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Ordered by Maranello Concessionaires Ltd -order No S/140- for October 1979 production making this a 1980 model ie cigar rather than cigarette lighter, later slightly thicker rimmed “split spoke” NARDI steering wheel- engine cover struts rather than a prop. Finished in Rosso Corsa with crema hide and corda (beige) carpets. Upon completion the car was delivered to the UK by truck-one of 186 UK cars officially imported of which 107 remain taxed or SORN’d with just 87 in red- to Maranello Concessionaires Ltd in Egham Surrey. In turn the car was sold with a full 17.5% dealer discount plus additional 5% demonstrator discount to the then Ferrari agents Huxford Group Ltd of Fareham Hampshire and first registered P** **-managing director P H’s personal number on 18th October 1979. Interestingly the marketing form says this car replaced a 1979 308 GT4. The then list price (1st July 1979) £19,901.23 plus delivery charges, number plates and road tax. Additionally, air conditioning £747.50,7.5” wide wheels, front spoiler, £219.27 and front fog lamps wired for flashing £74.75-now removed.
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The car is complete with its original factory service book, wallet and handbook. A comprehensive file of past service invoices, MOT’s and photographs of the bare metal repaint. It has been confirmed by Tony Willis as “matching numbers”. Records of 22 services and 12 MOT’s.
History: The pleasure of open top driving has a very special place in the heart of many Ferrari fans. The 308 GTS was developed in collaboration with Pininfarina in 1977 to help make that dream come true. When not in use, its Targa hard-top could be stored neatly away behind the seats. The chassis was specially reinforced to compensate for the lack of a full roof. Performance was similar to that of the 308 GTB.
The 308 GTS joined the Ferrari model range at the 1977 Frankfurt Salon. Visually it was very similar to its 308 GTB berlinetta stable mate, apart from the black finished solid removable glass-fibre roof panel, and the satin black finished hinged opening louvre panels over the rear quarter windows. They were hinged to permit cleaning of the rear quarter glass, and the one on the left side also gave access to the fuel filler cap, and both were lockable. The “S” in the model title stood for “Spider”, although as with the Dino 246 GTS, the spider title was a degree of artistic license, as it was in fact a targa top, with a roof panel that could be stowed behind the seats for open air motoring. As on the 308 GTB, a luggage compartment was provided in the tail of the car behind the engine bay, accessed by lifting the entire engine bay cover, which revealed a zip top luggage compartment at the rear. As with the 308 GTB berlinetta an optional deep front spoiler was available, as was the sports exhaust system, and high compression piston plus high lift camshaft package. A further option was 16″ wheels fitted with Pirelli P7 low profile tyres.
The 308 GTS featured a steel body with an aluminium front lid, whilst USA market cars can be identified by heavier bumper assemblies, and rectangular side marker lights on the wings. The main European market 308 GTS models had a tubular steel chassis with factory type reference F 106 AS 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. All models were numbered in the Ferrari odd number road car chassis sequence, with right and left hand drive available. Production ran from 1977 to 1980 in the chassis number range 22619 to 34501, during which time 3219 examples were produced, around 50% more than the concurrent 308 GTB model.
The V8 engine was identical to that used in the concurrent 308 GTB model, being of a 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 AB 000 for European market cars. The engine was transversely mounted in unit with the all synchromesh five speed transmission assembly, which was below, and to the rear of the engine’s sump. It was fitted with a bank of four twin choke Weber 40 DCNF carburettors, mounted in the centre of the vee, the exact specification depending upon the market, and power output was in the order of 255bhp. European market cars were fitted with dry sump lubrication, whereas Australian, Japanese and USA market examples had wet sump lubrication.
Taken from Ferrari’s own website.
The 308 GT4, which had followed on from the 246 GT, was not strictly speaking its replacement. That role was to be undertaken by the 308 GTB introduced in Paris in 1965. Although it did not carry Dino badges and was chassis numbered in the Ferrari series, i.e. with odd numbers, the 308 GTB was directly descended from the 308 GT4.
For the body design, Ferrari went back to Pininfarina who skilfully blended together elements from the Dino 206/246 series and the 365GT4 BB. From the latter came the double body shell appearance resulting from the groove cut into the body at bumper level; the plunging nose; the rather square rear panel and sail panels extended back to meet a shallow spoiler. From the Dino came the concave rear windows and conical air intakes ahead of the rear wheel arches.
The most important innovation, though, was the use of fibreglass for the body shell. Whatever the reasons for its use, it was short-lived, because by approximately mid-1977 steel was once again back in favour as the main material along with the selective use of fibreglass.
The chassis numbers started at 18677. The last fibreglass-bodied car was 21289. The first steel-bodied car was 20805. The final cut-off point for the model is not known.
The 308 GTS, introduced at Frankfurt in the autumn of 1977, was an obvious addition to the 308 range. Besides the removable roof panel that marked it out from the GTB, the rear quarter-lights were covered by black louvered panels, which were stylistic rather than functional. In the USA, considered to be a 1978 model, it had to meet more stringent exhaust emission standards. These required the use of a catalytic converter exhaust, which brought additional cooling vents in the rear deck and a shroud below the rear bumper. Apart from these "peculiar to destination" type modifications, the GTS was mechanically, with one exception, identical to the GTB. The exception was that, regardless of where the cars were to go, lubrication would be wet sump.
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