The Tiny Testarossa – 1990 Ferrari 348 TS Auctioning Now

Sold – $54,999 (Plus fees)

With the wild popularity of the Testarossa still surging from the eighties, Ferrari smartly elected to endow their next entry-level V8 model with some of the redhead’s charm. Succeeding the 328 was the 348, launched in 1989. With a requisite new engine and suspension to coincide with its big brother Testarossa’s clothing, the 348 sold well in all three forms (coupe, Targa, and spyder). The Targa variant, known as the TS for Transversale Spider featured a removable roof section which grafted a perfect balance between having a structurally loose but wonderfully open convertible and an elegant yet enclosed coupe. As the final V8 Ferrari to be commissioned by il Drake himself, the 348 is not only a starling performer but historically significant. As such, we have been looking forward to the auctioning of this brilliant example hailing from 1990, and the sale starts now!

Rectangular tail lights with louvered lenses and deeply straked sides are the most recognizable styling cues extracted from the Testarossa. The 348’s body is squat and stubby with a short cam-tail and just enough curves to separate it from previous ‘folded-paper’ designs. Our example has initially been painted Blu Chiro (503) by Ferrari, but the front bumper and trunk lid were resprayed to address unsightly rock chips. Later model 348 had their lower body panels color-matched to the body, and this example has been updated to imitate that look. However, the area behind the front grille was incorrectly left Blu Chiro instead of the customary black.

Also worth noting, both headlights functionally raise and lower as expected. On the fenders, enameled Ferrari shields are attached. Modifications include an Italian-made Tubi exhaust system with quad outlets and a staggered-set of 18” three-piece Speedline wheels wearing Nitto INVO tires. The Targa panel is in excellent condition and seals are beginning to show some age but function precisely as they should.

Technologically austere, the 348’s cabin is wonderfully driver focused. Comfortably bolstered, manually adjustable sport seats are stitched together with cream dyed leather hides. These seats have been professionally re-dyed to restore much of their original luster. Although there are slight signs of creasing and wear on the outer bolsters. The cream-colored leather extends on to the center console, up to the lower dashboard, and out across the door panels, elegantly enhancing the luxurious appeal of the interior.

Contrasting the leather trimming is plush, milk chocolate brown carpeting and in the footwells are a set of matching floor mats each with an embroidered red prancing horse. Topping the interior is a sloped black leather dashboard with HVAC vents, one of which is cracked on the passenger side. Behind the sporty three-spoke steering wheel is the instrument box. Inside, a 200 mph speedometer, 7,500 rpm tachometer, coolant temperature gauge, and oil pressure dial make up the instrument arrangement. Auxiliary fuel level and oil temperature gauges are installed within the center stack below an aftermarket radio. Underneath the dials, an early example of climate control supplies a/c to the interior with a polished metal-gated shifter further along.

Within the engine bay of the 348 is a revised 3.4-liter F119 V8 engine that succeeds directly from the first production V8 Ferrari ever produced in 1973. Tested by the factory, the F119 was good at creating over 300 horsepower at 7,200 rpm and 239 lb-ft of torque from 4,200 rpm up. In total, only around 28,500 miles have been added to the odometer since the Ferrari was first purchased in 1990. The mid-mounted motor sits and supplies power to a five-speed manual transmission that further redirects energy to the rear wheels. To prevent oil starvation at high speeds and cornering maneuvers, the 348 benefits from a dry-sump oiling system.

Moreover, performance is augmented by the 348’s well-balanced chassis, which has an independent rear sub-frame and completely adjustable coil-over suspension system. Service records dating from 2002 indicate the replacement of coolant hoses, alternator, and suspension alignment. Alternatively, there are no records to demonstrate the timing belt or water pump maintenance.

Initially sold in New York, this Ferrari subsequently lived in Nebraska, Georgia, and Texas before returning to the Empire State with its current seller. It is being offered from this seller who holds a dealer license in New York and the clean Texas title. Included with the sale is the factory exhaust system, the original polished wheels with fitted BFGoodrich tires, the leather portfolio containing the owner’s manual and service book, and the leather tool kit. The tool kit comes complete with all of its tools, belt, fuses, and bulbs sans one headlight bulb. A Carfax report indicates zero incidents or damages during its life in any of the above states. If you are in the market for a fun Ferrari, this nicely kept, and period-correct 348 with only 29,000 miles on the odometer should handily serve as a worthy contender.

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