Ferrari 308 GTSi Review - Toybox

By: Guy Allen

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Fancy a 'Magnum' Ferrari?


Ferrari 308 GTSi

Even if you say it quickly, $150k can seem like a formidable amount of money, However in the world of exotic cars, it’s not and we reckon this model offers an at least achievable entry into that world.

At the moment we’re seeing fairly straight-forward air-cooled Porsches pushing in this territory, so a prancing horse at this level is starting to look alright.

| Ferrari 308 GTS buyer's guide

In truth, the 308 may not have been one of the ultra high-end supermodels from the brand and, over the years, it’s long been regarded as a stepping stone to something more exotic.

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That said it has all the ‘right’ features: Pinninfarina body and a mid-engine layout with a V8 powerplant.

Mark Jansen over at Oldtimer in Queensland has the keys to this one and had this to say about the series: "Only around 800 fibreglass cars were built before Ferrari reverted to a more conventional steel body construction in 1977. Most markets also reverted to having a wet sump engine.

"In 1977 Ferrari introduced the 308 GTS, which was essentially the same car with a targa roof. The car was made famous through its appearance in the TV show Magnum PI.

"The model evolved into the 308 GTBi/308 GTSi in 1980 when Bosch K-Jetronic mechanical fuel injection replaced the traditional Weber carburettors. Two years later the four valves per cylinder Quattrovalve or QV was introduced.

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"The 308 was an incredible success and about 12,000 cars were built from 1975 to 1985 before the 328 was introduced."

As a 1983 model, this one is running with Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection, combined with a Marelli electronic ignition system and claimed around 211hp from the 3.0lt DOHC V8 when new. Transmission is a five-speed manual.

You’re of course talking about a trellis steel space frame and independant suspension all round.

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This is by no means the fastest bit of exotica you’ll encounter, but reviewers of the day seemed to like them. Motor Trend, when reviewing the first GTB, offered: "It’s everything a race-bred Ferrari should be, lean, taut, and full of sound and fury, a little brother to the redoubtable Boxer and a definite descendant of the 246."

Looking at the owner experience, a poor one can eat your wallet while something that’s got a service history and been treated with something resembling respect should be an amiable enough companion.

Sure, you’ll come across some quirky design features, and this is very much a Sunday driver rather than daily transport, but that’s what you’d expect, right?

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Ferrari 308 GTSi

Engine 3.0lt, V8 DOHC K-Jetronic injection
Power 157kW @ 7600rpm
Torque 284Nm @ 5000rpm
Transmission 5-speed manual
Weight 1260kg dry
0-100km/h 6.7s
top speed 255km/h
Price $149,950
On Sale at


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