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Comparison 328 / 348 / Testarossa

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by gaz1, Dec 7, 2006.

  1. gaz1

    gaz1 Rookie

    Dec 7, 2006
    32
    Perth, Australia
    Full Name:
    Gary
    Hi,

    I've just joined this forum & would appreciate some advice / comments comparing the 328 / 348 & Testarossa.

    I currently have an '87 Porsche 928S4 & considering selling & getting a Ferrari.

    In Australia the 328 is probably around the price I am looking at, but would be interested in everyones opinion if it is worth considering the 348 & Testarossa.

    It will mostly be a fun car - I have used my 928 for some fun events on the track & club autokhanas - nothing too serious, but I certainly enjoy throwing it around. Would any of these Ferrari models be suitable for these & give at least the same results as the 928?

    I've heard that the Testarossa has a much higher maintenance cost compared to the 328 & 348 - is this true?

    Lastly, the 928 has a reasonable about of space in the back - which of the 328 / 348 / TR has the most space (I realise 'space' is a bit of an oxymoron with these models).

    Thanks,

    Gary.
     
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  3. Bullfighter

    Bullfighter Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Jan 26, 2005
    20,700
    Fullerton, California
    Full Name:
    Jon
    Welcome - might want to complete your profile so we know a bit about your whereabouts and interests.

    328, 348 and TR are all very different. The 328 is a classic, body-on-frame sports car with a snug cockpit, essentially no electronics, and a transverse eight behind you. It gets high marks for reliability and popularity - everyone knows a 328 is a Ferrari, and most everyone loves how it looks. You can slip a golf bag in the boot (and also a couple of toothpicks and a small rag...) The 328 is not a fast car compared to almost any new sports car, however, so you can enjoy the classic motoring, but you won't be intimidating anyone at the traffic signal...

    348 is a unibody, longitudinal V8, and hits the 300 bhp mark. No rear boot; some deep square space up front. The 348s had a lot of teething issues -- bad electronics as ECUs were new, for example -- and got better as it went along. Maintenance tends to be more than for a 328 - engine must be removed for major servicing every 3 years (per Ferrari). The car is wider and the cockpit is more comfortable, and the ventilation/air conditioning handily beats the mouse-blowing-on-an-ice-cube effect of the 328 a/c.

    The TR has the potential to be much more expensive to maintain -- it's a Ferrari 12 that has to be dropped for major services, and the car has an Achilles' Heel in its differential housing that can crack and take your life savings with it.

    As far as "throwing it around" at track events, I'll defer to the guys here who track their cars. My 328 doesn't have the power to compete with modern sports cars; the 16" tires are sized more like a modern sedan's rubber; and the tail end can get away from you if you don't know the car extremely well. I would say in normal street driving, and spirited backroad driving, the 328 acquits itself nicely. For hardcore track use, it's the most tossable of the three you listed, but you won't want to wager large sums against the other cars there.

    Now, the fun quotient for any of these cars is enormous. I can only speak for my 328, but I've never driven anything that looked, sounded and felt like it. Worth every penny, and I never smiled as hard in my old 911/993.

    They're all costly to maintain, but from what I know of 928s you're probably not afraid of some quality time with your mechanic....
     
  4. Rafienva

    Rafienva Formula Junior

    Oct 18, 2004
    481
    North Palm Beach, FL
    Full Name:
    Ralph(Rafi) Cestero
    S4 handles a little better (50/50 weight dist.) You will have more fun with the 328. V-8 roaring behind your ears. Factoring upkeep and resale. You will have more with the 328 at the end of the day not counting the fun factor.
    Rafi
     
  5. Gatorrari

    Gatorrari F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Feb 27, 2004
    14,097
    Georgia
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    Jim Pernikoff
    I'll say this, on a twisting two-lane road, I was following a Testarossa that seemed to fill up its traffic lane and looked quite ponderous. If you're going to tackle a lot of twisty "sports car" roads, any of the V-8s would be better than the TR.
     
  6. TESTADAZ

    TESTADAZ Karting

    Apr 26, 2005
    149
    London, UK.
    Full Name:
    Daryn
    i have owned all three and each is great for different reasons.

    the 348ts was the first f-car i owned at 27, it was fun because it was my first
    but i soon realised it wasn't very quick and no discernable power band. i got a lot of boy-racers and idiots giving me unwanted attention.

    moved onto a childhood dream an 86 TR which was in mint condition i loved it and spend £1800 on full engine out service straight away. monsterous power but scary brakes (old technology) commanded nothing but full respect on the road, people identify with them and love them.

    the 328 well a real beauty to observe far prettier than the 348 but i found the interior to cramped although she drove well. again some respect on the road the most famous ferrari .

    After the TR i couldn't help feeling that the 328 was a little to feminine for me (don't flame me here) in hindsight the 328 should have come before the TR, as that is the king and a hard act to follow and the one i would go for every time

    I now have a 360 spider but miss the TR very much far more than the other two.
    So its the TR all day long for me.
     
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  8. James_Woods

    James_Woods F1 World Champ

    May 17, 2006
    12,722
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    James K. Woods
    For what it is worth (as I have never driven the 348), the flat 12 rules. GF pronounced it to be a horrible monster, but do you really think that is going to stop me?
     
  9. Tomf-1

    Tomf-1 F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Jan 17, 2004
    4,475
    Leawood KS/ South FL
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    Thomas
    Of all the cars I've owned, the 328 is the only one that still makes my heart skips a beat or two every time I see it in person......timeless and precious.


    Big fan.
     
  10. TESTADAZ

    TESTADAZ Karting

    Apr 26, 2005
    149
    London, UK.
    Full Name:
    Daryn
    that is the whole reason why the TR is king because of its imposing size.
    Yes from the back it does fill the whole lane up saying 'don't mess with me'!!
    there is no prettier real end (well on 4 wheels anyway)!!
     
  11. Bullfighter

    Bullfighter Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Jan 26, 2005
    20,700
    Fullerton, California
    Full Name:
    Jon
    Nope, not a flammable comment in any way. Very accurate, actually. The 308/328 are not 'brutal' cars at all. The styling is delicate, you slip it on like fine clothing, and it is the antithesis of a muscle car. It is not difficult to drive, if you're thin and have small feet. The clutch is light. In fact the car feels small and elegant, whereas a TR kind of envelopes you and feels massive and imposing, deliberately a mile wide in back.

    This all points to the need for a prospective buyer to have some seat time in both to grasp the differences. There are valid reasons to go either way.

    Both scream 'Ferrari' like no other models, and I admit the 512TR is a car I wouldn't mind seeing in my garage.
     
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  13. BT

    BT F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    Mar 21, 2005
    14,836
    FL / GA
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    Bill Tracy
    348's rule!
    :D
    BT
     
  14. jungathart

    jungathart Guest

    Jun 11, 2004
    3,350
    NoVA, AmeriKa
    Full Name:
    Komrade Jung
    The 328 is simply a beauty to behold.
    I am told the 348 is quite nimble and agile.

    :)
     
  15. Rachane

    Rachane Formula 3

    Sep 5, 2005
    1,086
    San Francisco, CA
    Full Name:
    Rachane
    I have also owned all three. I think your choice boils down to what you are looking for in a Ferrari, because all three cars are markedly different.

    If you've been happy with your Porsche and are really looking for an Italian variation on same, then the 348. It is powerful, quiet, civilized inside, and compact. Anyone can drive one without difficulty. From an "attract attention" standpoint, it is not ostentatious. The seats on early models may be a little pinchy, particularly for ladies. They became better with the later Spyders.

    From a price standpoint you'll probably get more Ferrari for your money with a 348, since it is not a "landmark" model and was overshadowed by the 355. On the other hand, when you try to sell it, the same factors will apply.

    After watching some Miami Vice car chases, I expected real thrills from the TR. Very disappointed. The engine sounds sewing-machine wheezy unless you (a) put a Tubi exhaust on it and (b) really wind the tach up to absurd [for normal driving] levels. I used to call the car Ferrari's "Reverse TARDIS", because it is much bigger on the outside than in the surprisingly cramped inside. TR seats are the biggest and most comfortable of the three, but are downright weird to adjust, with two strange little levers and a front bolster that emerges & retracts in Lovecraftian dimensions.

    The TR's nose has (a) a long overhang beyond the front wheels, (b) a low ground clearance, and (c) a fiberglass spoiler that is very expensive to replace/repair. Forget about steep hills or driveways, and become expert at going up things at 45°, sort of like a crab. Become very, very aware of potholes.

    If you live in hot weather, the TR's A/C is subject to icing-up, while those of the 328 and 348 are not. Without A/C the TR's cabin becomes very unpleasant.

    The TR is a very wide car, and it has all of those delicate, expensive strakes along those wide sides, which means that parking in a lot is seriously masochistic.

    As others have mentioned, major services on a TR can run as high as US$5K. Yeow.

    By the time I sold my TR, I was frankly [and against all of my expectations] at a loss to understand how Ferrari could make such a very badly designed and impractical car. It has its exotic looks and armchair seats going for it, period. [I'd say much the same about the Lamborghini Countach, another gorgeous art statement that is utterly ridiculous to live with.]

    The 328, which I originally had and have since come back to, seems to me to be the coming-together of what Ferrari is really all about. It is Italian, voluptuous, raw & snarly, and so totally alien to any kind of normal automobile that any drive anywhere becomes a flat-out fantasy experience. The scene out the windshield over those sensuous fenders is about as Le Mans-like as you'll ever get, even if the car is standing still.

    The 328 engine makes wonderful, crazy noises no matter where it is on the tach. One reviewer said that he suspected Ferrari added extra moving parts to the engine that had no function except to make it sound cool. Tubi it and you're in whooping, wailing, and roaring audioparadise. Who cares if other cars have more horsepower and 0-60? You're the one at the center of the universe.

    Get a GTS. Some think the GTB is prettier from a smooth-lines standpoint, but driving a 328 with its top off is just orgasmic.

    Downsides: A relatively small luggage area right next to the engine, guaranteed to burst aerosol cans and melt ice cream faster than you can say "Forza!". Dim headlights: You'll want to replace these with modern ones so you can actually see things at night. Ditto the instrument lights; 328 drivers get in the habit of measuring their speed by the sound of the engine. Tough, nonpower steering at parking speeds. No passenger glove box and a mirror on the reverse side of the passenger sunvisor so small and cheap that Enzo must have specified it as an antifeminine gag.

    If impressing women passengers is important to you, they will like the TR much more from an access & comfort angle than a 348, and certainly more than the 328, which requires yoga to get in & out of. [But not as advanced yoga as a Countach or an Elise.]

    The 328 will probably be the easiest to sell. Everyone loves them and wants one, even if it's just to hoard and pet for awhile.
     
  16. PAP 348

    PAP 348 Moderator
    Moderator Owner

    Dec 10, 2005
    86,831
    Mount Isa, Australia
    Full Name:
    Pap
    I love my 348. Of course. ;) So I wont try and compare the 328/Tesatrossa from a owners perspective, as I have only ever driven/owned my 348.
    Just wanted to say that I love reading the posts from the guys who have owned all 3 cars. Makes for very interesting. Cheers. :)
     
  17. sammyb

    sammyb Formula 3

    Jun 23, 2006
    1,857
    Where wife tells me
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    Sam
    The Testarossa is more like a 928 in terms that it was designed as a GT car. I've logged a number of miles in 928s, so I know what you're used to. The Testarossa is actually much more harsh in terms of springing, and while it handles quite well on the twisties (the last time I drove a Testarossa, I was doing triple-digits on the bends of I5 coming through the hills near the Canadian border.) But the TR is indeed very "big" feeling at lower speeds.

    The 928, especially mated to an automatic, delivers almost a muscle car-type torque (with that automatic kickdown.) In my 328, there isn't the torque to rival that sensation. The 348 has more hp and torque, but again, there isn't enough on tap to snap your neck...That being said, 328 and 348 are balanced enough to carry loads of speed through corners, especially with modern high performance rubber.

    The 348 is the "best" sports car of the group, but it also has the least distinctive looks. It's also the only one available as a true convertible, if that is important.

    In terms of reliability, the 348 and Testarossa were both absolutely miserable at the beginning of production, but towards the end were much better. Neither are reliable as the 328, which is more on the level of a 928 -- meaning some inherent issues (328's climate controls vs 928's nasty fuel pump!) but on the whole pretty great for a high-end, low volume sports car.

    My friend is selling his '85 Testarossa (one I took all those years ago to Canada and back.) He has had tons of trouble with it over the last 15 years, and has thrown good money after bad at it. On the other hand 308QVs and 328s when cared for and driven can be pretty good. My 328 has 85,000 miles!!!

    On the topic of space -- I'm 6'4" (and sit very tall,) and fit snugly in a 328. The Testarossa is actually less comfortable for me, and I whacked my head on the TR's sunvisors multiple times because the actual fore-aft length of the cabin is tiny. Anything will pale in comparison to a 928, which I've always loved for its most comfortable seats!!!
     
  18. Bullfighter

    Bullfighter Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Jan 26, 2005
    20,700
    Fullerton, California
    Full Name:
    Jon
    Wow. Nominee for Post of the Month. All I can do is sit here and nod.

    I'd only add that if you (a) like convertibles but (b) can't stand the is-everyone-staring-at-the back-of-my-head? exposure, or (c) worry about complicated top mechanisms or being buffeted incessantly, the targa on the 328 is perfection: a very private, open-topped car and there is no way to sit any closer to a Ferrari engine.

    My only difference of opinion would be that I've always thought the GTS looked better, especially with the top off. But not by much.
     
  19. gaz1

    gaz1 Rookie

    Dec 7, 2006
    32
    Perth, Australia
    Full Name:
    Gary
    Thanks for the really great feedback so far!

    I am in Perth, Western Australia & it's great to start understanding the distinct differences between these models.

    I noticed a 328GTS competed really quite well in one of the track days over here & would be interested to hear from anyone who has competed in events on the track or in autokhanas.

    I don't want to get too serious, but would like to think whichever model I choose can still do reasonable well in fun track events & club autokhanas.

    Thanks,

    Gary.
     
  20. spike308

    spike308 F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 8, 2003
    4,037
    Austin TX!
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    Mike Z
    My 308 (pretty close to a 328).... my wife can drive it.
    I've driven a couple of TRs.... no way could she drive it!
     
  21. J.P.Sarti

    J.P.Sarti Guest

    May 23, 2005
    2,406
    You should drive all 3, each is very different

    After getting my 355 then driving the 328 the 328 felt like an antique in its stiffness at slow speeds, handling and power. Its been awhile since I have driven the 328 but I do agree it was a beautiful car to look at, on various road trips I took with it I would still marvel at its looks and so would bystanders when parked at scenic spots, the 328 is also one Ferrari that gives a different look depending on the angle you are looking at.

    Trs are much heavier feeling but you feel and can tell they have big power driving them.

    The driving experience on all 3 is still old school with the 348 feeling the most modern, newer models beginning with the 355 are very different, they do everything so well with little drama. If I didn't have my Boxer I would probably have never sold my 328 but it gives a similar driving experience as the 328 but many times more intense.

    So the bottom line is what you want from a car, modern performance or cruising fun while I do enjoy the old school raw driving experience such as my BB when the time is right but if I am going for a fast desert run all day through the mountains I reach for the 355 keys.
     
  22. sammyb

    sammyb Formula 3

    Jun 23, 2006
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    Sam
    I'll agree in full with J.P. Sarti. I've had my 328 out on a track for a near full-out hot lap, and I can say that it's a kick in the pants. It definitely is old-technology, because it has trouble keeping up with modern cars.

    That being said (and with plenty of race laps in 1999 and 2002 Corvettes) just because something is old-school, doesn't mean it's any less fun. I actually like the 328's sense of speed over other cars I've owned.

    Whenever a reader of my column asks pro or con about a certain classic car (or set of cars) I usually ask: "which is more important -- going fast, even if you don't feel like you're going fast...or feeling like you're going really fast, even if the speedometer says otherwise?"

    The more modern you go -- the faster you go, but the less you feel at 8/10ths driving. Remember, a 2007 Toyota Camry is faster 0-60 than Ferrari 308/328/Mondial, as well as Porsche 944, 928 and 911s up through most of the 1980s!!! But which do you think would be more fun to drive?
     
  23. Jeff328

    Jeff328 Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 5, 2006
    2,276
    WI
    I think the 328 GTS is the most entertaining $50,000 car you can buy. It's by no means the "fastest" but the driving dynamics, sounds, smells, and styling are a damn near perfect package.
     
  24. Testacojones

    Testacojones F1 Veteran

    Nov 3, 2003
    5,139
    Terra
    The Testarossa wins hands down. The 328 is a very nice car and fun, but the Testarossa is more exotic, faster and even nicer to drive in any condition, but it is a coupe, if you care about a GTS. I would skip the 348 as it is not as good looking as the other two (unless the car is a SS model) and much more costly to maintain than a 328.
     

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