Ferrari 308/328: Blood Brothers

The Ferrari brand has always been synonymous with sportiness, luxury and glamor. Beyond these clichés, the truth is that Ferraris are machines that do not leave anyone indifferent, due to their line, the noise of their mechanics, their performance. In many ways they are excessive cars.

During the 60s, Enzo Ferrari decided to rationalize these mechanical excesses a bit and create some smaller creature, with engines of smaller cubic capacity and number of cylinders. And under these premises and as a tribute to his son Alfredino, the white Ferrari brand, «Dino» was born.

The theory was clear: make small sports cars capable of rivaling brands such as Lotus and Porsche, leaving GTs and sports cars with larger displacements with their superb V-12s for Ferrari. The Commendatore It had for its purpose the great Formula 6 V2, created by Vittorio Jano and his son, which would eventually end up in vehicles as diverse as the Lancia Stratos or the Fiat Dino.

Ferrari Dino berlineta, an icon
Ferrari Dino berlineta, an icon

Unfortunately Dino died in 1956, although the first engine, it seems, worked a few days before his death ... At this point in the article, some will wonder if I really intend to write a single line of the 308 or its brother 328. Well, everything what has been written so far has a lot to do with our protagonists.

Because as a result of the creation of that successful brand and to give it continuity with more powerful engines, Enzo decides to put his technical team to create a V8 derived from the previous V6. In fact, if you look at both engines outside of the cars, you can instantly appreciate the tremendous mechanical similarity: it's as if they just added two extra cylinders to the base engine.

The new motorization, which in the end would be the greatest mechanical success by number of units produced by Ferrari, It would be mounted in a central transverse position.

308 GT4 Bertone. Ferrari's first commercial V8
308 GT4 Bertone. Ferrari's first commercial V8

Ferrari 308/328: Evolution of mechanics

Initially it was a 3.0, V8, and the combination of these figures gave its name to the Dino 308 Gt4 creature (Bertone design, year 1973). On this occasion, the engine produced 250 hp, with a classic cylinder head with two camshafts and two valves per cylinder, powered by 4 weber 40 DCNF carburettors. Later, he was chosen to mount the Ferrari 308 GTB and GTS, already designed by Pininfarina.

The following mechanical evolution would be criticized in many respects, especially by those who only looked at the numbers since the maximum power dropped to 214 hp at 6.600 rpm. The carburettors were replaced by a Bosch K-Jetronic injection system to meet the new anti-pollution regulations. The truth is that this achieved greater reliability and a vehicle with which it was possible to roll as fast or faster than with the previous ones. Our 308 GTSi belongs to this series.

Ferrari 308 GTSi
Ferrari 308 GTSi

In 1983 Ferrari already had a new modification of the 308 engine ready. Basically it consists of the design of a new multi-valve cylinder head, which produces an increase in power and a higher speed of rotation. The extra horsepower is enthusiastically welcomed by brand lovers (240hp / 7.000rpm) but, in practice, the perceived improvement in running-in of the new units came not so much from the mechanics as from the new low-profile tires. .

The latest evolution of this engine and the one that would give the brand the greatest success in produced units was the one mounted on the Ferrari 328. Its name, once again, is due to the sum of the figures for its displacement, 3.200 cc, and its number of cylinders, 8.

The engine, externally, is practically identical to that of the 308, but internally many elements have been redesigned: Among others, the diameter of the cylinders has been increased (81 mm. For the 308, and 83 mm. For the 328), thus as their stroke (71 mm. 308, 73 mm. 328); With both changes, a propeller was achieved in which by figures the power was greater, 270 hp. But it is that in addition, now yes, that increase in driving was clearly perceived.

Magnificent 328 GTS
Magnificent 328 GTS

Aesthetically the 308 GTB and GTS are Pininfarina designs, and in them we can see some elements that connect with its cousin, the Dino 246, such as the air inlets on the sides or the rear, with its round pilots and its four exhaust outlets. By the way, with respect to the first ones, they are not an aesthetic detail but something necessary: ​​the one on the right side is the air inlet to the engine and the one on the left side leads it to the oil radiator.

The front of the car follows a design similar to that of its older brother, the 512 BB. It has characteristic retractable headlights and a grille on each wing whose mission is to evacuate the air from the front radiators.

In the GTS versions, the roof is easily removable by just releasing two fasteners on the rear. Once this is done, it is housed behind the seats under a leather cover.

Two thoroughbreds
Two thoroughbreds

One of the hallmarks of the 308s prior to the Quattrovalvole are their fat tires mounted on 14 “rims., which transform the image of the model and give it an unsurpassed classic air; although that yes, at the cost of offering a worse layout in curves.

The 328 is a redesign of the 308 and overall it is appreciated that it is a clear evolution, since many elements are the same. But it is the small details that give it a much more modern character to its image: At the front the bumper is integrated into the structure, and it mounts position lights and anti-fog in this new grille. On the other hand, the fin grilles have been replaced by a new one on the bonnet.

Sideways, only the door handles vary, now integrated and more aerodynamically efficient. A new, small and discreet spoiler / spoiler in the middle of the car is further evidence of the influence of aerodynamics on its design.

For its part, the rear only has changes in the lower part, where the exhaust is now fairing and, again, the bumper appears integrated and identical in color to the rest of the car.

The rear ones are also slightly different
The rear ones are also slightly different

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Ferrari 308 and 328 on the road: Let's roll

Gathering two Ferraris in one day is usually difficult. If you also want them to be two of the best units currently rolling in our country, more. And now, if you want to do a real test, away from the usual topics, in which the owners leave their mounts unimpeded, it is usually something impossible. Well this time, it is not ...

Without further ado, I present to you the contenders: in a corner of give us a call or send an e-mail a Ferrari 328 GTS (1987): National vehicle, in excellent condition, all services are working and maintenance is up to date. Its state of originality is enviable, mounting only a non-original sports exhaust.

In the other corner a Ferrari 308 GTS (1981): It is also a national unit, the state of conservation is practically 9/10 and its originality is total. Mechanically it is completely redone -engine and gearbox- in 2011, having rolled less than 5.000 km to date.

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328 interior with a modern feel / 308 and its retro interior touch

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That warm morning in March we had a meeting at the gas station in Miraflores de la Sierra. For the first time I was the last to arrive at the meeting point, as I had stopped a couple of times to take video of how the 308 drives, so that they can feel it.

Located next to the pumps for the usual refueling, the 328 and an '911 Porsche 87 were waiting for me, which would accompany us during part of the dynamic test and which would later be replaced by a Ferrari 355.

Both the 308 and the 328, contrary to what people think, are sports vehicles with relatively contained consumption, their usual averages being around 10 l / 100 km. if we do not commit excesses. Only when we squeeze its mechanics in a mountain pass or go to Germany and sink our right foot into the autobahn, we will face consumption that will be around the fearsome 18-20 liters.

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The fact is that while paying for the fuel I admire the beautiful picture of these eighties sports cars. The profile differences between the 328 and 308 are minimal, but the appearance is radically different due mainly to the significant difference in wheels and tires.

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The Ferrari 308 ...

First it is the turn of 308. To enter the maneuver it is somewhat complex, as in almost all these cars; the trick is to introduce the right leg, lower the bum to the seat, and do the same with the left leg. The first thing that strikes us is the driving position, which is low, lying down, with the feet together and shifted to the right. With all this, it is a vehicle not suitable for those who exceed meter eighty, even slightly less. The original fine leather steering wheel has no adjustment whatsoever, but its feel is incredible.

Once installed in my beautiful red seat, I find myself comfortable, without the stresses or straits of other contemporaries. Its dashboard is very simple and clear to read: simply two large spheres that correspond to the speedometer and the lap counter, plus three other small clocks that indicate the fuel level, the water temperature and the oil pressure. In this case, the spheres have needles with a blue border; in 328 it is identical but they go in orange.

Driving the 308
Driving the 308

In the central tunnel we have two extra clocks: oil temperature and time clock, in addition to the air conditioning, emergency lights and ventilation controls. These little wing nuts give the 308 a very classic look. There is also the handbrake here, another difference from its brother, who mounts it on the left side of the seat.

We set out on the route approaching the climb to the Canencia port, the picture is impressive. It is 8:30 in the morning and the road is deserted; We go with the powerful heating on and the windows down, to enjoy the sound among the mechanical pines. Going up I am playing with the change, second and third, with the typical click of the metal grill every time I put gear.

The acceleration on the straights is high -not in vain the official figures placed 0-100 in the vicinity of 7 seconds.-, although it is not the most surprising thing about this V8. Personally, what strikes me the most is its high range of use Since, practically, if you are relaxing, from 60 km / h you can insert a fifth and it will accelerate decisively to 240. All smoothly, without jerks. Of course, driving this car above 150 km / h the sound of the mechanics becomes uncomfortable on long trips. Obviously in our country this will not be a problem.

Efficient, fast, beautiful
Efficient, fast, beautiful

As we get closer to the top of the pass, I really enjoy the qualities of the 308 in this type of route: the vehicle is very settled, stuck to the asphalt in the curves, And only if you look for the tickles beyond the limit that sanity advises and you enter one of them will you understeer at its entrance. Instead, leading the attack and anticipating the 308 will show its potential. It is a tremendously neutral car, an authentic fat kart.

If you play with it on the circuit you can get exquisite drifts at the exit of the curves, which will be corrected by modulating with the pedal and the precise counter-wheel. All this at a lower speed than our other guest… The blame for this is on the tires and the "balls" that he rides at the source, although this excess rubber in the profile favors, on the other hand, comfort on board. This Ferrari is less dry on bumpy terrain.

Huge "ball" that rides the 308 on the small 14 "rim
Huge "ball" that rides the 308 on the small 14 ″ rim

This time there is no stop at the top of the port to admire the views, because we have not had breakfast yet and, following my father's advice, «First and foremost ... Hear mass and have lunch, and if you are in a great hurry ... Have lunch before hearing mass». I start the descent. And since this is a real test, real things happen. At the exit of the first hairpin bend I find myself in the center of the road a pretty female of roe deer; braking hard, just to stop the 308 a few inches from the animal's leg. She looks into my eyes, frightened, blocked, and after a few moments, with a graceful little jump, lands on the shoulder. A drop of cold sweat runs down my temple as I think, "With another car I would have gobbled it up, poor thing."

We continued the descent at a good pace, the brakes did not falter and the sound among the pines is the most intoxicating that exists, and that in its beginning precisely the melody of this V8 was highly criticized. It was alleged that it was not the one that corresponded to the tradition, since the firing order really is that of two interlocking 4-cylinder engines and not the usual one for this type of engine. (Traditional V8 firing order: 1-5-6-3-4-2-7-8; Ferrari 308/328 firing order: 1-5-3-7-4-8-2-6 ).

We continue our march on more open roads towards NI; Ramón, at my signal, overtakes me with his 328 roaring, my hairs stand on end !!! How this Ferrari sounds high, sublime! And it is not that the 308 sounds worse, it is simply that it sounds less due, obviously, to the fact that in its brother the original exhaust has been replaced by a sports one.

Ferrari 308 GTSi engine
Ferrari 308 GTSi engine

We made a stop to remove the roofs. The operation does not present the least complexity: it is enough to open the two bolts located at the rear and it comes out of its position. The operation is more comfortable even if it is carried out between two people. There is a hole behind the seats to store it, with a specific cover that is anchored by two brackets and prevents its lateral movement. Our two guests have this cover, and it works on both, and this is something that many 308/328s routinely lack. Not because it is expensive to manufacture, but because people don't know where to find it at a reasonable price.

The Ferrari 328 ...

I decide to change cars. Accessing the 328 now is very simple, since the absence of a roof avoids being a contortionist. The first thing that is appreciated when going up is the different drawing of the seats, much more modern. The dashboard is essentially similar, although instead of three small clocks in the middle of the dome this time there are only two. The third, the fuel gauge, has passed along with the oil temperature and time gauges to the center of the dash, giving the car an unmistakable touch of modernity. This is also helped by a smaller, current steering wheel, and with a rougher leather.

Immaculate east 328
Immaculate east 328

The door opening control, now visible, the air conditioning controls, electronically operated instead of the classic 308 cable, and other small details, make the 328 seem much less classic, being closer to our daily vehicle than his brother's.

If it is well maintained, as is the case, these controls will pose no major problem; but if we stumble upon a unit that is not at its best… the electrical elements will lead us headlong. And this is one of the most important points when deciding our purchase: In a 308 the electronics are very limited and relatively simple, so if a ventilation hatch does not work you will only have to change a cable, a transmission or a metal link. Now, the same problem in a 328 will result in a bill of hundreds of euros if the electronic regulation element, which is also complex to search, breaks down.

The start-up is identical to that of the 308. Immediately, without smoke, and with a perfect idle around 850 rpm. Insert first, second, third; It is incredible, despite how strong this Ferrari sounds from the outside, inside you do not perceive that sound power. You do notice the motor, but not as an annoying noise. With the roof removed, these little ones are wonderful: at an outdoor temperature of 10º, sunny day, heating on and the mandatory beanie, it only remains to be carried away quietly by winding roads. The air does not bother us unless we exceed 120 km / h, and we can even carry on a conversation with a certain comfort.

328 GTS engine
328 GTS engine

The change is practically identical in terms of handling to that of his brother. All units have the same cold fault: the difficulty in engaging second gear, and this is the reason why many of the owners choose to change from first to third. The problem is solved hot. People think it is because of the synchros, but they are wrong, at least in part. With the new synchro, the matter is attenuated enough but not entirely, since its root is in the design of the gearshift controls, whose axis goes through the crankcase and when cold it presents a different measure than when hot. Those extra tenths in shaft elongation are, in my opinion, the real flaw.

In any case, in our units the change is perfect when hot, accusing something more of the cold failure the 328. Meanwhile, in the 308, with all the synchro and the new clutch, it shows much less.

We are now back on winding, narrow and firm roads, specifically those that go from Lozoyuela to the outskirts of Bustarviejo, passing through Mangiron and El Berrueco. Here the 328 is on rails, even more settled than the 308 due to the larger rim and less rubber on the sidewall. As we have said, in this case the tires are low profile (225/50 ZR 16 compared to 205/70 VR 14 of the 308) and with a larger section, which is, in the end, the greatest dynamic difference of both frames. .

More efficient the rim and tire of the 328
More efficient the rim and tire of the 328

The road runs in a turning of curves, like a roller coaster, with small slopes and climbs, good pavement and curves of all kinds. In these circumstances he is a true wolf, being today very difficult to follow. The road suddenly becomes somewhat bumpy and the car becomes quite uncomfortable and dry, something that in the 308 they minimized their "balls". Again a straight with a good firm, I stomped on the accelerator and, in a flash, to 80. The 328 lowered the acceleration figures of the 308 GTSi in almost a second.

In terms of net acceleration, the difference in power shown by the figures is not perceived from the inside. Perhaps this mechanical evolution is somewhat lazier at low, but it is certainly more lively and spikey above 5.500 rpm. This is clearly seen: with his brother, everything is very linear; however, the 328 between 5.500 and 7000 rpm has more pull. My problem when it comes to enjoying it is that I don't usually take this type of engine so close to its limits.

In the vicinity of La Cabrera, after the photo shoot, we had some cokes while we discussed how we had a great time. The flavor that both cars leave me is magnificent, and I have serious doubts about which would be a better buy. The differences are so subtle that any choice I think is a good one; What's more, my recommendation from these pages is that you do not you close in a specific model and look for units in the best possible condition, of either of the two.

Incredible view of the brothers
Incredible view of the brothers

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Maintenance of a Ferrari 308/328

The maintenance of the Ferrari 308/328 is a myth; I have heard all kinds of atrocities, but the truth about these models is the following.

There are two international reference centers for the purchase of 308/328 parts, and they are: y In Eurospares you will find almost everything and the best with the car breakdowns. They are very serious and efficient in ordering Online and they take about 24 hours to deliver. If you want to consult something specific you can put them an email or call directly.

Superformance is more focused on specific models and the 308/328 are two of them. In addition, on many occasions it has pieces surrogates for some originals that are no longer manufactured. They are also serious, although email communication is somewhat more complex.

If you take a tour of these pages you will see that a complete distribution kit, including belts, filters, tensioners, etc. It will cost between 100 and 300 euros, depending on what you order.

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Engine of our recently rebuilt guest 308
Engine of our recently rebuilt guest 308

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But of course, not all of us are crafty and we dare with a distribution. For those who cannot handle it, there are several specialized workshops throughout the national territory, which charge between 1.200 and 2.000 euros for a change of belts. The truth is that the replacement operation is very simple, since it is carried out by the right rear wheel, without the need to remove the engine.

If some mechanical madman is thinking of opening one of these thrusters, let him see this post from Bull skin, it perfectly narrates the steps to follow to restore them to zero hours.

But in a Ferrari there are more things apart from the straps. Imagine that one day a lower headlight on the skirt of your 328 breaks; it will be a problem, since this article in question is worth between more than 2.000 euros of an original one up to 800 of some reproductions. On the contrary, if the pilot that starts is one of the rear circular, for less than 60 euros you will find it. There is no uniformity of prices but it depends on each spare part and its scarcity, without rules.

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Small details...
Small details…

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Many fans see an opportunity in the American market to get one of these sports cars. Let no one be deceived, the Americans are not stupid or give hard to peseta. Usually the alleged "bargains" made in USA They are not: When the car is brought to Spain, the transport and registration costs are paid in addition to the repairs, and the bills end up far exceeding the purchase of a European vehicle.

Also, we will have units with more electronics (308) and less power, and also some "beautiful" bumpers ... and a mileage counter. The truth is that both the mileage counter can be changed to kilometers and the bumpers can be Europeanized, and even the side lights cover and paint. But in the end coldly casting accounts, it is an option that does not interest.

For all this I emphasize and emphasize: Those who think about buying one, get the best possible unit and always checking the state of the peripherals, in a very special way in the 328. I have acquaintances who have acquired a 308/328 for less of 20.000 euros and almost as much has been spent to leave it in good condition ... Apparently, because the engine is still that of a trite unit. It would certainly have been better to buy a 328 in good condition for 40.000.

In conclusion: gentlemen, if you can, do not hesitate, get one. They are reliable, beautiful, easy to maintain, comfortable and with excellent riding qualities. Its revaluation is more than certain: this year in Essen there were units above 60.000 euros. I don't think we will continue to see Ferraris 308 and 328 below that number for long.

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• MODEL 308 328
• Version GTSi GTS
• Power 214 Cv (6400 Rpm) 270 Cv (7000 Rpm)
• Engine 8 cylinders (V-engine) 8 cylinders (V-engine)
• Displacement 2927 cm3 3185 cm3
•Distribution 16 valves 32 valves
• Maximum torque 243 Nm (4600 Rpm) 304 Nm (5500 Rpm)
• Transmission Rear-wheel drive, 5-speed manual gearbox Rear-wheel drive, 5-speed manual gearbox
• Weight 1576 kg 1450 Kg
• Tires 205/70/14 205/55/16 Delanteras225/50/16 Traseras
• Acceleration 0-100 7,0 sg 6,0 sg
• Maximum speed 240 Km / h 261 Km / h

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What do you think?

Antonio Silva

Written by Antonio Silva

My name is Antonio Silva, I was born in Madrid in 1973. Thanks to my company I have been able to know first-hand all the national vehicle factories and a few of the European ones, as well as many of the component factories, this being nothing but an incentive more for my hobby ... View all


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