Ferrari’s Dino series was named for Enzo’s beloved son who passed away before his namesake line of V6 and V8 engines and the cars they powered could see the light of day. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe 308 GT4 is of the last of that series of cars. Let’s see what this classic son of a Ferrari might just be worth.
I predict that when we all die, the cockroaches will take over. A few millennia after that, all those bug bastards will go tits up and the Coronavirus will come back out of its hiding. With no one and nothing left to infect, it’ll die out after a century or two of trying to make rocks and dirt sick. That naturally leaves the reign of the planet to… the Volvo 200 Series?
Look, I’ll admit that’s an extreme dystopian vision, but I think it’s not far off the mark, considering the reputation that old Volvos have earned so far. That was one reason many of you jonesed over yesterday’s 1993 Volvo 240 Classic Estate. That beautiful box was one of the last of the line and sported a five-speed stick to boot. Already almost 30 years old, it was still hanging in there and racking up the miles. That makes it the perfect car for insulating yourself from whatever the world has to throw at you. Unfortunately for the seller and his consignment dealer, survival has a price, and it isn’t the Volvo’s $7,777. That led to the car falling in a 77 percent Crack Pipe loss. Best of luck surviving now, cheapskates.
I’m guessing that most of you have a bucket list of things you want to do before you check in to the eternal Motel 6-feet deep. I’d also wager that one item on that list is to own a Ferrari. I know it’s on mine.
Here’s the thing—Ferrari’s are hella expensive to buy and maintain. That’s especially true with the newer ones. That means your choices are to start laundering money for the Russians or looking at something older and perhaps less universally praised for its styling and/or performance.
That latter option actually leaves you with a number of solid choices. One of those is this 1976 Dino 308 GT4. Now wait, you’re thinking, that’s not a Ferrari, that says Dino on the badge. Hey, good eye, fam.
The Dino was Ferrari’s entry-level brand for a time, intended to compete with Porsche’s 911 and the like. The cars carried a series of DOHC V6 and V8 engines named for Enzo Ferrari’s son, Alfredo “Dino” Ferrari. Dino suffered from Duchenne muscular dystrophy which would take his life at the devastatingly young age of 24, but not before he suggested to his father the small engine series as an avenue into the Formula Two racing series.
His passing came before seeing that vision come to fruition, but in his honor Ferrari named the all-alloy mills after him. At the time of this 308's inception, Ferrari also only applied their iconic prancing horse badge to cars with V12 engines. Well, half-way through the 308’s life at least.
You see, this was the era of the gas crisis and dollar devaluation. That made expensive performance cars all the dearer to buy and own and lacking the provenance of the Ferrari badge, the Dino 308s were left moldering on dealer lots. That lead the home office to send badge kits to the U.S. for those dealers to apply to the Dinos, turning them overnight into Ferraris. Magic!
This car is claimed to be a European model and is badged as a Dino, without any extra Ferrari frippery. These cars are notable for being the first mid-engine Ferrari car with a V8 and to have been designed by Bertone rather than Enzo’s traditional dance partner Pininfarina. The rumor is that Bertone originally designed the car as a contender for Lamborghini’s smaller car, the Urraco, but that company found the design to be too tame. When Ferrari came calling for something similar they dusted it off and, well, Giuseppe’s your uncle.
This one comes in Ferrari Red, riding on lovely and appropriate Cromodora alloys off of an earlier Dino 246. As noted it’s supposedly a Euro-spec model and hence has that region’s smaller bumpers rather than the big rubber diving boards required by U.S. standards of the time. The speedo is in MPH and the car carries both an import sticker and U.S.-spec side marker lights so perhaps it’s only the bumpers that are the deviation from the norm.
The Bertone bodywork was never as good looking as that of the Pininfarina-penned two-seater 308s, but with its 9-inch longer wheelbase and 2+2 seating, it would be hard to complete. That being said, the years have been kind to the Bertone bodywork of GT4 and it stands today as a notable excursion on Ferrari’s design journey.
The interior appears to have been reupholstered at some point in time as it wears what looks to be ostrich hide on the seats’ center sections. Other than that, there are the expected signs of age in the trim and dash, indicating this to be a well-preserved rather than remodeled car.
The drivetrain is a 3-litre V8 (hence the three-oh-eight name) and five-speed gearbox in a transverse layout. The engine sports four down-draught Weber 2bbls so you’ll either need to be adept at carb syncing or find yourself a mechanic that is. If the engine is truly Euro spec with the correct cams and timing the car should employ a full 255 horses.
American specs were down significantly from that. A nice feature of this run of cars is that they are fairly easy for the home mechanic to maintain, with major maintenance like the timing belts being able to be done with the engine in the car.
As I noted at the outset, the 308 Dinos are still some of the more affordable cars in the Ferrari ecosystem. They stand in stark contrast to the 2-seater Dinos that proceed them and the later 308 GTB and GTS models, both of which command much higher prices today.
This car, which comes with just under 60K on the clock and a claimed clear title, asks $38,999. That’s on Craigslist mind you. The seller is asking a grand more on eBay which must be some sort of Buy It Now tax. The Craigslist ads are flooding the platform, showing up in LA and Dallas and few other locales I am sure. That sometimes indicates a scam, but this ad seems otherwise legit.
What do you think, is this bit of Ferrari history that’s not quite a Ferrari worth that $38,999 asking? Or, for that much do you expect a horse that can dance?
H/T to RevUnlimiter for the hookup!
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