Ferrari 308 - Affordable classic (Magnum's car)
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
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
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 Scale Models
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)
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
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. Â£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
Should You Buy An Old Ferrari?
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
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