News

348 Went to purchase a Lotus and left with a 348

Discussion in '348/355' started by Donkeykong87, Nov 11, 2020.

Tags:
  1. Donkeykong87

    Donkeykong87 Rookie

    Aug 31, 2020
    42
    Peoria, IL
    Full Name:
    Johnny Smith
    I left to Pennsylvania from Illinois on a 12 1/2 hour trip last Friday to trade my Gen II Viper GTS in on a Lotus Esprit. It was a very nice drive that the Viper handled without issue and I really had a great time meeting and talking to people at the gas stations and rest stops along the way. I will have to say, the Viper has some of the most comfortable seats I've ever sat in, I always thought they would be nice for a road trip and they did not disappoint whatsoever!

    I got to my hotel around 11:00. Saturday morning was absolutely gorgeous and the hour drive I still had to the dealership was breathtaking with the fall colors in eastern PA. I arrived to find the Lotus just as described, the car was beautiful, sounded good, ran good, drove good. Everything checked out and I was quite excited to get the car I had wanted for so long.
    Until...the salesman says "Do you want to take a look at the car that you really want"?

    We walk into the next room and there sits a white 348, all I could say is...WOW!!! I walked around the car, walked around it again, then again. All I could say was wow, over and over. The salesman then asked "would you like me to start it up"? I looked at him and replied...if you start this up, I'll be buying it correct? He just laughed as he got in the car and turned the key...it roared to life! I walked around the car again, the paint was beautiful, the interior was freshly restored, everything seemed to work...I was in trouble. We talked about the history of the car and looked at some details while it warmed up. We don't have anything like this here in Central Illinois. Once before in Chicago I had seen some Ferrari's in person at a dealership, I have seen one Ferrari in town, a front engine model, but that's it...hell, I've never come across a single Viper while driving mine, I've only seen another one a couple years before I got mine at a show here in town, but I haven't seen it since. All we have are Corvette's, once or twice a year maybe a Masserati and that's where it ends. Even my E46 M3 that was purchased earlier this year in Rochester, NY I had to take everyone's word that it was "that awesome" of a car (it actually is) and just make the deal on it as there aren't any locally to even test drive.

    At this point the salesman says let's go! He pulls it out into the lot and tells me I'm up...I sat inside and rested my hand on that beautiful shifter and off we went. That glorious sound...as I listened to the metallic "snik" of the shifter passing through the gates with a satisfying thunk at each stop and the engine howling at 7,000 RPM it was then that I realized the salesman was telling the truth through his approving laughter at the question I had posed to him earlier...yes, this car was indeed coming home with me!

    I spent the next 14 hours of Saturday into early Sunday morning driving a Ferrari 348 831 miles home! The nice conversations I previously had at gas stations and rest stops driving the Viper to PA were replaced with crowds at gas stations and rest stops, pictures were being taken, videos were being recorded, requests to sit inside were being made, one person said they "knew it was me" from Youtube (I don't look anything like "Doug" or the little guy he hangs out with or any other "car guy" personality on there), another guy came up and gave me the one-handed clasp hug and said "this is awesome, tell me about it"! I wasn't expecting anything like this, though I guess in retrospect I should have as I hadn't seen a Ferrari either outside of the one I specifically stopped in to see at the dealership in Chicago, so I'm sure these people hadn't either.

    I made the trip home without any issues whatsoever! Those seats on the other hand and no place to really rest your legs...COMPLETELY OPPOSITE from the Viper...my neck and shoulders are still recovering!

    I've spent years researching this car, as it was the model I was most interested in and could also actually afford. Most of that time was spent lurking on here for years with a couple posts made in the past month as my search had intensified and I decided to actually join the forum. I'm a "hands on" person and it's actually the nature of the 348 Brotherhood that drew me to this car and ultimately led me to the decision to purchase it. So this post is also a hello, my name is Johnny, I'm sure I'll have many questions in the future and look forward to Ferrarichatting with you guys!


    Image Unavailable, Please Login F348 by John Smith, on Flickr
     
    Betuwe, zhani355, Julia and 22 others like this.
  2. To remove this ad click here.

  3. Hammonds rider

    Hammonds rider Karting

    Oct 28, 2013
    64
    Santa Barbara
    Full Name:
    Craig
    Congratulations
     
  4. Ferrarium

    Ferrarium F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jul 28, 2018
    2,917
    Central NJ
    Full Name:
    Eric
  5. WATSON

    WATSON F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Sep 9, 2010
    15,109
    Delta Tau Chi
    Full Name:
    Slim Shady
    Welcome to the brotherhood. Nice car.....and get used to the attention.

    What model Lotus did you walk away form? Evora?
     
  6. SoCal1

    SoCal1 F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Jun 14, 2011
    8,191
    SoCal LA/OC
    Full Name:
    Tim Dee
    I hate when that happens

    Congrats
     
  7. To remove this ad click here.

  8. Qavion

    Qavion F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Feb 20, 2015
    4,858
    Sydney
    Full Name:
    Ian Riddell
    For info, your rear wheel/s are on the wrong side of the car. Look at the front ones and compare the orientation of the spokes.
     
  9. Donkeykong87

    Donkeykong87 Rookie

    Aug 31, 2020
    42
    Peoria, IL
    Full Name:
    Johnny Smith
    No, it was an Esprit S4. Julia Roberts hooked me 30 years ago and I never stopped thinking about that car. Except Saturday, I really didn't think about it much after driving the 348 LOL
     
  10. Donkeykong87

    Donkeykong87 Rookie

    Aug 31, 2020
    42
    Peoria, IL
    Full Name:
    Johnny Smith
    You guys don't miss a thing! I didn't even notice that...but I guess I can't just switch them over, I'm assuming those tires are directional, I'd have to get them remounted as well.
     
  11. ATSAaron

    ATSAaron Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Jun 1, 2004
    1,056
    Shady Shores, TX
    Full Name:
    Aaron Bunch
    I made the opposite decision about five years ago and bought an Esprit SE instead of a 348. The Esprit was considerably cheaper and faster in a straight line (but the brakes and transmission suck). Crowd reactions are basically the same as you describe for the 348.

    I did finally buy a 348ts this year, coincidentally it’s the same one I looked at five years ago.

    Aaron
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
    ShineKen and Qavion like this.
  12. To remove this ad click here.

  13. Natkingcolebasket69

    Natkingcolebasket69 F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed BANNED

    Congrats !!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  14. 308 GTB

    308 GTB F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Feb 7, 2002
    10,031
    New Jersey
    Full Name:
    Barry Wolinsky
    Maybe the tires are mounted correctly and you need only swap sides.

    Congratulations on your 348!
     
  15. Robb

    Robb Moderator
    Moderator Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Feb 28, 2004
    12,596
    Mesa, Arizona
    Full Name:
    Robb Williamson
    Congrats. Great looking 348.

    Robb
     
  16. KevZep

    KevZep Karting

    Feb 17, 2020
    220
    New Zealand
    Full Name:
    Kevin Bennett
    Love the story!! Awesome outcome, and yes, the seats on a long trip are not the most comfortable......I might try some of those fixes.....

    When was the last engine out service done?
     
  17. ShineKen

    ShineKen F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Aug 3, 2007
    6,814
    Southern California
    Full Name:
    Buy Manual
    Beautiful car. Congrats! Great story to share. But why do I feel the story is incomplete? Why or how did the salesman know you wanted a 348? And why would he sell you another car when you came for a specific car?
     
  18. Donkeykong87

    Donkeykong87 Rookie

    Aug 31, 2020
    42
    Peoria, IL
    Full Name:
    Johnny Smith
    They had all sorts of cars there from Lamborghinis to Nobles. We were talking about the various vehicles, I was sitting in them and mentioned my desire for a Ferrari. I’m assuming due to the fact that it was somewhat still in the price range he decided to show it to me. I truthfully never thought about it as it seemed to be a natural conversation.

    As for why a sales person up-sold me when I came to look at something specific, well.....
     
    ShineKen likes this.
  19. Donkeykong87

    Donkeykong87 Rookie

    Aug 31, 2020
    42
    Peoria, IL
    Full Name:
    Johnny Smith
    A little over 3,000 miles ago BUT 10 years! I realized I probably rolled the dice, the cars been parked since. I ordered my kit from Ricambi and am bringing it to the Indy tomorrow actually to get started.
     
  20. ShineKen

    ShineKen F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Aug 3, 2007
    6,814
    Southern California
    Full Name:
    Buy Manual
    I've only seen a 348 randomly out in the wild once. It was red. I was in my early 20's... As we passed by the side of the car on the highway, all I could think was "Wooooooaaaaaaah. THAT's a FERRARI!" My jaws were on the floor. When you just randomly see one, you feel like you're in an alternate reality. Like its from the 80's, but you never saw one in the 80's just randomly on the road. Only in movies or posters. Maybe that's why I have a 355. Those retro body lines left a lasting impression.
     
    ATSAaron and MAD828 like this.
  21. ernie

    ernie Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Nov 19, 2001
    22,062
    The Brickyard
    Full Name:
    The Bad Guy
    Welcome to The 348 Brotherhood.
     
  22. mr308gtb

    mr308gtb Formula Junior
    Rossa Subscribed

    Sep 12, 2004
    532
    Full Name:
    MeestahBig
    What year is the car? Always looks awesome in all white. Post up a picture of the interior. I used to have one in white - I wonder if this is it? Had the white skirts painted and the white targa top too.
     
  23. foresterguy

    foresterguy Rookie

    May 22, 2015
    29
    Full Name:
    Steve L.
    You don't see white ones very often. Beautiful car....congrats!
     
  24. Donkeykong87

    Donkeykong87 Rookie

    Aug 31, 2020
    42
    Peoria, IL
    Full Name:
    Johnny Smith
    I’ll take a picture later tonight of the interior. It’s black, though the PO had the middle of the seats redone in white.
     
  25. mr308gtb

    mr308gtb Formula Junior
    Rossa Subscribed

    Sep 12, 2004
    532
    Full Name:
    MeestahBig
    Cool....is it a 1991? My interior was black, seats were original. I now have a 1994 yellow 348 ts, but always loved that car in white.
     
  26. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Aug 10, 2002
    19,991
    socal
    Congrats! My fondest memory actually isn't Ernie fixing his 348 gearbox in my garage. When the 348 was debuted in SoCal Ferrari BH invited customers our to Willow Springs raceway. They had a mondial-T and 348 spyder and about 4 TS TB models. They had pro drivers race us around the track flogging the 348's endlessly. They showed the cars no mercy and every passenger left the passenger seat with a smile on their faces. To this day I remember how the driver was amazed at how he could flog the 348 all day. Later I bought one and then gutted it out an raced it. I never had to put more giant radiators or oil coolers in it nor massive brake upgrades just to survive a sprint race like I have with racing vettes and mustangs. The 348 was pretty close out of the box much closer to track ready like aGT3 Porsche than C7Z06 that overheats after 2 laps. I drive a 550M now but will always have a soft spot for the 348.
     
    ernie, ShineKen and ATSAaron like this.
  27. Donkeykong87

    Donkeykong87 Rookie

    Aug 31, 2020
    42
    Peoria, IL
    Full Name:
    Johnny Smith
    I’m sorry, yes, it’s a ‘91
     
  28. Donkeykong87

    Donkeykong87 Rookie

    Aug 31, 2020
    42
    Peoria, IL
    Full Name:
    Johnny Smith
    And THIS, is what drew me to the car! There’s plenty of anecdotal stories like this from owners that made a “regular” guy like me dip my toe into the Ferrari waters. The car, most likely, isn’t going to self-destruct because “it’s a Ferrari”. The amount of people on the way home that told me I was crazy for driving the car back from Pennsylvania actually kept me unsettled the entire trip home. The front of my mind was constantly telling me the car was going to explode! Every sound I heard was WHAT WAS THAT?!?! YET...hour, after hour, after hour, after hour there she ran at 80 MPH down the highway without a hint of trouble.

    I’m wayyy more comfortable now than I was at purchase time. Yes, there will be added expense from vehicles I’m used to owning, but at least I can say “I did it” once in my life in regards to a legendary marquee that so very few people get to experience.
     
    ernie, KevZep, steved033 and 5 others like this.

Share This Page