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Ferrari 308 GT4

Ferrari 308 GT4 Published: 11th May 2017 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Ferrari 308 GT4
Ferrari 308 GT4
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Any car that followed in the tyre tracks of the Dino 246GT was always going to have a tough time, but for the GT4 it was harder than most. A sharper-styled replacement with 2+2 seating, it was a different car, even though it used the same basic platform, and never gained the same affection. It was replaced by the ‘Magnum PI’ 308 after less than 3000 sales (a very respectable figure) and because the 308 was well received, the GT4 quickly became forgotten and its reputation unfairly tarnished. It’s only in recent times that the model has finally gained traction it deserves. And about time.

Driving

The GT4 is not the most exciting Ferrari ever to be made, but it’s not bad either – in fact, some Ferrari experts quietly say that it’s a better car to drive than the iconic Dino thanks to its longer wheelbase and meatier V8 engine, if not to look at or invest in. Perceptions are all that matters, in this area. Being a 2+2, there is far more room although the rear seats are strictly kiddie size.

Best models

The first GT4 was designed by Gandini in 1973. It was the first Ferrari V8 road car and mid-engined 2+2 and was based on the 246, with a new 255bhp 3-litre V8 engine. It was badged Dino 308 GT4. Two years later, the ‘economy’ model, the 208 GT4, was offered, with a 2-litre engine. It is rare, as only around 900 were produced. Whilst this version had the smallest and sweetest V8 engine in the world, it lacked the grunt of its older, bigger sibling. Having been built for the Italian market, to dodge tax laws, it is unlikely to have much following here. Novelty value perhaps?

Values

Treat hunting for this model with as hard-nosed an attitude as for any other second-hand car as it’s all too easy to get carried away. While GT4s look great value, remember they still need the maintenance and care due to a Ferrari, though; thanks to parts supply from the likes of Superformance of Hertfordshire, and Ferrari restorer and specialists GTB Restorations plus DK Engineering, keeping one on the road is not a fundamental problem.

Buying advice

As these models remain one of the least loved of Ferraris, you will still come across a fair few tired examples that are anything but the bargains that they appear under the skin. Before you even start hunting around, check the paperwork and see that there’s some level of service history.

All gearboxes suffer from the usual Ferrari trait of being cantankerous when cold, but selecting second gear shouldn’t be a problem once the oil has warmed up; first and second synchros wear out first. Clutch wear is no worse than on any other supercar but rarely cheap to replace either.

As on all performance cars, the suspension’s geometry is not something the typical fast-fit can handle, so seek out a known specialist.

The most important thing is to see that the timing belts have been replaced on time. Ditto valve clearance settings, which tackling aren’t for the novice. If the engine has to be dropped then it’s best to tackle these jobs plus replace any suspect hoses and so on. Camshafts wear out quite easily so expect some clatter.

 



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