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  Ferrari 308 GTB Group B

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Country of origin:Italy
Produced in:1983
Numbers built:4
Predecessor:Ferrari 308 GTB Group 4
Successor:Ferrari 308 GT/M
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:May 12, 2014
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Click here to download printer friendly versionAhead of the 1983 season, Italian rally team Pro Motor Sport, commissioned specialist company Michelotto to create a Group B version of the Ferrari 308 GTB, which had previously been campaigned in Group 4 specification. As before, Michelotto started off with an early production model of the 308 GTB, which featured fibreglass panels, instead of the 150 kg heavier steel body used from 1978 onwards. As a result all four Group B 308s eventually constructed by Michelotto were built around existing road cars.

In order to homologate a car for the Group B class, at least 200 road going examples had to be produced. Manufacturers could then build a further 25 'evolution' models, fitted for example with more aggressive and wider bodies, often constructed from exotic materials. This presented little problems for a major manufacturer but Michelotto could not be expected 25 hardcore versions of the 308 GTB just for homologation purposes. So instead the Group B 308 GTB was very closely related to the production car, which had never been intended for racing or rallying to begin with.

Underneath its stock body the Group B 308 GTB was extensively revised with rose-jointed suspension, uprated brakes and bespoke alloy wheels. Michelotto also managed to homologate the four-valve version of the V8, which was never available in the fibreglass or vetroresina bodied 308 GTB. Mildly tuned, this was good for a healthy 310 bhp. For reasons unknown, the first of the four cars built was powered by the earlier, two-valve V8, which still produced 288 bhp. As only stock panels could be used, the Group B 308 was actually 30 kg heavier than the earlier Group 4 car, which featured Kevlar panels.

Rarely seen in international events, the Group B 308 GTB was actually quite successful in national events, particularly on tarmac, in its native Italy and also in Spain. The Group B Ferraris notably won the Sicilian Rally Championship two years running and also the Spanish Championship in 1984, scoring six outright wins that year. As the altogether more complicated works Group B cars started to appear in the national events, the straightforward 308 GTB lost its edge.

Together with Ferrari, Michelotto continued to develop V8-engined rally cars, most notably the 308 GT/M and the 288 GTO but neither were rallied in anger.

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  Article Image gallery (39) Chassis (2) Specifications