Ferrari 308GT4 Buyers Guide

Filed under: Articles |
Ferrari Dino 308 GT4Cheapest way to Prancing Horse ownership but you've got to be brave to buy one. What will I love about it? It's a Ferrari! Is there any other marque to provide such mystique? even with a V8 rather than the traditional V12, the GT4 has that amazing Ferrari engine wail, enough to send shiver down the spine of any true car enthusiast. Add the roar of the quad Webers and you have aural magic. And of course it handles: just pick your course and there Ferrari obeys, perfectly. If red mist takes over, you're more than likely to safely understeer than pirouette out of control. Which is lucky, because you'll be travelling damned fast... More sensibly, there's plenty of storage space. ....And hate? The cost and frequency of servicing will hurt, as will (in a more physical manner) the classic short legs, long arms driving position and the heavy clutch. The howls from passengers who attempt to spend any time in a cramped rear seats may trouble you, as will the poor ventilation and heating (air-conditioning is a useful option). GT4 380 What's it heritage?In the same year (1948) that Colin Chapman went into business building ropey specials, Enzo Ferrari's cars were entered into their first races. From those early days, Ferrari established itself first in racing, later moving into road cars, which moved more and more upmarket. Recognising this, Ferrari produced the cheaper Dino 246GT, which was superseded by the 308GT4 featured here. Which is the most desirable model? Ferrari didn't do much to change the 308GT4 in six years of production, other than change the badging from Dino to Ferrari in 1976 - you can guess which is the most popular name. The Ferrari-badged model also had a new grille, which extended over the spotlights. Otherwise, choice is down to colour - they're not all red. Metallic blue, black, silver, white, and yellow were all available and, at the risk of massive generalisation, cars in these colours are less likely to have been abused. Red was the colour chosen by flash-boys who simply wanted 'a red Ferrari' Will it be reliable? It might come as a surprise to find that a 308GT4 can be reliable, given regular, competent servicing. The secret is not to leave it sitting around for months (even weeks) at a time. Oil seals will dry out, and later keak, brake callipers will seize and bearings will be put under unnecessary strain. Cam belts must be changed every two years, regardless of how often the car is used. Ferrari 308 GT4Which bits will break the bank? Pitted chrome on the bumpers? £750 each, and they'll be too thin to re-chrome. Blowing exhaust? A rear silencer alone is £600. Play in the steering? £500 for a new rack or £200 for a recon. In the rare event that a full engine rebuild is required, you may need to fork out a daunting £10,000, and even oil leaks could sting you for well over £500(with labour). Who should I get to know? Join the Ferrari Owners' Club - secretary Peter Everingham owns a 308GT4. There are several specialists that can deal with 308GT4s, including Talacrest in Surrey and DK Engineering in Hertfordshire. Ferrari GT4 380Are there ways to improve these cars?Other than to fit a louder exhaust (this makes little difference to performance), it's very rare for anyone to modify a 308GT4 unless for racing. For this, suspension settings can be modified and uprated dampers and brake pads fitted. How hard are they to find? Around 500 GT4s were imported into the UK. At the bottom of the price range - around £10,000 - there have been many 308GT4s emerging lately. Top-end cars are harder to come by, and are best bought with help from specialists such as Talacrest and Hendon Way Motors. What will the neighbours think? They'll immediately call the local paper to expose the latest lottery winner - you! The only ones that aren't on the phone will be gathered around your house, waiting for something to fall off - at which point they'll cheer. It's something to do with being thought of as a flash git. Who cares? You've got a Ferrari they haven't. Ha!Tags: