F430 vs.308...Driving Impression - Ferrari Life
 
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post #1 of 14 Old 03-04-2008, 06:20 AM Thread Starter
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F430 vs.308...Driving Impression

I am just about ready to buy my first Ferrari, which will be an early year 308.

Last night (and I'm regretting it already!!) I took a drive in a friends F430....it was actually my first ride in ANY Ferrari! I won't even get into the experience, but I could tell you that I didn't sleep well last night.

Now for the question...How different is the driving experience from an F430 to a 308?? What are your inpressions and/or comments, I would like to hear from you guy's. What is the 308 like??

I know I should go and drive a 308, but I do not know anyone who owns one. The 308 is what I can afford right now, so the 308 is what it will be.

I would love to hear from you all and hear your thoughts and comments.

Take Care,

Frank
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post #2 of 14 Old 03-04-2008, 06:34 AM
 
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Frank, I suggest you take a look around the forum, specially for the posts that Boxer kindly writes sharing his experiences with his cars.

He just sold a 308, and he wrote a lot about driving experiences with the car.

Pete04222 and Schumacher are other members that I quickly remember now that also have 308s and have shared a lot about the ownership and driving experiences.

Take a look at the library at the forum, I remember Schumacher wrote some nice stories in the Ferrari Life Quarterly a little while ago.

I also strongly recommend the 308 Buyers Guide, you can access it if you become a paying member of the forum or you can buy all the Buyers Guides in the FerrariLife Book.

Have fun and search the forum, I'm sure you'll find a lot of useful information!

"When the going gets tough, the tough get going." - J. P. Kennedy
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post #3 of 14 Old 03-04-2008, 07:50 AM
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Frank,

Where are you? If you are near Ohio, I'll gladly show you the ins and outs of 308s with mine. (I don't let people I don't know drive my cars, but rides are encouraged! )

I may know of a couple of good 308s for sale in Ohio in the near future -- a GTSi and a GTS QV.

- Tony

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post #4 of 14 Old 03-04-2008, 09:15 AM
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The differences between an F430 and a 308 are down to 30 years of development. In between, the home computer was invented and an F430 has more computing power than NASA had when the 308 was designed.

So, I think it is futile to compare them. Instead you should take them on their own merits.

Since you're buying a 308, let's discuss that: the first thing you should not expect, is for the car to fast by modern standards. It is not, but it is not slow either. If you avoid the GTSi (which is significantly down on power), the 308 is a very perky machine that still gives plenty of thrills. I drove a 308 GT4 recently (which is mechanically almost identical to the glassfibre 308) and before I knew it I was doing 100pmh on a 50mph road. I was impressed, and that is after I just got out of a 550.

Secondly, you can't drive it using your normal driving position unless your knuckles touch the floor whilst standing upright. The steering wheel is cantered away from you, lying quite flat, and most people need to drive it with splayed legs and feet. However, you get used to that quick enough.

Thirdly, it is heavy to operate at slow speeds. The smallish steering wheel ensures that you have a nice workout trying to maneuver the car. When speeding up, it really gives great feel and you feel really connected to the road.

Fourthly, if you like mechanical (classic) cars, you will love the 308. It has a great rorty sound, it revs like none of its contemporaries (I think redline is 7,500!!), and it has a great set of dials and knobs and stuff. A very nice cabin, nicer than the 328 I think.

Fifth: Don't expect quick gear changes, it is not the Ferrari's forte. But there is a very satisfying feel to them. 2nd gear is inoperable until oil heats up.

Finally: Be prepared for some lockjaw or facial muscle cramps because you can't help smile inanely when you drive a 308. They're great.

Good luck with the search!


Onno



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post #5 of 14 Old 03-04-2008, 10:17 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guy's!!

Tony, I live in New York...Sh*t!! That would have been great, and just what I'm looking for.

Jazz, you're giving me exactly what I'm asking for, a driving impression, or what does it feel like to.
The F430 was un-believable, and I cannot expect the 308 to come anywhere close, regarding tech, but I am picking your brains here.

Keep the comments coming please!!
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post #6 of 14 Old 03-04-2008, 01:45 PM
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My impressions about the 308 -- what to like about it:

- The exterior lines are complex and beautiful, and just about perfect. No modern car can seduce like a 308.
- The build quality of the steel bodies has a wonderfully handcrafted feel. The doors have the bank-vault precision of a late 60s pagoda Mercedes SL, but with a soft, lightweight feeling and smoothness that comes as a bit of a surprise.
- The interior lines nicely complement the exterior. The levers and controls are beautiful and solid details. The instrument pod in front of you is tidy and purposeful, and oh-so-cool.
- Everything has a solid yet genteel feel to it; the cabin and controls of a 308 will provide a sturdy and reliable environment for a civilized, intelligent hand for many years, but it is no place for the barbarian or a "bull in a china shop". The same can be said for the exterior -- It responds to a civilized hand, requiring no force at all on the door handles, and a firm but gentle motion on the lids.

- When you first sit in the car and look out the back window, you might think visibility will be poor due to the high bulkhead. But once you are on the road, you realize that you are smaller and lower than all of the cars around you, and you can see everything fine. Visibility is good for a mid-engined car.
- Overall, the car has a very solid feel, and you can sense the low center of gravity.
- Sitting in the GTB/GTS has a laid-back kind of feel, both from the seating position and from the fact that so much of the car -- including the bulging fenders -- lies ahead of you. You don't quite know where the nose of the car is at first. It feels kind of like you are sitting in a 1970s Corvette! But you quickly learn where the edges of the car are.
- Behind you, you are always hearing the engine and gearbox. It is a beautiful, metallic machine noise. The valves and cams and belts and gears provide a symphony. Some people love the Weber carburetors; for me, the carbureted cars are a bit loud. I prefer a fuel injected car with stock exhaust. Arguably the least-intoxicating sounding Ferrari, it still sounds beautiful.

- You will see heat rising from the vents just behind your rear window. Those grilles aren't there for decoration! Ahh, the beauty of function!

Driving the car -- even just sitting in it -- is always a treat. It is something special, and the experience will only become familiar -- never dull. One need not be ashamed of current 308 market values; it is now and always will be every bit the exotic, fascinating machine that made it a legend in the first place.

Tony K.

1980 308 GTBi
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post #7 of 14 Old 03-04-2008, 02:01 PM
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Hi Frank,
As Stile-alpine recommends, do a little search and read everything you can find on here about the 308. Loads of information. For me, I think the 308 is the most instantly recognizable Ferrari and the design is timeless. People think my car is brand new and when I tell them it is almost 30 years old they can't believe it. As others have said, it is no contender when considering its performance to modern cars. It was a state-of-the-art exotic sportscar 30 years ago. Having said that, the car will still out perform me. When the 308 and I are together it is my ability that limits the 308 rather than the 308 limiting mine. It is like driving a 250 hp go-cart.

Capt. Pete
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"Time is what prevents everything from happening all at once."
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post #8 of 14 Old 03-04-2008, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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Tony, Pete, just great, thanks. It gives me a good idea what ti expect without actually getting a ride.

I hope more comments will follow as well.

The F430 was a screaming, beautiful, red machine, and it was just perfect in anyway. I could not believe the accelleration and quick breaking. A dreamcar.
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post #9 of 14 Old 03-05-2008, 12:19 AM
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Frank, Have you taken a look at our 308 Buyers Guide ?

Resources: Parts List | Buyer's Guides
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post #10 of 14 Old 03-05-2008, 01:28 AM
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Frank, I have put up a number of posts on driving my 308 all over creation in the Classics section. They might help provide some additioanl insights.
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post #11 of 14 Old 03-05-2008, 01:57 AM
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Hey Frank

The two cars are really only the same in that they have the same yellow badge on the nose.

I think it is important that you know what you want from the car. The 430 could be driven by the average BMW driver in terms of comfort, refinement and reliability whilst the 308 is a genuine classic car that has technology that is around 30 years old.

I liken the comparison to a comparison of a 1970's manual winding Omega Speedmaster to the modern Automatic equivalent. They have similar looks but with the older model, the watch will have to be maintained more rigidly, may give trouble and it needs to be wound daily. Only a real enthusiast would take the older model.

It is therefore fundamentally important that you have the right mindset when looking at the 308. Please do not expect it to be the same as the 430 as you will be disappointed. That said, it certainly is a special car and it will no doubt make you feel every bit as good as a 430 owner. In this respect it is a massive bargain.

The 308 is exceptionally robust - I use mine daily - although heavy traffic and hot days (especially the two combined!) can be a bit frustrating.

All-in-all, if you do go the 308 route, you will love it and taking delivery of it will certainly be one of the best days of your life!!!

Please feel free to mail me if there is anything I can help with.

Kind regards
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post #12 of 14 Old 03-05-2008, 08:39 AM Thread Starter
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Again fellas, this is exactly what I'm looking for, and it makes me want one even more now.

I do have the buyer's guide.

Does the 308 seem as "fast", relatively speaking, as the F430.....I know it's not even close, but the driving impression.

I wasn't that impressed with the F430's engine noise, I have to add.

Do you guy's have the stock exhaust, or Tubi, etc...
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post #13 of 14 Old 03-05-2008, 08:56 AM
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Tubi on a 308 will certainly improve the sound. As far as "fast" the car does have lots of torque for its age so it will put you back in your seat a bit giving you the feeling of acceleration. If you get a GTS, you'll enjoy the sound of the engine/exhaust quite a bit more than in a GTB. Let us know what you go with.
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post #14 of 14 Old 03-05-2008, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank C View Post
Does the 308 seem as "fast", relatively speaking, as the F430.....I know it's not even close, but the driving impression.

I wasn't that impressed with the F430's engine noise, I have to add.

Do you guy's have the stock exhaust, or Tubi, etc...
I have a Tubi on the 550, and to me it's a must have - the regular exhaust makes it sound like a BMW V12.... Oh dear, what did I say there? Anyway, the Tubi lets the engine breathe a bit so you can hear the V12 climbing on the cams in a glorious way. A very complex sound, the 550.

Whether the 308 will strike you as fast all depends on the expectation you have when you go and sit in one. If you expect a '70ies motor car (think Ford Granada, Morris Marina, Austin Allegro, Rover V8) then the 308 will feel plenty fast. If you are thinking you should be able to outrun a Clio 172 or more recent hatchback, you'd be disappointed. But that is not the point. The car urges you to push the throttle any change you get to even when there is no point at all in pushing it down. It urges you to DRIVE and it has plenty of grunt to give you the sense that you're getting there quickly enough. As Andrew says, it will give you a push in the back, that's for sure. 0 - 100km/h in 7.5 is not FAST, but it's definitely quick enough to have a whale of a time.


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