Photo Essay: 1976 Ferrari 308 GTB
At the 1975 Paris Auto Show, Ferrari released a new model that would set a new direction for the company and reinvent the design language for all exotic supercars thereafter. The 308 GTB replaced Ferrari’s Dino 246 and quickly became the most recognized of the Modena-based manufacturer’s cars, even to this day. Decidedly modern in styling, the Pininfarina-designed 308 did away with the swooping haunches and bug lights of an earlier era, opting for a car that was rakish and angular, with retractable headlamps, louvered vents and sharp edges. They effectively updated the exotic car without dating it, which was difficult to do in the 1970s.
The 308 first came in GTB form, like this one, which had a hard, fixed top. A later iteration, the GTS, had a removable targa top, and was made famous by the 1980s TV show, Magnum P.I. But it is the GTB that is the purest form of the 308, with its deliciously long roofline that extends down to the mid-engine lid before dropping off in a sharp angle at the back. Only a few hundred of the early 308 GTBs were built with fiberglass bodies, dialing up the power-to-weight ratio in favor of the V8 engine with dual Weber carburetors. The one you see pictured, from 1976, is one of those rare fiberglass models. The car looks as if it came right off the showroom floor, from carpets to leather-wrapped toolkit. Riding shotgun with windows down was an aurally orgasmic experience, with the roaring V8 exhaling out of a Tubi exhaust system, a sound that should be experienced at least in a lifetime.
Photo Essay begins after the jump.
Photos by Gishani for Gear Patrol. Thanks to Ferrari owner, Marc Langva