At $39,999, Is This 1979 Ferrari 308 GTS Worth Selling a Kidney?

Photo: Craigslist
Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Ferrari offers drop dead good looks. It also offers a price that’s seemingly well below market for these cars. Could that mean it has an undisclosed flaw that would prove fatal at a higher price? Or, is it just the deal of the century?

When you think about it, the ‘Gig Economy’ is nothing more tha traditional business categories being disrupted by an almost total lack of regulatory oversight. I can’t wait for the first Uber of the airline industry, or Airbnb Surgi-Center.


One of the hardest hit of the traditional businesses affected by this is the taxi industry, with companies like Uber and Lyft putting riders into private cars rather than into cabs. Neither company is making any real money doing this, but should they ever actually figure out a viable business model—which is likely putting traditional cab service out of business and then jacking up pricing to traditional cab service levels—they’ll change the way we get around for good.

That will mean that a whole generation of people alive today will never have the experience of piling into a yellow cab as part of setting off on a grand adventure. What a shame.

We tried to address this perplexing issue yesterday with a 2014 Nissan NV200 Taxi, a cab that amazingly you could own outright. You needn’t worry about ever catching a cab again, when you could own one right this very minute!

Unfortunately, many of you didn’t see it that way. You were probably considering the yellow van and its $14,777 price from the back of your ride-share on your way to an Airbnb where you would teleconference into your freelance meeting with an Etsy vendor. With that likely scenario as foundation for your decision, it’s no surprise that the NV200 fell in a 57 percent Crack Pipe loss.


Being an independent contractor has a lot of downsides—questionable stability, lack of benefits, and limited loyalty among contracting businesses among them. On the plus side however—at least according to people who really don’t want to hire you full time in the first place—you get to be your own boss.


That means YOU get to decide when, where, and how much you get to work any given week. YOU get to decide whether to eat ramen or nothing at all for the remainder of the month after paying the bills. Finally, YOU get to decide whether or not to save up and buy this 1979 Ferrari 308 GTS because that’s the American dream.

I mean, jimmy-jammy Jesus Jehoshaphat, who wouldn’t want to own a pop-top Ferrari 308?


Yes, it is true that this Ferrari would get skunked by a modern day Camry or Accord in any test of performance you could offer up. It’s also true that said test wouldn’t make any difference when deciding between either of those sedans and the 308. Without a doubt, the Ferrari would win every time.


It’s not a rational decision. Hell, you couldn’t even Uber in this black bullet. But who cares when you have a lovely 2927cc all-alloy V8 growling like a horny ocelot right behind your head? That four-carb, DOHC engine only offers two valves per cylinder and hence only 205 horsepower, but it’s not so much the what but the how with old cars like this. Plus, who doesn’t love the 308’s lovely Pininfarina-penned bodywork?

Okay, so we’ve established that pretty much everybody would like to have a 308, but what about this one? We’re going to start out by noting a few factoids here.


The car comes with what’s said to be a clean title. It has a reported 61K on the clock, and no, even though the odometer only rocks five barrels I don’t think that’s rolled over. Ferraris don’t look like this with the miles having gone ‘round the horn.

The price tag for the car in this condition is $39,999. Let me repeat that, the price tag for this 1979 Ferrari 308 GTS, in black over red leather is $39,999. There’s perhaps something amiss here.


That’s about half what one of these would traditionally go for. In fact, that’s Mondial money. I can only find one cheaper, but it’s at a place called Beverly Hills Car Club and they tend to have cars on offer that are tidied up fright pigs so perhaps that’s not the best comparison.


I’d also like to point out that the dealer selling this car notes that it moves its inventory between any of its 11 locations across Washington State and hence can’t give a definitive answer in the Craigslist ad as to where the car is at present. What the hell is up with that? Somewhat forebodingly, we also don’t get any pictures of the car’s driver’s side.


Other than that, and some criminally over ArmorAll’d tires which are probably well past their best-by date, the car presents as being in slightly worn but serviceable shape. The rear bumper has a tear in it, but that’s perhaps something that could be overlooked in the short term. The paint looks good, and from a distance to be without major flaw.

The interior shows wear here and there, as well as a poorly installed stereo, but again, who would throw it out of bed for those minor crackers?


The big question is: could $39,999 be a fair deal for the car as it’s presented—with the supposition of no Damoclean Sword hanging over it? Or, is there something about the car that we’re not being told, and hence we’re not buying that price?


You decide!


Seattle, WA Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Dave Bandstra for the hookup!

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About the author

Rob Emslie

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.