Ferrari 308 GTB/GTS – A Piece of the Italian History

The 70s was a golden era for Ferrari. The Maranello-based manufacturer swirled out some of the most impressive vehicles during this decade of time.

First, the Ferrari 308 GTB (Gran Turismo Berlinetta) and Targa topped 308 GTS are V8 mid-engined, two-seater sports cars manufactured by the Italian company Ferrari from 1975 to 1985. The 308 replaced the Dino 246 GT and GTS in 1975 and was later revised as the 328 GTB/GTS in 1985.

Next, the rather similar-looking 208 GTB and GTS were equipped with a smaller, originally naturally aspirated, and later turbocharged two-liter engine and were sold mainly in Italy, leaving the 308 as the flagship model.

Ferrari 308 History

The long-awaited replacement for the Dino 246 GT model made its first appearance at the 1975 Paris Salon. Built to a Pininfarina design by Scaglietti, it retained the 308 GT4′s V8, albeit with dry-sump lubrication. The latter made for lower engine mounting and better cooling thanks to the fact that more oil was present. The first models boasted fiberglass coachwork.

Ferrari 308 Performance

Rosso Red Ferrari 308 GTS captured by Louis-Nicolas Darbon in Mayfair, London

At the heart of the 308 is its iconic 3-liter V8 engine producing 252 bhp and 285 Nm torque at 5,000 RPM. This iconic car achieved 0-100 km/h from standing start in around 6,5 seconds. Of course, in modern days, when family SUVs make 2-3 sec 0-100 km/h times, it doesn’t look that fast, but in 1975 it was a stunning time. The top speed of the 308 was 252 km/h, which made it one of the fastest cars in the seventies.

Ferrari 308 Design

The Pininfarina-designed body had an all-new pronounced wedge profile, with a rectangular egg-crate aluminum radiator grille below a slim full-width satin black front bumper. However, there were numerous key design elements of the Dino 246 GT carried through into the body details – such as the scalloped door intakes, twin circular rear light assemblies, and the vertical concave rear screen bounded by buttressed sail panels. In essence, the shape was a modernization of the Dino’s, with enough traces of its predecessor to provide a thread of continuity, earning praise from the press and clients alike.

One feature that was not immediately noticeable, was that the 308 GTB was fitted with an entire fiberglass body, apart from the aluminum front lid. It was the first Ferrari production car to feature fiberglass as body material. The idea has not been repeated in high-volume manufacturing since then. However, individual Fibreglass panels have been used on many cars from then until now, particularly for the front and rear valances and nose sections.

Ferrari 308 Sketches

Although the standard of finish was very high, a return to the more traditional pressed steel and aluminum happened in late 1976 for USA cars and around mid-1977 for European models. The simplest way to identify a fiberglass-bodied model is to see if there is an indent line between the front screen pillar and roof panel. If there is one, then the body is made of fiberglass.

USA market cars can be identified by heavier bumper assemblies and rectangular side marker lights on the wings. An optional deep front spoiler became available during 1977, which like the standard shallow spoiler, was a fiberglass molding. Like the Dino series, a luggage compartment was provided in the tail of the car behind the engine bay.

Current Price

Last, according to classic.com, the highest recorded sale was $159,500 for a 1977 Ferrari 308 GTB on August 14, 2021. If you were to buy a piece of Italian history, the average price of a Ferrari 308 GTB is around $83,350. The GTS shares the same price tag. While scrolling on AutoScout24, you can find models from €63,000 to an outstanding €150,000. But the high-priced ones had only one previous owner and low mileage on the clock.

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