Okay, let's just get this out of the way- today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Ferrari 348TS is tainted with a salvage title. That being said, it's still a twenty-five grand 348, and the Florida seller does specifically say, Will not be Dissappointed. What could possibly go wrong?
Wrong was the opinion of 82% of you regarding yesterday's 1966 Chevy Suburban with a claimed 700-bhp. And I don't mean you were wrong in dunning its two-tons of two-tone with a loss, but wrong in that the seller was off the mark in asking six grand for it. But that being said, nobody is perfect, and we're all given a few opportunities to fail in our lifetimes with little or no negative consequence. Until that is, one buys an exotic car of questionable provenance.
After the unabashed beauty of the Dinos and 308 GTB/GTS series, Ferrari started down a black hole of questionable styling decisions of which the 328, with its ‘80s adaptation of the 308's style was only only a preview. The subsequent clean-sheet 348 proved to be the Pricilla Queen of the Desert of slats, strakes, and Dumbo-ear mirrors. At the time, Pinninfarina was tarting up the entire Ferrari line in such fashion, and apparently they were also doing a lot of peyote.
But different strokes for different folks, as they say, and for some the more rectilinear 348 was a refreshing change from the earlier cars, and featuring modern electronics, A/C that actually worked, and actual ergonomics didn't hurt either. Not only that, but much like a moderately plain girl or guy who really knows their stuff between the sheets, the 348 could outgun those older cars without breaking either a sweat or a timing belt. Well, maybe that's not true about the belts.
Timing belts are an issue on Ferrari's 300-horse 3.4-litre V8, just as they are on all of the company's smaller-engines. This fly-yellow 1991 TS (T for transverse gearbox, S for spider) is claimed in the ad to be serviced up, whatever that means. Hopefully part of the servicing that was upped included replacing the model-exclusive, and unfathomably long, single serpentine timing belt as well as its all-to-frequently failing water pump and tensioner. Sadly, that's a mandatory engine-out maintenance requirement, unless of course you like tempting the fates of gronking 32 very expensive valves. At around $7,000 a pop, you should hope the belt and ancillary replacement has been recently done.
Other issues with the 348 are an overly complicated double-disc clutch (the flywheel alone has 30 parts!), and electrical woes that can start the meter running on emptying a bank account in record time. But the biggest issue with this 348TS isn't its potentially leaky targa roof, or the unfortunate rear suspension geometry that plagued the pre-'94 cars, but the fact that something has happened to it over the course of its short, 20-year lifespan that has rendered it persona non grata to most insurers. The seller doesn't say why this Ferrari is currently saddled with a salvage title, although as it's from the extreme South, theft recovery or flood damage spring would be good guesses. The Experian report indicates that the dog-turding of the title wasn't due to an accident, luckily, so perhaps it was a theft recovery - potentially the best case scenario as far as these things are concerned.
The car looks fine - well as fine as it can with those goofy smoked covers over the front valance lights and the totally douchie chrome wheels - plus the fact that it's a 348. Inside, there's some de-lamination of the armrest leather on the driver's door but other than that the pics don't show any major boogers lurking there. An aftermarket stereo has been unnecessarily added, which I guess you could use for traffic reports. The main sound system however, sits directly behind the driver's right shoulder- the longitudinally-mounted V8, which originally saw duty in the 288 GTO. Its staccato vocalizations, along with the joys a gated shifter will bring, should make this an amazingly entertaining ride. Pop in the drive-thru at Mickey Dee's for some arteriosclerosis with cheese and enjoy dinner and a show!
Ferrari's don't usually have any need for that left-most roller on their odometers, and sure enough, this one sports but 29K on its clock. That's far too few for what is likely the event-filled life this 348 has led so far. Of course, it's all those dear-diary moments that make up the reasons behind the salvage title and requisite bargain basement asking price.
Fact is, at $25,900 (and currently only six grand shy of that after 4 bids as of last night), this 348TS is, at bare minimum, twenty grand lower than one that's free, red, and 21. See what I did there? And that's what makes it such an intriguing proposition, sort of like a forbidden fruit that's so unbelievably orgasmic in flavor that you just can't help yourself but sample, regardless of who your garden's landlord is.
So, what we have here is a modern Ferrari with all the benefits inherent therein - sights, sounds, and the fact that a Ferrari key ring is like a less-subtle artificially-enhanced crotch bulge when trolling for the ladies. And all that comes at a price that even members of the 99% can afford. Of course, owning any Ferrari means that the price of entry is only the beginning, and that means you'd probably means you'd want to pay the lowest cover charge possible. At $25,900, this is about as low as they go.
But is it low enough to overcome that issue with registering and insuring a salvage car in your particular state? Statistics indicate that fully one-third of the population moves annually, and the question for you is, would this 348's price make moving to a state with a less onerous DMV a viable decision?
H/T to AFSDucati996 for the hookup!
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