Ferrari 308 GTB was unveiled at the 1975 Paris Salon. This long awaited replacement for the Dino 246 GT model had a Pininfarina designed body with a pronounced wedge profile. Below a slim full width satin black front bumper was a rectangular egg-crate aluminium radiator grille. Numerous key design elements of the Dino 246 GT carried through into the new model. These included the scalloped door intakes, twin circular rear light assemblies, and the vertical concave rear screen bounded by buttressed sail panels. Ferrari 308 GTB’s shape was a modernisation of that of the Dino, with enough traces of its predecessor to provide a thread of continuity.
Apart from the aluminium front lid, Ferrari 308 GTB was fitted with a complete fibreglass body. This was the first Ferrari production car to feature fibreglass as a body material, and although individual fibreglass panels have been used on a large number of Ferrari cars since then, so far the 308 GTB is the only large volume production Ferrari that has had a complete fibreglass body.
Although the standard of finish was very high, a return to the more traditional pressed steel and aluminium was made in late 1976 for USA cars, and around mid 1977 for European models. The simplest way to identify a fibreglass bodied car, is to see if there is an indent line between the front screen pillar and roof panel. If there is one, then the body is fibreglass. USA market cars can be identified by heavier bumper assemblies, and rectangular side marker lights on the wings. An optional deep front spoiler became available during 1977, which like the standard shallow spoiler was a fibreglass moulding. Like the Dino series, a luggage compartment was provided in the tail of the car behind the engine bay. On the Ferrari 308 GTB it was accessed by lifting the entire engine cover, which revealed a zip top compartment, whereas the Dino models had a separate lid for the luggage area.
Ferrari 308 GTB had a tubular steel frame chassis, disc brakes and independent suspension. Wishbones, coil springs and hydraulic shock absorbers were provided all round, with front and rear anti roll bars. The transversely mid-mounted aluminium V8 was of a 90 degree configuration, with belt driven twin overhead camshafts per bank. The displacement of the engine was 2926cc, with a bore and stroke of 81mm x 71mm.
The engine was coupled in unit with the all synchromesh five speed transmission assembly. The engine was fitted with a bank of four twin choke Weber 40 DCNF carburettors, mounted in the centre of the vee. The exact specification depended upon the market. European cars were fitted with dry sump lubrication, whereas Australian, Japanese and USA examples had a wet sump lubrication system used on the 308 GT4. The claimed power output was 255 hp for European market models, and 240 hp for US market examples which were fitted with power sapping emission control equipment. A sports exhaust system, and high compression pistons plus high lift camshaft became available as an option.
Ferrari 308 GTB was manufactured between 1975 and 1980, during which time 2897 examples were produced. Both right and left hand drive models were available. The models were numbered in the Ferrari odd number road car chassis sequence, having a chassis number between 18677 and 34349.
- Transverse, 90° V8
- Twin overhead camshafts per bank
- Two valves per cylinder
- Four Weber 40 DCNF carburettors
- 2926 cc
- 188 kW (255 hp) at 7700 rpm
- 5-speed manual
- 252 km/h
- Tubular steel frame
- Independent front and rear suspension
- Unequal-length wishbones, coil springs over telescopic shock absorbers, anti-roll bar
- 80 litres
- Front 205/70 VR 14
- Rear 205/70 VR 14
- 4230 mm
- 1720 mm
- 1120 mm
- 1090 kg (dry)