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I'm considering purchasing my first Ferrari and have some questions regarding the available choices in the 328 GTS. For the same year (ie. 1986), I've seen 2 major offerings which I've assumed would be either US or Euro specific. However, I have seen some US models with what I figured were European options. Here are the aesthetic differences that I have noticed:

1. Front fog/parking lights different.
2. Euro side view mirrors look more aerodynamic.. not like the large rectangular flaps on the US model. The Euro model also has the yellow Ferrari crest on each mirror.
3. US model has a third brake light in the rear window, whereas the Euro model does not.
4. Euro model has 2 small additional red lights in the rear bumper just outside each set of exhaust pipes.. I can only assume that they are the Euro equivalent of the third brake light of the US model.
5. Euro model has a small round amber light or reflector on the front fenders just behind the wheel. The US model has a large rectangular reflector in front of the wheel on either side.
6. The interior on both appears to be identical, though the Euro version has the Ferrari pony emblem on the dash just to the right of the center console.

Most of the 328s that I have seen for sale (ebaymotors.com) are of the basic US variety, however I have seen a few hybrid models with both US and Euro features - Euro mirrors with US brake light in rear glass, both US and Euro reflectors on front fenders, Euro fog/parking lights and US rear bumper. Needless to say, I'm confused. I prefer the styling of the Euro 328s, but will need to pass California emissions... plus I'd like the gauges to read in US units. Can anyone offer any insight on this matter? Were these custom factory options not part of the standard option set? Do the US models require the third brake light? How much of a visual obstruction is the extra brake light anyway? Would it make sense to swap out the US side mirrors with European ones; and if so, where could the mirrors be purchased/installed? I would rather not modify the car, but am curious if the hybrid models I've seen were tampered with in any way..
 

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Firstly, the 328's were the beginnings of a "world" car for Ferrari - in other words, very little modifications were needed to make the car conform to different market regulations.

If you've seen "hybrid" cars, they'll be most likely have been made into such by the owners (prefering the subtle differences of Euro cars, like you mention, aero mirrors, etc). I don't put any less or greater value on this, only if you like the way it looks. Be aware of poor work behind these modifications, so look thoroughly and get it checked out in an inspection before buying (universal requirement with ANY Ferrari).

Your note #4, those little red lights on Euro cars are rear fog lamps. A requirement in many markets (Europe specifically). I think it should be included here in North America, in addition to the third stoplight. I'm sure it wouldn't be a penalty if the car had them when its brought into North America. I've seen many Euro cars (Jag for example) here in Canada, that had them and owners used them.

If you need the car to pass Cali emissions and have Imperial measurements for the gauges, I totally suggest you stick with a complete U.S. 328. That'll be the wisest choice.
 

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One of the best references on how the 328 variants (and other V8 models) originally looked is the "Original Ferrari V8 - A Restorer's Guide" by Keith Bluemel ISBN 1-870979-78-8.

This will show you most of the details of each model (US & Euro).
 

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I find that it's best to stick to the US model for you. You will find it a problem if and when you want to dispose of the car later because most buyers will want a US model rather than a Euro model converted for US use.

I had a 328GTS before which was imported from Hong Kong, a RHD suited for my region. But the car had mph speedo inastead of the kph speedo tht we use. I always get into problems with the police radar because even when I see them in use, I don't know whether I have slowed down enough to be within the leagal limit. Most of the times, I was wrong. And with obvious consequence. I have owned a 355 and a 360 since but with the correct specs and I don't get into as much problem with the speed traps as I did with the 328. :lol:

I love that car. I think I was more proud owning it that I did with the 355. Don't know why but I did. Perhaps it was my first Ferrari.
 
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