‘Affordable’ Ferrari with F1 history is for sale

Affordable Ferrari 348 TS

Ferraris with Formula 1 provenance rarely come cheap, but this 348 TS is more affordable than most.

It was first owned by Pier Giorgio Cappelli, former boss of the Scuderia Ferrari race team, and modified to his unique specification.

The sale is managed by Collecting Cars – the online auction website promoted by Top Gear’s Chris Harris – and will end on Friday 8 May 2020. At the time of writing, bidding had reached a modest £41,000.

Spider that flies

Affordable Ferrari 348 TS

The 348 debuted in 1989, replacing the 328 as Ferrari’s ‘junior’ supercar. Available in TB (coupe) and TS (targa) guises, its quad-cam 3.4-litre V8 made 300hp at 7,200rpm: good for 0-60mph in 6.0 seconds and 165mph.

The car was updated in 1993 (and renamed 348 GTB/GTS), with an extra 20hp, revised suspension and a stiffer chassis. A full convertible 348 Spider was also introduced, instantly becoming the most popular version.

The ‘TS’ here stands for Transversale Spider, a reference to the transverse gearbox and open roof.

Like most Ferraris of the era, the 348 has a classic open-gate manual ’box. Its successor, the F355, would introduce shift paddles in 1997 – the first production car with this F1-inspired tech.

The roars of physics

Affordable Ferrari 348 TS

This particular 348 was first registered in July 1992, in Enzo Ferrari’s home town of Modena. Owner Cappelli, who died in 2019 and was known as ‘the physicist’ due to his degree in physics, had close links with the Maranello factory and requested some bespoke additions.

First among these was a throatier ANSA exhaust, which likely liberates more power from the V8. Its branded quad tailpipes poke out provocatively from the rear valence.

Inside, the 348 is usually trimmed in black on the upper half of the dashboard and door cards. This car, however, has tan leather throughout – including on the rear bulkhead and luggage shelf (usually trimmed in carpet). Capelli also had an immobiliser switch hidden beneath the handbrake.

The left-hand-drive TS has covered 40,220 miles from new. It was imported to the UK in 2016, with recent servicing by Kent-based Ferrari specialist, Simon Furlonger.

Its bodywork is described as ‘superb’, while the Connolly leather is ‘very good’. Collecting Cars also says ‘all of the electrics work perfectly’.

Auction action

Affordable Ferrari 348 TS

So, what’s not to like? Well, the 348 didn’t receive rapturous reviews like the later F355. Its tail-happy handling could catch out the unwary, and the upstart Honda NSX – launched the following year – was better built and a sweeter drive.

That said, you’ll pay more for a mint NSX than a 348 now. And there’s something oh-so-special about a Ferrari, particularly in Rosso Corsa with a click-clack manual gearbox. We think that ‘baby Testarossa’ styling has aged well, too.

If you’re interested in bidding for this unique Ferrari, visit the Collecting Cars website. You have until Friday evening. Good luck!

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