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Marque: Ferrari - Company History & Models - Cars By Brand

Ferrari

Ferrari

IIs there a more evocative name than Ferrari? Scuderia Ferrari was founded in 1929 by Enzo, a man who was so precise, technically and mechanically-minded, that was once said ‘to be able to make gloves for flies’. The company was originally set up to race Alfa Romeos, and Enzo Ferrari’s involvement with Alfa Romeo, culminating in his becoming Alfa Corse’s Racing Manager, continued until 1940,…

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Ferrai 208, 308GTBI, GTSI

Ferrai 208, 308GTBI, GTSI

PRICE: £15,000-£220,000

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Fast Facts

  • Produced:
    1981
  • Bodywork:
    Gran Turismo Berlinetta
  • Engine:
    2927cc Transverse mid-mounted 90° V8 light alloy cylinder block and head two valves per cylinder twin overhead camshafts per cylinder bank
  • 0-60 mph:
    6.5sec
  • Top Speed:
    158mph
  • Suspension:
    Independent double wishbones coil springs/Independent double wishbone coils springs
  • Power:
    214bhp

PAST: The GTBi retained the 308 GTB’s body apart from a few mods to the cabin. Most important changes were to the engine, chiefly. fuel injection. Production: 494 (UK: 42) 1743 GTSi (UK: 67). Only early fibre-glass bodies cars need to be considered; those with carburettors and dry-sump lubrication, not the less powerful fuel injection versions. Launched in 1975 the car remained in production until the mid-eighties and it’s as well to remember the 208 launched in 1980 which sported a turbo two years later.

PRESENT: If the 308 got off to a so-so start, it certainly evolved into a mature serious sports car and laid foundations for the more desirable later models. That said, 208s are rare yet delightful.

FUTURE: Shop around and you’ll net a good value car even at specialists. Then sit on it and play the long game…

Ferrari 400i

Ferrari 400i

PRICE: £6000-£20,000

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Fast Facts

  • Produced:
    1979-89
  • Engine:
    4.8/5.0 V12
  • 0-60 mph:
    6.7sec
  • Top Speed:
    158mph
  • Power:
    310-340bhp

Anything with a Ferrari badge will do if you want to give the impression of being awash with cash. Trouble is, mostly you do have to be awash with cash. The exception to this rule is the 400, the glorious, chisel-nosed four-seater from the 80s that doesn’t work on the same financial spreadsheet as the rest. In fact this dices with the unloved Mondial to claim the title of cheapest Ferrari you can buy, with prices starting as low as £6000 for a half decent runner. That’s for an early 400, launched in 1979 with a 4.8-litre V12 engine and built on a stretched version of the chassis that secured the more swooping 356GT4. In 1986 that engine grew to 5.0-litres tom power a car known as the 412i, which also got such luxuries as ABS. The most sought after models are the extremely rare right-hand-drive manuals, but if it’s bargain hunting you’re doing, stick with the three-speed auto. It’ll still clear 150mph if you’re firm with it. The V12 will drain the wallet along with the tank, but there are fewer of the complexities that can sink a gadgetladen 90s Merc SL for example. Generally regarded as reliable, the problems only come when something needs replacing because most owners, many first time Ferrari owners, don’t have the money to keep it in the lifestyle it demands. The last thing that should put you off is the image. Among Ferrari cognoscenti, the 400 is in the pantheon of truly great cars to wear the prancing horse badge. It goes like stink, handles fine and carries four without a squeeze. The fact that it goes for a price of a boring new supermini caps its suitability for anyone passing themselves off as a millionaire.