Photography by: Jake Salyers
Written by: Hayley Holmes
Location: Staten Island, New York
Chassis #: 22927
Engine: 2.9L V8
Transmission: five-speed manual
Color: Azzurro over Tan/Black
A Ferrari draped in rosso corsa is equilibrium, all is right in the world. However, as decades of examples have been compiled in what some now call “routine red,” other colors are getting their chance to shine. This particular and absolutely gorgeous 308 GTB is finished the rare Azzurro blue against a handsome tan interior and is ready to stand out against its red counterparts. The car was under single ownership for 31 years until 2008, and it has since had two additional owners who have continued to meticulously maintain this highly original example. Babied with just 19,000 miles on the odometer and a major service recently completed, this car is ready for its next owner.
CONDITION | EXTERIOR
Body: The body of this 308 is in perfect condition with original panels and excellent fitment.
Paint: The stunning, Azzurro paint appears to be mostly original in very nice condition with just the right amount of patina. The hue is very responsive to light, making for a very unique appearance (illustrated below).
Trim, & Glass: The original black trim presents in excellent condition with no cracking or damage to be found. The glass shows in excellent condition all the way around with no evidence of pitting, scratching, or cracking.
Wheels: The original 14” Campagnolo five-spoke wheels show free of curb rash or bending and display in excellent condition.
CONDITION | INTERIOR
Steering Wheel: The black leather-wrapped steering wheel presents in excellent condition with no stitch lifting or wear, a testament to this example’s low mileage.
Dashboard & Instrumentation: The sleek black dashboard is in showroom condition with no signs of shrinkage or cracking. All instrumentation is in proper working order and appears in perfect condition.
Seats, Trim, & Carpet: The original tan leather bucket seats with black accents display in excellent condition with no evidence of tears or cracking. All subsequent trim is present and in perfect condition, as well as the tan carpets. The perfectly preserved interior is really the best part of this particular example.
CONDITION | MECHANICAL
ENGINE: The motivation for this particular mid-engine is the transversely-mounted 2.9L 90-degree V8 sporting two belt-driven cams per cylinder bank, and two valves per cylinder. This 308’s highly-original engine is in strong running condition, breathing freely through a set of Weber carbs (unlike later examples choked by fuel-injection for smog). Having always received regular maintenance, the motor starts without hesitation, and accelerates smoothly and decisively. Being a 1977 model, it possesses the bigger “euro style” cams, the same as cars equipped with a dry sump system, though this example lacks that aspect. The only change that has been made to this power plant was an upgrade to non-sodium filled exhaust valves, as the originals can catastrophically fail and result in the need for an engine rebuild. A major service, including cam belts was completed in 2014.
Original Motor?: Yes.
Engine Number: F106A02835
The Drive: Enzo famously once said, “Aerodynamics are for people who can’t build engines.” While the cars today may have smoother and more be-winged figures to keep up with the times, the heart of these Italians have always had soul. One of the hallmarks of the modern V8 Ferrari was first found in this model—the flat-plane crankshaft, the firing order of which yields an unmistakable shriek as it approaches the redline crescendo.
TRANSMISSION: The transmission is a transaxle five-speed manual, the only choice for Ferraris of the era. All-original and in excellent condition, it shifts smoothly, without grinding or popping. But by far the most important aspect is the gearbox’s gated selector and dogleg arrangement, pairing gorgeous aesthetics and sports-focused functionality. The ratios are well matched to the power band of the engine, equally at home on a winding mountain pass or your local club racing circuit. For added peace of mind, a new clutch was installed in 2008 while the car was at 13,000 miles.
Original Transmission?: Yes.
Gearbox Number: Available upon request.
The Drive: An engine with such strong emotions deserves an appropriate gearbox to accompany it, and Ferrari has delivered on this promise. One of life’s rare pleasures is the satisfying click of engaging shift after shift on this delightfully charismatic dogleg.
Numbers-matching and well documented, this preserved 308 GTB is as original as you can get. Included with the car is the window sticker, warranty card, owner’s manual, build sheet, maintenance receipts, and even the original bill of sale.
Having lived exclusively in Illinois until recently, this 308 has been under the meticulous care of three previous owners, the first owner having bought it brand new in 1977 and held onto it until 2008.
The earliest fiberglass Vetroresina cars, which are quite rare, command the highest premium in the 308 market at the moment, regularly fetching above $200,000. A handful of steel body GTB/GTS models have brought over $150,000, which has pumped up estimates in recent auctions, but while most top examples are earning above six figures, they are still below the lower auction estimates, likely indicating the market has found its new equilibrium for the time being. Additionally, color is a key driver in prices, as top performing examples have been finished in non-traditional Ferrari colors, as the “routine red” cars seem to be less desirable unless there is another redeeming characteristic (highly original, low mileage, notable ownership, etc.).
Here are some recent sales at auction to give a glimpse of where the market is currently at for 308s:
– RM Sotheby’s – Monterey 2018 – $184,800 – This yellow over tan Vetroresina example commanded a nice price during Monterey Car Week recently. Highly original with just over 14,000 miles.
– Gooding & Co. – Amelia Island 2017 – $126,500 – This euro blue over tan exampled benefited from a full cosmetic restoration before heading to Amelia Island in 2017.
– Gooding & Co. – Amelia Island 2015 – $74,800 – In lovely condition, but finished in less desirable red over black, this 308 still commanded a fair price, although the mileage is unknown.
The Blues: Azzurro is one of the most striking colors to be found on a 308. Never be lost again in a concourse field of red, and certain to hold its value for the foreseeable future.
Driver’s Choice: When Ferrari decided to focus solely on their F1 program in 1973, Michelotto stepped in with the idea of turning from tarmac to dirt. They needed a well behaved and balanced car – their choice? The 308 GTB. A year later, it took its first victory at the Monza Rally.
Pop-Ups: All great cars were made with pop-up headlights. Though tragically abandoned by automakers of today, you can still get your fix with the 308 GTB’s undeniably ’70s style.
MEET THE SELLER
This car is for sale by Galileo Tignini of European Auto Gallery in Staten Island, New York.
MORE ABOUT THE MODEL
The Ferrari 308 was first offered in 1976 as the successor to the underrated Dino 308 GT4, having improved on it in almost every imaginable way. This model had many changes over the years, with the earliest cars (totalling 712) sporting fiberglass bodywork before steel became the norm (with all of the targa-topped GTSes sporting steel). Later, the shift from carburetors to Bosch K-Jetronic in 1980 dropped power and upped emissions to produce the GTBi/GTSi, before finally evolving into the Quattrovalvole, which clawed back previous horsepower losses. Further regional differences existed between Europe and the states, with the variant from across the pond equipped with a dry sump oiling system. It was also liberated from some of the US smog controls and crash protection standards.
Competition is a fundamental trait of the stallions from Maranello, though the path to the podium for the 308 was more convoluted than most. Initially, Ferrari leadership had no plans to race this model, preferring to focus on F1 efforts. However, motivated by the efforts of NART running a 308 GT4 at Le Mans in ‘74 and ‘75, a prototype 308 for the Group 4 division was developed by the Assistenza Clienti division (not the traditional racing division, Reparto Corse). Initial testing of the developments of this chassis were fruitful, though with Ferrari overburdened with projects, they outsourced further development to Michelotto, who had previously handled production of rally royalty with a Ferrari heart: the Lancia Stratos.
The design of the 308 was a significant departure from Maranello’s previous execution on the concept of a mid-engine V8, the Bertone-styled 308 GT4, whose angular execution was, for many, a betrayal of Ferrari’s style. Eager to redefine themselves on their next effort in the segment, they re-enlisted the stylists at Pininfarina, specifically the veteran Leonardo Fioravanti, having previously styled the legendary Dino and Daytona models. In this task the design house enjoyed a resounding success, marrying the curves and muscular haunches of the Dino with the elements of crisp modern edges that came to define the ’70s and ’80s. Ultimately, the 308 went on to be one of the most iconic Ferraris of all time, with numerous pop-culture appearances from Magnum P.I. to Cannonball Run, cementing its place in the automotive pantheon, instantly recognized and synonymous with Italian style.
Here’s what it’s like to live with a Ferrari 308 GTB: