Last of the Special Orders: 1978 Ferrari 308

Jeff LaveryBy Jeff Lavery

This 1978 Ferrari 308 stands out not only for its maintained condition and low mileage but also for its history as a special-order car that reflects the desires of a particular (or peculiar?) first owner. The 308 has a number of visual tweaks compared to standard 308s, but aside from the rarity factor, I’m not sure the white-and-red color scheme adds a lot of value. Bidders seem to disagree with that sentiment, as bidding is already over $20,000 with nine days left on the auction. You’ll find it here on eBay located in northwest Connecticut. 

Supposedly, the first owner had a cozy relationship with Enzo Ferrari, giving him the kind of access needed to request a custom white leather interior, and hood louvers, headlight louvers and the body line similarly trimmed in white. While it’s not what I would choose if given the opportunity to have Enzo whip up a Ferrari to my liking, the first owner clearly wanted to set his Ferrari apart from all of the other Magnum P.I. tribute cars. The driver’s seat looks surprisingly tired for a car with under 40,000 original miles, but I suppose that’s a testament to it actually being used.

As mentioned, the targa roof panel was trimmed in white and you can just make out the engine cover louvers. Also worth noting is the first owner spec’d the car with the same Campagnolo wheels as found on the Dino of the same era, which is also an unusual choice given the original five-point star design was a quintessentially-Ferrari look. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this one-of-one 308 is the amount of documentation the first owner was able to obtain, filling a photo album with pictures from the assembly line floor, as well as when it was air-freighted from Italy to New York. How tight must one be with Enzo to get workers to take photos of the car at every step?

Personally, I love photo documentation of a car from any point in its past, but assembly line photos are just unreal. I suppose spending that kind of dough in the 70s gets you more access than anyone else, but I’d still love to know how that first owner was connected to Enzo! In addition to the history, this 308 has already had some major maintenance needs addressed, with two timing belt changes and a new clutch in the included service file. Even if you hate the look, the white trim has to stay with this car forever to set it apart from every other red 308 still roaming the planet.

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  1. Mark

    Interesting that they are selling it on eBay instead of at auction. It seems the price would be higher at auction in this case, especially with the custom paint job and documentation.

  2. Deiss

    Seems these cars are everywhere nowadays

  3. MikeG

    It’s a bit on the tacky side, thankfully the factory didn’t approve the hood scoop and fender flair kit.

  4. Bdub

    According to a forum, it says the original owner was an attorney for Ferrari in North America.

  5. KevinR

    Many years ago I read an article about Vic Edelbrock Jr. who had ordered a slant nose Porsche cabrio and had to struggle with Porsche because he wanted it to have a white soft top. Apparently all of his cars were spec’d that way… This car reminded me of that article.

    Great for uniqueness, but not to my tastes…

    • Steve

      Porsche back in the day did not factory custom cars, Magnum PI was supposed to drive a targa top 928 and when Porsche said no the car became a Ferrari. As for the color of this 308 the only word that comes to mind is ickypoo.

      • Scott H.

        The only word that came to my mind was Igloo. I have an ice chest with this same color scheme.

  6. Pa Tina

    I wonder if Domino’s Pizza will bid? Then we might see it in next year’s Super Bowl ads.

  7. Dolphin Dolphin Staff

    Agree with MikeG, this 308 is a bit tacky. Why the white louvers, targa top, and seats? Just to be different I guess. Or perhaps to match the buyer’s white shoes.

    The book of photos appears to show the Ferrari assembly line, so the car is probably as-claimed. But the question keeps occurring: Why?

    Maybe the answer is: the buyer knew Enzo, so he could.

    • Mountainwoodie

      The gold chains made him do it 🙂

    • whippeteer

      Hmmm, lawyer… late 70s… I imagine it was the cocaine talking…

  8. grant

    Personally I love it! I can’t afford it, but it certainly wouldn’t be kicked out of my barn.

  9. Sam

    Think of it as a period Italian Corvette…lots of GM product in the 70’s with white vinyl or leather.

  10. Leon

    Slap some Coca Cola decals on it. Lol

    • Jeffro

      You win best comment! Lmao

    • Sam

      New Coke, diet, zero or original. Lol

  11. gord

    well, pardon my canuck-ness.. but this would have been great for our sesquicentennial… put a red maple leaf on the targa panel (joking)
    gord in the great green (for now) north

  12. Luke Fitzgerald

    A car in that condition with that provenance is going to be a Ferrari nuts wet dream

  13. Brakeservo

    I think all it takes is $$$ to get what you want. In 1978 Ferrari’s weren’t flying out the door the way they did a decade or so later. I remember working for a Jensen dealer in the ’70s and having an Interceptor with some strange paintwork done for the retail buyer who paid a lot of $$$ for it!

  14. Rock On

    I’m not sure that Tom Selleck would approve.

  15. pursang

    1978 would be the second year of the steel bodied cars. Earlier years were fiberglass and about 300 pounds lighter.

  16. John

    Testa Bianco? Nah, it doesn’t have that “ring” to it.

  17. Andy F

    If the white beltline stripe and the Dino wheels were spec’d on order why doesn’t the car have them on the production floor? White leather wasn’t that special; it was available, but white cooling louvers? Tacky for sure and the folks who wrote the ad need to do better research. Magnum started in 1980 not 1978 so tribute cars (if there were any) would be injected cars, not carb like this one (should be). This car is ugly and I don’t think many if any Ferrari aficionados would want it. The selling price will confirm or refute that. Some people should just keep their car design thoughts to themselves 🙂

  18. John

    It also hurts to think that there is a 246/206 that also has the wrong wheels. I still think this is like putting a tattoo on a beautiful girl. It’s just SO hard to actually improve the original design.

  19. Dave

    The 308 Ferrari is a really nice car the only problem is if you pull up to a red light you can get blown away by a Honda Accord


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