Enzo Ferrari’s first son, Alfredino “Dino” Ferrari was a shining star in his father’s eyes. In in early twenties, he was headed for promising career as an engineer and businessman, poised to take over his father’s motoring empire and contine the Ferrari legacy through the next generation. Dino rapidly gained experience working alongside some of the greatest engineers in history such as Vittorio Jano and Gioacchino Colombo. Dino is credited with the concept of the big-bore 4-cylinder 750 Monza which spawned several other variants and proved to be a successful endurance racer. The 4-cylinder cars relied on their prodigious torque, light weight and understressed nature to bring home the gold for Ferrari when the more rapid but fragile V12s failed. While Enzo was a traditionally stubborn man, he often listened when his son spoke and Dino had convinced his father of the merits of a compact V6 both in competition and for the road. Sadly, Dino became ill and passed away at only 24 and the world never got to see his full potential. In the young man’s honor, the jewel-like 2.0 liter DOHC V6 he inspired was the first to be fitted to a mid-engine production Ferrari. Technically, the car was not officially badged as a Ferrari but it was the real deal in all but its official name. Perhaps in the ultimate tribute to his son, Enzo named the car Dino and living up to the younger Ferrari’s dream, the car spawned an unbroken line of mid-engine V8-powered cars that became the company’s lifeblood through to this day.
The first successor to the Dino, the 308, grew in size, gained two cylinders and finally earned a Ferrari badge. The 308 GTB/GTS became the company’s most successful model to date, selling more than 12,000 examples over a 10 year production span. As with the Dino 246 before it, the 308 was offered as a GTB “Berlinetta” coupe or a GTS with a removable targa roof. The 3.0 liter four-cam V8 debuted with four downdraught Weber carburetors, gaining fuel injection on later models. Carbureted 308s are sought after for their raw, guttural nature and fabulous soundtrack. The chassis is also a delight – with light, direct steering, kart-like handling and the tactile gaited shifter, it is a proper driver’s car. As the volume leader for so many years, the 308 found itself at the bottom of the collectability scale, and as a result a great many suffered from poor maintenance. Today, properly maintained 308s are highly sought after and the model is enjoying a well-deserved renaissance along with a corresponding jump in value and collectability.
This tidy 1979 308 GTB is the most desirable of the 308 series, the fixed roof carbureted car and comes to us from a long-term knowledgeable enthusiast. It shows approximately 81,000 miles, which to the uninitiated may seem high, but it is often the case that often cars that are regularly exercised perform better, and reward with greater reliability than those that sit unused. This example was regularly exercised and regularly maintained and it presents very well, indeed. Finished in classic Rosso Chiaro over black leather, the body is straight and attractive with very good paint and correct detailing. The panel fit is very good, and the undercarriage is tidy and clean. The vulnerable front spoiler is in very good condition, showing no cracks or curb damage. It wears correct original bumpers, mirrors and signature 5-spoke alloy wheels. The wheels are in good condition and are fitted with an excellent set of Pirelli P4000 tires, while the spare wheel still wears an original Michelin.
The black interior is in very good order with excellent leather seats, tidy black carpeting and a very good dash that shows no shrinking or cracks. The correct original steering wheel, instruments and switchgear are all in very good order and the only deviation from factory is the fitment of an aftermarket radio. Door panels and console trim are similarly very neat and tidy.
Behind the seats rests the sweet, revvy four-cam 3.0 liter V8 engine and 5-speed transaxle. The engine has recently been serviced with new belts and other necessary work, and the engine bay is orderly, clean and correct. Of course, with use comes maintenance and this example has certainly not been neglected. Recent service records will be included in the sale, as well as original books, manuals and tools. Even without the service records, it is clearly evident this has been a very well maintained example. Regular use ensures the chassis, brakes and suspension work well and the car feels excellent on the road. Much like an old baseball glove or a vintage guitar, a classic Ferrari will only feel better with every use. For the enthusiast who wants one of the all-time great driver’s sports cars they can actually drive, look no further than this excellent 308GTB.
Jun 21, 2018