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Ferrari 308 GTB and GTS: Buying guide and review (1975-1985)

Ferrari 308 GTB and GTS: Buying guide and review (1975-1985) Classic and Performance Car
Ferrari 308 Ferrari 308 Ferrari 308 Ferrari 308
One of the things that used to define Ferraris was their beautiful, lithe lines, full of subtle curves and with little in the way of aggression. Arguably one of the most beautiful of all was the 308 GTB and its open-topped sibling the 308 GTS. 
 
Introduced to replace the 246 GT and 246 GTS, the 308 GTB was Ferrari’s first mid-engined V8-powered two-seater, following on from the 308 GT4 2+2. While the 246 carried Dino badges rather than the revered prancing horse, the 308 was the real deal – in every sense. 
 
Drive a 308 today, and you’ll soon realise this car is worth every penny of its increasingly stiff asking price. Why are the prices so high? As the earlier Dinos now regularly sell for more than £500k in perfect condition, many look to the 308 as the next best thing – and in many ways it’s even more appealing.
 
While the 246 can hardly be accused of being lacking aesthetically, the 308 looked even more gorgeous, with its sleeker proportions and more modern wedge shape. But what really sets the 308 apart from its predecessor is that 3.0-litre V8, which sends a tingle down your spine as you approach the 7700rpm red line. Sadly, many owners never drive their cars hard enough to experience this, but if you buy a 308 it’ll be hard to resist sampling this on a regular basis. 
 
Which one to buy?
 
The glassfibre cars, often referred to as GRP or in its native language ‘vetroresina’, are sought after because they’re the first of the breed, and also because their lightness means added agility – and of course there’s the added bonus that the well-built plastic bodyshell doesn’t corrode.
 
Most 308 derivatives have their devotees, but if there’s an orphan in the family it’s the original fuel-injected model with its miserly 214bhp engine. Early steel cars with carbs are perhaps the easiest to find in the UK, although it’s perhaps the later fuel-injected QV models that offer the best compromise of usability and performance. 
 
One other possible option to consider is the later 328. Although not specifically covered in this guide (read the full Ferrari 328 buying guide here), the 328 is a considerably quicker car, with a number of changes that improve the driving experience. The 328 lacks the slightly more delicate looks of the early 308, but it’s still a very handsome car. 
 
The 308 GTS outsold its GTB sibling by around four to one, so if you want a closed car you’ll have to look that bit harder to find your perfect specimen. The GTS looks great and allows you to get closer to nature, but the bodyshell is less stiff and as a result you’ll feel some scuttle shake on rough roads. 
 
Perhaps the over-arching thing to bear in mind though is how rare these cars are – they’re far less common than you might think. In production for a full decade, there were just 12,143 examples of the 308 GTB and GTS built, of which a mere 965 came to the UK in right-hand drive form. By far the most numerous are the steel-bodied, carburetted cars, but you’ll still have to look to find exactly the right car for you. And when you find it, you’ll discover it was worth every penny. 
 
Performance and spec
 
Engine 2926cc, V8
Power 230bhp @ 6600rpm
Torque 203lb ft @ 4600rpm
Top speed 152mph
0-60mph 5.3sec
Fuel consumption 15mpg
Gearbox Five-speed manual
 
Dimensions and weight
 
Wheelbase 2340mm
Length 4230mm
Width 1720mm
Height 1120mm
Kerb weight 1265kg
 
Common problems
 
• The glassfibre body panels of early cars is extremely well made, so problems aren’t guaranteed – although the gel coat can craze and the paint tends to fade more readily. What’s more of a problem is the tubular steel structure which can corrode, while the bulkhead and engine bay panelling are also steel – the bonnet is aluminium. 
 
• When steel panelling was adopted, the floorpans continued to be made of glassfibre. With galvanising not used at all until 1982, you need to scrutinise 308s very closely for corrosion. 
 
• Check everywhere below the swage line, as rust can break out pretty much anywhere – and replacement panels are very costly. However, the 308’s construction means it’s easy to spot corrosion or poor repairs, as long as you put the car onto some ramps. Home in on the outriggers, which are the areas most likely to have decayed. 
 
• Scrutinise the wheelarch lips, the windscreen surround and the sills along with the headlamp pod cavities, front valance and the spare wheel well. Also check the bonnet for distortion; its stay seizes up, and some ham-fisted owners then force the panel shut. 
 
• Engines are strong, but the cam belts must be replaced every three years or 20,000 miles. Expect to get 120,000 miles out of the V8 between overhauls; cars driven a lot when the engine is cold can halve this – or worse. If the oil pressure drops below 45-55psi, it’s tired and due for some TLC. Camshafts can wear; expect a top-end rebuild to be required after 90,000 miles. 
 
• The five-speed manual gearbox is tough but until it’s warmed up second gear shouldn’t be used. Because it sometimes is, it’s worn second-gear synchro that’s likely to be an issue, so check for baulking as you swap cogs. 
 
• Clutches can wear out in just 6000 miles if abused; it’s possible to get 40,000 miles out of one though. 
 
• Because these cars are often driven hard only briefly, then stood for ages, it’s not unusual for exhaust corrosion to rear its ugly head. The exhaust manifolds can also be problematic; they crack through vibration. Replacing the front one then involves removing the right-hand fuel tank and partially dismantling the suspension, so it’s time consuming. 
 
• A lot of 308s are sitting on tired suspension because the dampers have gradually deteriorated and the owner hasn’t noticed – or they simply haven’t driven the car enough. 
 
• Evidence of plenty of maintenance (and expenditure) with a marque specialist is essential. But just because much money has already been spent, you can’t assume that further significant expenditure won’t be needed. 
 
• Make sure that the mileage is correct, as it’s easy to disconnect the speedometer. Go through the service history and make sure the mileage hasn’t been altered. 
 
• The alloy wheels may need some refurbishment. If you’re lucky it’ll just be the lacquer peeling, but the alloy can go porous, especially where earlier cars are concerned. 
 
Model history 
 
1975: 308 GTB replaces 246 GT, using the same transverse 2926cc V8 as in the 308 GT4; it gives 230bhp. These first 712 cars have a glassfibre bodyshell, built by Scaglietti; 154 are right-hand drive. 
1977: There’s now a steel bodyshell in place of the previous plastic item, and the targa-topped 308 GTS is introduced. 
1980: The 308 gets Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection to become the 308 GTBi and GTSi – with power dropping to just 214bhp in the process. 
1982: The adoption of 16-valve cylinder heads increases power to 240bhp, with the car becoming the 308 QV (quattrovalvole) in the process. Build quality improves dramatically. 
1985: The 328 replaces the 308, in both GTB and GTS forms. 
 
Owners clubs, forums and websites
 
• www.ferrariownersclub.co.uk - UK-based Ferrari owners’ club
• www.fcars.co.uk - Club Scuderia Ferrari Forum
• www.ferrariownersclub.org - USA-based Ferrari owners’ club
 
Summary and prices
 
The the earliest fibreglass examples are the most sought after, and with just 712 built they are among the rarest. Top examples will fetch in excess of £175,000 today, with less tidy cars coming in somewhere between £110,000-£150,000 If you’re really lucky, you might even find a restoration project for £70,000. 
 
Offering by far the best value are the early steel-bodied. The carb-fed examples are slightly more prized due to 40 more bhp than the later fuel injected cars, while the later QV offers the reliability and power of both. Projects start from £30,000, with nicer examples fetching between £60,000-£70,000. Top examples can command upwards of £90,000 today. 
 
Words: Richard Dredge
Ferrari 308 Ferrari 308 Ferrari 308 Ferrari 308
Last updated: 24th Feb 2016
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Ferrari 308 cars for sale

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Ferrari 308
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  • Ferrari 308 GTB Vetroresina

    POA POA

    Mayfair 020 7125 1400 | Maldon 01621 879579 The Ferrari 308 GTB was introduced at the 1975 Paris Motor Show as a replacement for the 246 Dino and to supplement the Bertone-shaped 308 Dino GT4. The new mid-engined two-seater was an instant success with both the motoring press and the general public, who appreciated the performance delivered by the centrally positioned 2.9 litre V8 and the design elements carried over from the popular 246 including side panel air intakes, twin tail lights and recessed curved rear window. Like many of its contemporaries, the 308 GTB also received the fashionable “wedge” styling treatment but crucially Pininfarina exercised a degree of restraint in its application and the resulting design was both fresh and modern while retaining the best of the Ferrari traditions. However, perhaps the most notable feature of the early 308 GTBs was the material used for the bodywork which, for the first 800 or so cars, consisted almost entirely of fiberglass with only the bonnet being made in aluminium. This was a first for Ferrari and to this day the Vetroresina (which means fiberglass in Italian) remains the only model the factory has produced in this material. The r

    • Year: 1976
    For sale
    JD Classics
    01621 879579 VIEW CONTACT NUMBER
  • Ferrari 308 GTS QV

    POA POA

    - Supplied new to California and then resident in Japan for over 20 years - 'Euro look' conversion including deep front chin spoiler and non-cat twin exhaust system - Recent cambelt change and specialist report By switching to Bosch fuel injection in March 1981 Ferrari robbed its successful 308 GTB / GTS models of some forty horsepower. Worried about the consequent loss of performance, Maranello executive Eugenio Alzati determined to give the 90-degree 'quad-cam' 2926cc V8 its teeth back. Announced in October 1982, the new QV or 'quattrovalve' model was a revelation. Sporting - as its name suggests - four-valve cylinder heads, it was credited with developing some 240bhp and 192lbft of torque. Emissions friendly, it nevertheless boasted less noise, more power and better throttle response than its predecessor. Reputedly capable of 0-60mph in 5.7 seconds and 158mph, the QV cars once again had the raw speed to match their sublime Pininfarina sculpted looks. Built in February 1984 and supplied new to California, this particular left-hand drive example migrated to Japan just over a decade later. Imported to the UK last winter, the DVLA chose to issue the Ferrari with an age-related numbe

    • Year: 1984
    For sale
  • Ferrari 308 3,0 GTS QV

    €94,600(£81,829) €94,600(£81,829)

    Ferrari 308 3,0 GTS QV Equipment: Ekstrem fin sand kun kørt 18000 km fra Ny Flot Farve kombination Sjælden udbudt til salg ring for info

    • Year: 1985
    For sale
  • Ferrari 308 3,0 GTB

    €121,000(£104,665) €121,000(£104,665)

    Ferrari 308 3,0 GTB Equipment: Original Europæisk bil Meget sjælden Tør Sump model Samler objekt Ekstrem fin stand skal ses og opleves ring for info

    • Year: 1979
    For sale
  • 1979 Ferrari 308 GTS

    POA POA

    Ferrari 308 Additional Information Ferrari 308 GTS in White with 28,700 miles. Two previous owners. Stunning condition with body work restoration by ourselves two years ago complete with gorgeous Bordeaux interior. History file with original service book and current MOT. 308''s are greatly appreciating classics and a joy to drive. Please call us for more details

    • Year: 2017
    • Mileage: 28695 mi
    For sale
  • 1978 Ferrari 308GTB

    $56,500(£45,301.70) $56,500(£45,301.70)

    Right-Hand-Drive 1978 Ferrari 308GTB: A Rare Discovery This 1978 Ferrari 308GTB Right-Hand- Drive is an extremely rare find. White with black interior and Koenig body kit. It's been sitting for 15 years in storage and needs work but it's not everyday you come across a right-hand-drive 308GTB . It runs and drives. A great car to restore and a very smart buy at just $56,500.

    • Year: 1978
    For sale
  • 1977 Ferrari 308 GTB

    $68,500(£54,923.30) $68,500(£54,923.30)

    Chequered Flag International is pleased to offer this 1977 Ferrari 308 GTB in White with Tan leather interior. 27856 miles. Very good straight and rust free body with nice older mainly original (I think) paint. Some color match variation from passenger door to rear quarter panel. Very nice original interior with great patina. No wear on passenger seat. Instrument panel should be recovered (shown). This is a fantastic first year steel bodied carbureted 308 - if this isn't collectable then no 308 is. Mechanically superb: In 2015 it was taken from a seven to ten year slumber to an independent Ferrari repair Sports Car Service in Tucker GA for a full check out resuscitation belt service etc. at a cost of around $11000. Service bill attached. Sold new 03/79 2nd owner 08/81 to present. The current title was issued on 08/81. Comes with its tatty handbook full jack bag and inspection light. Inspections encouraged. All sales AS-IS. Sales tax and license fees due if delivered in California Visit Chequered Flag International online at chequeredflag.com to see more pictures of this vehicle or call us at 310-827-8665 today to schedule your test drive.

    • Year: 1977
    For sale
  • Ferrari 308 GT4 Dino 1975

    POA POA

    SOLD / VERKAUFT / VENDU / VERKOCHT Ferrari 308 GT4 Dino 1975, well maintained, in very good condition This is a 1975 Ferrari GT4 Dino 2+2 coupe. The car has the original paint colour Rosso Corsa and black interior. Both the in- and outside are in a beautiful and very good condition. This Ferrari has a 2927 CC (3.0 ltr) engine and 5 speed manual gearbox. The car has driven 62.300 miles from new and is well maintained. A lot of invoices are present. The car will be delivered by us including major overhaul. Car has USA title and document importduties for every EU country are paid by us. Documentation is complete for registration in every EU country. You do not need to pay any importduties. We can help with transport. Trading in, buying and consignment possible.

    • Year: 1975
    For sale
  • FERRARI 308 GTB - ROSSO RED

    POA POA

    Information 1978 FERRARI 308 GTB (ROSSO RED) Manual Rosso Red Coachwork Black Leather Interior Cassette Stereo Air Condition Electric Windows 14" Alloy Wheels Original Handbook and Service Book Full service Service History Interested In Vehicle Print Vehicle Details Back To Index

    • Year: 1978
    • Mileage: 23000 mi
    For sale
  • 1985 Ferrari 308GTS Quattrovalvole

    $59,500(£47,707.10) $59,500(£47,707.10)

    Highly Desirable 1985 Ferrari 308GTS Quattrovalvole Euro Spec. This 1985 Ferrari 308GTS Quattrovalvole is a very desirable European model with 47k miles. Red with tan interior. It runs and drives excellent but could use servicing at this point. It's a good original car that comes accompanied by it's factory tools and jack. Price: $59,500

    • Year: 1985
    For sale
  • Ferrari 308 GTS

    POA POA

    Ferrari 308 GTS, 1982, red with black, 73,000 miles, full service history, recent big service including cambelts and refurb at Emblem Sports Cars, speedline factory wheels, deep front spoiler, stainless steel sports exhaust. Superb little 308 ready to use. £67,995

    • Year: 1982
    • Mileage: 73000 mi
    For sale
  • Ferrari 308 GTBi

    POA POA

    Vehicle Description Engine Capacity: 3 litre Mileage: 46 465 Body Style: Coupe Fuel: Petrol This stunning 1982 classic has just arrived in the showroom and it is clear to see that the full restoration has been a success. The Pininfarina-styled Ferrari 308 GTB was introduced at the Paris Motor Show in 1975[3] as a supplement to the Bertone-shaped 2+2 Dino 308 GT4 and a direct replacement for the 2-seater Dino 246. In 1980 Bosch K-Jetronic mechanical fuel injection was added on the 308 GTBi and GTSi; emissions decreased, at the price of a power drop to 214 PS (157 kW; 211 bhp) on European models and to 205 PS (151 kW; 202 bhp) on federalized models. The Bosch fuel injection system was coupled to a Marelli MED 803A Digiplex electronic ignition system, incorporating a coil, distributor and ignition module for each bank of cylinders.[6] Outside the car was identical to the 308 GTB/GTS, save for metric sized wheels of a slightly different design, fitted with Michelin TRX radial tyres—Michelin XWX on 16-inch wheels were optional. Inside the clock and oil temperature gauge were moved to the centre console; there were also a new black steering wheel with three perforated spokes, and seats o

    • Year: 1982
    • Mileage: 1000 mi
    For sale
  • Ferrari 308 GTSi

    POA POA

    POA The 308 replaced the 246 Dino in 1975 as Ferrari’s mid engine sports car. It was in production until 1985 when superseded by the 328 which was the last car of this iconic shape. Designed by Leonardo Fioravanti of Pininfarina (who was also responsible for the Ferrari Daytona) it was introduced at the Paris Motor Show in 1975 and still today it is recognised as one of Ferrari’s most celebrated shapes. Fitted with Bosch K-Jetronic mechanical fuel injection the 308 GTSi, produced 235 hp slightly less than the earlier carburettor cars. Decreasing emissions was a necessary requirement as regulations changed worldwide, especially the larges market in the USA. The 2.9Ltr V8 engine was coupled with a 5 speed all synchromesh gearbox propelling the car to in excess of 155 MPH with 0-60 times of 7.8 seconds. Greater performance is possible by removing the energy sapping catalytic converters and returning the car to European specification, which we are doing. This car, notable with its removable hard top, was made famous, not just by its track prowess but by the US TV detective series Magnum P.I. as driven by Tom Selleck, who had a number of the evolving models including the GTSi in the TV

    • Year: 1980
    • Mileage: 77500 mi
    For sale
  • 1981 Ferrari 308GTSi

    $49,500(£39,689.10) $49,500(£39,689.10)

    This 1981 Ferrari 308GTSI is an excellent original driver. Rosso Rubino with black leather interior. It has an a fter-market turbo installed. The car has 45k miles and had it's timing belt done 6 yrs ago. A very solid and straight car and a great buy at just $49,500

    • Year: 1981
    For sale
  • 1979 Ferrari 308GTS

    $67,500(£54,121.50) $67,500(£54,121.50)

    This 1979 308GTS is a very collectible carbureted example. It wears a beautiful color combination blue with tan leather interior. It also has only 48k miles from new and is a superb driver. An excellent original car for only $67,500

    • Year: 1979
    For sale
  • Ferrari 308 GTS RHD

    £84,995 £84,995

    Make: Ferrari Model: 308 GTS First Registered: 14/08/1978 Mileage: 87,265 Previous Owners: 9 Engine: 3.0 Ltr V8 Transmission: Manual Paint Colour: Giallo Fly Yellow Trim Colour: Nero Leather Carpet Colour: Black Doors: 2 Seats: 2 MOT: TBA TAX: TBA HPI: Clear Warranty: 3 Month Cover Included - Upgrades Available

    • Year: 1978
    • Mileage: 87265 mi
    For sale
  • 1978 Ferrari 308GTS

    $52,500(£42,094.50) $52,500(£42,094.50)

    1978 Ferrari 308GTS This 1978 Ferrari 308GTS is an excellent original California car and a solid driver. Black with tan interior and 80k miles. This highly desirable carbureted 308 also comes accompanied by its original tool roll. It could use minor cosmetics as the paint and interior are passable but a bit tired. It runs and drives well but could also benefit from a servicing at this point. A good original car at a bargain price of only $52,500

    • Year: 1978
    For sale
  • 1977 Ferrari 308 GTB Coupe

    POA POA

    1977 Ferrari 308 GTB Coupe Chassis no.21441 UK road reg.RHD converted to a race car around 1997 and twice winner of the Pirelli Maranello Ferrari Challenge, the FOC Hillclimb Championship, the Mario Andretti Cup, the Sir Anthony Bamford Cup, The Targa Stradale Cup, plus many class wins in 2008 Oulton Park Pirelli Classic 3.rd , Mallory Park Sports GT 1 st. Spa Francorchamps Classic 3rd. In 2009 it was campaigned by Paul Unsworth in 2009 in the Pirelli Ferrari Formula Classic and the Classic Sports Car Club Future Classic and features in Classic and Sports Car article Horses and Courses Feb. 2010 issue. SPECIFICATION: ENGINE 3 litre v8 dry sump, 4 Webber carbs high com pistons Ansa exhaust larger radiator cambelts August 2009 plus headgaskets replaced by Damax Eng. cost £3,832

    • Year: 1977
    • Mileage: 40000 mi
    For sale
  • 1983 FERRARI 308 GTB Group B

    POA POA

    This Ferrari 308 GTB Group B chassis no. is 18869 is the first of the only four Ferrari 308 GTB Group B built by Michelotto. Â The car was completed in February 1983 for the Pro Motor Sport team in Italy. This Ferrari 308 GTB Group B is considered as a "prototype" and the only one on the four cars with a two valves engine and a fiberglass body. This car has an extremely interesting racing history, including: 1983 1st of the Sicilian Rally Championship 1984 1st of the Spanish Rally Championship 1984 3rd at the Targa Florio

    For sale
  • Ferrari 308 GT4

    POA POA

    One of our current projects in the workshop is this 1976 308 GT4. We have recently purchased the car after it had been with its previous custodian since 1981. We retrieved it from the back of a cow shed where it had been stored for several years. The car was very original and un-molestered but in need of some refurbishment work. The car has a comprehensive history file and all original books and wallet are complete. A summary of work carried out to date include : Bare metal re spray with fabrication work as required. Engine gear box removed. Major service including valve clearances Engine / gearbox detailed Chassis prepared and painted before engine/gearbox reinstalled Suspension removed and overhauled. Please call for further details.

    • Year: 1976
    For sale
  • 1978 Ferrari 308 GTB

    POA POA

    The Ferrari 308 GTB was the successor to the Dino 308 GT4. The engine, driveline, suspension, steering and brakes are shared with the GT4, but to style the car, Ferrari returned to Pininfarina rather than partner with Bertone again. The svelte lines penned by Leonardo Fioravanti at Pininfarina remain as alluring today as they were when first revealed in 1975. This particular 308 GTB was built in 1978, originally finished in Argento Auteuil over red Rosso hide. It was repainted in 1986 to its current red Rosso Corsa colour , and was retrimmed in Crema hide with red piping and red carpets. The car has electric windows, air-conditioning and 16-inch, Speedline split-rim alloy wheels. The file that accompanies this superb 308 GTB includes a substantial number of invoices and certificates to authenticate the car’s excellent condition and history, including records of an eight-year period of ownership with the renowned music producer, Pete Waterman. After spending the last four years in Australia, the car returned to the UK in August. It has driven less than 100 miles since its last annual service, and has a documented mileage of 51600 miles from new. Just like its GT4 forebear, the 308 G

    For sale
  • Ferrari 308 GTS

    POA POA

    The Ferrari 308 GTB was the successor to the Dino 308 GT4. Indeed, when the new Ferrari was first spotted testing in Italy, the ‘Prancing Horse’ magazine in the US called the 308 GTB ‘a very new Dino’. While the production car was Ferrari-badged from day one, it shared many of the Dino’s star qualities. The engine, driveline, suspension, steering and brakes are shared with the 308 GT4, but to style the car, Ferrari returned to Pininfarina rather than work with Bertone again. The svelte lines penned by Leonardo Fioravanti at Pininfarina remain as stunning today as they were when first revealed in 1975. In 1977, the Ferrari 308 GTS was introduced, which featured the added benefit of a black targa roof panel that could be easily removed and stowed in the cabin behind the seats. This particular Ferrari 308 GTS is an original right-hand-drive example, first registered in the UK in June 1979. It is presented in red (Rosso Corsa) over beige (Sabbia) hide with Corda carpets, and still has its original and correct shallow front spoiler. The factory specification included air-conditioning and wide wheels. The beautiful interior has outstanding patina with the all-original leather trim; its c

    For sale
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