Euro Spec: 1979 Ferrari 308 GTB

This 1979 Ferrari 308GTB is a stunner in black paint over a tan leather interior, and it’s made extra-special for being a European market example that likely offers some advantages of the performance sort over the standard U.S. model. But more importantly, it isn’t red. It seems like every 308 in the states was ordered with red paint, and I’m sure if you boiled down the production numbers, there are a scant few wearing a tuxedo black finish. The seller’s car isn’t quite in the U.S. yet, and he notes here on craigslist that it’s in transit from Bremerhaven to Los Angeles. The asking price is $95,308 and the mileage is just under 48,000.

The 308 GTB was different from its forebears when introduced. The most striking departure was the fiberglass body – what was this, a Corvette? The engine was a V8 mounted mid-ship and the proportions allowed for a fairly comfortable driving experience inside the cabin despite the short overhangs and engine location. In looking at the 308’s interior all these years later, it’s incredible how simple it was. There’s no frivolity here, aside from perhaps the design of the upholstery. The seats, by the way, do show some wear and tear and you can see the left side bolsters on the driver’s seat will likely offend the typical Ferrari perfectionist.

When it was introduced, the performance may have been outstanding by the standards of the day but it was hardly a rocketship. 0-60 took nearly eight seconds, and the run to 100 took 21! While every car suffered from performance setbacks in the late 70s and early 80s, there were numerous cheaper options that could either eclipse or at least keep up with the 308. Still, they didn’t sound like a Ferrari and they certainly didn’t look like one. This 308 appears to retain its European-market gauge cluster that shows KPH versus MPH.

The seller is a dealer specializing in importing European classics from a variety of foreign countries. The 308 GTB is an interesting choice as there’s not what I would call a large following for one of these cars at the moment. Yes, every Ferrari model from the 80s is increasingly sought-after, right down to the Mondial, but there are numerous 308s for sale stateside at any given time. Now, European market cars tend to have better performance owing to less restrictive exhaust and emissions equipment, so perhaps that’s an attractive feature about this 308 GTB, but I still mostly think it will come down to the jet-black paint. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Pat L. for the find.

Comments

  1. wuzjeepnowsaab

    These are starting to gain some overdue recognition amongst the Ferrari ‘purists’

    This is a great example

    Like 3
    • tompdx Member

      Indeed! Love these – or really any Ferrari in Nero. And the very slight Euro bumpers have me drooling.

    • frank knieriem

      I just sold it from Switzerland to Yokohama, to a very happy collector :) And you are right, it’s long over due. This one was a real cool car though.

  2. FrankD Member

    The Glass Ferrari GTB is the most collectible of the 308’s according to an article written in Cavallino years ago. Interesting story behind the early 308’s. It started with a fire in the paint shop. The European models were dry sump and and had KKK turbochargers.

    Like 1
  3. jwaltb

    Odd (to me) that the controls are labeled in English, but I know almost nothing about these cars.

    Like 1
  4. Ronald Amon

    Neither you nor he mentions this was the last year of production for a carbureted 308. There’s a youtube video on the ‘net entitled “Here’s why a carbureted Ferrari 308 GTB costs $100,000.” I remember when they were in nearly every driveway–small houses, no garage, but seems like any and everyone had a 308. Badly painted over ones on used car lots, real nice ones in a used car dealer showroom with odometer that read 40,000 one week and the same car reading 8,000 the next. He’s was later shut down. The 308 I got from a multi-car dealer was told he was embarrassed because he owned two Ferraris. So he brought a supposed Mercedes expert up to take away my 20,000 mile 450SL that always had hard top off and only driven in summers. Quit half way down the Interstate. Yes, they were pissed and stop speaking to my dad. You’ve got to DRIVE these things to keep them going. And red is the way to go. Although there were plenty of yellow ones, too.

    • frank knieriem

      No need to mention that it was the last carb. Everybody knows :)

  5. Ronald Amon

    Neither you nor he mentions this was the last year of production for a carbureted 308. There’s a youtube video on the ‘net entitled “Here’s why a carbureted Ferrari 308 GTB costs $100,000.” I remember when they were in nearly every driveway–small houses, no garage, but seems like any and everyone had a 308. Badly painted over ones on used car lots, real nice ones in a used car dealer showroom with odometer that read 40,000 one week and the same car reading 8,000 the next. He’s was later shut down. The 308 I got from a multi-car dealer was told he was embarrassed because he owned two Ferraris. So he brought a supposed Mercedes expert up to take away my 20,000 mile 450SL that always had hard top off and only driven in summers. Quit half way down the Interstate. Yes, they were upset and stop speaking to my dad. You’ve got to DRIVE these things to keep them going. And red is the way to go. Although there were plenty of yellow ones, too.

  6. Howie

    Looks great, but i would rather have a re-sale red.

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