1979 Ferrari 308 GTS 3.0 L, V8


Timeless styling - beauty at rest and in motion!


The catalytic converters were blocked from melt down. Now they are hollow.

The air pump was missing and the diverter valve was dysfunctional. Fortunately they are GM parts and were easily and inexpensively replaced.

Pay attention to fuel line leaks because I had one that resulted in a small, but exciting engine compartment fire. Fortunately, only the wiring harness that rests under the air cleaner in the Vee was destroyed. It was easily repaired.

The distributors were worn and caused erratic timing. This led to failed emissions tests and poor drivability. They were rebuilt for about $200.

A distributor rotor disintegrated and left me stranded 750 miles from home. The rotor was about $10.

Due to a worn ground strap, the plugs were fouling and the wires were emitting sparks. I re-routed the new wires away from each other and engine metal and replaced the strap.

The car has been painted; the interior replaced, and the engine is overhauled. Although it could be an every day driver, after 25 years it deserves respect and retirement to a fair weather driver.

The targa top leaked like a sieve until the rubber weather stripping was replaced.

The speedometer did not work due to a bad speedo generator. This is a common malfunction and it is responsible for many low mileage Ferraris.

The cam seals leak after a few years of little driving.

General Comments:

The best aspect of the car is its styling. It is timeless. It looks as good today as it did on the show floor in 1975.

It is a good touring car even though luggage space is minimal. Also, don't put chocolate or deodorant in the trunk - it will melt!

And speaking of melting, the cabin gets extremely hot while driving!!! This is due in part to the poor ventilation and A/C system, the intrusion of heat from the cooling system, and the greenhouse effect of the front window. In later 308's, a vent in the hood expelled cooling heat from the radiator. I understand it helps.

Finding 205/60-14 series tires is tough today. The Yokohama A321's fit nicely. However, for better handling, one should find 16-inch Ferrari wheels that enable lower profile tires.

Hard cornering starves the fuel bowls due to their orientation in the car. This leads to a stutter in acceleration around a corner.

Expect about 12-15 MPG in town and 18-20 MPG on the highway with premium unleaded gas.

A major service (belts, plugs, fluids, valves, timing, carb cleaning) should be performed every 10K miles or 5 years. This will run $1,500 to $2,500 dollars. Much of this labor can be performed by a competent hobbiest mechanic.

More so than any other exotic (excluding Porsches), the 308 is easily maintainable, parts are readily available and cheap, and it is the most recognizable car on the planet.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th January, 2002

10th Jan 2002, 11:23

My favourite Ferarri, the Magnum PI one. The new Ferarris tend to look like unattainable aircrafts on four wheels; the 308 really looks like a car one would aspire for. Or have sex with if it were possible.

1st Aug 2002, 15:09

Top marks to the comment of 10th Jan 2002 at 11:23.

1985 Ferrari 308 GTS QV 3.0




Very little. Reliability has been amazing, especially when you consider that I drive this on the race track several times per year. I have over 2000 miles on the track, and I drive it extremely hard. Redline every gear etc. The only thing I have done besides normal maintenance is to replace a front wheel bearing, and one of the spark plug extenders.

General Comments:

Amazing car. Very fun to drive, especially on the track. There are plenty of cars that are faster (the car is heavy), but I'm pretty sure nobody is having more fun than I am! The sound is great. The handling is extremely predictable and usable. Oversteer if you want it, understeer if you want it. It just does what you want!

The worst feature of the car: the factory gauges - completely useless, and new ones are no better.

Parts are expensive. Maintenance would be expensive, but I do all the work myself.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th November, 2001

5th Jul 2004, 12:05

I enjoyed reading your review. In fact, I've enjoyed just about all of the Ferrari reviews on this site. Consequently, I have just purchased my own 1984 Ferrari 308 GTS Quattrovalvole. I hope that I enjoy mine as much as you did yours.

19th Mar 2005, 04:22

I agree with the last person to post... I too have enjoyed reading most all of the reviews :) I am currently in the market for a 1975 308GT4. 1975 was the last year for no cats and used Webber's as apposed to injection.

I have been looking at the whole line of 308/328 cars and like the older rarer GT4 at only 2800 produced making 255HP out of the good old 2.8 V8.. These early cars are also a steal at 17 to 25,000 for pristine examples, but the wedge look isn't for everyone :)

Interestingly it's the only Ferrari to have ever been designed and built bye someone other than Pininfarina and Ferrari, they were designed and built bye Betrone totally inhouse much like Karman did with the Karman Ghia. To me it just makes the car all the more enjoyable ... bit different yet still has that beautiful Ferrari Symphony singing a foot behind you and corners like the Matterhorn at Disney Land ... Cant ask for much more than that :) Maybe I will see some of you guys at the next few historic reaces at Laguna Seca :)

15th Dec 2005, 22:43

That's not right. In the 50's and 60s there were many Ferraris built by people besides Pininfarina. Touring made some 250GTs, Boano, Ghia, and Vignale all made Ferrari bodies not designed by Pininfarina.