Thursday, April 02, 2009

Ferrari 308 GTB

I need someone to loan me £35,000. Or give me it, that'd be better actually.

I'll get round to writing about the full depth of my closet petrol-head-ness some other time. Put simply though, I love cars. Not all of them I might add. Modern cars do nothing for me (with the possible exception of the recent Maserati GT). But the mid 1960s to late 1970s work by Italian design house Pininfarina made my 10 year old self go all funny and it still does now. Leonardo Fiovaranti's work for the company represents a pinnacle of design for me and out of the amazing shapes he dreamt up, the Ferrari 308 is still the top of my list.

It was conceived as a replacement for the "junior Ferrari", the Dino. Like the Dino, it wasn't even meant to be badged as a Ferrari until a last minute change of plan came about.

I think I could draw one of these in side profile with my eyes closed. As time went on (and also as more of these relatively cheap Ferraris wound up in the hands of people with more cash than taste) the 308 grew unsightly bulges and appendages, but the first version - the fibreglass-bodied 308GTB - is still the high point of sports car design to my eyes. Even now, most mid-engined sports cars follow the 308's flying buttresses and curved flanks as a blueprint. Ferrari themselves have based all of their 'entry-level' cars on the 308 in some way since and even the 'super-Ferraris' of the time, the 288GTO and F40, were based on the humble 308.

Concious that it wasn't the fastest or most spectacular car they'd ever produced, prototypes and 'press' cars at the time were always in subtle colours like silver, blue or brown to accentuate it's pretty lines. The 308 was a rarity - a Ferrari that didn't look best in red. That hasn't stopped most of these cars ending up 're-sale red' over time though. Blame Magnum PI.

When I was a kid I had lots of pictures of Ferraris on my walls. The 308 I wanted most though was the demonstrator model from the photos of the time when the car was launched in the UK by importers Maranello Concessionaires. It was a silver fibreglass-bodied car with a deep red interior.

Which brings me on to why I need £35,000. The very same car is for sale:

Exactly as I remember it. NPA900P. No one has thought to add a picnic table rear wing, re-paint it red or put some 'bling' alloys on it. It's exactly as it left the factory and went onto my wall.

I accept Paypal or cheque.

As an aside, if anyone out there lucky enough to own a 308, or in fact any interesting car, wants to swap letting me have a go in it for a one-off illustration of their car printed on heavyweight paper stock then get in touch. I'd love to draw some cars again, though I would wager I was better at it when I was 10:


neiljones308 said...

Hi there,
I see you have an interest in ferraris. I thought i would drop you an email as i used to own NPA 900P. I owned it from 1997 to 2001. I kept it original as it was my pride and joy, and i was very proud of it's road test history. I still have a copy of Motorsport dec 1976 with the article in, and also a book with it in. I currently have a ferrari 328GTS, and i quite like the idea of a sketch of it, so if you want a spin in my Ferrari, then please reply.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Kindest regards, Neil

neiljones308 said...

Hi Chris, I don't know if you got my last message re Ferrari NPA 900P.
My email address is
Kind regards, Neil