1976 FERRARI 308 GTB VETRORESINA

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This rare Ferrari 308 GTB ‘Vetroresina’ (denoting the early fibreglass body) is finished in the classic colour combination of red with a beige interior. The car is powered by the original 3.0-litre (2926 cc) carburettor-fed V8 engine, producing around 252bhp, driving the rear wheels through a five-speed manual transmission with synchromesh. A desirable dry sump UK market car, this Vetroresina drives well and is presented in fully usable condition.

Introduced at the Paris motor show in 1975, the 308 GTB benefitted from a glamorous Pininfarina  body shape to meet customer demand following the less warmly received 308 GT4 designed by Bertone. Ferrari initially produced 712 308 GTBs in fibreglass, of which only 154 left the factory as right-hand-drive cars. Production then moved to steel bodies in 1977. The fibreglass right-hand-drive cars are accordingly very rare, especially those with dry sump oil systems.

With a lighter kerb weight of around 1100kg, not to mention the rust-free bodywork material, these Vetroresina models are now popular among collectors, and command a premium. The tell-tale signs of the fibreglass car include a flush rear panel where the number plate is mounted, reversing lights mounted in the bumper (steel cars have them in the centre of the indicators), and seams at the top of the A-pillars.

Registered in the UK on 22 October 1976 the car is believed to have been in the UK all its life and has been owned by the seller for 13 years. In this time, he has covered around 20,000 miles behind the wheel. The owner and his son have enjoyed the car while competing in around 10 seasons of Ferrari Owners’ Club sprint and hill climb events, as well as one season of Ferrari Club Classic circuit racing. For this purpose, the car was temporarily fitted with a roll cage, racing seats with harnesses, fire extinguisher and electric cut-out switch, but it was later put back to the road specification as shown in the gallery below. The Ferrari Owners’ Club sprint and hill climb series only permits road-going vehicles, so the car has remained taxed and with a valid MOT all this time.

As the photographs show, the bodywork is in generally very good order, with neat shut lines and panel gaps in most places. The paint itself is described by the seller as being in fair condition, requiring some tidying up to bring it back to a great standard. It has been repainted at least once – the first time was believed to be in the early 1980s, changing it from an original stated colour of metallic Oro Chiaro Met to red, and it has certainly been refreshed more recently. This presents an interesting option for the next owner: commission remedial paintwork while retaining the current colour, or invest more in returning it to its factory hue.

The car required some welding around the offside front wishbone mounting point in order to pass its latest  MOT test in February 2020 comprising new sections of the front chassis members and cross braces – but that was the only corrosion noted by testers in the last 14 years of annual inspections, covering some 20,000 miles of driving. Its body is fitted with period-correct Vitaloni Californian wing mirrors, and the window seals appear to be sound – although their coatings have chipped and flaked slightly in places.  While original, the rear valance has been cleverly painted with a black dummy aperture to suit the currently fitted two-pipe sports exhaust. The car rides on 16-inch allowheels, which were an option on later 308s, which enable a much wider variety of modern tyre fitments.

Moving inside, the interior is in fair condition with some wear to original items such as the dashboard, centre console, switchgear and door cards. The seats are later 328 GTB items, which fit on the same runners, so can easily be changed to other 308-specific seats if desired. A contemporary stereo head unit has also been fitted. The seller reports that the electrical system works well, other than slow electric window motors. A battery cut-off switch is mounted inside the front hood.

The car retains its original engine and mechanically is now returned to original road specification, with the exception of a more efficient radiator. The engine also benefits from having had a rebuild in 2013 at 53,858 miles. The most recent service was carried out by NBA Sports Cars at 62,614 miles, and included the aforementioned chassis welding and some cosmetic work at a cost of approximately £5,500. The seller states that the cambelt was changed in July 2017 since which time it has covered less than 1,000 miles.

Its most recent MOT test was on 4 February 2020 at 62,614 miles with no advisories. The alloys are currently shod in Toyo Proxes T1-R tyres all round, which were fitted in 2016 and remain in good condition.

Accompanying the car is a good history file detailing maintenance, upgrades, and repairs over the last 13 years, as well as paperwork that also dates back further. A 308 GTB owner’s manual is present, along with a replacement scissor jack and a partially complete tool roll. The original jack, jack case, spare wheel and the rest of the tools were not available when the seller acquired the car. The seller has two sets of keys and what is believed to be the original Ferrari key fob. The car was fitted many years ago with a Radio Mobile touch key immobiliser, which continues to work well and for which two touch keys are available.

This Ferrari 308 GTB Vetroresina is a sound example of a very rare and impressive 1970s performance car. The 308 is known for being one of the most reliable models in Ferrari’s back catalogue, and is a popular choice among collectors given its characterful V8 and user-friendly cabin. This is a well-sorted car that has been driven and enjoyed as intended, even proving its worth through friendly competition, and represents a great opportunity for the budding restorer or Ferrari fan alike.

All cars and motorbikes on Collecting Cars are run through an online HPI check. This vehicle shows no insurance database markers for damage or theft, and has no finance owing.

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