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328 vs 348

Discussion in '348/355' started by riverflyer, Nov 26, 2003.

  1. riverflyer

    riverflyer F1 Rookie
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    Nov 26, 2003
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    Hello, I have been one of the lurkers here for over a year with occassional contributions but had to rejoin to register. I live in a rural coastal area with very few resident Ferrari's, although we do get lots of visiting cars. Anyway, I wanted to ask for advice concerning these two models and their various derivitives. Please tell me about their relative merits and issues. Thanks in advance, John
     
  2. riverflyer

    riverflyer F1 Rookie
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    Thanks Tillman, very good reading.
     
  3. Miltonian

    Miltonian F1 Veteran

    Dec 11, 2002
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    There is an 8-page article in "Sports Car International", August 1990, directly comparing the 328 with the 348. That issue is no longer listed as being available from them, but I suppose I could mail you a photocopy if you are really interested - ? -
    Jeff B.
     
  4. AJS328

    AJS328 F1 Veteran
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    Apr 23, 2003
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    Also, the Dec. 1990 issue of Performance Car magazine from the UK had a great comparison test between the 328 and 348. Copies of this issue are on Ebay all the time.
     
  5. chaa

    chaa F1 Veteran

    Mar 21, 2003
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    Performance car was a good write up,speed wise they said there was not alot in it, ALTHOUGH!! some 348 owners will be in a state of denial
    ! he! he! like they do.
     
  6. Noelrp

    Noelrp Formula Junior

    Aug 30, 2001
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    OK - let me be the first.

    The 348 is faster, handles better & has more powerful engine. Read the specs and compare, you dont need a college degree to tell which is better (performance wise).

    Regards,
     
  7. F328 BobD

    F328 BobD Formula 3

    Mar 17, 2001
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    No college degree required performance-wise. But you may need a Ferrari mechanics degree to keep 348's running properly... at least the early ones.

    This may also be the reason late model 328's sell for more than early model 348's.
     
  8. whart

    whart F1 Veteran
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    Dec 5, 2001
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    I'm sure i've said this before, so i apologize to those readers who now know me well enough to predict my response. I have owned both, a late 328 ('89 with ABS) and a 94 348 spider. The 328 is, overall, the more coherent design, and by the end of a run which began with the 308 in what, around 73 (help?), it was hard to complain about much, other than, possibly, a lack of power. The early 308 still wins my heart with its pointy nose, carbs and the so-called dry sump; early fiberglass gtb's are also choice. The car lagged for a while with the switch to fuel injection, got more butch with the quatrovalve, and finally switched to the 328 with mo' power. But, compared to a 348, the 328 just doesn't have real grunt. It is the more elegant design, aesthetically, and it combination of looks, handling, and small size make it quite desirable; pricewise, these cars have actually gone up in the last two or three years.
    The 348 is more of a go-cart, it has more torque than the 328 and because it was the last 8 cyl. ferrari to have unassisted steering, it was, to me, more visceral to drive than the 355. In virtually every other respect, though, the 355 yielded a huge improvement over the 348, which took some serious press bashing when first introduced. By the late years, and the intro of the spider in 94, most of the driveability issues were ironed out. The interior was cheesy, though, with a cheap digital clock in the plasticy center console. My spider was quite fetching though in black on tan with a tan boot cover, and i drove the hell out of it. It felt smaller and lighter than the 355 which i bought next, and while it was a rawer car (which gave it more points in my book), it had an "interim" quality about it, which is now pretty clear in retrospect. Neither car is a disappointment if you know what to expect going into it. However, i'd bet if you are looking for quickness as well as ferrariness, you'd tire of the 328 more quickly, even though in pure ferrariness, its probably the better car, on balance. Just one man's view.
     
  9. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Oct 3, 2002
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    There were Forza buyer's guides on both cars. Those are very helpful.

    What has been said in this thread is true too:

    The 348 is the better car in general, not just performance wise, but you have to get one of the later ones (post 92 and/or a spider). Those have all the issues sorted out.

    Financially there is a difference too, especially when it comes to maintenance where the 348 is a lot more expensive to maintain.

    Either of them is great fun to drive. Having had the experience of driving both, I would go with the 348 if money etc is no object.
     
  10. ShanB

    ShanB Formula Junior

    Jul 9, 2003
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    I agree with whart and tifosi12. I have owned both an 328GTS and now a 90 348 ts. I enjoyed the 328 and loved the classic lines, fit and finish but felt it was a bit underpowered and felt very cramped in it. The 348 is a much different experience. The 328 build quality was a little better, but I am much more comfortable in my 348. The seats are wider and the steering wheel adjusts up/down. The 348 has noticably more power, a roomier interior, A/C that works, Motronic 2.7 rather than Jetronic FI (a plus in my book).

    Both are great cars!! As far as maintenance, there is no such thing as a dirt-cheap-to-maintain Ferrari. They ALL can potentially suck where maintenance cost is concerned if you have to pay someone to do every little thing. I have learned to do much of the routine maintenance on all my cars at home and so the expense is relative, although 328 parts & maintenance items are usually cheaper and more available.

    I would advise you to join the local F-club chapter (you don't have to own a car to join). Talk to owners. Look at and drive a few cars and when you see which one appeals to YOU and feels most comfortable to YOU - that's the one to buy. Or do what many do...drive one a while and then trade up when the price on the next model drops to within your target price.

    All the best,

    Shan
     
  11. riverflyer

    riverflyer F1 Rookie
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    Whart, interesting reply and now that you bring up the 355, and having read the first comparisons, it seems this model would have to be included in my decision. Please elaborate the 355 comparison. I have driven only the 328 and while I love the styling the performance was pretty lackluster(no offense to 328 owners, just my opinion). I am 6'2 (long legs)and about 200 so the 328 was a tight fit. I understand the 348 is roomier but how does the cabin size of the 348 compare to the 355? thanks, John
     
  12. riverflyer

    riverflyer F1 Rookie
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    Shan, good idea about the local club, unfortunately, at least concerning these type of issues, the local club would be 3.5 hours away so my connection would not be without some planning and a days trip. STill if it was a function with many cars represented it would be a great opportunity. Do you have any experience with the 355 model? and what would you estimate a modest home mechanics maint. bill might be, like your for instance? thanks, John
     
  13. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Also having driven the 355 I would say the cabin feels just about the same. The 355's is more refined and elegant, but you got about the same amount of space.

    The 355 is of course even much more of a car than the 348 (and the same could be said for the 360). So you get what you pay for.

    However I thought the step from a 328 to a 348 was bigger than from a 348 to a 355.
     
  14. riverflyer

    riverflyer F1 Rookie
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    Miltonian, pm'ed you about article, thanks
     
  15. Dave

    Dave F1 Rookie

    Apr 15, 2001
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    If you are into performance go fast stuff, then neither car is fast by todays standards, and in stock form would get spanked by most modern cars.
    If it were me and those were my choices,
    I would pick a real nice 88 1/2 328 over the 348.
    A nice 328 will in most cases make for a bullet proof daily driver.
    With enough cash left over to buy a used drag car off ebay for when you really want to go fast.
     
  16. ShanB

    ShanB Formula Junior

    Jul 9, 2003
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    John:

    I understand about not having a local club. I travel about an hour to attend "local" club meetings and have gone as far as 4 hours away for large group functions. Just as you already suggested, if you can at least attend one or two big meetings (i.e. concours, etc) you will see lots of examples of cars and can talk to some owners - a true educational experience!! Most people are eager to share information about their ownership experience if you ask.

    I cannot tell you much about the 355 ownership experience as I do not own one (beware of unqualified advice). I sold a Porsche 993 Cab this year and was considering 348/F355/Testa. I drove the F355 and it felt great BUT....for me the 348 offered almost the same fun for 1/2 the price so it was an easy answer (for me). The other factor was that I wanted something older that I would not be afraid to work on myself.

    Before I bought my car, I invested in the purchase of workshop & parts manuals for both the F355 and 348 and studied them for a while (yes, I'm a little anal...). I decided that the F355 was not as "home mechanic" friendly to me. I subsequently found a 90 348 in great condition with many bugs worked out, but is not so pristine that I'm scared to touch it (if that makes sense?). It worked out perfectly for me, but your goals may be different.

    As far as the routine maintenance bills, I just add up the cost of parts as my time is free... but seriously since I just bought the car I will defer to other folks like Ernie about the cost of home maintenance. Hope that helps.

    Shan
     
  17. Action_Item

    Action_Item Rookie

    Oct 4, 2003
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    Todd Short
    I purchased my 1995 348 Spider only a couple of months ago and here's how I came to my decision. I am lucky enough to have three very good friends that have Ferraris, an '87 328GTS, a '94 348 Spider, and a '97 355 GTS. Each friend was kind enough to let me have his car for an extended weekend. I went over every aspect of interior/exterior design, performance, raw feel, and obviously pricing. I spent time detailing each car to add to the experience - there's no better way to get down to the nuts and bolts. I didn't consider parts availability and service as a factor because that's part of the deal with keeping an exotic in great shape. The 348 Spider was the hashing out to be the biggest bang for the buck - plus it's a convertible! After driving the Spider, I never really considered having a coupe and the 355 Spider is quite a bit more expensive. I think the two things that stand out most between the 348 and 355 are these: 1) The 348 does not have power steering which adds to the raw race car feel (but is a bit more tedious in tight quarters) and 2) The 348 sounds much more aggressive at idle and under acceleration than the 355, which really appealed to me. The 348 Spiders generally have lower mileage than the 355s and you'll easily save $20K+ in the near term when comparing the soft tops. Also, Ferrari only produced 1,090 348 Spiders so that should count for something as we move on in years. In the future, when depreciation stabilizes, I will be considering the '99 355 Spider (with Tubi exhaust for sure!). Good luck and thanks for listening.
     
  18. whart

    whart F1 Veteran
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    R-Flyer: You are getting plenty of good advice here; i'll only add a little, in response to your question about my take on the 355. It is, in almost every respect, more car than the 348. It feels bigger, and at least because of the power steering, it feels a little more "detached" than the 348. It is considerably more powerful. As to aesthetics, i'll leave than one to you, since it is quite subjective; there are many that feel the 328 was the pinnacle in terms of the 8 cyl cars, and many like the look and sound of the 355 better than the 360. (I take no position on that either, other than to observe that each successive car is "better" than the preceding model. The only question is whether a "better" or "improved" car means one that is more involving or enjoyable to drive. For example, i give no thought to luggage capacity in any of these cars, so selling me on the basis that i can carry golf clubs is hardly a plus in my book).
    The 95 355 is either a car to be wary of, or to seek out, depending on your views (and mechanic). There were valve guide problems and the car made a bit more power than later 355's, for reasons others here will probably be better able to explain than me. The 355 is getting cheaper, but at some point, you get into a "gee, for a few dollars more, i could have an____." Don't buy more car than you car afford, but buy the best one (condition, maintenance history, etc.) you can. There are no bargains. Also, keep in mind that at some point, you cross into the price territory of 12 cyl. ferraris, and that is a whole other story. (Hint: For 75 large, i'd buy a Berlinetta Boxer, not a 3__, but that's just me). Regards. Oh, yea, i almost forgot. One of the board participants, Doody, wrote an interesting review comparing his 355 and 550. Send him a PM if you can't find it on an old archive search.
     
  19. Mitch Alsup

    Mitch Alsup F1 Veteran

    Nov 4, 2003
    6,337
    Point of reference: When introduced, the F348 was well apreciated, even earning a C&D best sports car award. It was later that the insundry bugs, interior quality, and hard to maintineissues developed that degraded the publics opinion of the F348s.
     
  20. chaa

    chaa F1 Veteran

    Mar 21, 2003
    5,058
    Quote from performance car mag " Performance of the pair is evenly matched,extra weight on the 348 brings its power to rate ratio back to 328 levels, and on the road and on the track they deliver as much as you could ever ask for. Both cars accelerate from 0 - 60 in the 5.6 to 5.8 sec area. The 348 is slightly quicker over the 1/4 mile but both cars can keep the hard push of acceleration going beyond 100 mph. As hinted before the 348 brakes need a lot of pressure initially once you've found the point at which they work they're incredibly powerfull and reassuringly progressive. It is a bit of a shock though at first just how hard you have to tread on the centre pedal. The 328 in comparison need less pressure and are just as good." end quote.
    Sooo they got that wrong then along with other mag and book articles i have collected. Oh dear Oh dear, i think i will take a spin in somthing powerful like me Testarossa. Like i said DENIAL!! HA! HA!
     
  21. hardtop

    hardtop F1 World Champ

    Jan 31, 2002
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    My experience is similar to WHart's.
    I used to own a 328 GTS but sold it when I stumbled upon a 94 348 TB factory challenge car locally in pristine (1500 miles) condition. I immediately missed the 328 and knew I would one day have another. Nevertheless, I drove the 348 3 years and put 15K on it. It was basically bullet proof for me (though the new owner has spent a lot on it!) but I never really warmed up to it. Here's why...

    I don't care for the style, especially all the louvers.
    Rides like a truck.
    Build quality pretty bad, especially interior.
    Crappy shifter though this varies by car somewhat.
    Unpredictable handling on the track.

    The plusses vs 328....
    Considerably more power.
    Better brakes.
    More interior room (important if you are over 6' or 200lbs)

    I bought an 89 328 GTB 2 years ago (after a 30 month search) and it is a keeper. Sometimes I wish it had more power but on a twisty backroad, it has plenty of performance to entertain. It has been bulletproof so far. On tight, twisty tracks I have turned laps as fast as with the 348 even though the 94 TB's are the lightest, quickest best handling 348's made. Still, if tearing up back roads is less important than power and cruising, the 348 may be a better choice for you.

    If performance for the buck is most important, look at other marques. My 99 M3 outperforms both and they can be had for 25K or so for really nice ones.

    Dave
     
  22. atheyg

    atheyg Guest

    Before I begin let me say I am not bashing the 348, they are a Ferrari and superior to most vehicles but the 328 is superior in many ways.


    A 348 weighs 100 lbs more than a 328 with 30 extra Hp, I have a K&N filter and test pipe so that brings it to less than 17 hp more for the 348, currently I am installing a bored and polished out TB with intake cooling for my 328 (the same mods will not work on the 348 )which should bring me around 300hp for my 328 which again weighs 100lbs less than a 348 so now my car has better perfomance. Early 348s also had handling issues to deal with.

    Aside from the performance issue which is not that significant to me the 328s styling is far superior to a 348, 328s are long and wide looking,348s short and stubby, the side vents are way too much for such a short wheelbase and make the car look out of proportion, the interiors on 348s have much plastic and have rubber coatings that eventually melt, they are not as classic or well laid out as the 328 which shared the same set up as the 288GTO, Forza did an article a few months back on "the unloved Ferraris" -the 348 for more info also

    The 328s are also the last handmade high production Ferraris, with the 348 they tried robots which may be why many have build problems, it also doesn't take a grad student to figure out why many 328s sell for more and have appreciated vs the 348
     
  23. Mojo

    Mojo Formula 3

    Sep 24, 2002
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    I would take a 328 over a 348, because of its style.
    I would take a 355 over a 348, because of its style. And power.
    I would take a 360 over a 355, because of its style. And power.
    I would take a F40 over a F50, because of its style.
    I would take an Enzo over a F40, because of its style. And POWER!!!!
    I would take a 250GTO over anything, because of the cool factor.
     
  24. yelcab

    yelcab F1 Veteran
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    Nov 29, 2001
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    Go with your heart, who cares what anyone else says. I would go with my heart, which would say a 328 over a 348 any day, any time, anywhere.
     

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