Dino was the birth name of Ratpacker Dean Martin, who was famous for both his baritone and his boozing. The 3-litre V8 in today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Dino 308 GT4 probably also makes beautiful music, but will the car's price drive you to drinking?
A running, registered car for only a grand? Why that's just magical, like something out of a Hallmark Channel Movie, or a handjob from a leprechaun. Next up, a homeless man saves Christmas! Well before that there's the issue with yesterday's cheap seats Toyota Celica convertible which 75% of you thought a good value, and practically none of you would be caught dead in.
Dead or alive, pretty much anybody wouldn't mind spending a little quality time in a Ferrari. Sadly, this 1975 Dino 308 GT4 isn't a Ferrari. The V8-engined car not gaining the big boy brand for another year here in the states. Still, it is a car of notable firsts - First production Ferrari designed by Bertone, first Dino with more than 6 popper, first mid-engine V8 from the land of the Prancing Horse, and lastly, the only car to car from Ferrari to switch brands mid-stream.
The 308 GT4 was introduced at the 1973 Paris Salon, but production didn't get started until the next year. The platform was based on the 246, but with the wheelbase stretched to 100-inches in order to accommodate the tiny rear seats. Unique for any production car coming out of Ferrari, the 308 carried styling not from traditional partner Pininfarina, but from cross-town rival Bertone. Adding insult to injury, the shape Ferrari chose was one that had originally been shopped to Lamborghini as a Urraco contender, but which was deemed to be insufficiently exciting for the Bull brand.
This ‘75 wears that body well, the angular styling having aged pretty well considering the awkward requirements demanded of a 2+2 mid-engine layout. With the exception of the wheels the car looks commendably stock, and aside from a license plate accompanying Prancing Horse, it maintains its Dino badging front and rear. Also front and rear - and a definite plus in my book - are a set of European bumpers, which shorten the car by a good foot over the ‘Merican ones, and should lighten its load to the tune of about 200-lbs.
The interior color is described as peanut butter which is okay I guess as long as it's not crunchy style. Everything looks okay in the pic and the ad claims the power windows and A/C to be functional.
You might want to limit the use of that latter accommodation to comfort as the ‘70s York compressor is known as a power hog and the 2,927-cc quad-cam V8 in U.S. trim only managed to poop out 225 to 230 horses, depending on the year. Despite its apparent dearth of ponies a GT4 still sounds the part its quartet of throaty DCNFs providing a satisfying intake tune and the exhaust sufficiently open to let the neighbors know something special is rolling by. The all-independent suspension was vaunted in its day for providing highly entertaining handling properties, and the car should acquit itself today, despite the bar having been moved significantly.
The great thing about the 308 GT4 is the fact that it's relatively unloved by Ferrari aficionados, and hence usually commands crazy low prices as far as Prancers go. This one is no exception in the pricing category - with an asking of $22,000. For that you seem to be getting a car that has been loved by its owner, and despite the wonky provence, one that should still prove quite the panty dropper, amiright, ladies? Plus this is a pre self-immolation car!
On the flip side, even the cheapest Ferrari (or Dino) still requires Ferrari-priced parts and service. And the V8 engine in the GT4 has a timing belt that must be serviced religiously lest you inadvertently make a good number of your valves bend it like Beckham. At least this is a car that the average shade tree mechanic can work on, saving on the labor. But what about saving the whole twenty two grand and walking away from this Dino? What do you think, is this Ferrari Red-headed stepchild worth that kind of scratch? or, is that too much Lira for not enough allure?
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