you like a light, nimble, tossable car that has good power and great handling, then the 348 is a terrific car. If you want a wide, fairly heavy, big-power car with tons of torque, but kinda heavy in slow traffic, then the TR is the car. The 348 is a great car and will reward you, but the TR is an experience for not just the driver, but also the passers-by! It is a traffic stopper. A TR isn't that bad for maintenance, 4 extra cylinders don't necessarily mean 50% more costs. Mechanically inclined owners with common sense and good organization skills can do a complete TR service for less than $2,500. And if TRs are maintained, and driven regularly they are VERY reliable. I can speak from experience here, I've done 2 engine-outs and the cars are very well thought out. The engine is bullit proof, but the transaxle will not tolerate burn-outs or a lot of drag races. Early 348s had some electrical system issues but mechanically are very tough. Many will tell you to test drive both cars and see which one you like best. A 348 drop-top is a great car and if your in a sunny part of the country it's a good choice. A TR is awesome in performance, and you will be entertaining crowds of people at every gas stop you make. But it is a closed car. If I could I'd have one of each in the garage. But unfortunately I can' I'm on my second TR and loving it. In the long haul I'd say the 348 is easier to live with on a day-to-day basis. But I think the TR will be more likely to plant a big smile on your face. TR's are a bit impracticle but that is part of the fun of owning a classic, true exotic car. It has a presence that is hard to describe. See both cars at a local cruise and see which one draws a crowd. Think it over and let us know your thoughts.
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post #5 of 8 Old 01-21-2006, 12:12 AM
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Suggest you also take a look at the Buyers Guides for the TR and 348 in the Members Section.

Resources: Parts List | Buyer's Guides
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post #6 of 8 Old 01-21-2006, 08:44 AM Thread Starter
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what do you guys think about the price of the tr and the 348 spyder right now? going up, down, bottomed out? thanks.

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post #7 of 8 Old 01-21-2006, 12:54 PM
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In general, both have been pretty flat in the last year. My guess is that they have bottomed out with the exception of late 512 TR's which are still going down and early Testarossas which are heading up slightly.
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post #8 of 8 Old 01-22-2006, 06:56 AM
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I bought a 30'000km 348 GTS three years ago, when I was looking for an exciting sports car in my price range. I had not compared to a TR but instead to a number of current sports car like BMW Z4 etc. , and come to think that the total cost of ownership of the 348 would be lower despite of it's high service cost, since there is much less loss of value, and I much preferred the design, especially in black.

The 348 is less extrovert than the TR, which is favorable for my taste, and it is significantly cheaper to maintain. My mechanic said that the TR can cost up to twice as much to maintain, with significantly higher fuel consumption, bigger tires and higher service cost. The 348 is also much easier to park in the city.

After getting a few items fixed that the previous owner had let develop, I have had zero problems from the car. I very much enjoy that it is a straightforward sportscar without electronic gizmos to interfere, that it still looks very fresh for a 17yr old design, that it performs well on a sportscar level, even if it is not a supercar anymore. In terms of weight/power/acceleration it compares favorably to even brand new Porsches with similar engine size, and it runs on 95octane gas as opposed to many more modern cars with similar power who need 98.

So far I have discovered two limitations to the car:
- The long overhang of the front spoiler makes it difficult to negotiate aggressive speed-bumps. In the City of Zurich there are a number of places where it is plain impossible to avoid scraping the front. However, if you go slowly over these, there is no damage.
- The GTS can leak a bit of water at the corner where windshield-frame meets targa roof meets window, if there is a lot of rain for some time.

Also the targa roof can cause noise at high speed. When I know I'll be driving in Germany, I put a strip of broad tape over the forward junction of the targa roof (where it meets the windshield frame), and that pretty much eliminates the noise, and the leaking.

Other than that, the car can be recommended not only for weekend trips but also for serious long rides to far away places. As long as you keep up the maintenance schedule, this car is very reliable. With it's bosch electronics it is a very far cry from the 308/328 in that respect.

Key to a good 348 is a thourough pre-purchase control by an experienced Ferrari mechanic. I found one in my city, and he drove to the 2nd hand dealership to check out the car for me, then gave me the thumbs up. Since I then became a client, he did not even charge me anything for it. I bought him some nice bottles of wine as gesture though.

I'd buy the same car again. If I had more cash, I'd look at a new Aston Martin V8 though.
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