Garage Find! 1979 Ferrari 308GTS

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Not a typical garage or barn find, but certainly, an interesting one is this 1979 Ferrari 308 GTS. You just never know what will turn up where! In this case, the where is Concord, California and the find is not red, but a white Ferrari Targa. There is no back story around this car’s current circumstance, but let’s look it over anyway and see what’s what. This Ferrari is available, here on craigslist for $70,000 firm!

Introduced in 1975 as the 308 GTB, it, and the 308 GTS are among the most recognizable by-products from Maranello. The early GTB models possessed a plastic body that was replaced later by an all-steel enclosure. The 308 GTS, introduced in ’77, were all steel and featured a Targa body-style. Model variations included the addition of fuel injection (GTBi & GTSi) in 1980 and a four-valve version in 1982. Both the GTB and the GTS continued on in production through 1985 and the total output for all 308 series Ferraris was about 12K copies.

Being a 1979 model, this Ferrari is housing an emission-controlled 205 HP, 2.9 liter, mid-mounted, V8 engine driving a five-speed manual transaxle (the listing states it as an automatic but that’s incorrect). The seller claims that the engine has only experienced 2K miles since a rebuild – no details beyond that, however. The motor honestly doesn’t look like it was apart only 2K miles ago but it’s hard to say with any certainty. There is no description provided regarding this Ferrari’s operating prowess.

The exterior is attention-getting by the fact that it is white and not red. If you search “Ferrari 308” on-line and look at the images they’re all turn up in typical Ferrari red with maybe one yellow outlier. This example presents itself pretty well other than some paint chips and a dent in the driver’s door. The images provided aren’t really effective for promoting a car of this stature and asking price. The original Ferrari wheels are missing and the replacements are ugly. They have a Ferrari center-cap but that does nothing to improve their lot in life. There is a black interior, supposedly, with no images provided so there’s a big red flag! Ferrari’s fine leather interior upholstery, iconic gauges, and cool chromed gear shift gate are major attributes of what makes a Ferrari a Ferrari!

The $70K FIRM price, parsimonious listing, lack of interior images, no mileage disclosure, incorrect transmission identification, and silence around operating characteristics, don’t exactly instill confidence or surety in this Ferrari. An open search of 308’s, similar age and low mileage, turn up numerous examples in the upper $50s to upper $60s – all mostly red, though I did find one white example, 29K miles, nice condition and $10K less. What are you really buying here anyway? A U.S. spec ’79 308 GTS isn’t exactly a supercar with only 205 HP, so I guess it’s the Ferrari name – what do you think, worth it?

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  1. J_PaulMember

    So…the engine was supposedly rebuilt 2,000 miles ago, but according to the sticker on the license plate, this hasn’t been registered since 2017. Something to keep in mind.

    Overall, given the cosmetic issues and the seller’s lack of effort in providing good photos and information, I’m getting strong “look elsewhere” vibes from this one. If you have $70k burning a hole in your pocket and want to indulge your Magnum PI fantasies, there are probably better cars out there.

    Like 37
  2. angliagt angliagtMember

    I had a Friend who had a Ferrari decal in the back window
    of his Chevy truck.I thought “That’s funny”,until I stopped by his
    house one day & saw his immaculate 308 Quattrovalve in his garage.
    He drove it a couple of times that I know of.Finally sold it a few
    years later.
    How can people buy these,& not drive them?

    Like 11
    • alphasudMember

      Because they can’t afford the 15K interval engine out service to adjust the valves and replace the timing belts!

      Like 36
      • CJinSD

        And those services cost more than the cars were worth for decades, leading to lots of insurance fraud.

        Like 12
      • K F van der Bijl

        Replacing the timing belts is very easy wih this V8 .

        Like 2
      • stu

        These cars work a little different….The timing belt gets changed regardless if you drive it or not! If I remember correctly, after 40,000km or 4yrs, whatever comes first, the belt needs to be changed….

        Like 2
      • MBorst

        Or the insurance

        Like 0
    • William

      Your post has more to do with modern resource distribution than you realize.

      Like 3
  3. Steve Clinton

    “Hey Ethel, look what I found in the garage!”

    Like 9
  4. Vin_in_NJ

    I’m not an expert on Ferraris, but those rims look big for a car of this age.

    Like 11
    • stu

      Rims are not original….

      Like 0
      • t-bone bob

        And they are ugly

        Like 0
  5. Skorzeny

    There is no way the motor was rebuilt 2K ago. I mean, just look at it. Looks like a squirrel was in there…
    I do love these, I think it is one of the most attractive Ferraris ever, but this one is a mess. maybe $30K? And please get the original wheels on it, and paint it, white is awful. Run away from this one at this price.

    Like 11
  6. Frank Sumatra

    This will be the last time I say this (Cheering in the background noise) High-end cars are listed on CL for one reason only. And it ain’t a good one.

    Like 21
    • Steve Clinton

      OK, color me dense. What’s the reason?

      Like 2
      • Frank Sumatra

        You are not dense. I am probably the dense one, but having been a fan of cars of all types for probably 63 of my 68 years on this mortal coil, I can remember a time when high-end cars were handled by brokers or through clubs associated with the marque.I also remember a time when high-end cars were rare and a part of that was knowing where to find them. I know I am being a real snob, but as I mentioned in another post, CL strikes me as a flea market loaded with trash having an occasional find. The sellers are overwhelmingly lazy and most of the buyers are no prizes either. I have also mentioned selling two cars on CL and the fact that I will donate a car before putting on on that site again. There are much better and safer places to but and sell. You are reading one right now. I sold my 1984 Corvette through these pages two years ago and it was relatively painless. I had the odd one or two Nigerian princes ask if I would take a check for $10,000 over my asking price but they dropped out of the bidding pretty quickly. As I said, I am done wondering about CL. Best of luck to the buyer.

        Like 13
    • Terry

      I’m sure if you Western Union the $70k to them, they’ll ship that car right to your door.

      Like 6
    • delboy

      HaHa. I DID buy my present car from a Nigerian on Facebook. Broke all the rules purchasing it but it turned out to be a decent car after sorting out a few neglected parts, like the brakes. This guy told lie after lie after lie after lie. He had it listed under four different names on fb at four different prices. When I demanded to see the ownership document prior to visiting the car, he sent photographs of the documents using an email with yet another bogus name.

      Like 4
  7. Terry

    A Ferrari on Craigslist, with “only 2k” on a motor rebuild? No interior pictures and incorrect transmission listed? Hmm..what could possibly go wrong? I’m sure they will accept Western Union payment only.

    Like 12
  8. MoragaPulsar

    Link is to actually to Facebook, even worse than a Craigslist listing.

    Like 5
    • Frank Sumatra

      Everything I mentioned about high-ends cars on CL applies to FB Marketplace as well. Caveat Emptor.

      Like 9
      • Jt

        Frank Sumatra, why did you bring the Emptor’s new clothes? I don’t see the connection. Just kidding. Hoping those who don’t know, will look it up.

        Like 3
  9. mark a schulze

    I just went out and did a quick search for 1979 Ferrari 308GTS for sale and there were quite a few of them for sale, and all of them were in better shape and the prices were 59K to 79K I liked the color combo on this one–gts/2405923

    Like 4
    • james maloneMember

      I love the color as well as the price, but it’s Gullwing, so my first thought is, what’s the catch.

      Like 0
      • Araknid78

        Much nicer car than the one we are looking at here. But, for a Gullwing listing, it seems to be under priced.

        Like 1
  10. Patrick S Patrick SMember

    I like the white in a sea of red. Here’s a Jay Leno’s Garage about one:

    Like 4
  11. Marc

    Much better examples for far less. I’ve had 3 in the past and quit buying the 10 years ago when it became difficult to find one under $30k. Maybe not so much because the prices went up but for the reason that it’s not that special or worth beyond $30k in my mind.
    Granted, VERY pretty cars to look at. Not all that to drive and the general lack of ooomph bored me. I bought 3 mostly because they were so affordable not long ago. The last QV I bought was 17k needing timing belts and brakes in 2012. This one is much more neglected. $40k should get you a driver and recently in Albuquerque last week a very nice QV sold for 44K. Perhaps a nice early carbed version is $55-60 these days with the glass bodied ones commanding top dollar.

    Like 8
  12. SebastianX1/9

    I agree this is a bad deal all around but I completely disagree about buying “exotic” cars from CL or as barn finds. I paid $25,000 for a similar condition 308 GT4 barn find five years ago and it was the greatest bargain I have ever found. Super easy to work on – I mean Chevy 350 type easy. Ferraris are not that exotic or difficult or anything else. The platitude “nothing is more expensive than a cheap Ferrari” must apply to people who never took basic mechanic class. Even parts have been cheap and easy to find. Don’t get psyched out.

    But THIS particular example is priced double its market value.

    Like 12
    • ChallengerChick

      I agree. It’s not about the seller and marketplace, it’s about the buyer and due diligence. EVERY market has some crap for sale, from the highest end retailers on down to OfferUp. It’s the consumer’s job to research what they’re buying and from whom, as well as any return/warranty policies. Especially a major purchase like a car. Ask tough questions nicely and if you get no response, there’s your answer.

      Like 6
      • Steve R

        That theory has never occurred to far too many people.

        Steve R

        Like 2
  13. Goatsnvairs

    Thats a $25k Ferarri, because you’ll spend $50k getting it to trouble free factory spec.

    Like 3
  14. John

    After working on jets, helicopters, cars, motorcycles and toasters I don’t suppose pulling a Ferrari engine would require Italian chants to conjure the spirit of Gioacchino Colombo to help. Why are people so afraid to work on these cars? Is it more the parts prices than the skill? Requires a number of special tools?

    Like 1
    • stu

      These cars require attention and love…don’t think you can just put the key in and drive away….I have worked on many and not hard to work on. If you don’t know where to get parts, be prepared to spend money…They are a work of art and alot of fun to drive!

      Like 0
  15. Ralph

    Total Pig, waaaaaaaaaaay overpriced, its maybe worth $20K, probably has 0 records.

    For $68K you could have had this one of one color combo red over white 308 that was on BAT with documentation from day one. The color combo is of questionable taste but, whatever.

    Like 3
  16. Jasper

    Cool truck. I believe a 318 Detroit is a 6- 53. I would expect a V6 configuration with the short nose.

    Like 1
    • Jasper

      Oops, wrong feature. Time warp?

      Yeah…this 308 is overpriced and those wheels make it look like Matchbox car. Not in a good way! The white is nice though.

      Like 1
  17. MikeH

    The only real Ferraris are red Ferraris.

    Like 0
  18. Howie Mueler

    Yes no interior photos, and they can not even bother to take the complete car cover off?

    Like 0
  19. curt wichman

    that beater isn’t worth $70 grand on its BEST day, that car has lived a very hard life, Road hard, Put away WET! a repaint in the same color would most likely run $5-$15,000 (depending on what you wanted) correct rims are most likely several grand, who knows what else it needs, and in the end, its only a 308, w/205 hp. its no super car, hell it isn’t even a sports car, its only a poser mobile, for the Wanna be

    Like 0
  20. charlieMember

    And, it is really not very good at anything if you want to drive it, which you should do. Enormous turning radius, so hard to deal with your urban parking lots, tremendous heat and noise from that engine right behind you making it tough on long distance runs where, otherwise, it shines, and the thing it has in common with Fiats of the time is constant maintenance. If you know what you are doing, and can spend Sunday’s fiddling with it, you can drive it during the week and worry about it being stolen every time you park it. And the plate numbering system in CA would show this was first registered in CA sometime in 2007-09 or thereabouts.

    Like 0
  21. V12MECH

    Did a 10 yr. deal at a Ferrari shop, 4 special tools, about $400.00.I think it is priced for an overseas buyer. Needs maintenance paperwork. Electric problems can sorted with a dvom and 4 gas machine. Maybe 25k, per inspection.

    Like 1

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