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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
49500 260000 GBP
  • Ferrari 308 GTS Carburettor

    £74,995 £74,995

    1980 Ferrari 308 GTS Carburettor. Presented in Rosso Corsa with Tan leather and Bordeaux carpets. One of only 184 UK RHD cars produced, still retaining the original, Black windscreen surround, tool kit and jack kit. Complemented with a large history folder, deep front spoiler and a stainless steel sports exhaust system.

    • Year: 1980
    • Mileage: 67389 mi
    For sale
    £74,995 £74,995
    The Ferrari Centre
    01622 759599 View contact number
  • Ferrari 308

    €260,000(£0) €260,000(£0)

    Specifications Year of manufacture: 1977 Chassis number: 20683 Exterior color: Rosso Corsa Interior color: Black Mileage: 8500 Km HP: 255cv Engine displacement: 2926 cm3 Gearbox: Manual Delivery country: France – Charles Pozzi History and maintenance The 308 is a magnificent and timeless vehicle with side air intake which is the most beautiful design detail and a nice reference to Dino. This car shows 8500 km on the odometer and has been delivered to its first owner in 1977 in France by Charles Pozzi. This is a highly sought-after model with the polyester body, commonly called Vetroresina, and made in only 712 copies. This beautiful 308 has been restored in Maranello: Body (Mirage Carozzeria), upholstery (Medici Style), electricity (Dario Gozzi) and a mechanical service (Gianni Sala). A book with each restoration step will be delivered with the car. This car is Classiche Ferrari and matching numbers. Warranty The vehicle will be sold revised and guaranteed 3 months or 5000 Km Price 260 000 euros Ad link http://www.jeanlainvintage.com/vehicule/15046-ferrari-308-gtb-vetroresina/ Find us and contact us Jean Lain Vintage – Showroom / +334 79 88 66 36 – Jérôme Millias +337 60 14 73 07 11 Rue de la Dent du Chat 73 420 Voglans France info@jeanlainvintage.com http://jeanlainvintage.com/ Opening hours From Monday to Friday, 8am to 12am and 2pm to 7pm

    • Year: 1977
    • Mileage: 5300 mi
    For sale
    €260,000(£0) €260,000(£0)
  • Ferrari 308 GTBi A truly beautiful Iconic Ferrari in outstanding condition that will not disappoint any true enthusiast, exceptional classic Ferrari

    £104,900 £104,900

    Multi award-winning prestige car dealership John Holland is excited to offer for sale this Stunning Collector’s example Ferrari 308 GTBi. Having bought and sold many beautiful classic Ferrari over the last 40 years here at John Holland we are always pleasantly surprised to come across such a beautiful and low mileage example of this vintage, Presented in the must have colour for any Ferrari of Rosso Red complimented with Full original unmolested Tan Leather Upholstery. The Pininfarina-styled Ferrari 308 GTB was introduced at the Paris Motor Show in 1975 as a supplement to the Bertone-shaped 2+2 Dino 308 GT4 and a direct replacement for the 2-seater Dino 246. The GTB/GTS became one of the more recognizable and iconic cars produced by Ferrari to date and was made famous on the television series Magnum P.I. where the series lead Thomas Magnum (Tom Selleck) drove the car around Oahu for 8 seasons while on his investigations from 1980-1989. A truly beautiful Iconic Ferrari in outstanding condition that will not disappoint any true enthusiast willing to travel to view the exceptional classic Ferrari. Coming with the all important original owner’s manual and toolkit and an extensive histo

    • Year: 1982
    • Mileage: 46466 mi
    For sale
    £104,900 £104,900
  • Ferrari 308

    £104,900 £104,900

    Variant: GTBi A truly beautiful Iconic Ferrari in outstanding condition that will not disappoint any true enthusiast, exceptional classic Ferrari Multi award-winning prestige car dealership John Holland is excited to offer for sale this Stunning Collector’s example Ferrari 308 GTBi. Having bought and sold many beautiful classic Ferrari over the last 40 years here at John Holland we are always pleasantly surprised to come across such a beautiful and low mileage example of this vintage, Presented in the must have colour for any Ferrari of Rosso Red complimented with Full original unmolested Tan Leather Upholstery. The Pininfarina-styled Ferrari 308 GTB was introduced at the Paris Motor Show in 1975 as a supplement to the Bertone-shaped 2+2 Dino 308 GT4 and a direct replacement for the 2-seater Dino 246. The GTB/GTS became one of the more recognizable and iconic cars produced by Ferrari to date and was made famous on the television series Magnum P.I. where the series lead Thomas Magnum (Tom Selleck) drove the car around Oahu for 8 seasons while on his investigations from 1980-1989. A truly beautiful Iconic Ferrari in outstanding condition that will not disappoint any true enthusiast willing to travel to view the exceptional classic Ferrari. Coming with the all important original owner’s manual and toolkit and an extensive history file this is a Ferrari not to be missed. Supplied new to its first keeper by Colmore Depot Ltd in West Bromwich and service by them in 16/08/82, 2/11/82, Modena Ferrari on 30/09/83, J.J Sussex on 31/08/84, 02/03/86, 18/01/88, 20/07/89, 14/03/04, 18/07/08, Shiltech Ferrari Specialist on 06/07/11 at 44952 Miles Inc Cambelts, 15/03/13 at 45952 Miles inc Cambelts and finally on 10/09/15 at 46160 Miles. John Holland has been established for over 40 years supplying a premium level of service in the sale of sports, prestige and collectors cars. We have a team of experienced buyers who hand pick our cars from all parts of the UK so you can buy with confidence all vehicles are HPI Clear and prepared to the highest standard, full dealer facilities available call the sales team for further information.

    • Year: 1982
    • Mileage: 46466 mi
    • Engine size: 2.9
    For sale
    £104,900 £104,900
  • Ferrari 308

    £59,995 £59,995

    Variant: GT4 The 308 GT4 is the precursor to every mid-engined V8 Ferrari up to the current 458 Italia. Bertone’s bold, angular car was the successor to Pininfarina’s svelte 246 Dino, and with a transverse-mounted engine, the design allowed for a 2+2 seating layout. It is a wonderful car to drive, with a flexible 3.0-litre V8 and fully independent suspension, which allows for fast, relaxed and comfortable progress. The 308 GT4 was a smash hit with the motoring press at the time, with Motorsport magazine’s 1974 road test concluding: ‘This must be the car for which nearly every Dino 246GT owner has been waiting’. Elsewhere, John Bolster writing in Autosport said, ‘It is delightful to drive and worthy of bearing that most famous name’. This particular Ferrari 308 GT4 - chassis s/n 14354 - first registered in 1978, is a lovely example, finished in red (Rosso Corsa) with Cream (Crema) hide and red carpets. The car also has electric windows, air-conditioning and five-spoke magnesium alloy wheels. This fantastic Ferrari was first seen by Foskers in July 2013 and have maintained the car to date. These compact 2+2 Ferraris are great to drive with tremendous investment potential. Foskers has sold more Ferrari 308 GT4s over the last two years than anyone else, and this is yet another solid example. Not only is the mileage genuine and well documented and is ready to drive and enjoy. Call us now to arrange a viewing of this fast-appreciating, iconic supercar. For more information, please call the Sales team on 01474 874555 or 07921 430430 or 07515 430430

    • Year: 1978
    • Mileage: 61716 mi
    • Engine size: 2.9
    For sale
    £59,995 £59,995
  • Ferrari 308 GTS QV

    £74,995 £74,995

    1983 Ferrari 308 GTS QV. Presented in Rosso Corsa with Tan leather and Bordeaux carpets. This vehicle still retains the leather wallet, book pack, jack kit, tool kit, original vinyl roof panel and metric TRX wheels. Also fitted with a sports exhaust, deep front spoiler and enamel Scuderia wing shields. A lovely example of a desirable classic.

    • Year: 1983
    • Mileage: 56689 mi
    For sale
    £74,995 £74,995
  • Ferrari 308 3,0 GTB

    €107,500(£0) €107,500(£0)

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

    • Year: 1979
    For sale
    €107,500(£0) €107,500(£0)
  • Ferrari 308 3,0 GTB

    €101,400(£0) €101,400(£0)

    Ferrari 308 3,0 GTB Equipment: Ekstrem Sjælden eksemplar 1 Af de allerførste med Stål karrosseri Bilen er i meget fin stand Motor Renoveret med Dokumentation Fin Historie Bemærk at bilen er på Danske Plader Hvem kommer først ring for info

    • Year: 1976
    For sale
    €101,400(£0) €101,400(£0)
  • 1975 Ferrari 308 GT4

    $110,000(£0) $110,000(£0)

    Chequered Flag International is pleased to offer this 1975 Ferrari 308 GT4 in Silver with Red Leather. We sourced a very honest local So Cal 308 GT4 for a client with an expensive multi car collection around two years ago. He wanted the best he could get and sent it to Rod Drew at Francorchamps Ferrari Service in Costa Mesa to oversee a restoration and do all the mechanical work. We have numerous invoices dated 11/2015 to 02/17 which come $89,000 with parts close to $24k and paint & body over $25k (receipts below). Extensive photos show the depth of the undertaking (To view full set of restoration photos please see https://goo.gl/photos/T3EWbmp8dU6LEiGS8 ). Very recently finished. The buyer having decided that he is not spending enough time on the mainland to justify owning it has sold most of his collection. This one came straight from the restoration work to our showroom. We are now selling it on his behalf. Most GT4's seem to have suffered from lack of upkeep to a greater extent than the GTB/GTS models and there were far fewer of them built. Rare to find a good one - unheard of to find one this good. Inspections encouraged. All sales AS-IS. Sales tax and license fees due if deli

    For sale
    $110,000(£0) $110,000(£0)
  • Ferrari 308

    £86,500 £86,500

    Stunning Ferrari 308 GTSi Quattrovalvole in mint condition with low mileage (54tsd KM = 33k miles) for sale. first reg: 7/85 HP/KW: 240/177 ccm: 2927 color: rosso Interior: original leather crema mileage: 54.035 KM = 33k miles technical inspection (TÜV): 9/2019 (new) tires: +5mm belt & inspection: new (9/2017 at Ferrari Berlin) A very nice car in a mint condition. First registration in Rome / Italy in 1985. Documents show 3 owners until today. All necessary works have been done at Ferrari berlin incl. new engine belt and full service. Original documents incl. servicebook and owners manual as well as original tools come with the car. Price: 95.000,- Euro (private sale - no VAT) Contakt: limbach@autoclassicsclub.de Tel.: + 49 -30 - 809 33 1010 (Ralf Limbach)

    • Year: 1985
    • Mileage: 33000 mi
    • Engine size: 3
    For sale
    £86,500 £86,500
    Ralf Limbach
    Ralf Limbach
  • Ferrari 308 GT4-penultimate owner for 29 years Ferrari

    £54,990 £54,990

    Ordered by Maranello Concessionaires Ltd -order number 263- with the factory ,one Rosso Chiaro 20-R-190 with brown leatherette with beige cloth inserts and brown carpets. Completed by the factory and delivered by truck to the UK in early January 1977.First registered SAP 1 by Maranello Concessionaires Ltd to Mr James Mc Donald, on the 14th February 1977.The then (January 1977)list price being £11,660.22 plus delivery, charges and number plates.7.5"wide wheels adding £280.80. The car passed into the ownership of Mr Eric Miles on the 1st November 1979. Mrs Valerie Warner became the third owner two and half years later on the 1st July 1982, re registering the car UNF 1,a number removed from her Triumph Stag ,which presumably the GT4 replaced. Registered to Mr Gerry Coleman on the 25th August 1983 still registered UNF 1.Mr Andrew Goodwin a became the next owner, swapping an Avon converted Daimler Double six convertible(this was apparently later sold to a director and appeared in an episode of Dallas) -worth approximately £3000 with his friend Gerry Coleman ,also transferring UNF 1 onto it . Mr Goodwin had previously owned a 246 GTS and went on to own a 365 GTB/4 Daytona,- which Rardley

    • Year: 1977
    • Mileage: 56000 mi
    For sale
    £54,990 £54,990
  • Ferrari 308 GTS Ferrari

    £79,990 £79,990

    Order number S/180,was placed with the factory by Maranello Concessionaires Ltd's managing director ,Mr Sean Bealey on Monday 5th November 1979 for an Argento Auteil (silver) 308 GTS with beige hide (VM3218) seats with black hide (VM 8500) door cards with black carpets. In addition to the metallic paint the car was optioned with 7.5"wide wheels-now replaced with 16" wheels. Duly completed and invoiced by the Ferrari factory on the 11th January 1980 for delivery to the UK by truck. Upon its arrival in the UK , Maranello Concessionaires Ltd invoiced their then Ferrari agents in Torquay ,Devon Wadham Stringer-(who were also Rolls-Royce and Bentley dealers-Torquay also had a De Tomaso dealerships!)on the 3rd March 1980. According to the marketing form a "60+ year old solicitor Mr George Langwell-Plum" became the first owner, being registered ODV 6W,on the 27th January 1981.By 1988 the car had covered a mere 11,500 miles. Upon its sale in July 2003 by Mr Langwell-Plum when it had covered a warranted 15,500 miles adding to the letter "The vehicle has been serviced in accordance with the manufacturers recommendations ,initially at the selling dealers, but subsequently by a private garage

    • Year: 1981
    • Mileage: 21700 mi
    For sale
    £79,990 £79,990
  • Ferrari 308 GTB

    POA POA

    308 GTB 1977 Steel body *Dry sump* Originally a UK registered car this example was sent to the USA in 1984. It was repatriated to the UK in 2016 and sent to our workshops for the following refurbishment works. Bare metal re-spray with metal fabrications as required and finished in its original Rosso Chairo. Refurbished wheels with a fresh set of Michelin XWX tyres. Major mechanical overhaul. Detailed listings of works carried out are available on request. Completely original interior in excellent condition. Service book, handbook and wallet present. Registration number TBC.

    • Year: 1984
    • Mileage: 32900 mi
    For sale
    POA POA