Pictures by Mike Crawat Photography
Text by Aron Norris
Ok, so what do the Sony Walkman, the McDonald’s Happy Meal, Mother Theresa’s Nobel Peace Prize and Michael Jackson’s Off The Wall album all have in common with this Ferrari 308 GTB? 1979 is what, and seemingly, cool was in very strong supply back then. The car you’re about to see is an absolute beauty.
The 308 GTB, or “Berlinetta” as it is known in Italian (literally meaning “sports 2 seat coupe”) was also joined by the GTS open-top version and both cars were introduced to replace the earlier 246 GT and GTS. The 308 was actually Ferrari’s first mid-engined V8-powered two-seater – the 308 is the certainly the real deal.
The mid-engined 3.0 V8 certainly provides the pedigree to match it’s sumptuous Leonardo Fioravanti (Pininfarina) design, which is stunning from literally every angle, let’s be honest. With Fioravanti was responsible for penning some of Ferrari’s most beautiful designs, the 308 rubs shoulders with stablemates such as the Daytona, Dino and Berlinetta Boxer. The bonnet rake and curvaceous haunches combine perfectly to create one hell of a shape on this particular Fioravanti creation.
Under the rear hatch sits a wonderful Ferrari V8, which, based on Ferrari nomenclature (i.e. 308) should have been a 3.0 V8 but is actually a 2927cc, how’s that for Italian logic? The transverse “F106AB” V8 engine is twin-overhead cam and runs four weber twin 40 carburettors, producing 252bhp at 7700rpm. Given this steel bodied beauty weighs in at only 1200kg, the 308 GTB is a recipe for fun out on the road.
The Magnum P.I. Connection.
The Magnum P.I. connection takes the cool factor up to 200%. If you don’t know what or who Magnum P.I. is, Google it. This was the car of choice for Naval Intelligence Agency officer Thomas Magnum (played by Tom Selleck) in the 80s and that makes it cool as hell. Selleck’s 80’s-as-you-like style and red Ferrari 308 were the icing on the cake for this awesome car. Not that the 308 Ferrari needed much help, but thanks for the TV show, the 308 has cult movie car status along with Kitt 2000, the DeLorean, Ecto 1 and the Bullitt Mustang…
Rockstars and Supermodels.
The Ferrari 308 GTB was a car for people who were doing pretty well in life. Admiring this 308, I can literally imagine the original owner; a gold Rolex-wearing, massive moustached short guy blasting around the French Rivera with his supermodel girlfriend in the passenger seat really rather pleased with the hand he was dealt.
This little Italian beauty was red-hot back in 1979, so fast forward nearly 40 years and this is an outrageous slice of exotica, especially now it has had the full Kean Suspensions’ treatment. This posh potty is dressed to kill…
This ’79 GTB is probably enough to cause heart-failure for 90% of classic car owners out there and that’s why it’s definitely one for RollHard. This amazing prancing horse belongs to Andy Neirinck of Kean Suspensions in Belgium. We were lucky enough to catch up with Andy at this year’s Essen 2017 Motorshow in Germany and find out all about the debut of his 308 GTB. FYI – this car wasn’t built for the internet, in fact, this 308 GTB wasn’t even meant to be at the Essen 2017 show at all, read on to find out why…
Andy runs Kean Suspensions with his brother Kenny and the family connection runs deep in everything they do. These guys have built their business from the ground up over the course of seven or so years. RollHard actually first met these guys six years ago at their original workshop and since then, things have got pretty serious, as their latest project car shows.
First things first, why did Andy buy a 308 GTB? Other than being utterly seduced by its gorgeous shape, Andy wanted to buy a car he could keep, forever. This car is a pretty archetypal “investible classic”, and if you ask me, it certainly has all the hallmarks of a bonafide collectors piece, they don’t make ‘em like they used to, Marjorie.
On the hunt for an heirloom classic, Andy was searching long and hard at Porsche 964s but felt that they were starting to get a little too popular in modified circles, so decided to go a bit more off-piste and widen the search to include prancing horses of the 308 ilk. Good taste indeed, Mr Neirinick.
Andy viewed plenty of donkey’s before he found his horse, which he has now owned for over five years. Thankfully in this car, whilst it wasn’t in perfect condition, Andy found himself an honest, original and complete example. This car was always going to be a long-term project spanning over a few years, after all, Andy was building his dream car, so there was no need to rush things.
The body panels were all slightly different shades of Ferrari Rosso Red, the dash was cracked and the engine had a mystery leak, which might have others off, but not Andy. Challenge accepted, the deal was done and Andy was on the way home with his dream Ferrari. Let the project begin…