1978 Ferrari 308 GT/4

The Pininfarina designed Ferrari 308 was debut in 1975 and was immediately a success. The vehicles performance, handling, and styling were phenomenal.

For the initial 18 months of the 308 GTB's production, fiberglass was predominately used for the bodies, but later switched to all-metal. The fiberglass bodies were around 125 kg lighter.

The 308 was capable of producing 255 bhp from its 3 liter, V8, carburetor engine. In 1980, a Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection system was installed due to new emission regulations. This caused the horsepower to drop to around 215 hp, thus making the 308 GTBi the slowest of the 308 series.

In 1981, Ferrari introduced 4 valve heads for the 3 liter V8's. This 308's now became known as 308 GTB/GTS Quattrovalvole. The engine now produced 240 BHP, and with the extra weight that was imposed due to using all-metal rather than fiberglass, the performance and handling was back to where it was when it began production.

In 1985, Ferrari introduced the 328 GTB/GTS. A vehicle that came equipped with a 3185 cc engine that produced 270 BHP.


By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2009
One of the most recognizable cars in the world, the Ferrari 308 is probably best known for its role as co-star in the hit TV series 'Magnum P.I.'. The 308 was produced for quite some years, spanning ten years from its introduction in 1975 until the final year of production, 1985. The 308 was replaced by the very similar looking 328 in 1986

Ferrari introduced a less inexpensive line of cars called 'Dino' named after Enzo Ferrari's son Dino who died at a young age from muscular dystrophy. Often dubbed the 'baby' Ferrari; this less-expensive model was aimed at less affluent buyers. The Dino was still made by Ferrari with the construction of the Ferrari-designed engine being farmed out to Fiat. To reduce production costs, Fiat shared the use of the engine in their Fiat Dino, a front engined vehicle that didn't look anything like the Ferrari Dino.

In 1974 Dino introduced the Dino 308 GT4, or Gran Tourismo 4-cam, with a 3 liter V8 mid-engine. Unfortunately the small V6 of the earlier Dino wasn't powerful enough for this heaver, 4-passenger car.

So this prompted Ferrari to develop an all-new engine for the GT4. This engine no longer said Dino on it, and this time, the whole engine and car were entirely made by Ferrari, and said Ferrari. A truly groundbreaking model, the 308 GT4 2+2 was an exciting achievement for Ferrari. It was the first production Ferrari that featured the mid-engined V8 layout that would lead the way for the history of the company for succeeding decades. This was also the first production Ferrari that featured Bertone bodywork instead of Pininfarina. This caused some dissatisfaction by Pininfarina who lost out by cross-town rival for the design.

Introduced in 1973, the Ferrari 308 GT4 was a mid-engined V8-powered 2+2 car built by Ferrari. The 308 GT4 was produced until 1980 when it was replaced by the Mondial 8. A total of 2,826 vehicles were produced during its production run. The 308 GT4 was sold with 'Dino' badging until May of 1976 when all badging was replaced with 'Ferrari' badging.

In November of 1973 the Dino 308 GT4 was debuted at the Paris Motor Show. This car featured angular lines that were totally different from its curvy sibling, the Dino 246. The styling was incredibly unique and controversial for its time, and some journalists even compared it to the Bertone-designed Lamborghini Urraco and the Lancia Stratos. In May of 1976 the 308 GT4 received the 'Prancing Horse' badge, replacing the Dino badges on the steering wheel, hood and wheels.

This was the first V8 that Ferrari had ever been put into a road car, and it was a peppy little engine. The Ferrari 308 GT4 handled ‘like a dream car', and was less expensive than ‘true' Ferraris, and was popular as a car for racers who wanted to race a 'budget' Ferrari. It was still not a cheap car, but the biggest problem with this car was the 'wedgy' design by Bertone. Bertone is known best as the company that designed many of Lamborghini's cars, but this wedge shape didn't sell well for Ferrari fans.

The chassis of the 308 GT4 was based on the Dino 246 but it was lengthened for a 100.4 inches wheelbase to make more room for a second row of seats. The Ferrari 308 GT4 measured a total length of 170.1 inches and featured a wheelbase of 100.4 inches. Its overall weight was 2,535 lbs, had a height of 46.5 inches and a width of 70.9 inches. The V8 was mounted transversely and the suspension was fully independent. Producing 230 hp in the American version, and 250 hp in the European version, the 2.0 L V8 engine was integrally joined with the gearbox and had an alloy block and heads with a dual overhead camshaft. The induction system utilized 4 Weber 40 DCNF carbs.

Unfortunately the Ferrari 308 GT4 was a dramatic sales failure for the company. Many fans didn't like that ‘Ferrari' wasn't written on the back of the car, and it was a little too strange looking. Slowly becoming true collector items, the Ferrari 308 GT4 featured a very edgy design that over the years has aged well. Halfway through 1975, dealers were told by Ferrari to add Ferrari badges to the GT4 inventory to boost sales.

By Jessica Donaldson
1978 Ferrari 308 GT/4
The 308 was Ferrari's first two-seat V8 road car. Made available to the public in 1975, it was the long awaited successor to the incomparable Dino 246 GT. The 308 series was a new beginning for the company as the premier builder of exotic sports cars for road use. As such, the 308 was designed to epitomize the sports car in its era. It did so admirably, and remains perhaps the most influential enthusiast car in history. The 308 is the car against which every subsequent sports car has been measured, upon which every Ferrari V8 sports and racing car has been based, and the car that brought Ferrari from the pinnacle of elite car-culture recognition into the minds of the general public. 25 years later, the shape and sound of the 308 is still 'Ferrari' in the minds of many people.

Design 1978 Ferrari 308 GT/4
The Ferrari 308 GTS provided Pininfarina with an opportunity to flex its design and styling muscle. The company responded by redefining the public's collective impression of what a Ferrari, and indeed what a sportscar, should look like. The task given Pininfarina was the creation of a two-seat mid-engined V8, and few can have expected the Turin designer to respond with such a tour de force.

The 308's shape bears a passing resemblance to Pininfarina's Dino 246 GT. Where the older car was the ultimate expression of curvaceous 1960's styling, the 308 hinted far more at the future. From its sharp nose incorporating a slim bumper and a deep air dam, to its retractable headlights and row of black louvres that vent air from the radiator, the line flows up the windshield and out around the flanks to reunite

with itself at the buttress C-pillars, ending in a very subtle rear lip spoiler. The design is so beautiful and effective that it has been a basis for exterior styling of every subsequent V8 Ferrari and an object of study for design students the world over.

GTS models had louvered panels over the whole of their rear quarter windows. Increased venting front and rear served to improve cooling with each evolution of the engine. By and large, however, the design of the 308 was so iconic and effective that it was virtually unchanged throughout its decade of production.

Drivetrain

1978 Ferrari 308 GT/4
The heart of the 308 series was its three litre V8 engine. The 2926cc Ferrari V8 was something of a departure for the company, which had mostly relied on V12s. With the V8, Ferrari could offer much of the power of their legendary V12s while improving fuel economy and saving space. By placing the engine and transmission transversely Ferrari was able to reduce the length of their new sports cars and concentrate the mass within the wheelbase, a lesson of racing.
The transmission in the 308 was a five speed with reverse all synchromesh unit. Mounted transversely like the engine, the transmission received power through an unassisted single plate clutch. The gears sent power to the rear wheels through a limited slip differential and solid driveshafts with constant velocity joints.

Source - Ferrari

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Price Comparison

$3,000-$23,900
1978 308 GT/4
$23,900-$109,800
1978 Ferrari 308 GT/4 Base Price : $23,900

Model Year Production

#1#2#3Ferrari
1983Renault (1,491,853)Chevrolet (1,175,200)Toyota (1,068,321)2,366
1982Renault (1,491,853)Chevrolet (1,297,357)Toyota (1,068,321)2,223
1981Chevrolet (1,673,093)Renault (1,295,713)Toyota (1,068,321)904
1980Chevrolet (2,288,745)Renault (1,492,339)Ford (1,162,275)2,381
1979Chevrolet (2,284,749)Ford (1,835,937)Renault (1,405,330)2,308
1978Chevrolet (2,375,436)Ford (1,923,655)Renault (1,240,941)1,939
1977Chevrolet (2,543,153)Toyota (1,884,260)Ford (1,840,427)1,427
1976Chevrolet (2,103,862)Toyota (1,884,260)Ford (1,861,537)1,427
1975Chevrolet (1,755,773)Toyota (1,714,836)Ford (1,569,608)1,337
1974Chevrolet (2,333,839)Ford (2,179,791)Renault (1,355,799)1,337
1973Chevrolet (2,579,509)Ford (2,349,815)Fiat (1,390,251)1,772

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