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The Ferrari 308 GT4 was presented at the 1973 Paris Motor Show, as a Dino and the car was produced from 1973 to 1980. In 1976, Ferrari abandoned the Dino moniker and the 308 GT4 received the prancing horse logo. The bodywork was by Bertone, even though Ferrari’s coach building had been the work of Pininfarina for nearly 20 years. Bertone produced a very modern design, with angular lines, as well as a practical and spacious interior. The greatest asset of the Ferrari 308 GT4 was its enduring V8 engine, which led to a long line of Ferrari V8s, including today’s F430. This was the company’s first production V8, after developing V8 units for racecars. The engine sits relatively high because it’s mounted atop the transaxle, whose case actually forms the V8’s sump.
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The 1977 Ferrari 308 GT4 is one of the most efficient and usable Ferrari road cars, although at the time, it wasn’t seen this way. The Ferrari 308 GT4 wasn’t a great success for the company in terms of sales during its production run. Many enthusiasts didn’t like that ’Ferrari’ wasn’t written on the back of the car, and didn’t appreciate the angular design. In 1976, dealers were told by Ferrari to add Ferrari badges to the GT4 inventory to boost sales. The 1977 Ferrari 308 wasn’t a bad car, especially by the standards of mid-seventies sports cars, but it had the same weaknesses as most other Ferrari: build quality wasn’t ideal, the car wasn’t very practical, the fuel consumption was quite heavy, and repair and maintenance costs were important. The Ferrari 308 GT4 slowly became a true collector item, with a design that aged well and lower maintenance cost than other classic Ferraris of the era. Interestingly, European models, which weren’t subject to emission controls, had a single distributor, four Weber carburetors and an output of 255 hp.
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