TTAC Video of the Week: In Which the M.E. Drives a 1994 Ferrari 348

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey
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]

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  • MaintenanceCosts MaintenanceCosts on Nov 21, 2022

    I've sat in a gated-shifter Ferrari, pushed the clutch in and moved the shifter around, but didn't get to drive it. The shift action felt really different from the everyday Japanese and German manual cars I'm used to. I'd like to drive one and see for myself.

  • Jkross22 Jkross22 on Nov 21, 2022

    I wonder how long it takes to get proficient at shifting a Ferrari manual.

    Driving videos of the gated R8 make the shifter action seems more refined while keeping that sound moving through gears.

  • Arthur Dailey Reading the brochure I cannot remember driving or riding in a Mark IV or V that did not have dual power front seats and dual lit vanity mirrors. I do miss body side molding, rub strips and cut pile carpeting. The HVAC system on these and many other higher end domestics of the 1970s and early 1980s was superb. You could open up the windows and the sunroof in extreme cold temperatures, turn up the heat and drive around comfortably without a coat. The A/C was probably powerful enough to cool down one of the current 'micro condos' being sold in Toronto as livable space. Regardless of the size of the opera windows, if you were claustrophobic you would not enjoy the back seat. It was cramped and you had minimal visibility in any direction from the back seat. The trunk if you had a fullsize spare had minimal storage space but was deeply carpeted. As much as I appreciate this series and Corey's writing, I still vehemently disagree with the looks of the Mark IV versus the Mark V. As much as I appreciate the Mark V, i still believe that the more horizontal/angular looks of the Mark IV are superior.
  • MaintenanceCosts I don't believe a single Mark V was made with what I would see as the correct configuration: steel roof, AstroRoof, and the 460. The steel roof was first-year-only and appeared to be specified only on very basic cars.
  • Jwee FUBAR. Oxford, home of Cowley assembly plant for Minis. The City spent 50+ years promoting the car as transport, and now punish the people for following their policy.
  • RHD The Skoda Enyaq is priced at 34,600 Euros in Germany. If Skoda would like to dip their toes in the water at the other side of the pond, now would be the time.
  • Roadscholar Safety, shmafety....I love it.