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I’ve been researching the 308 series for a purchase in the future. My two choices have been narrowed down to the 308 Fiberglass and the Quatrovalve. Here’s what I know about the Fiberglass and the rust issue. First Ferrari didn’t start “rust proofing” their cars until the 84 model year. So even 83 QVs weren’t proofed. Second the paint on the cars prior to Ferrari switching to Glasurit, from the Glidden Salchi of Milan, is as big a step as the “rust proofing”. The real problem with 308 rust comes not so much from the paint process, which before the Glasurit was terrible, as the fact that Ferrari could not produce engines as fast as the bodies were being produced. This caused a back log of bodies to be sitting around waiting for engines, wiring, ect... When I say sitting I mean just that. Sometimes out side in the rain. No kidding. This surface rust could be easily sanded off before paint. Some cars were delivered to dealers who had to repaint the cars before handing them over to customers. But, the tubing the car is built upon is a different question. Some, very, very few I’m told, have had rust issues from the inside out so to speak. Moisture accumulated in he tubes and formed rust on the inside and you never know it until they rust through.

Ok. That’s’ the worst of it. Now you’re asking yourself “does this apply to the Fiberglass models?” Not that I’ve ever heard of. One of the supposed reasons Ferrrari suddenly moved from the fiberglass to steel bodies is because they couldn’t produce them fast enough and the labor cost were higher than expected. I’d say from that you wouldn’t have to worry about them sitting around. Also Fiberglass doesn’t rust. But the tubing can. The other nice thing about fiberglass is it’s light! The power to weight ratio is much better than the steel cars. In the Midwest here in the states there is a Simonizing process that was sometimes done to these cars. They would drill a holes in the tubing and inject them with bees wax. The wax would absorb any humidity in the tubing and prevent the rust process from occurring.

Just because the car is Fiberglass doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get it checked out as thoroughly for rust as a steel bodied car. The main area on both will be the tube frame. It will just mean you don’t have to worry about the body panels.

I’d say the performance aspect of the Fiberglass as a buying point outweighs the Rust issue. Their lighter and faster because of it.

It also raises an issue of repair in an accident though. Proper fiberglass repair is a real art these days. If you don’t believe me go to www.Gunnarracing.com and check out some of their 917, 906, 904 restorations. Sure it’d get repaired at most places but would it be done right?

If I can think of anything else I’ll post it.
 

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There is curretly a Boxer two tone Fiberglass that is out here in LA. I've been thinking about going to take a look at it. If I do I'll give you my impressions of the car and how I feel it stacks up to the others in the 308 series.
 

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Well, yes and no. Collectable more for their "rarity". The 308 (glass-fiber) production according to Keith Bluemel:

Production period: 1975-77
Chassis number range: 18677-21289
Number built: 712
All were GTB

I say “rarity” because although 712 is a small number by most production runs it’s not as small as some “collectable” Ferraris. The 308s have never been favorites of collectors because of the “Large” numbers that they were produced. But if you were to ask a collector which 308 they’d prefer to have most would say the fiberglass because of the “rarity”. Most would also say for that period of time the car to have would have been the Boxer. It’s funny. Ferrari made more 308s than any other model but you can hardly find anything written about them. Here is the car I was talking about:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&category=6212&item=2477585343&sspagename=STRK:MEBWA:IT

The color combination makes even rarer if it’s not a repaint. But judging from the pic of the driver’s side door manufacture plate the repaint is a possibility. Look just to the left of the plate. You can see some black. I have a feeling that the car was painted, the plate was just masked off and not removed, and the gold paint is starting to flake off because of it. The plastic above the plate is also broken. Possibly a sign of selective up-keep. Also the paint around the tail lights is black. Normally on Boxer paint combos the bottom color is just that. It stays on the bottom. I believe the paint around the lights should be gold if it was done at the factory. The muffler cover is also not on the car. All US model cars had the louvered cover.

Boxer42 there is also a Fiberglass listed in England at Forza288. It’s red on tan and the price is about 22k (British Pounds) and recently had full service. I’d say make a weekend of it and check it out with your friend!
 

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One of our member's here on the site (Barry) has a fiber-glass 308 in NY. From what he has said it is a great car. Check the register for his, it was one of the first in the USA.
 

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Hi everyone,

As Andrew mentioned, I have a 1976 fiberglass 308 GTB S/N 19399 which was the second in the series of 100 North American version fiberglass GTBs.

Senna's research is spot on and should be helpful to you, Boxer 42. What I can add, from personal experience, is that the early fiberglass cars are the most powerful of the series. They have different cams than the later cars. There are 100 North American version fiberglass GTBs made between May and July, 1976. The other 612 were European and Australian versions made between late 1975 and early 1977. The N.A. version has dual distributors and a wet sump engine. The Euro and AUS versions have single distributors and a dry sump engine and produced ~255 HP. The N.A. versions produced ~240 HP due to the early-type emission controls; air pumps and a thermal-reactor muffler.

My car has the air pump belts removed and I have a Euro ANSA exhaust system replacing the OEM muffler which brings it close to Euro power specifications.

I'm very pleased with my GTB's performance, especially now after having a major service performed. Indeed, I was originally interested in a QV, but after test driving my car, I immediately changed my mind and left a deposit right after the drive. The lighter body was noticeable and, of course, the induction sounds from the 4 Webers made a difference.

The rocker panels are steel and should be inspected for rust. The tubular steel frame should also be inspected in your PPI.

As far as being a rare collector's item, I agree with Senna's comments. The fiberglass GTB does command somewhat of a premium, but consistent with the quality and performance of the car.

Barry
 

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308 GTB said:
the induction sounds from the 4 Webers made a difference.
I can second that! There is no sound in the world like that of 4 Weber 2-bbls full open at high rpms!
 

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How do you guys find that the fibreglass "ages" over time? I have had a F/G Lotus and seen many others and the body often develops "crazing" due to gel-coat cracking after a good few years use. Nothing structural to worry about but it takes work to remove it (grinding-out the crazes and re-gelling/painting). :ugh:

Maybe this is not a Ferrari problem if the body panels are thicker or better supported than Lotus. Lotus rely a lot on the F/G for torsional rigidity so the bodies carry significant stress, and they certainly aren't know for making anything stronger/heavier than it absolutely has to be. :eek:

Maybe it's just me but I always think that a F/G body just "looks" better than steel when the paint is really good. Sounds nuts, I know. :nuts:
 

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4kids3fish said:
How do you guys find that the fibreglass "ages" over time? I have had a F/G Lotus and seen many others and the body often develops "crazing" due to gel-coat cracking after a good few years use. Nothing structural to worry about but it takes work to remove it (grinding-out the crazes and re-gelling/painting). :ugh:

Maybe this is not a Ferrari problem if the body panels are thicker or better supported than Lotus. Lotus rely a lot on the F/G for torsional rigidity so the bodies carry significant stress, and they certainly aren't know for making anything stronger/heavier than it absolutely has to be. :eek:

Maybe it's just me but I always think that a F/G body just "looks" better than steel when the paint is really good. Sounds nuts, I know. :nuts:
4kids3fish,

The fiberglass body is very well made and received excellent reviews in 1975. They have held up well over the years primarily due to the fine rigid tubular steel chassis. My car and other fiberglass GTBs I've seen show no stress cracking. The Glidden Salchi paint used by Ferrari at that time had a tendency to craze and spider even on the steel-bodied cars.

The fiberglass body does have a slight waviness to it when you sight along the car at a very acute angle; just enough to let you know that there's something different and special about it.

Barry
 

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Fantastic looking car Barry!

For my .02 my suggestion's to raise the performance even more on these cars would be:

a)Dump the air pumps, exhaust manifold with the inserts and get a set of headers.
b)Dump the thermo reactor muffler and get any kind of aftermarket, Ansa, Tubi, etc... or euro spec Ferrari muffler
c)install a pair of Racing High Flow Cats in their place

WHAAAAA!?!?!!!! :nuts:

No I'm not nuts. Technology has come a very long way in 28 years. Hell, technology has come a long way in 13 years. You'll get better exhaust flow and reduction of emissions. With these new cats. And I’ll bet you’ll be WAY below the legal emissions level. Yes they’re supposed to check for the air pumps and such on these cars. But how many emissions techs know their way around a Ferrari engine bay. Out here in California most just go by the “sniff” test. If it passes that your good to go. I know a lot of guys running Big T04 Turbos on our MR2 Ts and one stock cat and just make sure it’s tuned up before they go in for the tech. They get a quick visual check (no one knows their way around a MR2 Turbo engine bay either) and then on to the Rolling, yes rolling, dyno “sniff” test. If these cars pushing out sometimes as much as 300-350rwp can pass a well tuned 308 with a pair of high flow cats should scream through! And I’ll guarantee you’ll never have to worry about them “overheating”. The cats that is.

Other things to do:
d) K&N Drop in filter (leave the outside induction connected. Cold air's better than warm)
e) Light weight fly wheel.
 

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Charles,

My car still has the two air pumps, but the belts are off and so are nonfunctional. The OEM thermal reactor muffler is in my garage. It weighs about 135 pounds, at least, and I do have a ca. 1982 Euro ANSA muffler mounted. The ANSA weighs about 35 pounds.

My car, because of its age, is exempt from emissions testing. I still have the dual distributors and wet sump engine. The car is as near you can get to European power specifications.

I shy away from installing a K&N air filter in the Ferrari. The UFI filters are well made and the Webers have been tuned and synchronized with this filter in place. The nice thing about the Webers are that once adjusted, they tend to stay that way. Dropping in a K&N would mean retuning, readjusting, and resynchronizing the 4 carbs all over again if you want to do things correctly.

There are several well-known shops around who can do much with this engine. You can spend as much as you like and get up to 600 HP out of them. I can get along just fine with the 250 or so HP my car makes. It's the right amount for this car, especially the fiberglass version which is about 200 pounds lighter than the steel version. Anyway, the fun is in the handling and making the most of whatever HP you have. The car was fast 0-60 in its day. Now, most modern cars are faster 0-60. But the 308 comes alive at higher RPMs. That's where the fun is!

Barry
 

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Boxer 42 there is another Fiberglass listed there in England:
http://www.dennigcars.org/used_ferrari.htm



From what I've found most of the issues with the 308 electrics have come primarily from the Fuse box and things such as the display light rhetostat. Also the windows are, from what I'm told, slow to go up and down. I've read a post stating that if you wire the motors directly to the battery they go up and down like rockets. This brings us to the real problem of the wiring on these cars wich is a resistance through the wires. Most trace this back to the fuse boxes mentioned above.



Some of these items can be replaced by less expensive better (read newer) engineered pieces. One such fix I'm told is using a Volvo or BMW (or such) resistor to replace the Ferrari one that fails every few years. The price is at least 1/2 and once done you no longer have to worry about it.
 

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I've heard of fuse box problems in the 308 series. Some owners have upgraded their fuse boxes. My car has the original fuse box with the original ceramic fuses. Never had any problems with them, except once when I noticed my directionals not working. Easy fix.....I just cleaned the contacts in the fuse box and on the fuse. While I was at it, I did all the other contacts and fuses. I used a pencil eraser. That should last a while.

My windows are fast with no wiring modifications. I keep the assemblies clean and lubricated.

My instrument panel lights are plenty bright without any modification ever having been done. I know that later 308s have much dimmer lights and many owners do the necessary modifications.

Maybe 1976 was a good year.

Barry
 

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Sounds like a great owner. The kind of owner I'd like to eventually by my car from!

I think most problems come from bad connectors and the resistance that builds up from them getting corroded/dirty. Good fix with the pencil eraser. Another good way to clean your connections is with a cotton swab and some rubbing alcohol. It will remove the dirt, grime on the serface and will then evaporate. Also a fingernail file to scuff up the surface works.

Attached is the pic I was trying to post above.
 

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