Introduced in 1975 as a V8-powered successor to the 246 Dino, the 308 smashed sales records for Ferrari, going on to be a rousing commercial success. With more than 12,000 examples leaving the famous factory gates in open-topped GTS and fixed-roof GTB form, the 308’s importance in Maranello history cannot be overstated, and the model cast the mold for the mid-engine sports cars have been Ferrari’s bread and butter for so many years. The flipside of its popularity is that the 308 was long relegated to “budget” status, and many examples suffered at the hands of bargain hunters. Thankfully, that is no longer the case as the 308 is seen by many as a foundational element of the Ferrari collector market, and the iconic series now receives the appreciation it deserves.
While the 308 has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years, it is still quite unusual to encounter one as meticulously restored as this gorgeous 1978 308 GTB. The fixed roof GTB is considerably rarer than the GTS, and early carbureted cars such as this are considered the purest expression of the formula. S/N 25239 is an exceptional, numbers-matching example, finished in the extraordinarily rare and striking color combination of Oro Chiaro Metallizzato with a beautiful dark brown leather interior. This car is the subject of a photo-documented nut-and-bolt restoration performed in Italy by marque specialists Red Cars International. It is impeccably finished to concours-quality standards inside and out. Photos in the history file reveal the meticulous attention to detail paid to every aspect of the restoration, from the exquisite paintwork to the correct plating of suspension components and hardware. Once the project was completed in 2016, the car went directly to the Ferrari Classiche department in Maranello to be inspected for its official “Red Book” certificate of authenticity.
As stated in the Classiche book, the marvelous Oro Chiaro color is correct for this car, and the subtle metallic hue flatters its curves brilliantly. The quality of the finish is outstanding, and the body features all the right US-specification bumpers, lamps, and fittings. Detailing is impressive, with excellent satin black trim and proper accessories such as the early-style black Vitaloni mirrors. It rides on restored Cromadora 5-spoke alloy wheels shod with period-correct 205/70-14 Michelin X radials, which deliver the appropriate stance and handling characteristics.
Complementing the paintwork is a beautifully finished brown leather interior, restored to factory-correct standards. The seats are in superb order, with proper black inserts and stitching. They remain remarkably fresh, displaying very little in the way of creasing and signs of use. Brown carpets are similarly excellent and well detailed with matching bindings and a correct heel pad. The black leather dash is like-new, as is the hand-stitched three-spoke steering wheel. Switches and HVAC controls are finely detailed and in virtually showroom-new order, with notable options including factory air conditioning.
The original numbers-matching engine and gearbox were rebuilt as part of the restoration. Photos of the stampings are included in the Classiche red book and the restoration album. The 3.0-liter V8 is, of course, beautifully detailed with proper clamps, hoses, labels, and hardware used throughout. Four Weber downdraft carburetors feed the V8, which are restored and detailed with the correct cad-plated hardware. It is true to factory specifications, down to the standard exhaust system and US-spec auxiliary air pump.
This 308 GTB is a joy to drive, with light and lively steering, just the right amount of power, and excellent ride quality. It is the quintessential Italian sports car, with a glorious V8 soundtrack and kart-like handling. Additional highlights of this car include owner’s manuals, a fully restored factory tool kit, jack and jack bag, and an incredible, hand-made leather-bound restoration album in a custom display case. With its fabulous and distinct livery and truly exceptional restoration, this 308 is the finest example of the type we’ve had the pleasure to offer and is sure to satisfy the most discerning of Ferrari enthusiasts.
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