Ferrari 308 Values
The Ferrari 308 is a Classic and Sports Finance favourite – an iconic shape with an interesting motorsport history and perhaps more importantly in a post-bubble marketplace sensibly priced.
The 308 was introduced in 1975 and designed by Leonardo Fioravanti at Pininfarina, the same person behind the Daytona, Dino and the Berlinetta Boxer. Initially Ferrari produced the 308 as a fiberglass body, or more glamorously in Italian vetroresin. Quick for its time, in March 1976 a motoring magazine achieved a 0-60 time of 6.4 seconds and a top speed of 154mph. After 712 fibreglass cars had been produced, of which 154 RHD examples were delivered to the UK, Ferrari decided to tool up for steel body production.
Ferrari initially quoted a weight of 1090kg for the fibreglass model, although it would later be discovered that Ferrari had misrepresented the figure in an attempt to make the car seem more appealing. The weight was actually nearer 1240kg meaning that the difference in weight versus the new steel body was approximately 50kg, not 100kg – 150kg as is sometimes reported.
Weight was not the only change to the 308, along with a new propensity for corrosion a GTS targa top model arrived alongside the GTB in 1977, Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection was added and the cylinder head would gain four valves per cylinder in 1982 when the quattrovalvole (QV) model was launched.
Along with many classics 308 prices really took off after in the late 2000s, but had languished for many years beforehand. Looking back through the auction archives Bonhams offered a 1977 fibreglass car for sale at Goodwood in 2006 with a guide price of £22,000 – £25,000. It didn’t sell – and these early cars now command a premium in the market ypically changing hands for between £115,000 – £135,000. The same year Bonhams sold a steel body 1981 car for £22,000.
Fast forward nine years and by 2015 good quality RHD models were trading in the £55,000 – £65,000 band. These crept up again slightly in 2017 to £65,000 to £70,000 with the best examples trading in the £80,000 – £90,000 range.
When the car was launched it was never destined for motorsport; after Fiat bought Ferrari in 1969 one report states that the group decision was that Lancia were to broadly compete in rallying, Fiat saloon racing, and Ferrari Formula One.
Customers who did approach Ferrari for a competition 308 were therefore guided towards Michelotto a Ferrari dealer in Padova, Italy to assist them. Michelotto would later become the go-to tuner for Ferrari in the same vein as AMG or AC Schnitzer are for Mercedes-Benz and BMW respectively later working on the 288 GTO and F40.
Fourteen cars were prepared by Michelotto; eleven to race in Group 4 and four later cars prepared for Group B. They weighed in at 1050kg, the reduction mostly due to Kevlar body panels and produced 300 bhp. The cars were also fitted with a close-ratio gearbox and a limited-slip ZF differential that could be adjusted to suit different types of rally stage.
The 308s prepared by Michelotto was successful and secured an initial win in the 1979 Rallye di Monza as well as back-to-back wins in 1981 and 1982 of the Tour de France Automobile. A second place in the 1982 Tour de Corse remains the only podium result for Ferrari in the World Rally Championship.
Examples of Michelotto 308s coming to market are relatively rare. Chassis 18869, a Group B car, sold in 2014 for €609,500 before being offered to the market again in 2018 with a guide price of €800,000 – €1,000,000. Chassis 20373, a Group 4, came to auction in 2008 with a guide of £750,000 – £840,000.
Returning to the road cars, for those buyers who purchased 308s pre-2010 they are likely to still be in positive territory in regards to prices. What is interesting is that those who did purchase the cars in the early 2000s they likely did so because they wanted to own the car for what it was, not because it was seen as investment, and they have been rewarded for doing so.
Classics as an asset class hadn’t yet been created and the reality is that buying a £25,000 Ferrari is probably more of a liability than an investment no matter what the market conditions are. The 308 is a fantastic entry point for Ferrari ownership and prices have returned to sensible levels. We are seeing good examples being secured in the £45,000 – £55,000 range, a level which we feel is sustainable and fair in the current market conditions.