Friday, September 18, 2009

Ferrari 308

The 308 GTB was Ferrari's first two-seat V8 road car. Made available to the public in 1975, it was the long awaited successor to the incomparable Dino 246 GT. The 308 series was a new beginning for the company as the premier builder of exotic sports cars for road use. As such, the 308 was designed to epitomize the sports car in its era. It did so admirably, and remains perhaps the most influential enthusiast car in history. The 308 is the car against which every subsequent sports car has been measured, upon which every Ferrari V8 sports and racing car has been based, and the car that brought Ferrari from the pinnacle of elite car-culture recognition into the minds of the general public. 25 years later, the shape and sound of the 308 is still "Ferrari" in the minds of many people.

The 308 came in two body styles, over three generations. The GTB, or berlinetta body, had a solid roof and slightly greater rigidity. The 308 GTB debuted in 1975. The GTS, or spider body, had a removable roof panel and first appeared in late 1977. The light roof panel was made of covered fiberglass. With windows down and roof off, the popular GTS was open from door to door. The three generations consist of the 308, 308i and 308qv. Apart from minor styling and accent changes, their engines differentiate the generations. The original 308 was carburetted and available from 1975 to 1980. The 1981-82 308i was fuel injected. The 308qv, for quattrovalvole, was fuel injected with four valves per cylinder, and was made from 1982 to 1985.

The 308 allowed its driver to experience a racecar thrill, and it also invited the passenger to relax in comfort and enjoy the ride. The 308 was by no means the first Ferrari to offer sumptuous surroundings with full leather upholstery and stylish appointments, but it offered far more for the casual driver.

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