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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well,one thing that I became a

Well,one thing that I became aware of when I was "Ferrari Shopping" several years ago....

I saw quite a few 308's that had been subjected to Rain and/or Water,that had Rust Bubbles at the bottoms of the Door panels. If there wasn't an "Apparent" bubble,you could feel it,kind of "Soft".

I was told that there isn't anywhere for water to drain out of the bottoms of the doors,thus creating Rust through.

And,I suppose that this can occur on all models,really. Definitely something to check,and to use a magnet on to detect a Bondo Repair...And,to verify if the seller says that it was "Never in Rain..."

Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I've owned three 308 over

I've owned three 308 over the past 20 years. A carbed 79, an 83 QV and then back to a 78 carbed car. My comments are based on this ownership.

First, I really like the 308. Don't let anyone kid you, it is not just an entry level Ferrari, it is a great car. The two carbed cars I owned were always in a good state of tune.

Appearance: There is little difference between the 78 and 79 cars. The 79 has a little better sealing mechnaism for the targa top if you have a GTS. The 79 also has shocks to hold up the rear deck lid vs. a single rod on the 78. Inside both are the same. On the injected cars and QV's some of the instruments, I believe the clock and fuel gauge are relocated to the forward center console. Not a big deal. I like the looks of the carbed cars better for two reasons. One, the vents behind the headlights are painted body color vs. annodized black and second, I don't care for the roof spoiler on the injected cars and QV's though this is personal preference.

The interior is small but comfortable. I think some taller or larger drivers do have some fit problems. To me it was always like slipping inside a low riding Lear jet. I like the feeling. One thing that is often forgotten is that the steering wheel, that some complain is in too much of horizontal position, can easily be dropped to a more verticle position. There is a simple bolting mechanism under the steering wheel column.

Also note that the carbed cars have 14 inch rims that take 205/70 VR 14 tires. Hard to come by and a little expensive. Some owners have gone to 15" QV rims. Though not concourse correct it probably does allow for better tire selection and handeling.

Driving: The cars start easy enough. No need to use the choke. The clutch is much heavier in the carbed cars vs the other versions. It's just something either you don't mind or you do. The other difference to me is that the stick shift is shorter in the carburated car; bet you never noticed that. I like the shorter length of the shifter even though it is the same transmission as the other cars. It is somehow more sporty.

The 308 is a sports car and not a GT car. The longest I have driven them from Atlanta to Miami and Atlanta to New jersey. It's doesn't beat you up that bad, but the seats, though comfortable, are quite hard and there is a fair amount of interior moise. The best use of this car is for the Sunday morning drive when you can get your foot into it a little bit.

On the track the car exhibits good manners. Push too hard on a curve and it exhibits power on understear. However let off the gas and the rear end will come around in a nice controlled fashion. If practiced, you can get quite good at "steering" the car with you foot

Performance: The carburated cars are advertised at around 235HP. The injected cars are maybe 205HP and the QV say 240HP. The only item to be wary of in the early carburated cars for the US are thermal reactors vs. catalytic converters which supposedly robbed the car of some power though I have no first had experience of this.

Zero to 60 is in the 7 second range. Nothing earth shattering but the exhaust note, though not a V12 song, sure does sound darn good. Is a 79 911 SC faster? Yes. Does it sound as good or get your juices flowing? No way.

Performance: Excitement doesn't really start until about 3,000rpm. Below that the cars are a little dead. But remember these cars have a 7,700 redline. The other thing, that is one of my my absolute favorite sounds, is the whine of the transfer gears and slight popping of the cars when downshifting. It will make you downshift just for the heck of it.

Maintanence: All these cars by now have some rust on them unless they have been restored. Typical problem areas are lower rocker pannels and areas around the wheel arches. Bondo holds a while but putting in new steel is the best but more expensive. The major service on these cars comes around every say 5 years or so when the cam belts are done. This is a time consuming job. Along with the timing belts, valves and carbs are set. And while you're at it you might as replace the water pump with a rebuilt one for a couple hundred bucks.

There are two distributors on this car each running off the front and rear cam banks. Each distributor runs on two sets of points (if the emissions controls are still in tact). Old technology but something that has to be checked. Not only can points be an issue but making sure the mechanical advance of each distributor is symmetrical is important. Even cars that have had the points replaced with some sort of electronic system still rely on mechanical advance weights.

These cars have catalytic converters and air pumps running off the outboard cam. Most airpumps have long ago become disconnected causing two problems. First the airpump rusts internally and siezes and second the air injection passages into the exhaust header rust. You just need to have a look at it to know what you're getting into.

Summary: I wish I had the room and money to have a 308 in the garage. They are reasonable fast, good handeling cars that make great sounds and get the juices flowing.

Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Only the early carb'd cars

Only the early carb'd cars have 240 HP, the '78/79 cars were dropped to ~205 b/c of emmisions - at least on US cars.

Euro cars had close to 255 from '76 through the last carb. car in the first part of 1980.

Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sean, are you sure of this?

Sean, are you sure of this?

I've heard of this before but never believed it. Maybe I'm wrong. I've driven 78/79 carbed cars along side of 2V injected cars and the carbed cars always seemed to be a little peppier, admittedly by the seat of the pants method.

I also believe the euro cars with the single distributor, had 255HP and different cam grind and timing, but not sure. This is what the official Ferrari web site is listing.


Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The "Ferrari V-8" book

The "Ferrari V-8" book by Keith Blumell (sp?) discusses' this and after much research on my part, I'm sure it's correct.

The "official" web site says 205 for all the cars I think, and 235 for the QV cars. The 78/79 carb'd cars had 205hp, the FI cars had closer to 195hp, the QV had 235. The first US carb's cars (76/77) had 240hp. The early US cars (76/77) have no CATS on them, only an air pump and most of those have been disabled.

All the early Euro cars with a single distributor had 255BHP.

I searched long and hard for a 77GTB b/c of the power & emmisions issue. The 78/79 cars have less power because they were set up to meet us requirements and there for have different cams. The power can certainly be brought back up by removing the emmisions and putting in new cams but that is not a cheap.

Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I own a '78 GTS, US spec.

I own a '78 GTS, US spec. My book lists 205 HP at the flywheel. My car ran 176 HP at the rear wheels when dynoed. Subtract 17% drivetrain drag and you get 207 HP at the flywheel.

The US spec cam grinds are different than the Euro specs and the 'event' timing is different also.

I have read that the cams can be reindexed to Euro event timing and gain a few horse power but never as much as a Euro because the cam profiles and duration on the US spec exhaust cams are different.

One other note; pre 1983 308's did not have any rust preventative coatings in the bodies hence the rust issues.

I agree also that my carbed 308 seems faster than my friends 1980 GTSi

Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have owned 2 308 GTSi and 1

I have owned 2 308 GTSi and 1 308 carburetted model in the last 20 years. I have sold all of them, and the one I miss the most is the carburetted model. It had a great feel to it, lost in the fuel injected models. I loved going through the gears and pushing the car around. This is one car you did not have to have pointed straight ahead when stepping on the gas. One of the days I will add another to my collection.

Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I am considering a 308 GTSi as

I am considering a 308 GTSi as my first Ferrari and I wanted to ask what to look for when shopping to make sure i don't get a money pit. Also, if you could inform me as to the best years for the 308.

Thank you.

Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The most important thing while

The most important thing while shopping is to have a PPI done on each car you consider buying. PPI means PRE purchase Inspection--with the emphasis on pre (sic).

Also note: do not purchase an older Ferrari if you end up putting yourself in a financial position where A) you HAVE to be able to use the car 365 days a year, B) you cannot afford a "sizable" repair bill (say around $3000). While there is a good chance that neither will occur, it will ruin the relationship if either does.

Discussion Starter · #11 ·

Thanks for the input


Thanks for the input. Yes, I agree that if you cannot afford the repair bills, this work of art should not be parked in the garage.

Thanks to everyone for the input.
James Henderson
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