1979 Ferrari 308 GT4 Coupe

The Ferrari Dino 308 GT4 was a car of many firsts when it was introduced at the 1973 Paris Auto Show.  The 308 GT4 was the first production Ferrari V-8, Ferrari’s first mid-engine 2+2, and the first production Ferrari designed by anyone other than Pininfarina in nearly twenty years.  The styling of the 308 GT4 has been described as a turning point for Ferrari, a comment very easily supported by the 1982 introduction of the Ferrari Mondial 8 2+2 and the Ferrari 412 2+2 introduced in 1985, both of which share similar angular profiles and lines with the 308 GT4.  Bertone was selected to design the 308 GT4.  The reasons have never been made completely clear but likely relate to the high regard for Bertone’s production work on the Fiat Dino 2+2, a car built in larger numbers than the similar Dino 246 GT and which made possible the Dino 246 GT.  Other sources also credit production of the 246 GT to Bertone.

The Ferrari Dino 308 GT4 is an automobile that has been underappreciated for many years, but which is now coming into its own among Ferrari enthusiasts as a good handling and comfortable driving car as well as for its place in Ferrari history.  The 308 GT4 also makes a legitimate claim as an F1-inspired road car; Ferrari won three F1 World Championships with Niki Lauda and Jody Schecter during the years of 308 GT4 – albeit with a flat-twelve boxer engine best suited to the rules of the era.  Niki Lauda worked with Ferrari engineers on the development and testing of the 308 GT4, describing the car at the time as “the best Ferrari ever made for the US market”.  Classic Driver calls the 308 GT4 a “Sleeping Beauty”, citing that the design has aged particularly well.  Forza magazine has praised the 308 GT4 for many characteristics including relative ease of maintenance.  The owner of 308 GT4 in that article, a Ferrari dealer, described driving at 130 mph for 200 miles in the western US as, “like flying an airplane, so smooth and controlled”.  The engine in the 308 GT4 is an aluminum alloy 3-liter 90° V-8 with four belt-driven camshafts and four 4x2 Weber carburetors, mounted transversely with a five-speed manual transmission.  The V-8 shares the same bore and stroke as the 365 V-12 – making it essentially two-thirds of the 365 V-12.  The welded tubular-steel frame has a wider track and longer wheelbase than the 246 GT.  Although the 308 GT4 is often mistaken as a replacement of the 246 GT, the 308 GT4 was in fact introduced as the next car in the early mid-engine Ferrari line.

This Ferrari Dino 308 GT4 is a two-owner, original California car with a long-term first ownership, and is the nicest example we have seen.  Detailed records are provided with the car, including copies of service invoices from Walnut Creek Ferrari for the original owner and a bare-metal restoration undertaken by the second owner in 1995, plus all regular and thorough maintenance since that date.  The car presents beautifully in red, with special order 512 Boxer-style black lower panels and features a sliding metal sunroof.  The colors of this car also match the example shown in Godfrey Eaton’s “The Complete Ferrari”, but put that car to shame.  The interior is gorgeous.  Beautiful tan leather covers the seats, center console, and door panels, with new matching carpet.  The dashboard is flawless, as is the console that includes the gated five-speed shifter, air conditioning and power window controls and an am/fm stereo player.  The car is fitted with 16” Ferrari five-spoke wheels with yellow Ferrari centers matching the Ferrari badge on the nose.  The space under the front hood carries the spare tire and battery and is detailed like new.  The engine compartment is equally highly detailed, with a small finished luggage compartment behind the engine large enough to accommodate golf clubs.  Included with the car is the original owner’s manual, service directory, radio manual, service manual, parts catalog, and toll roll, and of course service receipts.

This car is a fine, fine example of a Ferrari that will grow in appreciation.  Enzo Ferrari named the Dino series after his son.   Dino Ferrari passed away from multiple dystrophy in 1956 at the age of 24, but not before persuading his father to develop V-6 and V-8 engines together with the 12-cylinder automobiles Ferrari was already famous for.  This is a rare and well-documented example of an automobile that has earned a place in Ferrari history.

If you would like to acquire a classic Ferrari GT4, contact us today and learn more about our consignment program. We are able to cater to the buyer’s individual needs with respect to financing, long and short-term storage, trades-ins, shipping, mechanical and cosmetic preparation

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