1974 Ferrari 308 GT4/LM

1974 Ferrari 308 GT4/LM 1974 Ferrari 308 GT4/LM 1974 Ferrari 308 GT4/LM
Coupe
Coachwork: Bertone
Chassis #: 08020
Sold for $904,334 (€700,000) at 2012 RM Auctions at Monaco.
At the Paris Motor Show in November 1973 Ferrari would unveil its first production model to feature Bertone body styling instead of the usual Pininfarina. The car was also not called a Ferrari, at least not straight-away. Boasting of a mid-engined V8 engine that would become the pattern for a majority of Ferrari models in the future, the Dino 308 GT4 would be controversial with its angular body. However, Ferrari would see a serious contender in the Dino 308 GT4, one capable of combating the much vaunted Porsche Carrera 2.7 RS.

When completed and production of the 308 GT4 began, there were no plans to make it for anything but the street. However, the layout and design of the car, including the 220+ bhp produced by the 3.0-liter V8, certainly made more than one person think about the car as a potential competition model.

One of those that believed in the car as a potential competitor on the track would be the United States Ferrari importer Luigi Chinetti. Chinetti, in turn, would look to Ferrari collector and FCA member, Bill Schanbacher, to commission a competitive version of the 308 GT4. The car was to be based upon an existing example and was to be built to Le Mans specifications. This would end up being a 'one-off' project and would make use of chassis 08020. And it would be this chassis that would be offered at the RM Auctions event held in Monaco in 2012.

Chassis 08020 would remain at the Maranello factory after it was completed. The Ferrari factory would then set about lightening the car. All unnecessary items would be removed to save weight. The steel body panels would give way to plastic and the windows, all except for the windscreen, would come to be replaced with Plexiglas.

The DOHC V-8 engine would then undergo modification. After some tuning and tweaking, the 3.0-liter engine would come to produce 300+ bhp. A good deal of this horsepower number would come from the tuning of the four Weber 40 DCNF carburetors installed and the competition-spec pistons and rods.

The modifications would keep coming. To the body, the major modifications would include a large front air dam and an extra larger rear spoiler. Handling being so very important, the car's bodywork would feature much more substantially flared wheel arches to accommodate larger wheels to improve the car's handling. The handling of the car was further enhanced with larger-capacity Ferrari Berlinetta Boxer brake master-cylinders added.

When it was all said and done, the car would be loaded and would head off to Le Mans to take part in the 1974 24 Hours of Le Mans. However, when the car arrived the N.A.R.T. would find there to be a little problem. The car was yet to receive FIA homologation. As a result, the car would be forced to run in the prototype class. Obviously, the car would be at a serious disadvantage. Still, with drivers Gagliardi and Lafosse, the car would qualify 38th. This was impressive considering the fact the car had literally just been finished just before the start of qualifying.

Unfortunately, during the race, failure with the clutch would severely limit the 308 GT4/LM's Le Mans experience. Due to the clutch failure, the race would be over after just 30 laps.

In 1975, the car would be back at Le Mans. However, despite Chinetti's best efforts to get the car appropriately listed in the GT categories, the car would again be forced to compete in the prototype class. And as a result of the placement in the prototype category it would be determined its qualifying speed was too slow to start the race.

Following the frustrating Le Mans experience, Chinetti would keep 08020 for a period of time before he eventually sold it to Howard Torman of the United States. Torman would maintain possession of the car until the late-1990s when he decided to sell the car to its next owner.

While in the possession of the current owner, the car would be returned to running condition. This would involve having the car rebuilt by a marquee specialist in order to maintain its period correct features.

Considered in perfect condition following the rebuild, the car would be sent back to Maranello to receive the highly-coveted Ferrari Classiche. Attested to and confirmed to be 'Ferrari Works' in origin, 08020 would receive its Classiche certification.

Following the classification with the Ferrari factory, the chassis would finally embark on the racing career it was always intended to experience. Taking part in such events as the 2004 Ferrari Days event held at Spa-Francorchamps and having entries in the 2004 and 2006 Le Mans Classic, the N.A.R.T. 308 GT4 finally began to enjoy the kind of competitive racing it had been originally commissioned.

Presented today in its period Le Mans racing livery, this 'one-off' is certainly an interesting piece of Ferrari and N.A.R.T. motor racing history. Never allowed to take part as it should have, this 308 GT4 remains a car of particular note. And, as such, the car would be estimated to garner between €725,000 and €825,000 prior to auction.

Sources:
'Lot No. 323: 1974 Ferrari 308 GT4/LM', (http://www.rmauctions.com/FeatureCars.cfm?SaleCode=mc12&CarID=r336). RM Auctions. http://www.rmauctions.com/FeatureCars.cfm?SaleCode=mc12&CarID=r336. Retrieved 4 January 2013.

Wikipedia contributors, 'Ferrari GT4', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 3 November 2012, 16:10 UTC, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ferrari_GT4&oldid=521218691 accessed 4 January 2013

By Jeremy McMullen
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
1974 Ferrari 308 GT4/LM
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 1974 Ferrari 308 GT4/LM
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

1974 Ferrari 308 GT4/LM
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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