History of the 308 Ferrari


The Ferrari 308 GTB was introduced at the Paris Salon in October 1975. It showed a similar mechanical layout to the Bertone-styled 308 GT4, but was equipped with only two seats. The beautifully styled coachwork by Pininfarina incorporated some visual aspects of the fantastic Dino 246 GT.

Early 308 GTB’s had a lightweight fiberglass (vetroresina) body, in 1977 production changed to steel bodies. The powerful 3 litre V8-engine was equipped with four Weber carbs, which made the engine sound superior to all its fuel-injected successors.

In fact, 308GTB was not designed by himself but by his arch-rival, Leonardo Fioravanti of Pininfarina studio. Fioravanti, also had Dino, Daytona and 365 / 512BB under his name, squeezed out all his brainpower to draw his last Ferrari. In many ways, 308GTB looked alike Dino. Not only because of similar size and market positioning, but they had a similar philosophy behind their designs.

The 308 GTB Register is not a club, just a private database for owners and enthusiasts. The goal is to compile as much information as possible, in order to to enable owners to trace the history of their cars, make it easier to contact fellow owners and enthusiasts, offer help in technical and historical questions.

The Pininfarina-styled 308 GTB was introduced at the Paris Motor Show in 1975 as a supplement to the Bertone-shaped Dino 308 GT4 and a replacement for the Dino 246. It was designed by Leonardo Fioravanti who had been responsible for some of Ferrari’s most celebrated shapes to date such as the Daytona, the Dino and the Berlinetta Boxer. The 308 used elements of these shapes to create something very much in contrast with the angular GT4 2+2. The GTB/GTS was a 2-seater with sweeping curves and aggressive lines, and has become one of the more recognizable and iconic cars produced by Ferrari to date.

The targa topped 308 GTS was introduced in 1977 and was made famous on the television series Magnum, P.I.. Several cars were used, a new one for each season, most being auctioned off after filming. The first was a 1979 model with chassis number 28251.

The mechanically similar 308 GT4 shared much with the original Dino, and the 308. Both sit on the same tube-frame platform, with a 92 in (2,300 mm) wheelbase for the 308 GTB (the 308 GT4 has a longer wheelbase, being a 2+2), and 4-wheel double wishbone independent suspension. The V8 engine is a DOHC design, with four Weber 40DCNF carburetors. European versions produced 255 hpSAE(190 kW) at 6600 rpm (7700 rpm redline), but American versions were down to 240 hp SAE(178 kW) at 6,600 rpm due to emissions control devices.

Among the typically yearly updates to the performance and style of the 308 throughout its run, cars from the same series would have a number of differences between them depending on their intended export market (which is usual for European cars). For example a 308 destined for the American market would sport much larger heavier bumpers and a slightly sturdier frame (and many other smaller details) in order to meet more stringent US road safety standards. American market cars also suffered a performance hit due to a compression ratio of 8.6:1 vs 9.2:1 for most of the rest of the world state emissions legislation which reduced horsepower. As a result of these differences there is often a premium paid for the “purer” European spec car over the federalized car.