Do you know what a Ferrari 308 is? Have you ever seen one? I bet you have. If you remember the TV show Mannix which ran from 1967 to 1975 you will remember Mannix driving a two passenger sports car. And that was a Ferrari 308.
The Ferrari 308 was built by Ferrari from 1975 to 1985. The model number 308, in typically Ferrari fashion, does not make a lot of sense to non Ferrari fans. But if you understand some of the number methods that have been used over the years you can puzzle it out, sometimes.
The 30 stands for the engine size in liters. It was really 2926cc which is 2.926 liters, and was then rounded up to 3.0 liters. Since the numbers never had decimal points it was just 30. Now the last part or the 8 was for the number of cylinders or 8. So taken together, the 308 number means a V8 engine of about 3 liters in capacity. All Ferraris do not use this approach, so be careful and don’t assume a car like a Ferrari 330 is a 3.3 liter engine with zero cylinders.
The 308 series had several modifications during its 10 year span. It started out at a factory claimed 255 bph at 7,600 rpm, in 1975. Now there is horsepower and there is Italian horsepower. The Italian variety is usually higher than the American version even though they are supposed to be the same thing.
The first 308s came clad in a fiberglass body, which was a first for a Ferrari road car. It was easier for the company to make this type of body rather than a metal one. The early fiberglass bodies are the most highly sought after. After a couple of years all of the bodies were made of steel, and Ferrari dropped the fiberglass approach. One of the reasons that was given was that they did not believe there were enough knowable repair places around to fix damaged vehicles.
The first models were also dry stumped. This is technique where there is an engine oil reservoir outside of the engine. It is a technique used on race cars, but not very many cars designed for the street.
Some of the other facts about the first 308s you might be interested in. The transmission was a manual five speed. The chassis was made out of tubular steel in an oval shape which was used for the entire series. Brakes were disc on all four wheels and it was independent suspension all around.
Dennis Dater has been interested in cars since he learned to drive in a 1952 MG TD. He is opening two unique web sites which offer Honda Accord aftermarket parts. Visit him and see the products or read more articles.
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