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308 GTB 'Vetroresina'
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  Ferrari 308 GTB 'Vetroresina'
 

  Article Image gallery (15) 19275 Specifications  
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Country of origin:Italy
Produced from:1975 - 1977
Numbers built:712
Introduced at:1975 Paris Motor Show
Designed by:Pininfarina
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:November 08, 2004
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Click here to download printer friendly versionWith 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 sports car 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 Auto Salon. 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-carburettor, dry-sump engine was good for 255 bhp.

In its original guise, the 308 GTB proved too expensive to build, so it was simplified in 1977. The light but complicated to construct fibreglass body was replaced by a conventional steel one and a wet-sump engine was fitted. At the same time, a targa version was added to the line-up. Dubbed the 308 GTS, it featured removable roof panels. A further revision came in 1980 when, to meet ever stricter emission regulations, a fuel injected version of the three-litre V8 engine was introduced.

Although cleaner, the 308 GTBi and 308 GTSi were less powerful than their carburettor-equipped predecessors. This was addressed in 1982 when new all-new four-valve heads were introduced. This model was, for obvious reasons, dubbed the quattro valvole or 'qv' and remained in production through to 1985. The Coupe and Targa were then replaced by the 328 GTB and 328 GTS respectively, which boasted larger engines and revised Pininfarina styling.

The V8 engined Ferraris would become crucial to the Italian manufacturer's success but were long regarded the significantly lesser brothers to their twelve-cylinder powered contemporaries. They finally garner the respect they deserve and the values have gradually crept up during the last couple of years.

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  Article Image gallery (15) 19275 Specifications