1992 FERRARI 348 TS

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1992 FERRARI 348 TS

Background

Every Ferrari is special, and few are more special that those that are fitted with the legendary quad-cam V8 engine, of which the 348 is one. Taking its stylistic cues from the Testarossa and the F40 – the world’s fastest production car at the time – the 348 brought Ferrari into the modern era of car design, albeit with an affectionate nod to its illustrious past.

As with its predecessors, the model number is derived from the engine configuration, with the first two digits being the displacement and the third being the number of cylinders. Available as a coupé and a targa, the latter part of its nomenclature refers to the body style: TB, for Transversale Berlinetta, and TS, for Transversale Spider – and ‘Transversale’ refers to the five-speed manual gearbox, which is mounted transversely. Simple, huh?

Fitted with a 296bhp/238lb/ft engine when first unveiled, overall performance was strong rather than startling, with 62mph coming up in six seconds on its way to a top speed of around 166mph.

Engine updates arrived in 1992 with the 100-model limited edition 348 Serie Speciale. Now producing 312bhp, this US-market car demonstrated to the Italian firm that there was a demand for a more powerful version.

The 348GTB and GTS arrived in late 1993. Boasting 318bhp in European-spec, the era also ushered in the convertible Spider. The car’s top speed rose to around 175mph, while the 0-62mph acceleration time dropped by more than half-a-second to 5.4 seconds.

Other notable editions include the 348 Challenge, and 348GT Competizione, both of which are race-focused, ultra-rare and so commensurately highly collectable - and very expensive.

While the 348 might be able to trace it mechanical lineage straight back to the Ferrari 308, the reality is that it was – and still is – able to compete on an equal footing with semi-mythical cars like the Honda NSX and the Porsche 911. Gavin Green, no mean helmsman and a Car magazine stalwart said of it in October 1990: ‘There is nothing like it. It communicates so richly, involves you so completely. And, when you have finished driving it – cocooned in that exquisite cockpit – you can get out and feast your eyes on one of the loveliest cars ever designed.’

Too many original reviewers of the 348 were unduly harsh, and the echoes are still felt today. But to dismiss this as ‘only a 348’ is to do an enormous disservice to these exquisitely beautiful, tactile and engaging machines.

The Vehicle

One of only 150 right-hand drive examples supplied to the UK, this car is owned by an enthusiast who wanted a Ferrari from the age of 10. ‘Apparently I told my mother I wasn't going to get married until I'd had one,’ he says. ‘Sadly I can't any longer use it because of health problems. It’s been SORNed for the last two or three years, and I’ve just spent £15,000 recommissioning it.’

This owner has covered just 1000 miles during his eight year tenure, so the car has seen very little use recently.

TS means means this is the targa top version of the 348, offering coupé like comfort with the roof panel in place, and genuine open top motoring with it removed. To many this represents the best of both worlds – a camp we’re firmly in too.

On the Outside

The red paintwork gleams the shutlines are still tight, and those Testarossa like straked flanks are free of ripples. Everything lines up well, and the lights, glass and badges are all good, with the headlights obediently rising and falling on command.

There are no paint cracks around the vulnerable buttresses. In fact the paintwork looks superb – the only tiny mark we could see is a slight 2 or 3mm discolouration near the 348 badge on the rear. It really is tiny though, and overall the car is in excellent cosmetic order.

Similarly, the alloy wheels are unmarked and the satin black painted parts such as the grille on the rear panel are also in first class condition.

On the Inside

The cream seat leather is in good condition throughout, with just minor creasing on the driver’s seat belying the car’s age. There’s slight deformation of the driver’s lower bolster, as you’d expect, but nothing is split. The leather itself looks slightly grubby, and a good clean and the application of some hide food would very likely improve it greatly.

But what a view that driver’s seat gives you. The simple, three-spoke steering wheel sits in front of that classic Ferrari dash, your feet operate drilled alloy pedals, and the gear lever is the iconic metal H gate we have all come to know and lust after.

The car’s superb exterior condition is echoed with the steering wheel, which is free from damage, and the surrounding dash console is also excellent. The plastics, trim and switchgear around the centre console are all in excellent order.

These cars don’t suffer from the dreaded sticky switch disease that can afflict later models. Everything in here looks just as it should.

In the storage compartment the leather cased Ferrari toolkit sits, safely strapped in place.

Underneath

The car’s underbelly isn’t as gleaming as its top half but it is very clean for a car of this age, with nothing to worry about. Most suspension components are still in their original painted finish, without even any surface corrosion, indicating this car has likely seen a lot of dry weather only use. We couldn’t see any evidence that the car has ever required welding.

We couldn’t see any signs of even the slightest oil leaks either – quite unusual for a Ferrari of this vintage. This points to excellent maintenance.

We’re not aware of any mechanical issues whatsoever, either underneath the car or in the engine bay, which is reassuringly clean and tidy underneath the slatted engine cover.

The visually compelling twin plenums sit atop the quad cam V8 like a pair of torpedoes, ready to feed it the air it craves to go with the injected petrol. They show signs of slight surface corrosion and an enthusiastic owner could spruce them up easily enough, but the impression here is of a car that has been meticulously looked after.

There are a few areas of flaking paint around the dry sump oil tank for instance, but this is easily rectified. More importantly all the electrical components and hoses look excellent, nothing is perished, and there is no unsightly corrosion to speak of. The engine bay overall is in lovely condition.

History Highlights

This 348 comes with a stack of old MoT certificates and a pile of old invoices for servicing and maintenance work over the years. Some highlights include;

1992, servicing work – £3009.

2003, 25,000 miles service – £1315

SORNed in 2006.

2009, servicing work – £1629.

2014, bill of sale – £32,705

2014, major service including cambelt change – £1148.

2014, new air conditioning condenser – £226.

2014, new cam cover gaskets and oil seal – £2759.

The most important of these bills is for a major recommissioning work just last month, including new cam cover gaskets, new catalytic converters, a brake overhaul, engine out for cambelt renewal, new water pump, new coolant bridge pipe, new spark plugs, oil and filter, plus many other sundry jobs. The bill for this work was £15,031.

The car comes with a newly gained MoT certificate. All the original handbooks are also present, plus two sets of keys.

What We Think

A car that’s just had a hefty £15,000 spent on it at a respected Ferrari specialist is one that’s ready to enjoy straight away. This alone makes this car extremely appealing. On top of this there is the very low mileage – just over 30k miles for a car that’s about to celebrate its 30th birthday is quite something. There’s an awful lot of life left in this young colt.

The 348 got some lack lustre reviews when it was launched, which feel entirely inappropriate today. This is a proper Ferrari, without the nannying driver ‘aids’ of later, far more complex and difficult to maintain models. Values are rising steeply so if, like the current owner, you’ve wanted a Ferrari since you were in short trousers, now is the time to strike, before it’s too late.

Our estimate for this car Is £45,000 - £50,000.

Viewing is always encouraged, and this particular car is located with us at The Market HQ near Abingdon; we are open weekdays 9am-5pm, to arrange an appointment please use the Contact Seller button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

If needed, Footman James classic car insurance and Classic Concierge offer storage options plus we have a list of contacts who can help with transport and shipping.  

BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we never stop encouraging bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at those vehicles which are delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.

Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.

Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using simple cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.

Please note that this is sold as seen and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, return policy does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.

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Seller

Cotty17

  • Location: The Market HQ, Abingdon, United Kingdom
  • Seller Type: Private
  • Odometer Reading: 33700
  • Chassis Number: ZFFKA36C000093068
  • Engine: 3405
  • Gearbox: manual
  • Steering position: RHD
  • Colour: Rosso Corsa
  • Interior: Crema
  • Estimated Price: £45,000 - £50,000

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