Model history: With the 246 and 308 GT4 Dino models, Ferrari created a niche between the Porsche 911 and the marque's own super-GTs. Where the original 206/246 Dinos were styled by Pininfarina, Ferrari commissioned Bertone for its replacement, the 308 GT4. Together with a dramatic change in styling, the new Dino received a three litre V8 engine. Like it's predecessor, the 308's engine was mounted transversely behind the passenger compartment.
Although the performance increased, the cheapest Ferrari in the line up was not all well liked. The Bertone styled body was to blame, due to its four person design. This 2+2 concept conflicted with the mid-engine layout of the small sportscar and required a relatively long wheelbase. Bertone is often blamed for the unpopularity of the Ferrari 308 GT4 Dino, but it is quite possible that Pininfarina would not have faired any better with the awkward 2+2 seating requirement.
To complement the 2+2 V8, Ferrari launched a two seater V8 coupe at the 1975 Paris Motorshow. For this model the 'Dino' name was dropped and it was simply known as the 308 GTB. Pininfarina designed the sharp body of the 308 GTB much along the lines of the 365 GT4 BB. To save weight, the entire body was constructed from fibreglass, or 'vetroresina' in Italian. It featured a traditional tubular chassis, which was suspended independently all around by wishbones. The four-Carburetor dry sump engine was good for 255 bhp.
The reduced weight of the fibreglass body however came at a manufacturing cost, which lead to an all-steel replacement in 1977. Together with the fibreglass, the dry-sump lubrication was replaced by a more conventional wet-sump. As expected, these changes resulted in a slight performance drop. The line-up was also expanded with a targa bodied GTS model. In 1980, Fuel Injection replaced the Weber carbs and two years later a four valve per cylinder (Quattro Valvole) version was introduced. A final revision resulted in the 328 GTB/S in 1985, which was Ferrari's last transversly engined GT.
Motor racing has always been a major interest of the Ferrari works, and the marque's customers. Although Ferrari had officially withdrawn from all motor racing except F1, the factory occasionally supported private efforts through the 'back door'. A great example of this were the Le Mans class winning 'Daytona' Competiziones. With the 308 GTB as a base, Ferrari specialist Michelotto constructed the 308 GTB Group 4 rally version. Fifteen of these racers were constructed and rallied with considerable success.
The last incarnation of the 308 was the very exotic 308 IMSA or 308 GTB/M, constructed by Michelotto to compete in the Group B rally class. Under the silhouette body, the engine was mounted longitudinal for a better weight distribution. Two were constructed by Michelotto and one assembled from parts in The Netherlands. It was entered in only one race, the 1984 Monza International Rally, where it lead until a puncture threw it down the leaderboard. It's main claim to fame is its styling, which was further develop to eventually result in the F40.
Featured is a first of three 308 GT/Ms completed between 1984 and 1986. It was first owned by the legendary Ecurie Francorchamps as can still be seen in the livery. Its current American owner is seen here in action at the 2006 Cavallino Classic.