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One of the interesting things about the collector car world is that everything is always moving. Cars fall in and out of favor with regularity as newer models are introduced and older cars that were considered underwhelming get a rebirth as they are rediscovered by newer owners.
When it was introduced at the 1989 Frankfurt Auto Show, the 348 received a “Best in Show” by Road & Track and AutoWeek magazines. The last V8 Ferrari built under the direction of Enzo Ferrari, this was the most-advanced Ferrari road car ever built.
The 348 is truly the last of the analog Ferrari road cars, with manual steering, and no driver aids such as traction or stability control, which rewards a great driver but somehow does not penalize the novice.
This past week, I had the opportunity to drive a car just like this one on a rally in California, and the thing that kept coming to mind was how light the car is. It is as if Ferrari decided to build a car that drives like a Lotus Elise yet packs a 3.4-liter V8 with more than 300 horsepower.
The steering of the 348 is telepathic, with a chassis that has to be the best on any open-cockpit Ferrari of the era. When you combine that with an engine that is willing and eager to rev all the way to its redline, where it delivers one of the most amazing engine sounds ever heard, what you end up with is an amazing driving experience.
The 348, especially in open form, drives more like an F1 car for the street than just about any other car I have experienced.
The styling of these cars was heralded as the best of the era when new, and today people are looking twice at these cars, as they are one of the best 1990s era styling exercises. With cars of this era as hot as they are, people are again taking notice of the 348.
The model was not without its early teething problems, with a number of electrical issues. They also suffered from deferred-service issues from their more frugal (read cheap) second and third owners.
Happily, the later cars like this one were well-sorted, and these cars can be easier to own than the earlier 308 and 355 series models. A unlike the 308, the 348 has great A/C and a more comfortable and roomy cockpit, allowing the taller of us to be able to drive them over long distances.
This example looks to be one that would make a smart purchase., having covered only 24,897 miles from new and with an absolute complete service history. So, there should be few worries regarding deferred service or neglect.
Finished in a stunning Grigio Silverstone paint with Dark Blue Leather and matching canvas soft top, this Ferrari looks and sounds to be an immaculate example of these fantastic cars.
A few years ago a 348 this nice could be bought for as little as $40,000 but the interest in cars from this era has caused prices to climb. The asking price of $59,500 represents a strong value, and I would not be surprised to see such great examples of the 348 to increase further in value.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.