1976 Ferrari 308 GTB Vetroresina
- One of just 712 Ferrari 308 GTB Vetroresinas built
- The lightest, rarest and purest of all the road-going Ferrari 308s
- Presented in the elegant and lesser-seen colour combination of Blu Sera over Beige
- Accompanied by its original tool roll, owner’s manuals and an extensive history file
- Chassis no. 19715
- Engine no. 00334
What is it?
It’s Ferrari’s plastic fantastic 308 GTB Vetroresina, the lighter, sharper and much rarer glass-fibre version of the beautiful Pininfarina-designed berlinetta. So insatiable was the demand for the 308 GTB upon its introduction in 1975 that in the interest of haste and expense, Ferrari decided to construct the first of its 308 GT4 successors out of glass-fibre.
Not only were the Vetroresina 308s a substantial 150kg lighter than the steel-bodied cars that followed, but they also didn’t fall prey to rust – a crucial advantage today. European models (like this example) also benefitted from a dry-sump lubrication system, which both improved the handling and coaxed 10 more horses from the soul-stirring three-litre V8.
Visual identifiers for the ‘Vetro’ include the flush rear panel where the number plate is affixed, fog lights recessed into the rear bumper and visible seams atop the A pillars.
Just 712 Ferrari 308 Vetroresinas were built, a tiny number compared to the circa-12,000 steel-bodied cars which subsequently left the factory. And it’s this rarity combined with the car’s purity and dynamic feel that earned the ‘Vetro’ the badge of the most sought-after road-going 308.
Could you tell us about this particular car’s history?
This European-specification Ferrari 308 GTB Vetroresina, chassis 19715, left the factory in 1976, finished in the tasteful colour combination of Blu Sera over Pelle Beige leather. It was delivered new via Motor S.p.A. in Rome and registered in the region on 15 September 1976. The city’s sweltering summer heat probably explains why the car’s first owner specified the optional air-conditioning system.
The car remained in Rome until 1984, when it was exported to Connecticut. Documentation confirms it was flown by Alitalia from Rome to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and incurred 3,454 US dollars of importation customs charges.
Having been regularly maintained by East Coast Exotic Cars and, later, Miller Motorcars, this Ferrari 308 returned to Europe 23 years later in October of 2007, when it was acquired by a Dutch collector who also owned a Lamborghini Miura and a 400 GT 2+2.
With the mileage noted as 31,370km, chassis 19715 was treated to a major service in December of 2007. The work included the replacement of the cambelt and its tensioners and a complete overhaul of the Weber carburettors.
The following year, this Ferrari was sold via Autodrome in Paris to a collector based in Ireland. Chassis 19715 was bought by its current owner in 2013, who assigned the registration ‘BL14836’. Almost 35,000 euros was spent on the car in 2018 – the work included another major service and a respray in the original shade of Blu Sera.
It’s refreshing to find a 308 GTB that ticks all the right boxes. First and foremost, it’s a Vetroresina. But it’s also not finished in the more common red or yellow over black and is accompanied by its original tool roll, owner’s manuals and an extensive history file, evidencing the love that’s been bestowed upon the car over the last 44 years. Did we mention the mileage? This is a genuine 44,000km 308.
What’s it like to drive?
As good as you’d imagine. Those of you familiar with Ferraris of this era will know they’ve got their quirks, but this car’s regular use and tender-loving care has resulted in a car that’s reliable, smooth and joyous to drive. The gearchange is positive but not overly tight, the steering is direct and the engine is buttery smooth all the way round to 7,500rpm.
Breathing through a quartet of Weber carbs, the noise is utterly intoxicating, and serves to enhance the sensation of speed. Plus, 255bhp has never looked so good. You can also feel the weight, or rather lack of weight, of the glass-fibre body – it’s noticeably nimbler on turn-in than a steel car and its weight is easily manipulated mid-corner.
Sell it to me in a sentence?
Not only is that wind-cheating Pininfarina-designed body downright sexy, but it also makes the 308 arguably the most recognisable Ferrari on the planet – plus, the Vetroresina is the purest expression of the model.
Price: €148,000 (EUR)
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