A non-running car should at the very at least be beautiful and today’s Nice Price or No Dice 308 GTSi certainly comes through on that account. It’s also a non-runner which means it’s offered at a substantial discount over actual useful versions. Let’s see if that discount is enough.
Hi there, ladies and germs! Welcome to a little year I like to call 2022.
When last we met, it was still 2021 and the final car we looked at for that year was a 1993 Ford Mustang GT. The seller of that ’Stang had rebuilt its 302, and, seemingly based on that, asked $15,000 to take over ownership. In what was likely a final repudiation for a crap year, fully 63 percent of you took issue with the idea of paying so much for what has long been considered one of the best values in hoonable cars. That closed out 2021 with a No Dice loss.
Fully 12 months before that unceremonious ending, we started out 2021 with a lot of hopes and dreams and with a Ferrari 400i to kick things off. That seems like a good tradition to maintain, even if it didn’t end up making the ensuing year any better. Still, we’re going to give it a try in ’22 and see how it goes.
This 1982 Ferrari 308 GTSi is just about the cheapest one you can find on the general classifieds. In fact, it’s a good ten-grand cheaper than most. The reason for that is obvious when you read the ad, which states that the car has been extracted from storage and will not presently start nor drive. Cue sad trombone.
Now, if you follow YouTube at all, you will likely know that right now there are a whole bunch of people undertaking Ferrari 308 restorations and vlogging their experiences. One of the best is by Lou Trottier up in Canada, a shop owner who has been documenting his comprehensive 308 rebuild for well over two years. There’s also The Car Wizard who is trying to un-Tavarish a GTB and Heidi and Franny who are doing some light refreshing on their Rosso Corsa car. Jeepers, doesn’t all that make you want to get into the game?
Well, here’s an opportunity. It’s hard to say just what is keeping this 308 GTSi from firing up and making all the right noises. And, to make matters worse, the dealership offering the car doesn’t seem to want to detail the issues in the ad so without actually snooping around in the engine bay it’s going to be a bit of a crapshoot.
The most likely explanation can be derived from the service records which have been scanned and made available in the eBay classified. The most recent of those seems to be from 2002, fully 20 years ago. That’s a long time for things like tires and timing belts to be left to their own devices. So, at a bare minimum, this car will likely require a full front of the engine refresh, including those belts and a water pump rebuild (yes, you rebuild, not replace on these) along with the injectors and a good bit of the rest of the fuel system. You’ll want to do all the other fluids while you’re at it.
And that’s just to get the engine to start safely! Never mind the brake system that will need to be addressed and whether the clutch has welded itself to the flywheel since it didn’t have anything better to do. Suffice to say, this car will need a lot of mechanical attention before it can be enjoyed.
Aesthetically, it appears to be in much better shape. The bodywork is clean and without noticeable flaws and looks equally tidy underneath. The engine bay looks complete and without any evidence of monkey business. It would, however, have been nice for the seller to show a picture of what is written on the oil filter to see when that was last changed.
The interior appears just as clean and is noteworthy for two things. The first is the speedometer which meets the then U.S. standard of only reading to 85 miles per hour but then continues far beyond that with just a red swoosh. The other is the odd elephant ear speakers that have been added to the armrests on the doors. Those look pretty funky and might make the list of things that need to be updated on this long-benched car.
The mileage is 38,668 and the car comes with a clean title and no stickers on its plate (they likely fitted the front plate to the back) so we can’t see just how long it’s been off the road. On the plus side, the car comes with A/C and the complete tool kit both of which are nice includes. Of course that A/C is probably not functional and you’ll still need plenty more tools to get the car running again.
Considering how much it will likely cost to get it back on the road, let’s now discuss the dealer’s $47,500 asking price. As I noted, that’s a lot less than what you’ll have to pay for a running, driving example. And, considering that these are cars of an age that still allows an average wrencher to work on them, it’s not a ridiculous thought to consider bringing it back to life yourself.
What do you think, is this still-life Ferrari worth that $47,500 asking as it sits? Or, is its non-running condition a total non-starter?
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