Call: 01428 606616
Order number 115 was delivered to the Maranello Concessionaires and in
turn to the then Dino and Ferrari agents Maltin Car Concessionaires of Henley upon Thames where former racer Innes Ireland was sales manager. First registered SJO 897 P -an Oxfordshire number on 13th January 1976 to 34-year stockbroker Mr C H-H of Berkshire. Finished in Rosso 20-R-187with beige leathercloth with brown cloth inserts-now full sand coloured hide.. The then list price (January 1976) was £9,441.90 plus, delivery charges, number plates and road tax. One of 547 UK cars of which 257 are thought to be taxed/SORN’d, of which just 148 are red.
PLEASE CONTACT MIKE WHEELER FOR MORE DETAILS AND TO ARRANGE VIEWING.
The car is now Historic registered, so is exempt from road tax, MOT and the ULEZ fee.
History: The Paris Motor Show 1973. After 20 years of exclusive collaboration with Pininfarina, Ferrari unveiled the Dino 308 GT4, a V8-engined model designed by Bertone. The Turin-based designer created an attractive mid-engined 2+2 in a body that was little more than 4.3 metres long, an outstanding achievement.
The name “Dino” was retained until the end of 1976 when it was changed to Ferrari due to popular demand. The car remained in production until late 1980. The Dino 308 GT4 was introduced at the 1973 Paris Salon, as a 2+2 model to compliment the two-seater 246 GT/GTS in the Dino range, and like its sibling carried no Ferrari badges, as the intention of Dino being a marque in its own right continued.
The 308 GT4 models were given chassis numbers in the particular Dino even number series, which they maintained even when being produced alongside the true 246 GT/GTS replacement, the 308 GTB/GTS series, which had chassis numbers in the standard Ferrari road car odd-number sequence.
The production period lasted for seven years, until 1980, when it was superseded by the Mondial 8 model. Left and right-hand drive steering was available, with model specification differences for various markets, due to individual legislative requirements, which were becoming more prevalent.
Ferrari (Dino) obviously thought that compliance with varying legislations was worthwhile with this model, due to the relatively high production volumes compared to the 12-cylinder cars of the period, which were only sold in markets where compliance was a relatively easy task.
As with the 246 Dino, the numbers in the model title referred to the engine total cubic capacity, and number of cylinders, in this case 3 litres and 8 cylinders, with the figure 4 relating to the number of seats. The new car marked two firsts for Ferrari, albeit initially under the Dino name, it was their first mid-engined 2+2 model, and their first V8 engine production road car.
In 1975 an Italian market only model, the 208 GT4, was introduced with a 2-litre V8 engine, due to the country’s punitive taxes on cars over that capacity. There was also a USA market version, easily identified by heavy and somewhat ungainly bumper units, and side marker lights set in the front and rear wings.
During the construction period of the model, there was only one visual change of note to major European market models, and this was in the shape of the radiator grille, and location of driving lamps. These are generally unofficially referred to as series 1, and series 2 models, with series 1 cars having a narrower deeper rectangular grille, with the driving lights outboard of it, whilst Series 2 cars had a full width grille with the driving lights behind it at the extremities.
The Italian and USA market cars were not fitted with driving lights, and in the USA they generally refer to three series of cars, due to interim changes with the bumpers and badging.
Surprisingly, due to their long standing close relationship with Ferrari, it was not a design from Pininfarina that clothed the new model, but one from the Bertone studio. The design of the Fiat Dino coupé was from the pen of Bertone, and according to Bertone it was a suggestion from Fiat that led to them being given the design brief for the new model.
When the 246 GT/GTS models ceased production in 1974, the 308 GT4 was the only model left in the Dino range. It was also the only model that Ferrari dealers in the United States of America could offer clients, as the 365 GT4BB and 365 GT4 2+2 models were not homologated for that market.
Thus the only “Ferrari” that they had for sale didn’t even carry a Ferrari badge, and to aggravate matters, due to the emission control equipment, performance was somewhat stifled. This didn’t help sales, and led to the factory issuing a directive in mid 1975 to USA dealers, to retrofit Ferrari badges to existing stock, whilst subsequent cars left the factory carrying Ferrari badges, the name Dino only remaining in the boot lid script badge. Thus some USA market cars carry both Ferrari and Dino badges, and there were also bumper modifications in that market at the same time.
Thus the deep radiator grille USA models can be found with different badging, and different bumper arrangements, which led to the previously mentioned three series of models referred to in the USA.
During the production period a total of 2826 308 GT4 models were produced, and 840 examples of the 208 GT4 passed down the production line.Bertone did a very good design job within very tight dimensional boundaries, to produce a mid-engined 2+2 model on a 2550mm wheelbase, which was only 210mm more than that of the two-seater Dino 246 GT.
The 308 GT4 had a tubular chassis with factory type reference F 106 AL 100, whilst the 208 GT4 chassis carried type reference F 106 CL 100. Disc brakes, with independent suspension via wishbones, coil springs, and hydraulic shock absorbers, were provided all round, with front and rear anti-roll bars. Within the angular body shape there were some very nice design details, like the boomerang shaped air intakes on the sail panels that bordered the rear quarter glass, and the tunnel effect of the inner sail panels to the flat vertical rear screen.
The left side intake ducted cooling air to the oil radiator, and the right side one ducted air to the carburettor air filter. The overall shape was very tight and well balanced, and has stood the test of time very well, certainly better than some of its contemporaries. Despite the mid-engined configuration, the rear seats were useable, far more so than those of the 365 GTC4, although legroom was limited unless the front seats were well forward.
Although the rear seats were “cosy” for passengers they were also capable of providing plenty of additional luggage space. Normally adequate useable luggage space has been an inevitable problem on mid-engined cars.
The 308 GT4 had a separate sensibly-shaped boot to the rear of the engine, as on the 246 Dino, but like that car was affected by heat from the exhaust silencers below it, despite having an insulated floor. Additional luggage space was available under the front lid for soft items, particularly if a space saver spare wheel was used in place of the standard one.
The V8 engine was of 90-degree configuration, with belt-driven twin overhead camshafts per bank, having a total capacity of 2926cc, with a bore and stroke of 81mm x 71mm, bearing factory type reference F 106 AL 000. The bore and stroke was the same as the 365 series 12-cylinder engines of the period.
The Italian market engine was of virtually identical construction, but of 1991cc capacity, with the same bore, but with a shorter 66.8mm stroke, bearing factory type reference F106 C 000.
The engine was transversely mounted in unit with the all-synchromesh five-speed transmission, which was below and to the rear of the engine’s wet sump, following the principle established on the Dino 206 GT and 246 GT models. It was fitted with a bank of four twin-choke Weber 40 DCNF carburettors, mounted in the centre of the vee, the exact specification depended upon the market, and number of distributors fitted.
Early series I European cars, all USA and Australian market cars, had twin distributors driven off the left end of the inlet valve camshafts. Later second series European cars had a single distributor, driven off the forward inlet camshaft, with a revised distributor and electronic ignition system, from the beginning of 1978.
Taken from Ferrari’s own website
The Dino 308 GT4 made its public debut at the Paris Salon in October 1973 as a new 2+2 to supplement the Dino 246 GT models that continued in production concurrently during 1974. Aesthetically the newcomer was very different from its stalemate, the flowing, and voluptuous Pininfarina curves of the 246 replaced by a distinctive, sharp-edged wedge shape from the pen of Bertone.
No-one really seems to know Ferrari’s exact reasons for abandoning Pininfarina – the time honoured stylist for the products of Maranello – on this occasion One school of thought relates it to the existence at the Ferrari factory of a production line for the Bertones-designed Fiat Dino, another speculates that Pininfarina did not have the capacity to produce a design due to its workload at the time, while yet another theory suggests that Bertones involvement was instigated by the Fiat hierarchy. Whatever the real reason, it was a Bertone-designed model that graced the Ferrari stand in Paris that autumn. Prior to this commission, Bertone had only produced three bodies for Ferrari – a show car for the 1950 Geneva Salon and two one-off specials in the early 1960s based on 250 GT chassis.
Initial reaction to the styling of the 308 GT4 was not particularly favourable, as it was so different from the much-loved 246 GT and had a relatively conservative flavour. There were also echoes in the body details from other Bertone designs, the rear wing line being reminiscent of the Lancia Stratos and the overall profile akin to the Lamborghini Urraco. This similarity was not so surprising, as Bertone was trying to meet very similar and exacting specification requirements with all three cars, but it nevertheless influenced reaction to the new Dino.
Despite criticism of the new models mundane appearance and lack of individuality, the 308 GT4 was a cleverly executed solution to the problem of how to combine 2+2 seating with a mid-engined configuration in as 2550mm (100.4in) wheelbase which was only 210mm (8.3in) more than that of the compact two-seater Dino 246 GT.
The 308 GT4’s transverse 3-litre engine was the first production Ferrari V8, although the company was no newcomer to this configuration on the competition front. The new engine/gearbox/differential arrangement was similar to that of the Dino 246 GT, being of unitary construction with the gearbox mounted under the engine. The 90-degree V8 had belt driven twin overhead camshafts per bank, with four twin-choke Weber carburettors in the centre of the vee and exhausts on the outside. Compared with the Dino 246 GT, two extra cylinders and another half litre in capacity saw a considerable increase in power and torque, resulting in a rather user-friendlier overall package.
This was the first Ferrari to be made readily available to journalists, most previous full-scale road tests having been carried out with privately owned cars. Once press people had the opportunity to drive the 308 GT4, and to sample its superior performance and driveability compared with the Dino 246 GT, together with its excellent handling and practicality, their initial scepticism abated and praise for the cars virtues was more forthcoming.
The body styling still did not receive particular acclaim, although, with hindsight, Bertone provided an elegant solution to a difficult set of design parameters. This achievement was more appreciated when the car’s Pininfarina –designed successor, the Mondial 8, was announced in 1980. When the 308 GT4’s design is examined closely, some pleasing details are noticed, such as the boomerang-shaped intakes on the rear quarter panels, the flat, tunnelled rear screen and the elegant simplicity of the instrument panel.
The 308 GT4 underwent various cosmetic changes during its six-year production period, but there were relatively few modifications under the engine cover. Essentially there are two generations of 308 GT4s, commonly referred to as Series 1 (deep front grille) and Series 2 (full-width front grille).
Perhaps the most significant post-launch development, however, was the introduction of a 2-litres ‘tax break’ 208 GT4 for the Italian market, but this version was not offered for sale in any other country.
Early 308 GT4s were badged solely as Dinos, carrying no Ferrari insignia on the bodywork or in the interior. In 1975, however, the cars were re-identified as Ferraris due to flagging sales, particularly in the US, where this model was the only Ferrari-made product available -–and yet it did not even wear a Ferrari badge! Apart from the stylised chrome Dino 308 GT4 badge on the rear boot lid, the Dino identity disappeared hereafter. This change of strategy, however, did not lead to any alteration to the Dino chassis numbering system, the sequence continuing in its specific even-numbered series – created for the Dino 246 GT – right to the end of production, even when 308 GT4s were being built alongside 308 GTB/S models carrying chassis numbers in Ferraris odd-number sequence.
Body & Chassis
Dimensions & Weights
Overall length 4300mm (169.3in) 4495mm (177.0in)
Overall width 1710mm (67.3in) 1710mm (67.3in)
Overall height 1210mm (47.6in) 1210mm (47.6in)
Wheelbase 2550mm (100.4in) 2550mm (100.4in)
Front track 1460mm (57.5in) 1460mm (57.5in)
Rear track 1460mm (57.5in) 1460mm (57.5in)
Dry weight (308) 1360kg (2998lb) 1450kg (3197lb)
Dry weight (208) 1305kg (2876lb)
The 308 GT4, like all Ferraris of the period (and some of the models still in current production), had a separate chassis rather than the unitary construction used by most manufacturers.
The central chassis section under the cabin was constructed from large-section oval steel tubes, which also extended fore and aft to pick up front and rear suspension frames and engine mountings. Supplementary frames for suspension steering, engine, door posts, body mounting and bumpers were constructed from rectangular-section and square-section steel tubes. US models had additional bracing for bumper mounting points and also between that engine and passenger compartment, to satisfy that country’s more stringent crash test legislation.
The floor pan, inner wheel arches and front bulkhead were made of glass-fibre, bonded to the chassis. The engine/cabin firewall was steel with an aluminium foil blanket on the engine side. The rear boot floor was a steel sandwich construction with an insulating infil to reduce head transfer from the exhaust silencer immediately below. A flat aluminium sheet undertray, with an access panel under the throttle pedal for cable replacement, extended from the front of the car almost to the end of the cabin section, and was attached by pop rivets, Front and rear towing eyes were attached to the chassis on the right-hand side of the car under the valances.
The main body panels were steel pressings. Some, such as the large rear wing and roof quarter panel section, were made up of a number of smaller pressings welded together to form a single assembly. The only non-steel outer panels were the front bonnet cover and rear engine lid, which were aluminium panels over a steel frame, and the front grille surround panel, which was moulded in glass-fibre.
Body Trim & Fittings
The main items of bright trim – in polished aluminium – were the surrounds to the windscreen, or glasses and rear quarter windows, and the side gutter channel covers The rectangular door handles, identical to those fitted on the Fiat X1/9 and Lamborghini Urraco, were chrome-plated zinc castings recessed in the door panel.
The glass was initially plain as standard, although tinted glass was available as an option until it became standard for Series 2 cars. Similarly, a heated rear screen was an option on Series 1s but standard on Series 2s. When tinted glass was fitted, the windscreen had heavy tinting along its upper edge. Windscreen wipers parked on the left on right-hand drive models, and on the right on left-hand drive cars. Unlike other windows, the rear screen had a plain black rubber surround.
Body Trim & Fittings
European Series 1s had no external mirrors, but US versions had a single, rectangular, chrome-plates mirror on the driver’s door. European Series 2s had a single, oval, matt black plastic ‘California’ mirror manufactured by Vitaloni on the driver’s door, with the option of a matching one on the passenger’s door.
European models had dull-width front and rear bumpers normally made of chromed steel, with a black rubber face over the entire width and depth. The front bumper incorporated rectangular side/turn lights, identical to those of the Lancia Beta saloon, while the rear one contained twin rectangular reversing lights. For a period during the production run the factory experienced supply difficulties and the chromed steel bumpers had to the temporarily substituted by matt black glass-fibre bumpers. It is impossible to pinpoint how many cars had glass-fibre bumpers, as these were also available as spare parts and steel-bumpered cars may have had then fitted, perhaps after an accident, during this phase.
The much more pronounced bumpers on US versions did nothing to enhance the lines of the car. Painted matt black, these heavy assemblies were made of steel and fitted with rubber faces and plastic end caps, which extended round the wing corners at front and rear. Amber side/turn light assemblies were recessed onto the lower edge of the front bumper, while at the rear a single central reversing light was fixed to the lower edge of the bumper.
US models also had mandatory front and rear rectangular side marker lights cut not the wings, breaking the fluidity of line even more. On US Series 2s the full-width grille and shaped front panel harmonised better with the bumper, but the appearance was still ungainly. Legislation in the US also decreed that there was a louvered protection panel under the rear valance to shield the exhaust silencer. Japanese market cars also sported the undesirable appendages of US models.
All Series 1s originally carried Dino badging only, with no mention of Ferrari. The recessed enamel motif on the nose panel was a ‘horizontal’ rectangle for the Dino, in contrast to the ‘vertical’ form of Ferrari’s usual Cavallino Rampante nose badge. Circular plastic Dino badges decorated the hubcaps, and a chromed zinc script badge on the rear top edge of the boot lid read ‘Dino 308 GT4’. The only other badge was a rectangular ‘Disegno Bertone’ motif mounted low between the door and rear wheel arch on the right-hand side.
In July 1975 Ferrari issued a directive to US dealers on the re-identification of existing stocks of Dino-badged cars. This gave instruction to fit an enamel Ferrari badge above the Dino badge on the nose of the car, to replace the Dino horn push with a button bearing the Cavallino Rampante, and to fix a chromed Cavallino Rampante to the tail panel.
All Series 2s bore some Ferrari identity from the factory. The enamel badge on the nose changed to the Ferrari style, either recessed or surface-mounted, but the tail badging stayed the same. On US versions a chromed Cavallino Rampante was added to the rear panel to the right of the number plate recess.
This image enhancement was intended to improve sales, which had been disappointing. To further this end, some concessionaires and dealers added more Ferrari badges. The normal post-factory additions were a chrome-plated Ferrari script under the rear number plate position and/or a Cavallino Ramnpante on the rear panel, as on the US version.
Body Trim & Fittings
The front radiator grille on Series 1s was a horizontal, narrow-slat design in plain aluminium on European cars or matt black on US models. European cars had rectangular auxiliary lights mounted in recesses in the surround panel, but US versions and Italian 208 GT4 models lacked these Series 2s had a full-width egg-crate grille in plain aluminium for all markets. As part of that identification change programme, late Series 1s for the US were given a small spoiler along the bottom of the front valance, and the bumpers were fitted with altered impact absorbers to slightly reduce their protrusion.
The front lid incorporated a slatted outlet for radiator are, and the engine lid carried a similar outlet. These were finished in matt black on 308 GT4s but plain aluminium on Italian market 208 GT4s. The front lid was released by a horizontal lever mounted on the driver’s side wheel arch in the cabin, the engine and rear luggage compartment lids by twin, lockable, vertical, chromed lever in the driver’s door shut post. Emergency pulls were also provided in case any of these three cables should break.
A factory-fitted manually operated steel sunroof was available as an option; in time this became a corrosion black sport, resulting in replacement of the whole rood panel. The fuel filler was recessed behind a hinged flap on the left-hand rear roof pillar, irrespective of market, and fed twin tanks mounted either side of the engine, with an interconnecting balance pipe between them.
During the 308 GT4 period the factory used acrylic paint produced by Glidden Salchi of Milan, and the full Ferrari colour range – 11 solid colours and 10 two-pack metallic finishes – was available for the Dino model.
US models had matt black front and rear valance panels, and from the late Series 1 period many cars were given what was described as the ‘Boxer’ paint finish, which was also available on European models o order. This consisted of a matt black lower half up to the waist crease, finished with a pinstripe. The ‘Boxer’ term referred to the 365/512 Berlinetta Boxer models, which had this paint finish as standard.
Most European models had a black underseal finish to the sills, forming a straight line on the lower edge of the doors between the front and rear wheels arches. However, some cars do not have this feature, and even in factory sales catalogues there is no consistency on this point.
Interior Trim & Fittings
The standard seats were trimmed in vinyl with cloth for the centre sections and head restraints, The same cloth was used to face the roomy door pockets, with the remainder of the interior panelling matching the vinyl of the seats, except that the dashboard covering was always black vinyl for anti-glare reasons, A full leather interior was available as an option.
The bucket-style reclining front seats were fully adjustable, and had deep-sided squabs for good lateral location. Bucket-style seats were also used in the rear but with relatively limited headroom and even more limited legroom they were really only suitable for children on journeys of any duration. Customers could specify a trimmed luggage platform in place of these seats, although very few took up this option. All four seats were fitted with seat belts, the type depending upon market destinations.
Interior Trim & Fittings
The floor, inner sills and wheel arches were fully carpeted in a colour compatible with the interior trim, chosen from a range of five colours. The carpet in the driver’s footwell was protected by a black rubber heel mat. Series 1s had manual door windows with the option of electric operation, while Series 2s had electric door windows as standard. In case of failure of an electric motor, a small crank handle was provided to effect manual operation, by removing a small plug from the door panel and inserting the handle. A small circular red warning light was fitted in the trailing edge of each door, and the door pockets incorporated interior lights.
The open-gate gear-change was positioned on the driver’s side to the central tunnel, with the gate flush to the tunnel top for left-hand drive or recessed in a cutout in the tunnel top and side for right-hand drive. Provision was made for a ‘north-south’ radio installation at the front corner of the tunnel with speakers in the front of the door panels, Rectangular ashtrays were provided on the tunnel for both front and rear passengers, with a cigarette lighter to the rear of the front ashtray. The tunnel also housed the hand brake between the front seats.
Manufactured by Momo, the steering wheel had three aluminium spokes, a leather rim and a central horn push bearing a Dino badge (Series 1) or a Cavallino Rampante (Series 2). The roof lining was of white vinyl, ribbed in the flat centre section and with padded bolster sections around the perimeter, those at the front incorporating recesses for the sun visors, the passenger’s one with a vanity mirror. An interior light for rear seat occupants was fitted at the back of the roof lining. The dipping interior mirror was fixed to the windscreen with an adhesive pad.
One other option was air conditioning, which fed through the standard heating and ventilation system. The pump was mounted in the engine compartment and belt-driven from the engine.
Solid Colours Code Metallic Colours Code
Rosso Chiaro 20.3.90 Verde Pino N/A
Rosso Dino 20.3.350 Verde Medio N/A
Blu Scurror Dino 20.A.357 Blu Dino N/A
Azzuro Dino 20.A.349 Blu Sera N/A
Verde Germoglio 20.G.465 Azzuro Metalizzato N/A
Giallo Senappe 20.Y.464 Marrone Dino N/A
Nuovo Giallo Fly 20.Y.490 Grigio Ferro N/A
Giallo Dino 20.Y.348 Oro Chiaro N/A
Bianco Polo Park 20.W.152 Argento Auteil N/A
Nero N/A Rosso Rubino N/A
Bleu Montecarlo N/A
Note: Optional ‘Boxer’ colour scheme had matt black lower body (code
20.B.50 plus 20.T.380 matt lacquer).
Dashboard & Instruments
The instrument panel was a very simple design, slim and rectangular in shape with angled winds at the extremities to bring the switchgear closer to the driver. The panel was finished in matt aluminium on 308 GT4s and matt black on 208 GT4s.
The Veglia-Borletti dials, all with white markings on black faces, were mounted in the centre section of the panel, immediately in front of the driver. They comprised two large dials for speedometer and rev counter, with three small dials in a triangle between them for oil pressure (top left), water temperature (top right) and clock (bottom centre), and two small dials outside them for fuel (left) and oil temperature (right). The 280kph or 180mph speedometer incorporated the distance recorded and a trip meter, while the 10,000rpm rev counter had warning sectors in orange from 7000rpm and red from 7700rpm. The speedometer and rev counter swapped places for left-hand and right-hand drive, so that the speedometer was always in the outboard position.
The inboard wing of the panel contained three sliding levers for the heating hand ventilation system. The outer levers controlled distribution to the left-hand and right-hand sides of the car, while the centre lever set the heat. The outboard wing contained a row of three switches across the top with respective warning lights below them, the functions being (from the inboard end) auxiliary lights, hazard warning lights and defroster fan. US versions also had a ‘fasten seat belts’ warning light that worked in conjunction with a buzzer when the ignition was on and the belt buckle uncoupled.
The lights were controlled by a stalk on the left or the steering column, with a second smaller stalk on the same side for the direction indicators. A right-hand column stalk operated the windscreen wipers (two-seed plus intermittent) and washers.
Dashboard & Instruments
Three circular de-mister outlets were positioned centrally in the top of the dashboard. When air conditioning was fitted on Series 1 cars, it discharged through these vents, which in practice turned out to provide poor circulation. A factory technical bulleting was issued in 1975, effecting a modification to solve the problem by discharging air through the footwell outlets, and all subsequent air-conditioned cars had this configuration.
Air conditioning, when fitted, was controlled by two dials switched on the central tunnel, for temperature and fan speed. Switches for the electric windows, again when fitted, were alongside the gearchange gate on the tunnel, while the choke slide control was alongside the handbrake.
On the passenger side of the dashboard was a useful lockable glovebox. Below this was the fuse board, behind a screwed panel trimmed in black vinyl to match the dashboard covering.
The main luggage storage area was in a separate compartment to the rear of the engine. This was fully lined, including on the underside of this lid, with a heavy-duty carpet in a check design that combined black with red, beige, tan or blue, depending upon interior carpet colour. The boot was a usefully rectangular shape, but rather shallow, and care had to be taken not to use it for items that might be affected by heat from the exhaust silencer immediately underneath and the engine ahead.
The front compartment had little space for luggage as it housed the spare wheel, a spacesaver for all markets except the US, which required a standard road wheel. Viewed from the front of the car , the front corners of the compartment contained the battery on the left and the air horn pump and screen washer bottle on the right, the horns themselves being between the radiator and grille. A plastic shield covered the brake master cylinder and servo so that any remaining space stayed clean, and could be used for stowing soft items.
A comprehensive tool kit was supplied in two soft vinyl bags, mounted in the spare wheel well on European cars or in the right-hand corner of the boot for the US and Australian markets.
Cloth/vinyl (1) Code Leather Code
Red - Grigio VM3393
Beige - Nero VM8500
Tan - Beige VM4208
Black - Crema VM3997
Navy Blue (2) - Rosso VM3171
Testa di Moro 83
(1) Contrast colour combinations of cloth and vinyl could be specially ordered; eg. Navy Blue cloth with Beige vinyl.
(2) With Navy Blue cloth, light Blue vinyl was standard alternative to Navy Blue vinyl.
The 308 GT4’s engine, Ferrari’s first production V8, displaced 2926cc (178.6cu in) and had type reference F106AL. The 208 GT4 engine for the Italian market displaced 19991cc (121.5cu) and had a different suffix to give type reference F106C.
The new engine shared similarities with its 12-cylinder relatives, the 308 version having the same 81mm (3.19in) by 71mm (2.79in) bore and stroke as the 365 series engines, as used in the Daytona among others, and the same basic architecture of a 90 degree angle between the cylinder banks, light alloy construction with shrunk-in cast iron cylinder liners, and paired connecting rods on the crankshaft. For the GT4, however, the engine was mounted transversal ahead of the rear axle line, in unit with the gearbox and final dive assembly. The light alloy castings for the block, cylinder heads and sump were manufactured to a very high standard in Ferrari’s own foundry and left in their natural dull finish.
Power output figures given by the factory varies through the life of the model, according to market destination and changing emissions legislation, which gradually became more widespread following its introduction in California in 1968. The pump for the air conditioning system, where fitted, also had a debilitating effect on the engine.
European Series 1s were quoted as producing maximum power of 250bhp (SAE) at 7700rpm and maximum torque of 210lb ft (29kgm) at 5000rpm. On US Series 1s the figures dropped to 240bhp (SAE) at 6600rpm and 195lb ft (27kgm) at 5000rpm. The figures for European Series 2s were initially unchanged from the Series 1s, nut in 1978 maximum power fell to 230hp at 7700rpm and maximum torque to 203lb ft (28.1kgm) at 4600rpm. At the same time US Series 2s had to be equipped with a catalytic converter and their figures dropped to 205bhp at 6600rpm and 181lb ft (25kgm) at 5000rpm. In all these cases the compression ratio remained at 8.8:1.
For the 208 GT4, which had a compression ratio of 9:1, the factory quoted maximum torque of 137lb ft (19kgm) at 4900rpm. On this engine the bore was reduced to 66.8mm (2.63in).
Each of the two cylinder heads had twin overhead camshafts machined from forged steel, the inner one actuating the inlet valves and the outer one the exhaust valves. The camshafts were supported on three journal bearings, the lower halves being part of the head casting while the upper halves were attached to the head by steel studs with nuts and washers. Camshaft drive on each head was via a toothed belt with tensioner within a cast aluminium belt cover, from a geared drive off the crankshaft on the right-hand end of the engine.
Distributor drive was taken off the left-hand end of both inlet camshafts on twin-distributor models, but only the forward inlet camshaft on single-distributor models, European Series 1 cars and all US and Australian cars had two Magneti Marelli S159A distributors (one for each bank of cylinders), while European Series 2 cars had a single Magneti Marelli S127G distributor until January 1978. After this date European cars were fitted with a Magneti Marelli AEI 200A inductive discharge electronic ignition system, utilising distributor type SM805A.
The recommended sparking plugs were Champion N7Y for normal use or N6Y for continuous high-speed running, irrespective of model. The numbers for the cylinder firing order were cast into the aluminium camshaft covers close to the plug ports.
On each head the single inlet and exhaust valves were inclined at 46 degrees with respect to each other, and driven from their camshafts via bucket tappets with shim adjustments. Valve timing varied according to model and is given in a panel.
The light alloy pistons were fast-topped with a perimeter upstand incorporating cutouts for valve clearance. Four piston rings were fitted, the bottom one for oil control Forged steel connecting rods were paired,, one from each bank on a single crankshaft journal, with specially shaped big-end bolts to fit into cut-outs in the rod.
The crankshaft, also machined from forged steel, ran in five main bearings and had an eight-bolt flange at the left-hand end for connection to the steel flywheel. The camshaft drive gear keyed onto the shaft at the right-hand end, together with the main belt pulley. Small-end bearings were phosphor bronze, while big end and man bearings were lain white metal. Bearing lubrication was via holes drilled in the crowns of the journals. The cast iron cylinder liners were a push-fit and had locating flanges that seated flush with the top of the block.
Engine lubrication was wet-sump by means of a gear-driven oil pump, with an easily accessible full-flow filter in the engine vee. An oil cooler was fitted on the left-hand side of the engine compartment , air being fed to it from the left-hand rear quarter intake. A crankcase emission control system was standard throughout the range, feeding oil vapour from the head breathers back into the air filter. With a warm engine, the oil pressure gauge should read between 6.5 bar (92.5psi) and 4.5 bar (64.0psi).
All models used four Weber twin-choke 40 DCNF carburettors, but to varying specifications as follows: 35/36/37/38 for European twin-distributor models, 57/58/59/69 for European single-distributor models, 45/46/47/48 for US versions and 64/65/66/67 for Australian variants. The carburettors were fed by a Corna electric fuel pump situated close to the fuel outlet of the left-hand tank, with filter adjacent.
Spanning the carburettors in the centre of the vee was a large air filter with a crackle black finished casing. It was connected to a large flexible hose feeding air from the right-hand boomerang-shaped intake in the rear quarter panel. The air filter was a washable (with petrol) cartridge, although the instruction in handbooks for US and Australian versions was to replace it every 15,000 miles, or sooner if the car was used in very dusty conditions.
The engine was water-cooled by a front radiator with twin thermostatically controlled electric fans. The fans were activated by a sensor in the base of the radiator if water temperature exceeded 84 c (183 F). Circulation was by a belt-driven water pump at the timing gear end of the engine, and this also fed water on demand to left-hand and right-hand heater radiators (one for each side of the car), which had individual fans mounted in the corners of the front valance. A remote header tank was mounted in the right-hand corner of the engine compartment. The system was pressurised by 0.9 bar (12psi), and the recommended anti-freeze content was one-third for normal conditions.
The thermostat, set to open at 80 C (176F), was mounted in the water pump outlet housing on the right-hand side of the engine.
A single belt drove the water pump and alternator off the main crankshaft pulley, which was tensioned by adjusting the alternator position; the deflection, measured between the water pump and alternator pulleys, should not exceed 4.6mm (0.18in). A second groove on the crankshaft pulley drove the air conditioning compressor (were fitted), which had a slotted adjuster below it; the maximum deflection for this belt is 3mm (0.12in).
On European cars each bank of cylinders had a four-branch tubular steel exhaust manifold, whereas USA and Australian models had pressed steel collector manifolds with air injection points. The forward manifold fed via a single pipe to a flanged connection into the right-hand side of the silencer box, while the rearward manifold fed in the same manner into the left-hand side of the silencer box. Heat shields were provided above both manifolds, and also below the forward one to protect the starter motor.
The silencer was transversely mounted across the tail of the car, under the boot floor, The exhaust gases exited through two pairs of chromed tail-pipes pointing directly rearward except on US models, which used tail-pipes with 90 degree bends to direct exhaust gases towards the ground. As this was not very pleasing aesthetically, Ferrari effected a modification in July 1975 – at the same time as the Ferrari badging directive – so that dummy tail pipes shrouded the downward-facing pipes.
US and Australian models were fitted with an evaporative loss system and an emission control device that injected air into the exhaust valve ports.
The all-synchromesh five-speed gearbox was mounted in unit with the engine, clutch and differential assemblies.
The all-synchromesh five-speed gearbox was mounted in unit with the engine, clutch and differential assemblies, located below the engine to the rear of the sump. However, it did not share the engine oil for lubrication, having its own ribbed aluminium sump matching that of the engine.
The clutch, mounted on the flywheel on the left-hand end of the engine, was a mechanically operated, dry, single-plate diaphragm type of 9.5in (241mm) diameter, with an assister spring to reduce pedal pressure. Power was transmitted from the clutch shaft, through a triple transfer gear assembly on roller bearings, down to the gearbox main shaft. These components were housed the left-hand end of the engine in an alloy casing with a removable cover.
The main shaft had first, reverse, second and third gears machined into it, with fourth and fifth gears keyed onto it. The gears were helical with Porsche-designed synchromesh, and the complete assembly ran in roller bearings. From the main shaft drive was transferred via the selected gear using forked selectors to the secondary shaft, from the centre of which was taken the gear drive to the limited slip differential. Solid drive shafts with constant velocity joints at each end were bolted to the differential couplings, and transmitted the drive to the rear wheels.
The gear selection linkage ran from the selector input shaft on the gearbox, under the engine, and to the gear lever. The gearchange pattern had a ‘dog leg’ first (to the left and back) with reverse opposite, then two more panes for second/third and fourth/fifth. The speedometer drive was taken off the right-hand end of the gearbox, by cable up to chassis number 08198 and thereafter by electrical pulse transmission.
Electrical Equipment & Lights
The electrical system was 12-volt, served from a 60Ah or 66Ah battery fed by a Bosch alternator. Specifications for all the major components are given in the panel.
Lighting equipment varied enormously according to market, although it was all of Carello manufacture. Twin headlights with the outer units for dipped beam, were mounted in retractable pods contained in cutouts in the front lid. The pods were raised by electric motors actuated by relays when the headlights were switched on, but there was manual back up by means of a knurled knob on each motor. The bulbs were 55-watt quartz iodine filaments, as were those for the auxiliary lights (where fitted) either side of the radiators, Cars for the French market had yellow headlight lenses in line with that country’s legislation at that time.
The front side/turn indicator lights on European cars had either clear or clear/amber lenses, again according to market. All US cars had amber front side/turn indicator lights along with rectangular side market lights in amber (front) or red (rear) set into the wings. European cars had small, circular, surface mounted amber indicator repeaters n the front wings, just forward of the wheel arched. Japanese market cars had large rectangular indicator repeaters in the same location.
At the rear, trapezoidal assemblies housed three circular, separately removable lenses, which covered, from the outboard end, the direction indicator (normally amber, but red on US cars), stop/tail light and reflector. On European cars two rectangular reversing lights were mounted in the rear bumper, while US cars had a single rectangular unit suspended centrally below the bumper. Number plate illumination was from a twin-bulb unit housed in the trailing lower edge of the boot lid.
The only notable change to the lighting during production was the relocation of the front auxiliary lights behind the full-width grille on Series 2 models. Auxiliary lights were never fitted to the USA 308 GT4 or the Italian 208 GT4.
Suspension & Steering
Suspension was independent all round, each wheel having twin unequal-length wishbones in fabricated steel a coil spring and a double-acting shock absorber. Anti-roll bars were fitted front and rear.
The Koni shock absorbers, types 82x-1830 (front) and 82x-1831 (rear), were co-axially mounted within the coil springs. The spring/shock absorber units were mounted at an angle between the wishbones at the front, but vertically above the upper wishbone at the rear. All suspension units were mounted to the chassis through Teflon-lined bushes.
The front hub carriers were machined steel castings mounted between the wishbones on rubber-bushed couplings, and they each incorporated a stub axle. The brake disc was bolted to the hub, sandwiching the disc dust shroud.
The rear hub carriers were machined aluminium castings, each with a central hold through which the stub axle shaft passed to connect to the drive shaft, which had a retaining bolt at its inner end to hold it in place, together with the wheel bearings housed in the carrier. The brake disc was bolted to a circular flange on the outer end of the stub axle.
Steering was by rack and pinion, with 3.28 turns lock to lock and a turning circle of 12m (39ft). The steering ball joints were sealed units requiring no lubrication, with automatic slack take-up facility.
ATE ventilated discs were fitted all round, of 10.75in (273mm) diameter and fitted with Ferodo 1/D332 pads. The system was servo-assisted, with a tandem master cylinder feeding independent circuits to the front and rear wheels. Each circuit had its own reservoir, mounted in the front luggage compartment under and access cover in the shield panel just forward of the windscreen.
The system was also equipped with a pressure-limiting valve to the rear circuit, and a dashboard warning light to advise of pressure loss in either circuit; this also served as the handbrake warning light. The handbrake as cable-operated to the calipers on the rear wheels, with a manual slack take-up adjuster on the assembly at the rear of the car.
Wheels & Tyres
The standard cast alloy wheels were very similar in design to those of the Dino 246 GT. On Series 1s the five fixing bolts we concealed behind a chromed hub cover with a plastic Dino badge in the centre, but on Series 2s the bolts were exposed and chromed, as on the 246 GT, and the central badge carried a Cavallino Rampante.
The wheels were manufactured by Cromodora and finished in silver paint and lacquer. The manufacturer’s name, Dino script and wheel size were cast in raised characters around the rim. Wider Campagnolo five-spoke alloy wheels could be specified as an option, and many customers chose these.
The spare wheel on many European cars was a spacesaver type, but legislation required that US models had to have full-size spare wheel.
Taken from Keith Bluemel’s book, “The Original Ferrari V8”.
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