Thanks for the warm welcome
Lewi: I'll certainly be interested in attending an East Midlands meet in the new year whether I've bought a car or not. Could always come in the Ferrari if the weather's not too bad and the roads are salt-free
Fred: although the Ferrari shares a lot of characteristics in common with Alfas (good looks, great interiors, temperament etc) is a really different beast altogether - it's like a big go-kart! It's de-catted with a sports exhaust so the noise is incredible - sounds like an F1 car at full chat. It has no power steering or traction control, so requires either a delicate touch or just plain manhandling depending on circumstances
It can be chucked into corners at silly speeds and it will just grip and get on with it unless you're being really stupid. The open gate gearbox is ok once it's warmed up, but an absolute pig when it's cold - forget even trying 2nd gear for the first few miles. The ride is stiff but supple, soaking up the worst of the bumps without crashing and banging over them or unsettling the ride. Brakes are good, but could be better - though I think that some uprated brake pads might sort that out.
The 348 has had a lot of bad press, and lazy journos and ignorant know-it-alls simply parrot the same tired old crap that they're terrible cars, the worst Ferrari ever made etc. Well, it's all rubbish. Yes, the early 348s had problems with handling, but the revisions to the suspension mounting points sorted that out. Hey, but who wants to know that when you can slag off a Ferrari?
As I write all this I'm wondering what the hell I'm doing even contemplating selling it. But I only covered 1500 miles in it last year, it's eye-wateringly expensive when something goes wrong, I worry about leaving it anywhere... Plus we have three other cars and two motorbikes and most of our budget ends up going on the Ferrari and the others really need some TLC.
And I really, REALLY
miss my old GTV V6
S500 GTV where are you now?