308 antonio zanini

Antonio Zanini's Ferrari goes up for auction

[su_dropcap style = »light» size = »3 ″] L [/ su_dropcap] a North American auction house RM Auctions it appears every year in Paris with an impressive roster of automobiles. Next Wednesday, February 4, taking advantage of the fact that on those dates the 40th edition of the Retromobile Show will be held in the French capital, 72 high-level lots will be put up for bid from the hand of this company from the other side of the Atlantic, which also in Paris It is nourished by pieces from all over Europe.

Among all of them, this Ferrari 308 has caught our attention for its rally decoration in Spanish! Just look a little more carefully to find the name of Antonio Zanini stamped on one side, so it's clear where this piece's pedigree comes from.

At the end of the 70s Zanini was on “the crest of the wave”: In 1979 he had achieved the European rally runner-up with a Fiat 131 Abarth, and the following year he won this European title at the wheel of his famous Porsche 911 SC , vehicle with which he would also win the Spanish Championship.

ferrari antonio zanini
The distinctive profile of mid-engined berlinets from the 70s (Courtesy RM Auctions)

After these good results, the Talbot brand signs him for the Spanish Championship. With them he won the national title in 1982 and the following year the International Rally Championship, racing with a Talbot Horizon and a Sunbeam Lotus.

Already with seven Spanish Championships in his record, Antonio Zanini approached the Barcelona importer Fernando Serena in 1984 with the idea of ​​acquiring a Ferrari 308 GTB that could be converted to Group B specifications to contest the Spanish Championship.

The example chosen was the one corresponding to chassis number 24783, and the preparation was carried out under the supervision of the Italian specialist Michelotto, who also provided a significant number of "improved" components, although the entire process was carried out in the workshops. from Serena.

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Two Ferraris

The homologated “made in Michelotto” transformations included, among others, high compression pistons, lightened suspension wishbones, special AP Lockheed braking equipment, stiffer stabilizer bars, a more direct rack and pinion steering, competition clutch, gearbox close-ratio and four-wheel adjustable shock absorbers.

The "cocktail" promised to be very competitive, but the assembly tasks took longer than expected and the 308 was not ready for the start of the 1984 Spanish Championship season at the Costa Blanca, so Zanini had to rent another 308 Group B to the Italian Pro Motor Sport team.

With this other Ferrari - which sported an unusual white color - the Catalan driver was already leading the championship standings, and it was only during the last races of 1984 that the 308 "Serena" was finished.

308 antonio zanini
He also keeps the numbers of the rally in which he debuted (Courtesy of RM Auctions)

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Specifically, the “new” car was released on the occasion of the Osona Rally, in which Zanini was co-driven by Josep Autet and achieved an absolute victory, finishing four minutes behind second place.

Finally the car served Zanini to revalidate his title of Champion of Spain –which would be the eighth and last-, but after that the driver was signed by Peugeot and the Ferrari changed hands several times.

Lethargic, so far

It was used by Fernando Serena Jr. - son of the importer - in the 1984 Gerona Rally, and by Claudio Caba in the 1985 Catalonia Rally - scoring for the European championship - in which he reached a creditable fifth place overall, being the first classified Spanish driver and the first “non-Lancia” car to cross the finish line.

After this, the car returned to the workshops of Fernando Serena, who never used it again in competition, until its sale in 2009 to a private collector who also kept it in the dry dock, which explains its excellent state of conservation.

Looking forward to your next sale, This 308 GTB has received a complete update, so it is in perfect conditions of use. In addition, it has been classified by the Ferrari Classiche center as "Veicoli d'Interesse Storico", which together with its pedigree has led RM to estimate it between € 250.000 and € 315.000.

308 antonio zanini
After years in the dry dock, this 308 GTB has regained the verve of yesteryear (Courtesy of RM Auctions)

Since the 1985 Catalunya Rally, the car has only traveled around 20 kilometers, and an impressive historical archive is included in its sale with invoices for its initial preparation and an illustrated book detailing the races held.

We will see if these high prices are reached, and as we dream, I hope I will step on Spanish soil again. The answer, next February 4 ...

What do you think?

Francisco Carrion

Written by Francisco Carrion

My name is Francisco Carrión and I was born in Ciudad Real in 1988, a place that was not at first akin to vintage cars. Fortunately my grandfather, dedicated to the automotive sector, had friends who owned veteran cars and participated in the annual rally that was held (and continues to be held) in my hometown ... View all


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