At the upcoming Sotherby’s auction in the Ferrari factory, some million-dollar cars and F1 memorbilia are being offered. Amongst the highlights are an 2004 F1 car, the Le Mans-winning 330 Testarossa and the Zagato-bodied Maserati 450 S. However, one car which caught our attention is this 348 hack used to test the pre-production V12 for the then upcoming Ferrari Enzo.
With an estimate price of US$ 150,000-190,000 it is probably one cheapest cars of the sale, but it offers a unique look into how Ferrari operates. With parts from the 348, 355 and 360, this car was disguised to drive through the streets of Maranello. It uses a the Enzo’s engine and transmission and is being offered by Sotherbys as a complete and running car.
Excerpts from Sotherby’s Auction Description
Before unveiling the Enzo at the 2002 Paris Motor Show, Ferrari had been working for three years to transfer their F1 expertise to a road car. During the development, three prototypes had been made: the M1, the M2 and the M3, #90865, that we present here.
Construction of this test mule, started on 25th September 2000 and finished on 25th November. Its role was mainly as a rolling test bed for development of the engine.
The body is derived from the model 348 (type F119AB), with modifications to the rear sub frame deriving from the F131 prototype, lengthened by approximately 250 millimeters in order to fit the F140 A-Type V12 engine. In production, the F 140 B was used, with integral block and other small differences. In the engine bay, one notices in particular the large welded aluminum air box, replaced in production by a carbon fiber one. The oil radiator is from the 550 and its position in the production model had not yet been determined.
Important parts of the car are unique and hand-made. The doors and a part of the interior are from the 348 model, and the drive train, brakes, and suspension are mainly from the 355 Challenge. The fenders are made of composite material and the rear ones are removable for quick access to the engine. The bonnet, which hinged on the posterior part of the roof, is removable and has a Lexan screen. The rear windows have been redesigned in order to strengthen the rear structure, and the rear has been modified for the light assembly from the 360 model. The front is derived from the 348 model, has been modified with an asymmetrical air vent direct to the radiator, and the rear bumper has an air outlet let into it. The four exhaust pipes, positioned at the extremities, reinforce the aggressive appeal. Inside the car, the dashboard is modified to allow the fitting of the instrument panel from the 360 Modena.
In practice prototypes such as the M3 are often destroyed, or retained by the factory. The factory has never before offered for auction one of its prototypes. Being a prototype, the car is not guaranteed by Ferrari; no warranty of roadworthiness is implied or given. Ferrari says it should not be registered for road use.