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The MYTH of the 348's handling foibles BUSTED

Discussion in '348/355' started by ///Mike, May 10, 2018.

  1. SoCal1

    SoCal1 F1 Veteran
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  2. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob F1 World Champ
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    Because they needed to dumb it down for you.

    The 348 was the 1st racecar with a radio. That ment a very adjustable race link suspension. It became so good little was changed for the entire 355 line. The 355 added a race motor for the street. We owe the 348 old brother for beginning the technology that is the 488 challenge car today.
     
  3. ///Mike

    ///Mike F1 Veteran
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    Bugtussle
    So how many laps do you have in an early 348 at speed? I don't mean parade laps for photo ops-- I mean competitive laps running against other cars?

    What specific handling characteristics can you describe that you felt needed addressing? Go ahead and get technical, because we're all track guys here, right?

    BTW, minor rate/valving adjustments and small geometry changes don't exactly constitute a "total" redesign, but if you knew as much as you think you know you'd know that. The giveaway being that you somehow think that the driver in the video was struggling with the car.

    Those of us who have driven the cars at speed know how they behave firsthand, and we can see it clearly in the video. Not that it prevents bench racers from parroting the stuff hack journalists said about poorly set up early cars, but everybody gets their say on the interwebZ, regardless of how little they actually know.
     
  4. ///Mike

    ///Mike F1 Veteran
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    #29 ///Mike, May 14, 2018
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
    So you're saying that if I can't hand shape body panels like the guys at Scaglietti I *shouldn't* blame my hammer???

    Who knew? ;)
     
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  5. ///Mike

    ///Mike F1 Veteran
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    Nailed it in one.
     
  6. ///Mike

    ///Mike F1 Veteran
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    Sheesh, Tim. You'll use any excuse to post a picture of you taking the wife grocery shopping, won't you?
     
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  7. johnk...

    johnk... F1 Veteran
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    Don't be so dam defensive, Mike. I'm not the only one who noted that the video proves nothing. As for the hack journalists, C&D, Patrick Bedard wrote in 1990,

    seems to fit the video. And really has nothing to do with handling but how you pick up the throttle. Hell, I used to do that for fun in my '69 Z28 50 years ago. As I recall my Z28 wasn't a particularly good handling car.

    The real problem with the 348 back in the day was that it didn't live up to expectations. Acura, Lotus, Porsche and even Corvette all out performed it. None of that really matters today. People interested in a 348 aren't going to buy something else because of the performance numbers. There is no need to defend the car. It is what it is and people either love it or not.
     
  8. ///Mike

    ///Mike F1 Veteran
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    John, this is about debunking lies from hack journalists which have been repeated ad nauseum to the point where people who don't know any better actually believe them. Do you believe everything CNN tells you? I have extensive experience in all of the cars you mentioned and what was written by many journalists back then does not match my real world experience gathered over two plus decades.

    You still didn't answer the question-- what specific negative handling characteristics have you personally experienced in a 348?
     
  9. johnk...

    johnk... F1 Veteran
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    The quote I posted was from a review/article written by Patrick Bedard, who, as you probably know, qualified for the Indy 500 twice. Hardly a hack, IMO. I think he knows something about the tail stepping out.



    If you feel that the 348 issue was because of improper setup from the factory, OK. In reality, it didn't stop people from buying the 348 when new and I don't think it has much of an impact now (but I'd never buy one, not because of handling; it's the side strakes that get to me. ;))

    But if my comments offended you, ticked you off, I apologize. And I understand that you may feel the 348 is persecuted unjustly compared to other cars. But that is probably largely because it's a Ferrari, with all the expectations that implies.
     
  10. KMR968Turbo

    KMR968Turbo Formula Junior

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    Probably doesn't help when the president of the company says this:



    I don't recall the Porsche executives saying anything similar about the 911
     
  11. BT

    BT F1 World Champ

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    The 348 is a tricky little car to get right. Being mid engined, it has a tendency to continue to twirl around like a figure skater once provoked. In my experience, it was pretty easy to provoke. Partly due to the design, partly due to the ancient tires I was running. Front / mid cars are a bit easier to wring out since they have a tendency to straighten out instead of the lump behind you wanting to take the lead. I am glad there are so many expert drivers in here, but I have rarely seen such skill on the road.
     
  12. bjwhite

    bjwhite F1 Rookie
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    True. However remember Porsche tried to kill the 911 many times over the years and only reluctantly kept it going because the Porsche faithful kept buying them. Sort of a cool story, but even Porsche knew the world had moved on from air cooled, rear engined cars. Remember the 928 was its intended replacement. And even that lasted almost 20 years. It’s like with the 996 they just said, F it, let’s just completely redesign the sucker.

    Personally, as much as I respect LdM and what he did while at the helm of Ferrari, I do think his supposed hatred of the 348 is a bit unfounded. But, like a movie that failed at the box office, was derided as a flop, but eventually because a cult and critical favorite, the 348 is getting its due—and rightfully so.
     
  13. bjwhite

    bjwhite F1 Rookie
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    because = became. Ugh.
     
  14. SoCal1

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    I'm silly that way


    :)
     
  15. Jasonberkeley

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    #40 Jasonberkeley, May 15, 2018
    Last edited: May 15, 2018
    As someone who has raced (and won- including the championship) in the Trans Am series in TA3 in a Corvette, I can offer the following as someone who recently bought a 1990 348 Challenge that was raced in the series only once. Ive also race engineered for IMSA SuperCar and World Challenge teams in the 90s, so i'm not totally unfamiliar with setting up a car.

    The Corvette is a very predictable, communicative, forgiving race car. I've always wanted a 348 Challenge, but was concerned about the reputation described at the beginning of this thread. My car has not had the geometry changed to later specs beyond the challenge Speedline wheels and different offset those wheels incorporate to widen the track. It does have the solid Challenge bushings and different Challenge spring rates (a very easy swap).

    I reached out to Rob Schemerhorn at Delta Vee Motorsports. Rob engineered for a variety of 348 and 355 Challenge folks back in the day. He was very kind with his time and knowledge on proper set-up specs for the car. All basic ride height, rake, and alignment changes anyone can do. I wanted to make sure the car was set-up properly to avoid a bad first impression.

    As someone who has raced a variety of machinery from aforementioned Vettes to Porsche Cup cars, i was still a bit nervous the first time I took the car on track given the rap these cars have. Just with street tires at first to learn the car. I was totally paranoid about the snap oversteer issue i'd read about for years. Once I got out on track, got acclimated, and started really pushing the car, I was pleasantly amazed at how well it handled, and how great the steering feedback was. If anything, the car was neutral to maybe pushing a bit. Not loose. I've had the car out on track three times and have been pushing the car to it's limits on Michelin Pilot Sports. The car handles great. None of the snap oversteer. Slicks will go on this weekend.

    My suggestions for those with stock wheels is the following: buy a set of 25mm rear wheel spacers (cheap and easy). Speak to someone who actually knows what they are talking about when it comes to the set-up on these cars, and drop ride height, set rake to 10mm, and adjust alignment to proper settings. You will be amazed at how well the car handles and how much fun it is to drive. Also, put new good tires on the car. And make them a little wider than the oem sizes.

    I have experienced none of the snap oversteer that the 348 is is often criticized for. I'm guessing by people that havent ever driven one at all, or never actually driven it hard enough to slide it around, or just read the crappy Car & Driver review from back in the day.

    All I can say is that I love the handling and feedback of my 348, and anyone who is trying to perpetuate the innacurate steretype has most likely never driven one at all, never driven one truly at speed, or never researched the specs for the proper ride height, corner weighting, and alignment.
     
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  16. bjwhite

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    Spoken like a 400i and 348 combination owner. :) Well said Jason.
     
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  17. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob F1 World Champ
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    Actually I raced against all those cars in my '91 ts in challenge trim and beat them all. Challenge trim for 1990 was just a crap bolt in rollcage and different wheels. There was nothing to make the 348C faster than a non-street 348. Finally a P-bug had to put me into a wall to win. Now I race corvettes.
     
  18. davidoloan

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  19. davidoloan

    davidoloan Formula Junior

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    I have read that Leonardo Fioravanti and Luca Cordero di Montezemolo were in competition for the top job which di Montezemolo got, and Leonardo Fioravanti left to start Fioravanti Srl as a result. Is there more information available with regards to this, and does it have any bearing on di Montezemolo's public position regarding the 348?

    Was Leonardo Fioravanti stongly involved in the 348? I always assumed he was. I think the 348 looks amazing, much better than a 355. While di Montezemolo did an amazing job with the cars, his cars do not look as good as Fioravanti's, which are pure magic.
     
  20. davidoloan

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  21. bjwhite

    bjwhite F1 Rookie
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    Well, I’m not aware of LdM being involved in the design of the cars, but the 348 was Fioravanti’s final design for Ferrari before leaving Pininfarina in 1990/91. Others he did were the Daytona, 400i, F40, 512, 308, etc.
     
  22. Wade

    Wade Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Looks like a Troll post to me.
     
  23. davidoloan

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    I think so, as I understand he personally intervened with PF and changed the direction of the 550 design. I think the car is aging well enough, but at launch it wasn’t universally well received, from a looks point of view.
     
  24. Chupacabra

    Chupacabra Formula 3
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    Great articles, David. Wonder why no one ever brings those up when discussing the 348's reviews...??

    "The 348 is one of the loveliest Ferraris." Yet all you hear time and again is "The 348 was not well-received because of it's '80's styling and "shrunken Testarossa looks". Pfft.
     
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  25. bjwhite

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    And that Spider is in a right proper color! Yess.
     
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