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A Vettura Laboratorio

348 tbF #82881

1993 saw the first Ferrari-Challenge event. In the early days of this Gentlemen Drivers-Series it was a Challenge-Kit that was provided to the drivers and has been installed by the Dealers who supported them. It was for the 348 and its successor, the F355, that the cars did not lose their road registration by becoming a converted Challenge Car or, with the F355, a Factory produced one. F-Register.com shows #82347 as the lowest Serial Number being converted as a Challenge car, whilst #99843 looks to be the last one. The history of the 348 was characterized by several limited productions like Series Speciale and Series Speciale Challenge, both being produced as Series I and Series II cars and the GT Competizione Corsa .

Beside -# 85041- the 358 GT/378 GT Conversion by former official dealer Peter Rosenmaier and his son and the Zagato Elaborazione project, 348 tb # 82881 looks like another gem. A one-off, a pure racing machine with no chance to get a road registration! The car was built for Ecurie Francorchamps and Jean Blaton. Blaton was a Belgium driver and owner of a brewery who became one of the best sports car racers in the 1960s using his pseudonym “Beurlys”.

Serial Number 82881 fits into the range of 348 tbs that have been produced in 1989, but it is known that #82881 was built for Ecurie Francorchamps and Jean Blaton as 348 tbF in the very early 1990s. The “F” stands for Francorchamps and the car was something like a “Vettura Laboratorio” and it was continuously developed as the prototype of the 348 GT Competition. The car was fitted with Nembo disc brakes type F-40 and the suspension was altered.

The impressive car showed up during several events during the first decade of its existence. Roberto Vaglietti, who was responsible for setting up Ferrari Classiche until his retirement in 2008, often raced the car:
24th to 26th of May, 1991 participating in Spa Ferrari Days on race #177
26th to 27th of September, 1992 attending Garage Francorchamps’ FF 40 Meeting Brussels & Spa-Francorchamps,
5th to 7th of May, 1995 participating in Spa Ferrari Days
3rd to 5th of May, 1996 - participating in Spa Ferrari-Days driven by Jean Blaton and Roberto Vaglietti
2nd to 4th of May, 1997 participating in Spa Ferrari Days on race #177
21st of June, 1997 participating in Grand Prix de l´Age d´Or, Montlhery, France
Spring of 1998 participating in Spa Ferrari Days with Roberto Vaglietti on race #177
28th of April to 1st of May, 2000 participating in Spa Ferrari Days on race #267

In 2006 or 2007 the current owner, a collector from Luxembourg purchased the car and I was shown for the first time in 12 years at this year’s FF60 celebration during the Spa Classics end of May.

F-Register.com had the opportunity to take several pictures of the car in best weather conditions. Just follow F-Register.com’s Picture Box the next days for some of the best shots of #82881.

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