SOLD 09/17

1978 Ferrari
308 GT4

A California From New Example of One of Ferrari’s All Time Fun Cars to Drive. All Books and Tools. Timing Belt Changed June 2017.

  • VINF106AL*14448*
  • Exterior ColorRed
  • Interior ColorRed Leather
  • Mileage43255 Miles
  • Engine3.0 Litre 8-Cylinder
  • Engine no.F106AE*00653*
  • Transmission5-Speed
  • StatusSold
  • StockFJ2129


1978 Ferrari 308GT4
s/n 14448, Engine no. F106AE*00653*
Red with Red Interior

It is difficult to imagine that Ferrari ever resisted the idea of mid engine layout for his cars. So hesitant was Enzo about mid-engine design that he insisted the first of his mid-engine creations, the 246, be launched under a different brand name - the Dino. But gradually as competitors entered the market, the mid-engine ideal began to make itself clear. With the introduction of the V8 engine, the final piece of the puzzle fell in place, triggering what would become decades of mid-engine Ferraris, still in production today. Yet, at the Paris Auto Show launch in 1973, the Bertone bodied 308GT4 still carried the Dino name. Unlike previous Pininfarina designs before it, the GT4 was linear and angular with an upright character and bladed edge look. The new Bertone architecture also featured a sizable trunk, room behind the front seats for luggage and small passengers, and reasonable access to the transverse mounted dual overhead cam V8 engine. Seating position was quite forward, allowing for fantastic visibility and pedal position. In short, a truly new car was launched, making tremendous impact on the future of Ferrari. The tubular space-frame chassis was similar to the former 246 but with an increased wheelbase and fully independent suspension, with double wishbones and anti-roll bars. The 5-speed synchromesh transaxle allowed for smooth shifts, bringing all of 240hp (in US trim) to the drive wheels, returning excellent performance for the period. In 1977, Ferrari dropped the Dino name, branding all subsequent GT4 models as Ferraris.

This particular Ferrari 308GT4 was sold new in California, ordered from the factory with a rare sunroof and A/C. The car has records and receipts dating back to 1989 when former owner Bruce Miller, also of California owned the car. The mileage is correct on the car as shown, with dated receipts and miles indicated. Miller sold the car in 1997 to the current owner who has maintained it properly, enjoying the car as was intended when first delivered to the Del Mar, California dealership when new. The car has been serviced when needed including June 2017 when the timing belts, tensioner, and SKF bearings were replaced. Last year four new QA1 shocks and coil-over springs were installed. Previous work includes various services, belts, o-rings, seals, and a previous timing belt installed in 2011. In 2002 Prestige Autohouse performed a valve adjustment and cam seals with 41,191 miles on the car. In 1998 the two front seats were recovered in red leather and in 1996 a new clutch was installed with 38,885 miles recorded.
Today the car presents in very good overall condition with a finish that shows good gloss and uniform coverage despite being some years old now. The body panels show good fit overall with no major flaws, opening easily and closing without issues. The hood, headlight doors and fit of the front bumper are very nicely done with excellent panel gaps. The doors and deck lids are also nicely fitting to the body indicating that the car has been properly cared for throughout its life. Glass appears to be original to the car with no major scratches or chips of note. The glass lighting and plastic lenses appear to be in very good condition as do all emblems and script. There are light road chips along the front bumper, side view mirrors, and grille area and a few small chips lightly dotting the rocker panels. The rear panel under the license plate has some minor paint blistering due to formerly excessive exhaust heat, remedied when the catalytic converters were replaced a few years ago. The wheels are in good condition with only minor curb marks on the outside edges of each rim. The side marker lights and door handles have been painted red to match the body, creating a nice clean overall finish to the body design.

The interior is in very good condition overall with nice red leather seats that are quite well upholstered with good bolsters and preserved finish. The carpet is in good condition with floor mats, which are a bit worn, but serviceable, having protected the carpet beneath. The dashboard and instrumentation are in good to very good condition showing no major issues while displaying a cohesive original appearance, which supports the 43,000 miles that appear to be original to the car. The center console is covered in a matching red material housing the switchgear, radio (a period correct Bamburg), and A/C controls. The A/C unit has been removed from the engine with the parts having been retained and included with the sale. The trunk (showing what appears to be original carpet) and spare tire compartments are clean and tidy, in good overall condition, appearing unrestored, but properly preserved.

Under the hood, the car presents a very nice engine and clean engine compartment, featuring original components, finishes, and attention to details as needed. Wiring, fittings, and lines all appear to have been replaced with correct style and specification pieces when needed. Photos showing the suspension are included in the gallery, illustrating the attention to detail given to the brakes and suspension when this work was performed last year. The chassis and undercarriage appear to be free of rust and structural damage upon visual inspection. There is some light overspray of red from the repaint lingering on the floor pan and tubular structure as well as evidence of road use. Very clean oil pans showing no chips along the finned castings displaying correct Ferrari factory numbers and casting marks.

The car starts easily, warm or cold, with a smooth idle and excellent sound. In 2004, when the car passed CA smog inspection with 42,019 miles, the catalytic converters were replaced at a cost of $3,000.00. The car shifts easily and smoothly with excellent throttle response and steering. The engine has been properly tuned showing excellent oil pressure, correct temperatures, and no smoke from the exhaust. Driving this 308GT4 one is reminded of these earlier cars and their exciting feel, translating the road to the driver and keeping you engaged even at cruising speeds. The driver position and forward stance delivers a Formula One experience. Indeed, the great Niki Lauda, himself a Ferrari racing champion, had a hand in developing the GT4 suspension geometry for Ferrari.

The car comes with several important and detailed items as part of the sale. A Blaupunkt Service brochure, Blaupunkt Berlin 8000 owners manual, Blaupunkt wiring diagram with booster installation supplement, Blaupunkt Equalizer pamphlet, Dino 308GT4 consumer information pamphlet , Dino 308GT4 owner’s manual (North American Version 1978), Dino 308GT4 North American Version Owner’s Manual (the Book itself), Sale and Service Organization booklet, Warranty Card and Owner’s Service Book indicating the original sale date - Sept 19, 1980 to Roger W. Koteen of Del Mar, and the Canvas Book Packet cover. A complete tool kit in very good condition, flashlight and cover, jack bag and jack, original shocks and springs, and the (removed) air conditioning unit and assorted A/C parts are also included with the sale.

This very nice and fine running 308GT4 is ready for ongoing enjoyment and thrilling drives as one of Ferraris earliest examples of mid-engine designs. The performance V8 engine and 5-speed transaxle deliver excellent balance and response, running through the gears, entering mountain roads and scenic highways - windows down, sunroof open, while the engine sings its pure and enchanting Italian sound.

The above vehicle information is complete and accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time it is posted to this website. Corrections or additional information is always appreciated. All advertised prices exclude government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document preparation charge, and any emission testing charge. Vehicles are subject to prior sale. All advertised to be true but not guaranteed. We assume no liability for errors or omissions.

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Fantasy Junction  •  510-653-7555  •  1145 Park Ave, Emeryville, CA 94608