Chassis #098818, 1 of 32 Factory Race Cars produced by Ferrari, yet one of the only cars that was never raced or converted for the Ferrari Challenge series. Discovered in California with 20,772 road going miles.
As many of our readers, friends and fellow enthusiasts know, I have an affinity for early Ferrari 348/355 Challenge cars. These cars mark the end of an era. The last Ferrari Factory racing cars that technically could be driven on the street, the last manual Ferrari Challenge racing cars and fairly easy to repair and service. The 348/355 Challenge cars don’t have on board computers, traction control and F1 gearboxes. They are raw, pure and very fun!
Ferrari produced less than 32 factory 348 Challenge cars for the USA market. These cars were shipped as “street cars” with very identifiable factory installed parts, essentially making them ready to race.
The factory cars came with the following modifications;
- Factory Roll Bar mounts
- Factory Racing Belt eyelets behind the driver and passenger seats
- Factory “light” fiberglass bumpers
- Modified Suspension Geometry
These original factory cars were then shipped from Maranello to authorized Ferrari dealers for their final Challenge Specification parts to be installed. Including OMP roll cages, OMP racing seats, OMP 5-point harnesses, 18” Speedline wheels, Challenge specification exhausts, Challenge Springs and more.
Over the years I have had numerous conversations with other owners and Ferrari technicians and we have found that every car was a little different. Some came with factory VIN plates, some with tow hook openings in the front and rear bumpers, etc.
Earlier this year, to my astonishment I found a needle in a haystack. What is potentially one of three or four Ferrari 348 Challenge cars that were never converted for racing.
#098818 was delivered new to Ferrari of Monterey. The owners manual signed by none other than Al Roberts, of Ferrari Challenge fame.
Oddly enough to many historians, this car has the words “Challenge Package” and Ferrari 348 TB Challenge written on its original window sticker.
#098818 was never raced and spent its entire life as a road car in Southern California. The car is in stunning original condition, with original paint, original interior and has all of the identifiable Ferrari 348 Challenge specifications. Enjoy!
Photos by Albert Manduca @albertmanducaphoto