Faster, lighter, louder – the perfect trackday mount
Compact and cute, the Dino 246 Ferrari was always going to be a hard act to follow. It had created a new niche for the Maranello manufacturer, an affordable introduction to the marque under the Dino sub-brand. But the car that inherited the junior mantle, the 308GTB, did a fine job. Its snarling 3-litre dry-sump V8 offered more power and torque, and its sleek Pininfarina lines added an aggressive slant the little 246 did not possess.
For the first two years the 308 wore glassfibre bodywork, and these lighter ‘vetroresina’ cars are now sought after. The 308 was a fine road car, especially when it matured into the Quattrovalvole and slightly revised 328, but it wasn’t intended to go racing.
It was a Ferrari, though, with all the competition heritage that implies and it was not long before both race and rally versions showed up. Tuning firm Michelotto built a run of 15 competition 308s intended not for the track but for rally stages – not the first task you’d imagine for the low-slung two-seater – and in 1981 Martino Finotto and Carlo Facetti built an outrageously boosted twin-turbo lightweight 308 to challenge the all-conquering Porsche 935s. With the boost cranked up it put down 800bhp to place itself squarely sixth on the Daytona 24 Hours grid – but expired five laps in.
That Daytona car was the inspiration for this race-prepared 308. Starting life as a plain road car, in fact a demonstrator for Maranello UK, a complete rebuild turned it into super-lightweight racer with welded safety cage, extinguishers, cut-offs and all the features of a competitive track car. It has spent most of its competition life in New Zealand, where over the years it was steadily developed, adding adjustable suspension and even lighter GRP body panels, all carried out to a high level of engineering, as its race successes show.
A very comprehensive file of race entries, photos, engineer’s notes from every race and test session, dyno graphs and a Historic Technical Passport accompanies the car, not to mention two sets of Gotti wheels and slick tyres. With its carefully modified dry-sump carburettor V8 ready to delight spectators with that distinctive Maranello sound track, it would be welcome at any track day, and there are several series it could race in.