Serviced Garage Find: 1980 Ferrari 308 GTSi

You’ll notice the “Serviced” portion of the title and some of you may wonder what that means. For any of you who have owned an exotic car such as this 1980 Ferrari 308 GTSi, or if you’ve known anyone who has a car like this, you know what we mean. This one is listed here on eBay in Smithtown, New York. There is an unmet opening bid price of $25,000 and no reserve after that.

I know that some Barn Finds readers have owned Ferraris and they know that when looking at a preowned – or used, as we used to say in the dark ages – car, that having had an owner who kept up on the factory-recommended service schedule is a very big deal. I have not owned one but a good friend has an F355. They can be fairly reasonable to maintain if you do your own service, but that’s also a bit of a drawback in that Ferrari buyers often live and die by the factory service and maintenance records having been performed by an authorized shop.

As with “flux-capacitor” for Deloreans, John Voight’s name coming up on every LeBaron convertible story, and several other rock-solid references, most of you will notice that this is a similar car to what Tom Selleck drove while playing Magnum. P.I. for eight seasons in Hawaii. It’s hard to separate cars from stars. They’re beautiful cars if not really super fast or dare I say, overly-Ferrari-like, at least as far as classic Ferrari performance and mystique. They’re going up in price a bit but as far as exotics go, they’re still relatively affordable. And that sounds weird coming from a guy whose first car was a rusty beater that cost $400.

The 308 GTSi was the roofless version of the 308 GTB with the “S” meaning spider and having a removable roof panel that you can store behind the seats. The “i” stands for fuel injection which was a mechanical Bosch K-Jetronic unit. They were made between 1980 and 1988. Our own Todd Fitch is a whiz at restoring mechanical fuel injection systems and I could see him or Jesse/Josh, Jeff, Jamie, Adam, or almost any of the Barn Finds team owning and maintaining a 308 GTSi.

This is a two-seater, of course, and overall this car looks fantastic inside and out. The seller tells us an interesting story of how this was their doctor’s car and they bought it from their doctor – who was the second owner – after they totaled their own Ferrari. Ouch. It sat in the doctor’s garage for years and the current owner has had it for four years. It has a mere 22,500 miles on it and given the amount of service that they mention, this could be a good buy. As a general reference, Hagerty is at $28,500 for a #3 good condition car. The reverse dogleg gated shifter is great because 2nd and 3rd are right in the middle and you’ll use those two gears a lot if you’re driving like you want to drive a Ferrari, especially one without a lot of horsepower.

Speaking of that, the engine, maybe seen better here in a close-up photo, is a rear-mounted transverse 2.9L V8 with around 215 horsepower. Sadly, that’s on the low end of what a new Camry has. The seller mentions that it has new timing belts, cam gears, spark plugs, and more. My friend just changed his cam belts for the first time since he’s owned his F355, which would normally have been a $5,000 service. It took him several days of tinkering with it to remove both gas tanks, etc., and after several skinned knuckles, it was done. So if the next owner is planning on doing their own maintenance on a car like this, it’s possible but not easy. Have any of you owned a Ferrari or similar exotic? If so, did you do your own maintenance?

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Comments

  1. Ronald Pringle Member

    In 1982 bought a Dino – not actually looked upon as a Ferrari.Aquired it from the towing company I drove and mechanized for Police impounded it .It sat in the yard in San Diego for more than a year. I paid 5 K and for the next year worked on it when I could. V6 engine out, no hoist, jack stands and a floor jack, water pump, timing belts exhaust gaskets,oil pump,clutch,sump gasket, CV joints,new bag of snakes exhaust system. $$$ spent- way 2 much.Ran good, (Fancy Fiat) I could say I made a little money, if I paid myself 2.50 an hour. Cam followers were a nightmare. Closest I am ever going to get to a Ferrari. Not my in my budget.

    Like 16
    • Steveo

      You do know how much a Dino goes for now-a-days, right?

      Like 16
    • douglas hunyt

      the Dino v6 had timing chains

      Like 5
  2. angliagt angliagt Member

    Only 22,500 miles?If I owned a car like this,
    I’d drive it often.

    Like 6
  3. alphasud Member

    The 308 is the cheapest way to get into the Ferrari club. A fellow Ferrari owner once told me the Ferrari owners club is one of the most active clubs in America and you will meet some of the nicest people there. So if you are the person who likes ownership clubs his may be your ticket.

    Like 8
    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      alphasud, or maybe cheaper yet would be a Mondial? The 400i is coming on strong after lingering in the basement with the Mondial for decades but the Mondial may be an even cheaper way into the club, if members would even let another Mondial in. It’s still a Ferrari but…

      Some Maserati clubs have been known to frown at Biturbos and, of course, Chrysler TC by Maserati cars, and Porsche clubs often turned their noses at up at front-engine cars. I like to buy what I like and ____ (the heck with) anyone who doesn’t like it!

      Like 15
      • Superdessucke

        As an E36 M3 owner, I strongly second this emotion! BMW Purists hate that thing (though they love the Clownshoe with the exact same motor and front chassis ) but it is an excellent car.

        Like 1
  4. Charlie Mullendore

    Check out “Ratarossa” on YouTube, particularly the series on his 308. Service by a home mechanic doesn’t look that daunting to me.

    Like 2
  5. tompdx Member

    The nice thing about a 308 is that the timing belt isn’t an “engine out service” because of the transverse mounting. On my 348 and 355, the engine is comes out. Like your friend, a few folks try to change the timing belt with the engine in place – all of whom if they have done it both ways, will remove the engine. It’s built to be pulled, and is relatively simple. Plus you need to replace the water pump and other stuff “while you’re in there.”

    Like 8
    • alphasud Member

      I think people would be surprised how many cars require engine out for routine service operations. And believe me as a tech it really isn’t bad and put the work right out in the open. I changed the alternator in my Cayenne turbo w/o dropping the power train. I would never attempt to do that again. Also just about any modern diesel pickup requires the cab to be lifted for any major work. Cars are built that way so it’s pretty easy to remove.

      Like 1
  6. Frank Dusseault

    Mondial to Ferrari is like the 914 to Porsche. Today the 914-6 is a hot item. Mondial, Not so much but its still a great vehicle.

    Like 3
  7. Steve3n

    308 is presumed sold. This was a good value for this Ferarri. I have 2 friends that own this same car with lots more miles. They preform all their own work, which needs to be the case with the 308. Otherwise cost will exceed value ,quickly. I own a 360 Spider , 3 pedal. Timing belts can be assessed behind the drivers seat.
    Somewhat an easier job to service. Fun car to drive , when it works.

    Like 4
    • douglas hunt

      yes, if it went anywhere near 25K it was a steal.
      always liked these, about 15 years ago a local fly by night used car lot had one pop up, silver with 100K miles for 30K.
      if i was in a better place would have made a play for this one but in the middle of one house remodel and minor repairs on the one i just moved into so, gotta be an adult :-(

      Like 3
  8. Dave Suton

    I get super excited when reading the text of a muscle/classic/euro find until someone mentions some Asian brand for reference. Then I always seem to start to lose interest. Please stop ruining it. It’s like watching the movie Bullit, and then in the middle of the car chase seen, there is a Kia commercial.

    Like 2
  9. Lexday42

    Belts,belts,belts.! First bear with me as I do have three Ferrari cars so I am not a hater so why are the belts in these cars so crappy they need replaced all the time, I have a 1993 Toyota pickup with 279000 miles and I don’t think I have ever touched the belts.One of my F355’s had a engine out belt service at a Ferrari dealer in 2016 and has been driven only 458 miles but the dealer assures me it needs the service again due to time.I have several Porsche,BMW,Jaguar,and Japanese cars that have no requirements to pull out the engines and replace belts etc. based on time regardless of use, its nuts !

    Like 4
    • KEVIN L HARPER

      There is a cliche with Ferrari’s in that it cost as much to own regardless if you drive them or not. Belts have not only a mileage life but a time life, much like tires the rubber degrades over time. So you can drive them and enjoy them and change the belt every 30k or you can let it sit in the garage and change the belt every 5 years. It cost the same.
      Pulling the engine on a 355 is pretty simple and all the Ferraris designed for engine out service it is pretty simple and makes working on the engine simpler. A lot of cars and particularly those with subframes it makes sense to pull the engine when doing work. Heck I even pull the engine on my mini cooper to do any kind of major service work, it only takes an hour and a half to pull it and it makes it much simpler to work on.
      Toyota generally recommends timing belts changed at 60k. My guess is that they are non interference engines and if you lose a timing belt you stop but no major engine failures. Ferraris are interference motors and if you lose a belt it cost big bucks.
      I don’t think jaguar ever ran a timing belt, but changing the chain on their V8 is no picnic.
      BMW and Porsche ran timing belts on their front engine cars. Changing belts on the BMW’s is pretty easy but these are front engine and you have space. Porsche’s are a PITA especially 928’s and I prefer to change a 355 with the engine out way before the 928. The Porsches, and BMW’s with belts are front engine and the Ferrari is Mid engine this puts the belts up against the firewall and dropping the engine is just simpler. Later Porsches that went to mid engine also went to chains and have the infamous IMS failures which requires engine out service, even older 911’s which were notorious for timing chain issues we frequently pulled the engine out to do major service simply because it was easier to work on them.
      This car here is a 308 with the transverse engine, you change the belts with the engine in situ but I actually prefer the later cars where you dropped the engine out. It just makes is simpler to work on them and really doesn’t take that much time.

      Like 2
      • douglas hunt

        My E46 was a chain, not sure about the earlier cars.
        my 2005 VW GTI with 1.8t is a timing belt and while the manual says 104k miles the consensus is about 5 years or 60k for it as well. easy enough to do, if you are handy with a wrench and have the tools, my first time doing it i was a bit nervous but the rewards are huge.
        while those earlier ferraris are intimidating, other than the prancing horse tax on the parts, they are just cars.
        if i can ever get ahold of a 308/boxer/testarossa, i wont hesitate, the front engine V12’s are also badass as nothing more sexy than a Daytona to me, but if they need major engine work it gets kind of pricey

  10. Ralph

    Ebay says ad cancelled due to seller error.
    Does anyone know what that means?
    This looks like a steal at 25K…but I assume the owner knows what he has here.
    These are actually nice easy cars to work on if you have some decent tools and shop area.

  11. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    “This listing was ended by the seller because there was an error in the listing.”

    No way to know exactly what happened.

    – Changed their mind about selling
    – Someone made an offer that the seller accepted
    – They sold it outside of EBay
    – There truly WAS an error in the listing
    – ETC, ETC, ETC

    Like 1
  12. Araknid78

    This listing was ended by the seller because there was an error in the listing

  13. bikefixr

    Friend HAD a Testarossa. Engine light pops on. $15 temp sensor. $7,500 to replace it. Engine removal, rear body removal to get at the radiator where the sensor was. Gimme a break.

    Like 1
    • douglas hunt

      but but but….12 cylinder mid engine goodness :-)

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