Monday, July 4, 2011
Look what I saw...a 1980 Ferrari 308 GTSi
This weekend I saw this head-turner sitting in Columbus Circle, NYC. The 308 is one of my favorite Ferraris (although I am more partial to the GTB coupe than the pictured GTS targa). The "i" was added to the end of the GTS and GTB monikers in 1980 due to the introduction of fuel injection in response to higher fuel economy requirements coming out of the crisis period in the late 1970s. In every other respect, the GTSi was largely the same as the previous year's GTS, aside from small nuances, such as alloy wheel design, leather seat stitching, and a slightly rearranged dashboard.
The GTSi has a 90-degree transversely mid-mounted V8; the US model pumped out 205 bhp. While relatively slow for today's standards, it was very quick back when introduced. The GTSi was produced from 1980-1983 and only 1,749 models were produced! Judging by current Ebaymotors listings, it looks like you can buy this car for between $30-50k. That sounds like an attractive entry point to own a Ferrari...that is, if the maintenance costs weren't so high.
Design-wise, everything about this car is flawless. The headlights are stowed away to avoid dust and grime. The front end is very shapely; the curvy front fenders fit snugly atop the tires. The rear pillars extend all the way to the taillights, giving the car a distinct frame. The scoops on the side are unique to the 308. The interior is barren, as a Ferrari should be. None of the fancy computer electronics in today's models. The only downside of owning this car in NYC is the limited number of months the driver can take it out for a spin!