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CATEGORIES (articles) > Cars we emulate > Ferrari > Ferrari 308 History

Ferrari 308 History

Ferrari GTB
Manufacturer: Ferrari
Production: 1975–1988
Predecessor: Dino 206/246
Successor: Ferrari 348
Class: mid-engined sports car
Related: 208/308 GT4
1984 Ferrari 308 GTB qv
Production: 1975–1984
Body style: Berlinetta
Engine: 3.0 L V8
3.0 L FI V8 (GTBi/GTSi)
3.0 L 4v V8 (Quattrovalvole)
Production: 1980–1986
Body style: Berlinetta
Engine: 2.0 L V8
2.0 L turbo V8
328 GTS
Ferrari 328 GTS
Production: 1985–1989
Body style: Berlinetta
Engine: 3.2 L V8

The Ferrari 308 GTB (and similar 208 and later 328) were mid-engined sports cars that made up the lower end of the company's range. The 308 then replaced the 246 Dino in 1975 and was updated as the 328 in 1985. The 348 replaced the 328 five years later.

The 308 GT models are the most-common historical Ferrari model, with over 12,000 produced. Although it is a common car, and is priced at accessible levels today, the 308 and 328 GTB/GTS models are embraced by Ferrari fans and critics today. In 2004, Sports Car International named this car number five on the list of Top Sports Cars of the 1970s.

The youngest person to buy a Ferrari 328 is Delroy Pearson of British Pop group Five Star, who acquired one aged 16 in 1987, three months before being allowed to drive it legally.

308 GTB

The Pininfarina-styled 308 GTB was introduced at the Paris Motor Show in 1975 as a supplement to the odd Bertone-shaped Dino 308 GT4 and a replacement for the 246 Dino. Unlike the plain 2+2 GT4, the GTB was a 2-seater with aggressive lines, and has been called one of the most beautiful of all Ferraris. The targa topped 308GTS was made famous on the Magnum P.I. television show.

The 308GT4 shared much with the original 206 Dino, and the 308GTB is mechanically identical to the GT4. Both sit on the same tube-frame platform, with a 92 in wheelbase, and 4-wheel double wishbone independent suspension. The V8 engine is a DOHC design, with four Weber 40DCNF carburetors. European versions produced 255 hp (190 kW) at 7,700 rpm, but American versions were down to 240 hp (178 kW) at 6,600 rpm due to emissions control devices.

One notable aspect of the 1975 308 GTB was its fiberglass bodywork. Although still built by Carrozzeria Scaglietti, the 308's shell was entirely made of fiberglass. This lasted through June, 1977, when the 308 was switched back to steel. When the body was switched back to steel, seven bodies were hand hammered, six red convertables and one white hardtop.

GTBi and Quattrovalvole

Bosch Digiplex fuel injection was added for the other 1981 GTBi, dropping power to 214 hp (160 kW) but decreasing emissions. Two years later, the 4-valve Quattrovalvole model pushed output back up to 240 hp (179 kW).

208 GTB

From the late 1970s through 1985, a low-displacement 208 GTB and 208 GTS was produced. The engine was de-bored to 68.8 mm (giving an undersquare design) for a total of 1991 cc displacement. This same trick had previously been performed on the 208 GT4 2+2, resulting in the smallest V8 engine ever produced.

The 208 was produced generally for the Italian market only, for tax reasons. It was also listed in New Zealand, due to their taxes on engines above 2 litres.

The car produced only 155bhp which meant that performance was underwhelming, especially for a Ferrari. 160 208GTS and 140 208GTB cars were produced in 1980 and 1981. In 1982, turbo-charging and fuel injection upped power output to 220bhp. It was initially only available in GTB form, but the 208 GTS was introduced in 1983. Production ended in 1985 after 437 GTB turbo and 250 GTS turbo cars were produced.

328 GTB

1985 saw the engine displacement bumped up to 3.2 L (3185 cc) for the 328 GTB/GTS. This version raised output to 270 hp (201 kW) and top speed to 160 mph (257 km/h). 7,400 328 Ferraris were produced by the time the model was replaced in 1989 by the new 348, bringing the total for the 308/328 generation to nearly 20,000.

In 1985, the 328 retailed from $58,400-$62,500 ($110,916 in 2005 dollars) in the United States. This price included a gas-guzzler tax.

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