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Ferrari 308 - Affordable classic (Magnum's car)

Updated on December 10, 2014

Ferrari 308 GTS QV (Want to look like Magnum?)

The Ferrari 308 is an affordable Classic car; inexpensive to run and purchase, but with looks that still turn heads. And of course you will look like Magnum star, Tom Selleck!

The Ferrari 308 and the almost identical 328 that followed were mid-engined "supercars" from the late 1970s to early 1990s; one of the best sports cars of the era. It looks and sounds fantastic with it's high-revving Italian V8 engine.

This is a review about the wonderful car and of course Magnum PI

My Ferrari 308 GTS QV in France

My Ferrari 308 GTS QV in France
My Ferrari 308 GTS QV in France

Magnum PI - The classic TV Show Set in Hawaii, Starring Tom Selleck

Want to look like Magnum PI?

Buy a Classic Ferrari 308 GTS and You Could Look Like Tom Selleck

As a small boy of nine, while watching Magnum PI on TV, I announced that I was going to buy one of those Ferrari 308s, like Magnum's. I was told that I would probably never sit in one, let alone be able to afford one... That was a challenge. I set a target to buy one for my 30th birthday... And I bought one. Not a 360, 355 or 348, but the one I wanted when I was nine. It was fantastic...

1985 Ferrari 308 GTS QV

1985 Ferrari 308 GTS QV
1985 Ferrari 308 GTS QV

My Experience of Ferrari Ownership

So what's the 308 like?

It is fast even by modern standards, but feels faster. It sounds like a really expensive chainsaw. A small (3 litre) high-revving V8 sits just behind your head, and eggs you on. The rev counter has a wide red-band. If you feel rich, rev to the top of the band where it sounds absolutely fantastic, but could result in a very expensive repair bill. As you slow down the four exhausts crackle and pop. When accelerating it screams. To quote Ferris Bueller "If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up". O.K. he was talking about the 250 California Spider, and the 308 is not quite that pretty, but it does at least go round corners.

I bought the "QV" (Quattrovalvole") The "Best" one. It has higher quality steel body-work and a 32 valve injected V8, but earlier models with carbs and mild steel exhausts do sound better and the early plastic bodied ones are the fastest of the lot. The intermediate injected 16 valve GTBi and GTSi that came before the QV specifically introduced to meet the new US emissions requirement, are the least powerful, but still look great and as a consequence should be slightly more reasonably priced. If/when I buy another one, it will be an early steel GTS (targa-top) with carbs... In red. In terms of image I will look either cool or a bit of an arse. O.K. probably the latter, especially in that Hawaiian shirt, but I don't care.

You can pick one up for less than half the price of a standard Porsche Boxster. It's quicker, sounds better and far less common. That's probably not a fair comparison as you really could use the Porsche every day and not worry about reliability, but my Ferrari never let me down.

Ferrari 308 GTS

Ferrari 308 GTS
Ferrari 308 GTS

Performance, Specifications and History

The three litre, V8, 308 GTB was built by Carrozzeria Scagletti, initially being made from glass-reinforced plastic over a tubular steel frame, from 1975 until 1977 then replaced with steel body panels and the GTS targa-top version was launched. The similar 328, with the enlarged 3.2 litre engine, replaced the 308 in 1985 until 1989

Ferrari 308 GTB

Engine: 3.0 litre V8 initially with 4 Weber carburetors

Power: 252 bhp

Top speed: 159 mph (256 km/h)

0-60mph: 6.5s

Weight: 1,050kg (2,315lb)

Later steel versions were a little heavier and in 1980 the GTBi and GTSi had fuel injection to reduce emissions reducing the power to just 214 bhp, although the 32 valve Quattrovavlvo or QV model arrived in 1982 which had 245 bhp.

Until the arrival of the Dino 246 a few years earlier all Ferraris had V12 engines and were extremely expensive. The Dino had a 2.4 litre V6 (hence the 246 name) This was never supposed to be a Ferrari, but a new less expensive brand, but dealers badged the cars as Ferraris and the name stuck. The Dino 308 GT4 that followed had a four-seater body designed by Bertone and had the new 3.0 litre V8 engine, later used in the Ferrari 308. The Bertone car was not as popular at the time and the 308 GTS and GTB designed by Pininfarina, that followed, was a far bigger sucess and continued for many years, later in the form of the 328. The 348 and 355 followed in similar (if less attractive form in my opinion) until the arrival of the all new Ferrari 360, the similar 430 that followed and the current Ferrari 458 Italia. These should really be called "Dinos" given their heritage and lack of a V12 engine.

The line of classic front-engined V12 cars have continued in the form of Ferrari 550 and 575 Maranello, 456, 599, Scaglietti etc. which are a similar concept to the beautiful 365 GTB/4 Daytona Gran Turismo coupe of the late 1960s and early 70s

Running Costs

Servicing is quite expensive, comparable to high performance modern cars and more frequent (at least every 6000 miles) but insurance is not, if you keep the mileage down, keep it garaged and opt for a classic car policy (e.g. £300 in my case, for a 3000 mile a year policy). Fuel consumption is variable. I drove to Le Mans 24 hour race with some petrol-heads and managed just 12 mpg, whereas a trip to the Loire valley with a refined lady resulted in 22 mpg. As for practicality it has a small boot at the front mostly full of spare tyre and a surprisingly large boot behind the engine big enough for a couple of squashy bags and a case of wine (shame the wine gets cooked by that hot little engine) The interior is beautiful and surprisingly comfortable, although the ride is quite hard and you sit very low. Handling and road-holding are fantastic with very communicative steering.

I would recommend being very careful when buying a car like this. Get it mechanically checked by an expert and make sure it's not stolen. A previous owner of my 308 claimed it was stolen from him while he was out of the country. I bought from a reputable dealer who provided me with solicitors to act on my behalf and proved the previous owner's ex-wife had sold it in his absence! It was annoying, but cost me nothing.

Ferrari 308 GTS

Ferrari 308 GTS
Ferrari 308 GTS

Should You Buy An Old Ferrari?

Conclusion

Would I recommend buying a 308? Absolutely. These cars are enormous fun, quite reliable, beautiful and sound fantastic. The 308 is not too expensive to run, but only buy one if you can afford an occasional, potentially large bill.

Ferrari 308 GTS

Ferrari 308 GTS
Ferrari 308 GTS

My Lensography

Please have a look at my Lensography too (specialising in travel, finance and classic cars):

AndyPo's Home Page

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    • profile image

      DoveFreexrolo 21 months ago

      It’s really a cool and helpful piece of info. I am glad that you shared this helpful information with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      InsasiaSic 2 years ago

      Great website! It looks extremely good! Maintain the excellent work!

    • Yvette Munro profile image

      Yvette Munro 3 years ago

      Congrats on your purchase and living up to the challenge. Hope you get lots of enjoyment from it.

    • CampingmanNW profile image

      CampingmanNW 3 years ago

      Nice blab on the 308. Unfortunately, the last time I saw the 'Original car' that was used on Magnum P.I., it was sitting on the back lot of Universal Studios, sans it's top and exposed to the elements. The interior and carpeting had long since gone south and there were spots growing on what was remaining of the carpeting. The tires had seen a better day as well I am afraid. Now....to be honest, Universal Studios may have since reclaimed and repaired that wonderful old car, but knowing the movie business, my guess is that it will stay as is until once again needed for another show. Studio 'in-house' refurbishment is far cheaper than purchasing a new 308. Thanks for a nice article on a great car. Cheers.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 3 years ago from USA

      Well Andy, I think if it's something that you've been dreaming of and can afford it, why not go for the dream. It is a great car and how funny that I saw this on national name your car day? Good seeing you here Andy, it's been a long time.

    • Andy-Po profile image
      Author

      Andy 3 years ago from London, England

      @Countryluthier: Thanks very much. I have also seen similar Ferraris for rent, by the hour in Vegas and various European cities.

    • Countryluthier profile image

      E L Seaton 3 years ago from Virginia

      Sounds inviting. Perhaps I'll rent one for selfies one day. Methinks I saw them for rent by the hour in Vegas. Revvvingly great lens!!

    • magicalfuture profile image

      magicalfuture 4 years ago

      I love this car ever since childhood; pictures everywhere in my room of great Ferrari's and of course Magnum! Love Magnumhad ; I had big big poster on my wall of him ;-)))

    • lang-passion profile image

      lang-passion 4 years ago

      Ferrari is one of my favorit cars. This is great lens about this type of cars.

    • profile image

      chickie99 4 years ago

      nothing better thank a gtb!

    • Alanito profile image

      Alanito 4 years ago

      Cool lens. I love Ferraris and one day I'm gonna have one :) I also love the F40 and Testarossa, they are just special

    • xceeduk profile image

      xceeduk 4 years ago

      I used to have one of these cars when I was young - unfortunately, it was made by Corgi and not Matchbox

      If you have the time please have a look out the 2013 review of the latest luxury cars which you may find interesting. Any feedback would be appreciated.

      https://hubpages.com/autos/which-luxury-chauffeur-...

    • kabbalah lm profile image

      kabbalah lm 4 years ago

      Cool car. I loved Magnum. It was a great show

    • giovi64 lm profile image

      giovi64 lm 5 years ago

      Your lenses accelerate my heart like the Ferrari.

      Good job.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Ferrari 308 is the best car in the word

    • profile image

      sailor_man 5 years ago

      Awesome page. I loved the content and I've gave it a Squid Like. Can you return the favor on one of mine?

    • profile image

      ForensicCookie 5 years ago

      Ferrari is the best. thanks for the lens!

    • BillyPilgrim LM profile image

      BillyPilgrim LM 5 years ago

      Great lens - thanks for sharing x

    • MatijaB LM profile image

      MatijaB LM 5 years ago

      Great lens, I am big fan of Magnum:).

    • profile image

      motobidia 5 years ago

      The color red and Ferrari complement each other well! I've nominated your lens for today's SquidQuest celebrating the color red. Well done!

    • profile image

      CEFA-CEFA 5 years ago

      great lens

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Beautiful classic car.

    • profile image

      DMVAgent 5 years ago

      117 comments in squidoo - that's a big crowd this car has got. Nice!

    • profile image

      BritFun 5 years ago

      Great looking car - but cheap to run? I don't think so! Still - worth it - I bet it draws a crowd every time you park. Enjoy it.

    • profile image

      Ladybird 5 years ago

      Great lens. We would all love a Ferrari.

    • Russel Shackleton profile image

      Russel Shackleton 5 years ago

      great lens, got to drive a Ferrari for the first time a few weeks ago (a 360), unforgettable experience

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 5 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Love the car - lucky you!

    • profile image

      Doc_Holliday 5 years ago

      Move over Magnum. Time for someone else to have a go. I wish!!!

    • JoyfulReviewer profile image

      JoyfulReviewer 5 years ago

      I loved watching Tom Selleck (I mean Magnum) ... and that classic Ferrari. Thanks for sharing your personal experience and Ferrari photos. ~~Blessed~~

    • profile image

      Petar 5 years ago

      I am jealous. I love this classic Ferrari!

    • Nany Palacio profile image

      Nany Palacio 5 years ago

      i love ferrari... What a great information you gave us.

      Thanks

    • TTMall profile image

      TTMall 5 years ago

      Great Lens with great resources!

    • RCGraphicsDesign profile image

      RCGraphicsDesign 5 years ago

      I don't have Magnum's Ferrari - just have the shirt. Oh well. Love your lens. I always loved his Ferrari as I watched every week. Thank you.

    • profile image

      mantele11 5 years ago

      I love Ferrari, one of the most beautiful car in my opinion. Great lens.

    • profile image

      Adrijan 5 years ago

      Great lens i love ferrari

    • profile image

      geoauto 5 years ago

      is ferrari available on Las Vegas Auto Title Loans .if yes its a great news .

    • profile image

      vickjohn 5 years ago

      worhty lens containing full information as i get on 31 day fat loss cure , thanks for serving this work.

    • profile image

      vickjohn 5 years ago

      worhty lens containing full information as i get on 31 day fat loss cure , thanks for serving this work.

    • Andy-Po profile image
      Author

      Andy 5 years ago from London, England

      @julieannbrady: That's why I always carried a stick-on moustache to complete the image.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 5 years ago

      Well, I don't really want to look like Magnum because I'd have a hard time explaining my excess facial hair ... however, my dear, I'd surely love to have a Magnum in my life ... oh, sorry, TMI.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 5 years ago

      Well, I don't really want to look like Magnum because I'd have a hard time explaining my excess facial hair ... however, my dear, I'd surely love to have a Magnum in my life ... oh, sorry, TMI.

    • profile image

      awayb 5 years ago

      would love to drive one of this babe...

    • Phillyfreeze profile image

      Ronald Tucker 5 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

      I can recall Tom Selleck in the very popular TV series Magnum P.I. in the late 70's...the Red Ferrari 308 was his signature mode of transportation. Excellent lens on this classic Italian sports car, thanks giving a personal experience and adding the photos and video.

    • Edwardjames81 profile image

      Edwardjames81 5 years ago

      Cool car. Even thoughI love the look of classic Ferrari I don't think I would ever buy one - the thought (well cost) of having a specialist look at it for the most basic of things (I am useless when it comes to vehicles) is frightening.

    • profile image

      daniel1956 5 years ago

      I like very much this Ferrari 308 Gt - We don't see this kind of car in my hometown- Very Nice Lens

    • profile image

      cr00059n 5 years ago

      Good Looking Car! Professional.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      great car you have

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Returning with angel dust to make your Farrai 308 shine...even though I really don't think I want to look like Magnum PI star, Tom Selleck! The 308 hasn't aged a moment!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thanks for helping me realize a 'second-hand' dream! I relished the virtual ride! :)

      PS: First-hand experience would never hurt I suppose! ;)

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 5 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      thanks for the details about my dream car.

    • spartakct profile image

      spartakct 5 years ago

      Great lens! Great Car!

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 5 years ago

      Another great one. *Blessed* and featured on Blessed by Skiesgreen 2012. Hugs

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      This is a very cool car.

    • kathysart profile image

      kathysart 6 years ago

      Heavy breathing... pant, pant... I want this car! THUMBS UP lens.

    • kathysart profile image

      kathysart 6 years ago

      Heavy breathing... pant, pant... I want this car! THUMBS UP lens.

    • profile image

      peterandrew 6 years ago

      ferrari is my dream car ,can i take it in my business of

      printer ink nice lens

    • profile image

      ekkoautos 6 years ago

      thanks for sharing, this red Ferrari is cool

    • profile image

      FerrariLoco 6 years ago

      One of my very favourite Ferrari models. Wonderful lens!

    • wolfie10 profile image

      wolfie10 6 years ago

      would love to drive one at least once in my live time

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I would love this car, but on my salary that is not affordable.

    • sharioleary profile image

      Shari O'Leary 6 years ago from Minnesota

      Not a big car person, but I do like this car. Thanks for sharing!

    • sharioleary profile image

      Shari O'Leary 6 years ago from Minnesota

      Not a big car person, but I do like this car. Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      jaystanley 6 years ago

      really great. good lens! thanks for the lens.

    • Andy-Po profile image
      Author

      Andy 6 years ago from London, England

      @autofanatic: Yeah. I know what you mean. I got stuck in traffic on the way back from the Le Mans 24 hour race, in France, one year and it took a few days to relearn how to walk normally again. The throttle got stuck partially open too, which didn't help (and the case of French wine I was hoping to take back to England, stored just behind the engine got cooked) But I forgive it everything. Wonderful car.

    • autofanatic profile image

      autofanatic 6 years ago

      Nice lens, Andy. I always wanted a 308 or 328 until I drove one in Los Angeles traffic. The thing has a clutch like an 1959 Chevy truck! Great fun, though, and who can argue with the sexy looks? Sweet!

    • profile image

      joniloni 6 years ago

      @anonymous: i agree with you!!

      Regards :

      Car Review

    • Frank Edens profile image

      Frank Edens 6 years ago

      I love this magnum PI ferrari! would love to drive one myself....in the near future....

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Great lens! Full of good information that was useful. Well at least for this young squid.

      One big thumbs up vote left for ya!

    • profile image

      CreativeArtDesigns 6 years ago

      These Ferrari's are timeless. Nice lens.

    • profile image

      SandyPeaks 6 years ago

      Might just be able to afford the model kit!

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 6 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      I need to get me one of these :)

    • Andy-Po profile image
      Author

      Andy 6 years ago from London, England

      @ArmaniOAitken7: Yes, a 458 would be nice, although I can't really afford a new one at the moment. I may have to wait until that too becomes "an affordable classic"

    • profile image

      ArmaniOAitken7 6 years ago

      458 Italia F1 for me!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      classic ride indeed. 'thumbs up' to you lensmaster!

    • Andy-Po profile image
      Author

      Andy 6 years ago from London, England

      @meisgood132: Me too. I just don't think I will ever be able to afford one of those (about $5 million I think at the moment). I'd settle for a 250 California though.

    • profile image

      kawaja 6 years ago

      The photos are really something too! :-)

    • profile image

      kawaja 6 years ago

      Very informative lens. I have never driven a Ferrari before but have you made my longing for this ever more intense!!

      One day, I know I will.

    • meisgood132 profile image

      meisgood132 6 years ago

      My favourite Ferrari is the 250 GTO.

    • jceschin lm profile image

      jceschin lm 6 years ago

      Great lens, very informative and cool pictures too. Congrats!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Our grandson will surely like this one.

    • profile image

      Three-Abreast 6 years ago

      Of all the classics out there, this one is somewhere in the top ten, potentially top five and for a cut. It's a sexy looking car and like you said, half the price of a Porsche Boxster, which I don't want. This is a brilliant sports car for a price that won't blow you clear off the chair.

    • profile image

      hamster1960 6 years ago

      Thanks, didn't know these things were still around

    • profile image

      cmontijo 6 years ago

      Such a nice car <3! and nice lens btw

    • profile image

      Mosoma 6 years ago

      Very nice lens. Thank you.

    • profile image

      friendshipquotes 6 years ago

      Superb...It is everyone's dream car!

    • profile image

      LavaPirate 6 years ago

      i too lusted after one of these being a child of the 80s... you're a bit braver than me in being willing to wear a Magnum hawaiian shirt (unless maybe for a parade/halloween gig), lol. Great lens!

    • profile image

      LeMansGuy85 6 years ago

      Awesome page and i of coarse had to press your like button but could you check my page out too and if possible press my like button. Ferrari has always been one of my favorite cars and i hope to drive one some day maybe even race one! Cheers mate!

    • Timewarp profile image

      Paul 6 years ago from Montreal

      Classic Ferrari although the maintenance costs would be steep!

    • profile image

      grifith 6 years ago

      Love the lens

    • profile image

      mwalter2400 6 years ago

      I grew up as a kid watching magnum pi. This car may not be the coolest Ferrari, but its defiantly a classic. Considering the cost it would defiantly be cooler than driving around in a honda accord for about the same price range.

    • jlshernandez profile image

      jlshernandez 6 years ago

      I always liked the looks of the 308 GTS but we ended up with a 328 GTB for a few years. Ferraris are fun cars- fast and furiious.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Great lens and good Ferrari!

    • profile image

      chronosafe 6 years ago

      Great article! i've always toyed with the idea of getting a 308 as a "baby Ferrari". Service history is a must when shopping.

    • Deano1979 profile image

      Deano1979 6 years ago

      Love the ferrari, and love your lens. I repair them alot with my Car Body Repair business i run, and love having a quick drive around the block with them too.

    • TheLittleCardShop profile image

      Malu Couttolenc 6 years ago

      beautiful page Andy.Ferraris are awesome cars.Great information. Lensrolled to my Classic and Vintage Car Collector page :)

    • jvsper63 profile image

      jvsper63 6 years ago

      Great car you did a nice review on it. Nice lens:) Joni

    • thesuccess2 profile image

      thesuccess2 6 years ago

      It is nice to own even if for a very short time a sports car!

    • ftuley lm profile image

      ftuley lm 6 years ago

      Great lens!

      Fatimaâ¥

    • profile image

      kaley769 6 years ago

    • profile image

      kaley769 6 years ago

      thanks