1979 Ferrari 308 GTB yellow
This is - to quote one of the top marque specialists alive today - “The most highly restored Ferrari 308 ever offered for sale”. It is quite honestly:
Unrepeatable, without peer, without equal, a true ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity.
You read that and say “Yeah, right”.
I’m a sceptic too, a technical engineer by trade and professional pursuit. By the time you finish scanning the photos and reading this, I believe your scepticism will be lifted. Because what you see here is 5 years of my life, blood sweat and tears poured into one of the most recognizable works of rolling art Ferrari ever produced.
I bought this US spec 79 308GTB (29007) in 2001 and drove it until Nov 2003 then decided to restore it to better than new.
Some use the phrases “frame off” or “nut and bolt restoration” casually, yet this car was entirely disassembled, lovingly catalogued, with every component rebuilt, replaced, re-plated or renewed (possibly all 4!) I have over 1,000 photos and the 6 figure receipts to prove it.
After the international attention received on its greatly-anticipated completion, plus a full 6 page spread in Forza Magazine issue number 96 (the very picky, glossy Ferrari-only publication) I have decided to turn my attention to another Ferrari of mine, and let someone else enjoy the fruits of my labour.
Look at the photos, read the abbreviated descriptions below. If you are a person who wants THE best yet only wants to turn the key to enjoy a near-literally ‘brand new Ferrari 308’ then get ready to bid on an irreplaceable masterpiece.
ü Body/Chassis/Undercarriage – All panels soda-blasted to perfection. Zero collision damage found. None. Impossibly minor decay in hidden trunk area (where NO ONE would ever look) was removed, re-engineered, replaced, chemically protected. Chassis components cleaned, correctly refinished. Body has nearly 1,500 areas of obsessive correction (beyond factory, I promise) and preparation. All etch primered for state of the art protection. Doors alone took 40 hours to perfect. Their vault-like ‘thunk’ and laser-straight alignment stand as testimony to the effort. All body and chassis components reassembled with microscopic precision.
The car was then carefully and correctly resprayed Giallo Fly and polished to a mirror finish. The yellow suits the flowing lines of Pininfarina’s best, giving lightness, reflection depth, and subtle hue changes. This car in this color, at sunset, is nearly beautiful enough to bring a tear to the most jaded enthusiast.
Just since I can’t leave well enough alone – ever – I authentically replicated the euro grill, had it anodized, and hand-fitted it better and cleaner than the original. Because this is originally a US spec car it came with the large bumpers and add-on side marker lamps. I upgraded the bumpers and lamps to the euro look for weight reduction and the clean design Pinninfarina originally penned for the 308.
ü Engine The engine in this car is healthier than new. Has new custom high compression pistons, ported heads, modern 3 ring setup rather than antique 4 ring design, modern positive guide seals to control oil consumption, bearings, OEM gaskets, rebuilt carbs, rebuilt single Euro distributor, stainless mandrel bent exhaust, powder coated wrinkle finish airbox and cloth covered hoses. Engine note is remarkable, and the 3.0 V8 is so smooth you can place a champagne glass on it at idle. All new timing belts of course, tensioners, every engine seal possible is new. Every part was scrubbed clean and if originally painted, then painted better. If not, then it was only cleaned, then protectively coated (not painted to ‘dress it up’ for photos like many do.) Look at the pictures again. This car is pristine, even where it doesn’t matter.
ü Transaxle, The flywheel was machined, the clutch was rebuilt. The gearbox was fitted with new syncros, bearings, gaskets, and seals. Doesn’t leak a drop and get this - - it shifts like a brand new car stone cold even into 2nd gear. No clunk, no grind, no skipping 2nd for the first 10 miles or ½ hour, no nothing. The shifter was disassembled, cleaned and re-greased. Just smooth-shifting joy up to any sub red-line level you pick, the way Enzo intended
ü Braking, Suspension, Wheels The brakes are OEM, new rotors, new pads, new hoses, re-plated original brake lines, rebuilt and over-restored callipers. The suspension retains the original major components such as springs, arms, spindles etc but with OEM correct bushings, spring rate paint marks, Koni decals, new spring isolators, OEM stabilizer bar bushings, on and on, every bushing and bearing is new and OEM! The rims are OEM Ferrari QV 16” rims too, not reproductions that don’t look quite right, the spare rim is an NOS front rim that has never been installed on the car, all with raised lettering and wrapped with P-Zero’s in OEM sizes.
ü Electrical, sub systems All sub-assemblies such as window motors, fan motors, wiper motor, alternator, steering rack, rear hubs and axles were rebuilt, re-greased, adjusted, replaced. Whatever niggling Italian electrical “characteristics” you expect (especially on a 30 year old version!) you can drop from you “worry list”. If it worked on this car when new on the showroom floor, it works as well or better on this car now. The fuse blocks are good enough for the space shuttle. My friend, an electrical engineer manufactured a direct replacement fuse block set that accepts modern blade style fuses that also accommodate the OEM covers so they look OEM yet work better than any OEM bullet style fuse could ever hope to. Lights are brighter, windows are faster and no headaches.
ü Interior – Oh my, the interior. New, glorious fresh leather seat skins, plus leather door panels, carpets, kick panels, trim bits all renewed. The windshield is a mint OEM Sigla piece – impossible to find now. The original exterior trim has been re-anodized to replicate the original look and finish, all emblems are new Ferrari parts as are the lights. Every switch, gauge, gauge face, trim ring, lighted dial, all renewed, cleaned or replaced. The console switch-gear was replaced with NOS items, even the switch plates and dash warning lamps are NOS. The throttle pedal was rebuilt, powder coated and re-greased. All new pedal rubbers and cables replaced. Stainless trim bits polished and re-installed.
To make this car ‘better than new’ but using OEM parts was my mission. To this end, the switches switch. The windows go up silently and quickly. New, pliable weatherstripping throughout. The car is quieter, smoother, tighter and more agile than new. I searched for years to find a perfect, correct, original NOS MOMO wheel for this car to no avail, my only choice was to use a reproduction wheel that duplicates the correct MOMO look and feel which completes the interior. The interior of this car, in look, feel, and smell is that of a brand new car.
BOTTOM LINE: There is nothing that was left untouched, and obviously too much to list here. Whatever additional spares left over go with the car that were not re-used (not sold separately, they go with the car). No spare engine or major components, just small items like lights and odds and ends.
I’m clearly in love with this car, and quite intimate with it. (Sounding a little more personal than I’d intended!) But your options to ‘recreate this’ are to…
1. Find a new 1979 308GTB entombed somewhere from new. Good luck. And when you go to actually ‘drive it’ get ready to start your own restoration! Most “preserved” cars atrophy beneath their unscathed appearance. Don’t take my word for it; ask around.
2. Get that ‘bargain’ of a neglected 308 and do it yourself. If you have 3 years to pay someone or 5-6 years to do it yourself, plus the know how, go for it. Be ready for 2,000 phone calls, 4,000 emails, 1,500 broken promises, 1,000 missed deadlines, and well, you get the picture. After that, make sure the car all goes back together, runs, starts, stops, drives, turns, shifts, lights and all that. Then you get to ‘sort it out’! By the end of this, there will be zero financial advantage.
3. Buy this car. It is a ‘new’ but better Ferrari 308, and perhaps Ferrari’s most driveable, loveable, usable and potentially most beautiful model ever.
From Twitter05/03/2013 - Doc221ent - link
@amcaffeineshow Top 5 TV vehicles of ALL **** time.. 1979, 1981, 1984, 308 GTS Ferrari from Magnumâ€¦
04/12/2013 - SteveBrandonOTT - link
@JWCounsell My own Value Village Hot Wheels car "record" is ~$30 for the 1979 Golden Machines Race Bait Ferrari 308:
Barrie, Ontario, Canada
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Posted: 15 Oct 2009
From WikipediaThe Ferrari 308 GTB are mid-engined sports cars manufactured by the Italian company Ferrari in the 1970s-1980s. They made up the lower end of the company's range. The 308 replaced the Dino 246 in 1975 and was updated as the 328 in 1985.
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