The May Sale 2017

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1989 Ferrari 348TS

Lot No.: 337

Registration: G659 OKY
Chassis Number: ZFFFA36A9K0082453
Engine Number: 19691
Number of cylinders: 8
CC: 3405
Year of Manufacture: 1989
Estimate (£): 70,000 - 80,000
(+buyer’s premium of 15% including VAT @ 20%)

First seen in prototype form in 1987, the Ferrari 348 entered production in 1989, replacing the popular and successful 328GTB/GTS. Although mid-engined, as was its predecessor, the 348 differed by mounting its four-valves-per-cylinder, quad-cam V8 3.4-litre engine longitudinally, enabling it to be positioned lower in the chassis. A further development was the introduction of a transversely mounted five-speed gearbox using innovative technology derived from the company's Formula 1 program. This meant that the transmission was mounted deeper in the chassis and consequently lowered the centre of gravity which has a beneficial effect on handling and road holding. Initially typed 'TB' and 'TS (transversale berlinetta and transversale spyder) the 348 reverted to Ferrari's traditional nomenclature part way through production. With its aerodynamic skirts, spoilers, a wheel at each corner, and distinctive gill slots feeding air to side-mounted radiators, the stocky 348 looked very much like a scaled-down Testarossa and, with around 300bhp on tap and a top speed of 170mph, gave little away in terms of outright performance to its larger, 12-cylinder sibling. Production ceased in 1994 after 8,745 348s of all types had been built. 

This lovely, left-hand drive Ferrari 348TS was manufactured in 1989 and was one of the first off the production line. First registered in the summer of 1990 in Florida, USA, it was purchased by a previous owner in 1990 directly from the supplying dealership and then imported into Germany. Whilst there, the car was driven on temporary plates and not registered until 2013. The owner at that time was the proprietor of Kia/Mazda Autohaus dealerships and naturally the car was looked after by his own skilled team and serviced annually. Stored and used infrequently, the car has covered a mere 3,985 miles from new or approximately 142 miles per year. 

Presented in Rosso Corsa with a Nero interior, this 'time-warp' 348TS is in remarkable condition even sitting on its original Bridgestone tyres fitted in 1989. The interior feels almost new, with that distinctive 'new car' smell still present, and the underside looks equally good with all the nuts and bolts retaining their yellow zinc plating. As one would hope, the car is accompanied by the original tool kit in its bespoke leather 'handbag', and all the user manuals and service books, etc are in a matching wallet.

The car's early history is supported by the original US title, which shows that it was exported to Germany in the summer of 1990 whilst still brand new. The German TüV and title are also present, recording the Ferrari's first registration on German plates in 2013. It was serviced by Ferrari in Colchester on 5/02/2015 and returned there for a full cambelt service on 11/03/15. The MOT expires on 15/04/2018. 

The 348 was not quite as well-received as its predecessors initially, however, things have changed substantially, prompted by some decent retrospective road tests by leading journalists, and they have started to appreciate significantly. This car, with this mileage, and in this immaculate condition, is an important opportunity. We welcome any inspection of this sparkling Ferrari.