1978 Ferrari 308 GTS for sale 101100749
1978 Ferrari 308 GTS
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1978 Ferrari 308 GTS

Convertible Car for sale in New Canaan, Connecticut 06840

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New Canaan, CT 06840

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Classic Car Overview

- Rosso corsa red with nero black interior.

- Showing only 5,078 miles

- Highly desirable carbureted version with more horsepower and better exhaust sound

- Excellent paint and body

- Very clean interior

The Ferrari 308 is undoubtedly a modern classic. The car was introduced to great acclaim in Paris in 1975 as a replacement for the successful 246 Dino line. Its iconic wedge-shaped body lines were designed by Leonardo Fioravanti of Pininfarina, who famously penned the 365 GTB/4 Daytona and 246 Dino.   

The 308 quickly won over many enthusiasts for both its looks and performance, and it was an instant hit with the automotive press. "It's everything a race-bred Ferrari should be," Motor Trend stated, "lean, taut, and full of sound and fury, a little brother to the redoubtable Boxer and a definite descendant of the 246." One of the first journalists to drive the 308 GTB in 1975 was Paul Frère. He described the car as, “the most seductive model to ever come from Maranello. The performance is deceptive, with the motor being so flexible and sweet in its performance.”

The 308 was quite sophisticated for its time, with a transverse mounted all-alloy four-cam 3.0 liter V-8 engine with four Weber carburetors, producing 255 horsepower. The 308 chassis followed Ferrari tradition and was made of steel tubes. Suspension front and rear was independent, with unequal-length A-arms, coil springs, hydraulic shocks, and anti-roll bars. Brakes were ventilated discs, with a five-speed transmission having the famed gated shifter. With four-wheel independent suspension and four-wheel disc brakes, the car was extremely well balanced and offered taut handling along with a compliant ride.  

At the 1977 London Motor Fair, Ferrari introduced the convertible GTS model with a removable Targa top. The 308 GTS quickly became the most popular Ferrari model available.  With such a popular car on its hands, Ferrari would continue producing the 308 until 1985, but with some significant changes along the way. 

Like many manufacturers in the late 1970s, Ferrari struggled with America's increasingly stringent emissions. In 1980, Ferrari introduced the GTSi version of the 308, which replaced the four Weber carburetors on the 308 engine with Bosch K-Jetronic fuel-injection, reducing the engine's output to just 205 horsepower. In 1983, Ferrari introduced the 308 Quattrovolve with four valves per cylinder and a higher compression ratio (9.2 versus 8.8:1), which increased the horsepower available through the fuel injected engine up to 230 horsepower, but still below the 255 horsepower of the original carbureted engine.  The 308 Quattrovolve was produced until the end of the 308 production run in 1985 when it was replaced by the 328 for the 1986 model year.

The 308 GTS was made famous by the television series Magnum, P.I. The car played a starring role in the show for eight seasons from 1980 to 1988, capturing the hearts of many as it chased down criminals on the islands of Hawaii with actor Tom Selleck behind the wheel.  A red Ferrrari 308 was also driven by Christie Brinkley in the 1983 National Lampoon movie, Vacation. The 308 remains a cultural icon to this day, with Sports Car International naming the 308 number five on the list of Top Sports Cars of the 1970s. To many, a red 308 GTS is the quintessential Ferrari.

The 1978 Ferrari 308 GTS presented here is a rare and desireable carbureted version finished in the gorgeous color combination of rosso corsa red with a nero black leather interior. One of only 3,219 built, this largely original example has traveled just over 5,000 miles from new. It retains its original period-correct Blaupunkt radio and has the optional air conditioning. 

The car spent over 20 years in storage in Hawaii, where it was discovered by a local collector who acquired the car, had it professionally repainted and eventually traded it to a dealer in California. In 2016, this actual 308 was driven and reviewed by Matt Farah in a popular "One Take" video on TheSmokingTire YouTube channel: 


As shown in the video, this 308 is stunning both inside and out, and drives as an early carbureted 308 should drive. The engine pulls strongly to its redline, with a beautiful engine note coming from those four Weber carburetors and the exhaust. The steering is tight, the suspension is supple, and the A/C blows cold. The original lacquer paint, not known for its longevity, was repainted using modern acrylic paint, and the finish is now exceptional. 

This beautiful 308 now resides in New Canaan, CT outside of New York City with a private owner who has reluctantly decided to sell it to make room for another car. Its original jack, tools, and manuals are included, and even the original factory certification sticker on the windshield.

After a fast run-up in prices a few years ago, the Ferrari 308 market has settled and remained stable. Quality cars like this example bring higher prices, while the others trade quite a bit lower.  The 308 GTS is a cultural icon of Pininfarina design, and the sale of this exceptionally low mileage example represents a unique opportunity to acquire one of these GTS models as an investment that will likely continue to appreciate.

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Vehicle Specifications

  • VIN
  • Classic Car ID
  • Stock Number
  • Category
  • Body Style
  • New/Used
  • Mileage
    5,048 miles
  • Engine
    8 Cylinder
  • Drivetrain
  • Transmission
    5 Speed Manual
  • Exterior Color
  • Custom Color

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