The exquisite late-‘60s Dino had introduced the idea of a ‘junior’ Ferrari. The next attempt to bring the prancing horse to the masses, the two-plus-two Bertone-styled Dino 308 GT4, had signally failed to live up to its gorgeous lines, but thankfully things were back on course when Ferrari revealed the two-seater replacement for the original Dino, the 308 GTB, in 1975.
Styled by Pininfarina – or more specifically Leonardo Fioravanti, who had also penned Daytona, Dino and Berlinetta Boxer – the 308 GTB (and its targa-top GTS sibling) was absolutely beautiful. Initially glassfibre-bodied, production switched to steel panels, which inevitably added some weight to the car, blunting the performance slightly. But it felt – and sounded – exotic enough.
Subscribe to evo magazine
To drive, it felt like a faster Dino, which was a good thing, and the 32-valve Quattrovalvole cars that followed felt fitter still. With no power steering and, on the early cars, a heavy clutch, the 308 was quite physical to drive, especially at low speeds, and the dog-leg open-gate gearshift required some mastering. It wasn’t all that fast – 0-60mph in 6.7sec for the 308 – but with a bevy of carbs gargling away and a throttle response sharp enough to splice a human hair, it pressed all the right Ferrari buttons.
For the 328 introduced ten years later, the engine’s capacity was increased from 3.0 to 3.2 litres and power jumped to 270bhp, cutting the 0-60 time to 5.5sec and lifting the top speed to 166mph.
A piece of 328 trivia – from 1986 to 1989, Ferrari produced a 2-litre version with a turbocharged engine specifically for the Italian market where there were tax breaks for sub-2-litre cars.
Around 20,000 308s and 328s were made in total, and with secondhand values still hovering around the £30,000 mark, they represent a great entry point to classic Ferrari ownership.
Years made 1975-1985 (308),1985-1989 (328) Engine V8, 2927cc (308) Max power 252bhp @ 7700rpm Torque 209lb ft @ 5000rpm 0-60mph 6.7sec Max speed 157mph Price c£30,000 new,£30-35,000 today