TTAC Video of the Week: In Which the M.E. Drives a 1994 Ferrari 348
Auto shows aren't all a grind of bad food, bad lighting, and too much coffee. Sometimes, one gets to have a little fun.
In this case, I got an email from Hagerty, the insurance company/automotive media publisher, asking if I'd like to drive either a 1989 Toyota Land Cruiser or a 1994 Ferrari 348, and I said yes. Well, OK, at first I ignored the email -- we got a lot of requests during show media days that we don't have time to pursue. But then I thought it over. I've only driven a Ferrari once before, and that one had paddle shifters -- the 1994 had the iconic gated manual.
Yeah, you bet I was gonna drive this baby.
I was in for a few surprises. For one, I didn't realize this car didn't have power steering until I started to ease out of the parking spot. It's been a few years since I've used "Armstrong" steering.
The clutch also shocked me. At the first few lights, I forgot to put the car in neutral and just kept the clutch depressed, and the clutch almost "pushed back". My left foot got sore from holding it down. The Hagerty handler riding shotgun told me that's just how this particular clutch is. I did find its take up to also be a bit tricky -- I could launch smoothly, but slowly. At least I didn't stall.
The shifter itself was easy to use -- I never missed a gate, and only once did it refuse entry. Still, the RPMs had a tendency to drop enough that if you don't bilp the throttle before releasing the clutch, you lurch forward and/or chirp the tires. If you're new to driving this car, you better hope your passenger isn't prone to seasickness.
I didn't go very fast -- too much traffic, too many curious LAPD around -- but I did let the engine sing a bit. Watch for the sound, stay to the end of the second video to watch me totally goof up an upshift.
*A special thanks to the gentleman from Hagerty, whose name I am blanking on, for using my phone to shoot the video.
[Image, video © 2022 Tim Healey/TTAC]
Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by subscribing to our newsletter.
Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.
More by Tim Healey
Latest Car ReviewsRead more
Latest Product ReviewsRead more
- RICK Lou, not sure about panthers and Cougars , BUT at 76,I now consider myself a vintage Rolls Canardly. I roll down one hill and Canardly get up the next! Wishing you a Very Happy, Merry HanaKwanzaMas. 🎅🎄
- Lou_BC The dealbreaker for me is the $80k starting price in Canada.
- Zipper69 The Grenadier was designed ground up to be a "better Land Rover" and by most press accounts comes close.What little we know about the Quartermaster it's clear that it's intended for serious off road work without additional aftermarket fettling needed.The price is clearly a barrier, but IF it's the real deal, it will have a slot in the market.
- Michael Charging more for less. Hmmmm
- FreedMike Meanwhile, over at Nissan, you can get a perfectly nice, well equipped Frontier four-door that has a V-6, 4wd, and is capable of all the "truck stuff" you could ever want for $36,000. And unlike the "pay over sticker or go f**k yourself" nonsense you get at the Toyota place, the Nissan store will probably happily make you a nice deal.