1981 FERRARI 308 GTB (3)

The junior Ferrari commands plenty of attention on the road. It also demands concentration behind the wheel.

Describing the 308 GTB as an affordable entry-level Ferrari no longer does a good car justice. As the V8 cars’ lineage has grown, so too has the significance of the slim-hipped 308. It introduces a classic slice of Maranello and some mid-engined magic to our growing fleet of Keepers.

Once inside, the smooth leather seats insist that you adopt a reclined driving position. Your right foot finds a floor-hinged accelerator with reasonable separation from the slim brake and clutch pedals. The delicate, black-topped gear lever is initially stiff to work through the exposed gate. And the weight of the unassisted steering might be pleasing at speed but is a real wrestle during parking manoeuvres. Bigger wheels and broader tyres are as much to blame as a 1200kg dry weight.

You peer through the round Momo leather wheel to digest readings from a cluster of Veglia instruments set into a metal-faced dashboard. There’s a lot of belt whirring and changes in engine note as revs build. So robust are the engines that there’s no need to fear using plenty of revs once warmed up. The guttural growl from 3500rpm is all the more dramatic as it emanates just behind your head. But the drama doesn’t mean the 308 is difficult to drive; it just requires thought to drive it well.

Ever owned one? Share your 308 experience: keepers@kiwigarage.co.nz

CATEGORY RELATED
READ ALL
FERRARI 308 GTB

VARIANT Berlinetta

COLOUR Rosso Corsa

UPHOLSTERY black leather

ENGINE 2926cc V8

POWER 190kW (255bhp)

TORQUE 285Nm @ 5000rpm

TRANSMISSION 5-speed manual, RWD

0-100km/h 6.7 secs

WHEELS 16-inch alloy

LENGTH 4.23m

WEIGHT 1140kg

EMAIL keepers@kiwigarage.co.nz

RELATED POSTS

FERRARI 308 GTB

With delicate, show-stealing looks, the 308 has a timeless beauty that helped cement the success of mid-engined Ferraris.

FERRARI 308 GTB (2)

Of course the 308 is a joy to house, drive or even clean. What surprises most is its mechanical strength and dependability.

FERRARI GTC4 LUSSO T

The GTC4 Lusso replaces the all-wheel drive FF and offers two engine options with very different characteristics.

FERRARI 812 SUPERFAST

Ferrari has worked hard at cultivating daily-driver utility in its production cars but the 812 Superfast still excels on a track.

MORE KEEPERS

PORSCHE 911 GT3 RS (7)

The follow-up to this car showed you can never underestimate Porsche’s capacity for improving a five-star sportscar.

NISSAN 350Z TRACK (6)

Zed-car legend began with a game-changing car no one was expecting from a Japanese maker.

AUDI TT COUPE (4)

Two decades after its debut, the TT compares favourably with modern metal in all but a few areas.

MAZDA MX-5 (3)

Appeal is less about the raw performance, equipment or image, more about purity and effectiveness of original design.