1982 Ferrari 308 GTSiView vehicle description
Launched in 1975, the Ferrari 308 was born in a post-oil crisis world still reeling from having to pay market prices for its petrol for the first time. This, along with the fact that it was replacing the legendary Ferrari Dino, meant that it was always going to have something of a tough time.
That it is extraordinarily pretty helped. Designed by the Pininfarina studio, the 308 has a tubular chassis, over which the body panels are draped. Made of glass-reinforced plastic until 1977, it gained steel panels thereafter, a move that added 331lbs to the kerbweight, but removed any kit-car connotations…
It was mechanically very similar to the Dino, which is okay because that means a mid-mounted V8 petrol engine attached to a five-speed, dog-leg gearbox. All-independent, double-wishbone suspension gave the tyres a fighting chance, as do all-round vented disc brakes. The steering is unassisted.
Available as the 308 GTB (Berlinetta, or fixed-head coupe) and the targa-topped 308 GTS, it could also be ordered as the 2+2 GT4, and the tax-dodging, largely Italy-only, two-litre 208GTB and GTS.
It divides neatly into three main iterations: the early cars, which had four twin-choke Weber carburettors and 252bhp; the first of the fuel-injected cars, with Bosch K-Jetronic, 211bhp, and far greater reliability; and the final, quattrovalvolve or four-valve cars with 230bhp.
The 308 made several appearances on TV and the big screen, most notably in all eight seasons of Magnum, P.I., and well as Cannonball Run, and National Lampoon’s Vacation.
The 308 died in 1985, replaced by the Ferrari 328.
The vendor had always wanted a Ferrari, and finally managed to buy one at auction in 2013. He drove it the 200 miles to his home, at which point it started overheating when the cooling system disintegrated. He did the sensible thing, and consigned it to his local Ferrari main dealer - who then spent a long time struggling to fix it.
Finally losing patience with them, he had renowned specialists Italia Autosport recommended to him by a fellow Ferrari owner. He is full of praise for the firm, saying the owner is “an amazing guy, so knowledgeable.” It was, he says, “the start of a beautiful relationship”, albeit one that started with an eight-page report of all the work that needed doing…
Thus marked the start of a comprehensive six-year running restoration, during which the list was diligently worked through, a process that turned a good car into a great one.
Now finally complete, this wonderful Ferrari 308 GTSi looks magnificent and is running beautifully. Sadly, a lack of storage space means that he is reluctantly selling what was intended to be his ‘forever car’.
With recent bills easily topping £45,000, this is your chance to get your hands on a fully fettled modern classic Ferrari that needs nothing other than a warm, dry garage and a few tanks of premium fuel.
Best of all, it’ll probably only sell for around the same money as the owner has spent on it in the past few years, which the application of a little ‘Man-Maths’ means the car is essentially free…
PS: in order to attend the Footman James event at the weekend, I had the privilege of driving this Ferrari on a 130 mile round trip. Plus the owner gave me full blessing to drive it as it should be driven! I can report back that it behaved impeccably with absolutely no extraneous rattles, clonks, creaks, whistles or vibrations. The ride and handling are sharp and felt fresh. I had no misfires, fluffs or other issues. Even the electric aerial responded to the switch to allow the radio to come through strong. Only missing a button from the period headset! It genuinely felt like a one-year-old car. An utter joy - particularly the howl above 5000rpm...
On the Outside
The bodywork is fresh from its recent restoration, and the owner tells us that he has only driven around 400 miles in the car since it was completed. The work, carried out by Italia Autosport at a cost of almost £30,000 in total (there is a missing bill from another bodyshop for around £5,000 of the work) has left it looking fabulous.
The panel fit is, we think it is fair to say, almost certainly better than it was when the car left Ferrari back in 1982 and it looks like an awful lot of time and effort has been expended to ensure that the shut lines are as tight and even as possible.
The paint has been applied beautifully, too. It has a wonderful gloss and sheen to it and is still almost flawless. Red might be something of a cliché for a Ferrari, but clichés only become so for a reason, and this car proves the wisdom of the colour.
It really does look stunning, and is a tribute to the craftsmen and women who have worked on it. They’ve done a magnificent job; even the headlights rise and fall as they should, not always the case – and is only so here thanks to some expensive intervention by Italia Autosport in August of this year. That the problem was as simple as high resistance in one of the electrical connectors helps prove our point that these are fundamentally simple cars that are well within the scope of the competent DIY mechanic to maintain now that all the hard work has been done.
The original metric TRX alloy wheels were refurbished in October 2018, and still look amazing. The tyres are the correct Michelin TRX (including the spare) and look to all have good tread.
As we will never tyre of explaining, our experience shows that matching high-quality tyres are an infallible sign of a caring and mechanically sympathetic owner who is prepared to spend the appropriate amount in maintaining their car properly. Their presence does not, of course, preclude the need for a thorough inspection - something the vendor would welcome, by the way – but do give you a shortcut into their attitude towards maintenance.
It is, in short, not far off concours condition and we would welcome potential bidders here at The Market HQ in Abingdon to inspect it for themselves.
On the Inside
The cream leather interior is beautifully designed and in a wonderful condition. The leather seats look amazing, and are still supportive and comfortable and only mildly patinated. The car has only been used lightly over the years and it shows; it has weathered the intervening 37 years a damn sight better than we have.
Because the classic five-dial dashboard is in fine shape, and just looking at it sends a shiver down our spine. The simple three-spoke Ferrari steering wheel looks amazing, and the view from the driver’s seat serves as a lesson to us all that less is always more and that simplicity triumphs complexity every single time.
And yet, even that stunning dashboard is eclipsed by the design and condition of the centre console. Yes, there is, of course, the long, chromed gearlever sits in the traditional metal gate we’ve all come to lust after, but it’s the smaller controls that really catch our eye: the switches, and the heater control levers, and the twin-dials, and the neatly stitched cream leather, and the rotary controls, and the chromed handbrake act in unison to create one of the nicest interiors we’ve ever seen - and one we aren’t sure you would ever tyre of sitting in. To confirm – even the air-conditioning works.
The owner tells us that the only problems he is aware of that need repairing are the central locking and the electrically adjustable driver’s door mirror, neither of which work. Oh, and the zip is broken on the luggage cover. That’s not a bad list of work to do, is it?
The car was last serviced in March 2019 by Italia Autosport. The work, which cost the owner the thick end of £4,000, included a full service plus a recharge of the air-conditioning system, fitting a new waterpump, new cambelts, tensioners, and auxiliary drivebelts, and new exterior decals.
A new battery was fitted in February 2019 and Italia Autosport has carried out an awful lot of other work over the past six years, including a bill for £14,615 in March 2017. The work it carried out is too detailed to list here but includes a full suspension rebuild, new spark plugs, HT leads, and a full engine service, new fuel hoses, rear discs and pads plus refurbished brake calipers and new hoses on all four corners, a new clutch cable, new engine mounts, and a new oil cooler and fittings.
The engine bay looks magnificent, and the phrase ‘maintained regardless of cost’ has never been more apt. Please see the copies of the invoices online for the full details. Or, even better, why not come and take a look at it for yourself? It looks amazing, and we’ll make you a coffee while you’re leafing through the extensive service history.
It now runs and drives beautifully. As the owner puts it: “You can drive it as hard as you want, for as long as you like. It’s bulletproof now.” As if to prove the point, he drove it 200 miles to our HQ for the auction.
The online MOT history shows nothing of concern whatsoever and confirms the car’s low mileage. The MOT certificate itself expires in March 2020.
The car comes with a large number of expired MOT certificates plus a thick sheaf of invoices and bills to confirm the work that has been done to it, along with some summaries of work that has been carried out from previous owners.
It also comes with the original tan leather wallet containing the owner’s handbook, two stamped service history booklets and the toolkit and jack. It also has a stack of expired road tax discs, which is a lovely touch.
Please visit the documents section of the gallery of this listing where you will find photos of this and other paperwork to support our claim that this car has been restored and maintained to the very highest standard.
What We Think
Let’s face it, no matter how laissez-faire you pretend to be about them, every car enthusiast secretly wants a Ferrari in their garage at some point in their lives, don’t they? And, if you’re going to take the plunge and buy one, then one from the early to mid-eighties is probably the way to go, as they’re modern enough to be reliable and to drive well, but old enough to be completely analogue and so easy and cheap(ish…) to repair.
It helps if it is achingly pretty and few would deny that the Ferrari 308 GTS is that. That it benefits from an enormous recent investment to bring it to the condition you see here is another big tick in the ‘Hell Yes’ box.
It should be a safe place to put your money, too. Obviously, none of us can predict the future but we think we are on reasonably safe ground when we predict that the Ferrari 308 has finished depreciating and should hold its own at worst. Which makes it a far more attractive place for your money than a building society that offers only a paltry rate of interest, doesn’t it?
Do you remember that we told you the owner has invested more than £45,000 in restoring it in the past few years? Well, we think that he should get that money back – but not much more because we think it will sell for between £44,000 and £50,000, which means he’s done the heavy lifting and the car almost comes free.
Viewing is always encouraged, and this car can be seen here at The Market HQ in Abingdon; to arrange an appointment please use the ‘Contact Seller’ button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.
If needed, please remember we have a network of trusted suppliers we work with regularly and can recommend: Classic & Sportscar Finance for purchase-financing, Thames Valley Car Storage for storing your car, AnyVan for transporting it, and Footman James for classic car insurance.
BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings of any auction, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles we have for sale. While we use our trade experience to assess every car that comes through our hands (and between us we have bought hundreds of classic cars over the years for our personal use…) we are fallible, and our assessment of a car may contrast with that you might form yourself.
This is why we offer a far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange a professional inspection on their behalf of, each vehicle prior to bidding than any traditional car auction, and we will never stop encouraging bidders to take advantage of this by coming to see it in person.
That said, we do take a good look at the vehicles delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or those formed as a result of a long test drive.
Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using simple cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.
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