When the 348 debuted in 1990, it arrived at a critical moment for Ferrari. Since the success of the 308, mid-engine, V8-powered sports cars were the company’s bread-and-butter, and 348 was the first all-new such model in nearly 20 years. While the outgoing 328 was still much loved and capable, the design was firmly rooted in the 1970s, and an all-new car was necessary for the increasingly high-tech future. Pininfarina created a suitably radical new body design that bore a strong family resemblance to the 512 TR – with distinct side-strake air intakes, slatted taillight treatment, trapezoidal fog lamps, and a squat, wide stance. Ferrari’s new Tipo F119 3.4-liter, four-cam, 32-valve V8 engine made 300 horsepower in standard trim, 315-hp in later spec. It sat longitudinally in the chassis, with a transverse 5-speed transaxle behind it. Ferrari perfected this unique layout in Grand Prix racing, which ensured a compact drivetrain and centrally located mass for balanced handling. Side-mounted radiators (another Testarossa-inspired feature) allowed for a usable front trunk and a comfortable cabin. The formula made the 348 a fantastic driver’s car, and with 170-mph capability, the 348 gave up very little performance to its twelve-cylinder big brother.
In late 1993, Ferrari ushered-in numerous mechanical refinements coinciding with the new full-convertible, the 348 Spider – the first series production Ferrari convertible since the Daytona Spider. The Spider had a widened rear track, revised gearing, and the 315 horsepower V8 shared with the GTB and GTS. The additional power came from new intake manifolds, new exhaust, higher compression, and Bosch Motronic engine management.
This outstanding 348 Spider hails from 1994 and is one 1,090 convertibles built in the short, two-year production run. It has covered just 28,000 miles and boasts well-documented history from new. It was initially sold in Los Gatos, California, and, by 1995, made its way east via the famed dealer Algar Ferrari of Philadelphia. Accompanying documentation shows Algar consistently serviced the 348 through the years, and the current mileage is documented via the service history. It came into the care of the most recent owner in 2015, who maintained it in his expansive private collection. Service records show it received timing belt services at 15,000 miles in 2000, again in 2013 at 24,579 miles. Additionally, Algar Ferrari replaced the clutch at 24,132 miles.
The cosmetic presentation is superb with excellent original Rosso Corsa paint over natural beige leather trim, factory-correct “throwing star” wheels, and a black top. It is refreshingly standard, with no cosmetic or performance mods that sacrifice originality. The body is straight and crisply detailed, and a clean Carfax report backs the impeccable condition and low miles. The exceptional interior is a particular highlight. Original beige leather is excellent, with only slight wear noted on the driver’s side outer bolster. The leather-trimmed dash, instrument binnacle, and door panels are all superb, as are details like switchgear and controls. The only notable deviation from standard spec is an Alpine AM/FM/CD receiver fitted behind the original hinged cover. Factory original tools, owner’s manuals, tire inflator, top boot, and storage bag accompany the sale.
The 348 represents an outstanding value in the world of mid-engine Ferrari sports cars, and few have survived the years as beautifully preserved and unmolested as this collector-quality example. This outstanding 348 is turn-key and ready to enjoy in a wide range of events, from Ferrari Club of America shows to weekend tours or carving your favorite B-roads.
Offers welcome and trades considered