1980 Ferrari 308 GTSi
For sale on completion of rebuild so please enquire at email@example.com if you are interested.
Before and After the body was restored.
My car is a US market car and was apparently given to one of the San Fransisco 49er's as part of his signing on deal. Unfortunatley I have not been able to find out his name, "yet".
Being US spec it was fitted with a catalist system. I have now removed the system and put in new piping which has changed the note of the car for the better and released more power. I am currently having new tail pipes made from stainless steel and hopefully by the time the body is finished I will have the pipes ready to go on.
I recently read a piece in Classic & Sports Car about running a 308 and in it there was a "specialist" explaining how costly it is to run one. He was saying that you have to budget around £3,500 a year. Having run this car now for almost 2 years and a Mondial before that, I have to say it was complete rubbish. He went on to list the prices of parts as follows. Cambelt change £750, Tyres £200, Water pump £250, discs £150 and pads £69 and take an hour each to fit at £52 per hour labour totaling £400.
Now I bought a water pump from Eurospares For £80 (saving £130), Discs I priced for £50 each, pads £30 and would be fitting them myself. A saving of £320.
Timing belt is the best though. I take the car to a guy who is an ex Rolls Royce engine builder who runs his own garage. He charges £300 to fit belt and tensioners. Thats £450 less than the Ferrari dealer..
I know what your thinking, "What about service history" I have 2 thoughts on this. I don't trust service histories, it's too easy to fake them. Also you leave your car in to a dealer but do you really know who is doing the work. I would rather leave my car with someone who I know will be working on the car and there has to be bills to prove the work has been done. The money saved this way means you can run one of these cars maybe not on a shoestring but properly maintained none the less. Also by doing a little bit of the maintainance yourself you surely get a bit of pride to.
My 308 was starting to show signs of rust bubbles on the front wing lower panels so I decided to put it through a full body restoration. This is the car now stripped 15/03/05.
The next job is to circle with marker any imperfections on the body so they can be taken out.
As you can see I now have the car painted. Yes the colour has changed. Since I was a small boy I wanted a red Ferrari especially a red 308, so now was my chance to fulfill my dream.
The paint is only on so I haven't started to flatten and polish yet.
The last pic shows the bonnet has just been flattened and has the first coat of polish on. If the rest of the car comes out as well I will be very happy.
It's April and the good weather must surely be close at hand. The whole car apart from the front spoiler has now been polished. This is how the right side came out. I have started to put the door back together. I rebuilt the window motor while I had it out. The wire mechanism for the winder is a little tight so I will spend some time getting this right before I go any further.
As the tail pipes were showing signs of age a good friend of mine who runs an exhaust centre made me up 4 tail pipes made out of Stainless steel. once they were polished up they really finished the car off.
It's almost there. The sun came out this morning and I just couldn't help myself, I had to get the car out so I could see how the finished product looked. I am very very pleased. Just a few little odds & ends to finish off and it will ready for mot time.
My friend Ciaran O'neil who is a professional photographer (and has won lots of awards) took the shots you see below because he was so impressed with the way the car came out. He took about 50 but I would have ran out of space if I'd used them all.
That's Mr O'Neil taking the pics of the car.
The cars last show at Kilbroney (Rostrevor) before being put away for winter. I was a very proud man that day.
11/03/06. Well took the car out today to go to a show outside Dublin and only made it the length of Lisburn as the engine and electrics died. It had refused to start last November but I put this down to the battery being done and bought a new one at the time. To cut a long story short it has turned out to be the alternator that has given up. So time to take the old one out and get a new one.
18/03 Got the alternator out. It's not so much a hard job as a fiddly one. To do it you take off the offside inner wheel arch (6 10mm nuts) and once this is off you can get at everything. Now the air con unit does have to have all its bolts removed and bottom bracket taken off so you can move it enough to get at the alternator. Then you do have to lay under the car to get at the 17mm bolt that holds the alternator to the block. Once all the bolt are slackened you can then get the belts for the air con and the alternator off. This would be a good time to replace them if they are worn. Now if the alternator on your car is original like mine is there is a backing plate that guards the wires going into it. It is held on with 4 8mm nuts and has to be removed to allow you to get to the wires on the alternator. It's a bit fiddly removing them but has to be done.. The only thing in your way now is the main water pipe. what I was able to do was losen it off at the top mount and manauvre it enough out of the way to allow me to get the alternator out past it. Once out it was a straight forward replacement.
I rembered from when I was rebuilding the car that I could move the rear bumper in if I took the large blocks off that hold it out so far. I have been having a think about this and although I do like the Euro look better than the USA style bumpers, I know the USA bumpers give better protection. So I did a bit of playing around and have managed to get the bumper moved in a good 2 inches. I did this by taking out the blocks and fitting metal tube over the 4 bolts that hold the bumper on. The idea of this is that if I do be unfortunate enough to have someone bump into me the tubing will act as a cushion and collapse before any damage is caused to the car. I think it make the car look a little better and is a good compromise. Plus I can always revert back to the original spec if I so wish. Next jobs the front bumper and then the timing belts. Oh and I tightened the handbrake a litte today.
Sat 9th June was the "All Ireland Italian Motor Day" and of course I had to bring the 308 along. The event was excellent with 82 cars, 10 bikes/scooters and one fiat tractor on show. Here's just a couple of photos of the event the rest of the event can be seen at www.niimc.net
A company called Star Car Hire needed a Magnum 308 for a display in East Kilbride Scotland and asked me to bring the car along. After many phone calls I finally agreed to do it although I wasn't that keen as it ment 4 days away from the familly.
The car was put on a trailer at my house for the trip across. A really nice guy called Sean looking after things.
Once we arrived at East Kilbride Shopping centre it we got the car off the trailer and in a quickly as possible as it hadn't stopped raining since we left home. The next photo is the car be put into position. And that is KITT coming in next.
The 308 and KITT parked in place ready for the veiwing public.
After a bit of polishing the 308 is tucked up for the night.
These posters were all over the place advertising the cars, which were there to promote Fathers Day.
And this is the sign that was beside the car. It eventually made it's way into the boot of the car.
The explanation about Magnum PI and the car.
The public arrives.
My car wasn't alone. James Bonds Aston and Lotus were there to. The Aston was in amazing condition.
So for the rest of Saturday and Sunday I just watched and chatted andcleaned and put the barriers back everytime someone moved them. There will be a lot of camera phones about over the next month or so with the 308 as a screen saver.
Once Sunday 6pm came it was a mad rush to get the car out and onto the trailer so we could make the boat in time. The security guards helped push the car out as we weren't allowed petrol in the cars. Very strange feeling steering along inside a shopping centre. Really wish the engine had been going as I'm sure the sound would have been something else.
We got to the terminal with plenty of time to spare so Sean took the opportunity to have his photo taken with the car. The people at the terminal were quite amused by us. A van on Irish plates, an American from Taxes driving, and a Norn Iron man as passenger. Oh and it had stopped raining. We eventually made it home at 3am. It could have been quite a boring trip but Sean made it worthwhile with with his stories. Thanks Sean.
31/01/08. I was asked to display the car at a 3 day show of cars belonging to collectors at the Sleave Donard Hotel in N.I. The weather was terrible with snow and rain all the way there. So once the car arrived the guys took it off me and cleaned it before placing it on the floor. Must admit I was pleased to be asked considering the cars there were in fantastic condition.
27/11. It's been a while since I did anything with the car, mainly because I've been working on the other cars. But I've decided it's time I got stuck into the engine and sorted it out. After sitting for a while it needs a few things sorted. The timing belts are due to be replaced now along with the other belts. 5th to 4th gear bulk ring could do with being replaced and it has a sticky valve either on No7 or 8 cylinder. I also want to give the engine a really good cleaning and repaint it to have have it looking a nice as I can get it. To do all this I'm going to take the engine out. I plan on doing everything over the next 3 months so won't be at it everyday. This will be fun.
So to start with I'm removing everything in the engine bay that can be removed so I get as much room to work as I can. First thing was to remove the airbox. Pretty simple as it's only held on with a big jubilee clip.
There is a pipe attached to the airbox but I could only get at it once the box was off the injection system.
Next today was to start disconnecting the various pipes including metal pipes at the bulkhead to this little unit.
Oil cooler next. It has a plastic cover on it that runs to the vent on the left side wing. 3 10mm nuts hold it on but it's tight to remove and takes a bit of wiggling to get out. Once it's off the oil cooler pipes can easily be got at to losen off. I did take the bottom pipe off at the engine as I found it easier to do. Again the cooler is held on with 3 10mm nuts. Once the cooler is out there is a lot of room to play with.
Since I was doing so well today I got under and took the exhaust back box off.
View of the rear with the exhaust off. after the photo I took that U shaped bit of exhaust off. Manifold will be the next thing to take off.
29/11. Coil packs before removing them so I know were the wires go when I start putting it all back together.
01/12. I had and hour to play with today so got the fuel injection unit off. It's only held on with 3 10mm nuts.The 8 injections pipes took no time to get off. I made sure I labelled everything.
10/01/2009. Removing the aircon pump. It's relatively straight forward. Take off the right side inner wheel arch. Then the lot is there for you to see. The 2 aux belts need to be removed. Aircon belt needs the tensioner slackened and removed. You can see the 13mm spanner hanging on the nut to be removed. I've already removed the metal water pipe as it blocks movement and it would have had to be removed at some point anyway.
Once the belts are out of the way the aircon system needs to be drained. This can be done in 2 ways. At the front of the car is the bottle were the gas is put in and it has a valve pretty much the same as a tyre valve which when pressed in lets the gas out. There is also another one on the end of one of the pipes that go into the top of the pump itself. I double checked the system was empty with checking this. Again it's a valve the same as a tyre valve.
Only when I was happy that the system was clear did I take off the 2 pipes. Then it's just a matter losening off all the bolts that hold the pump on. The bottom bracket has to come off first, then the pump after it. A hint is to leave one of the top ones to the last as the pump is quite heavy and if your taking it out by yourself it's easier to hold while taking a top bolt out. You can only remove the top bracket after the pumps out because there is a 17mm nut hiding in the corner.
Everything out on the ground. I didn't cover how to remove the altenator as it's covered in an earlier part of the history.
Only one pipe needs to be removed from the carbon box by the look of it but when I'm putting everything back together I'll tidy and clean this up.
27/01. Removed one of the driveshafts today as I had a spare hour. They are held on with 12 bolts (6 per side) with hexi heads. And boy are they tight. The trick to get them off is to make sure the hand brake is on while you lose them all first. Be sure though that the inner ones at the gearbox are losened first. Once all the bolts are out the shaft just lifts out.
01/05. It's been a while since I was working on the car but today was a big day as I got the engine out. Luckily a mate, Michael, came round to help because I would never have got it out on my own. We had to hoist it a bit using straps and then turn it on it's side to get it to come out. It was tight no matter which way we moved it and took us over 3 hours to get it into a position we were happy with. The first photo is the angle we ended up getting it out at.
Empty engine bay. It's going to take some cleaning and painting.
Engine now on the cradle it will rest on until it's ready to go back in.
15/05. I'll be tinkering at the cleaning parts of the engine while I'm doing other stuff but started with one of the timing belt covers to see how well they can be polished up. Looks like they will come up great.
15/06. Got a little time to work on the engine today so I took the starter off to get it sorted.
Starter off and cleaned to be painted.
And painted with wiring from it cleaned up to.
22/06. Started on the plenum. It had been looking a bit worn so all the paint was taken off it first.
Although my plenum probably should be crackle finish it never looked as though it really was so I thought I'd try stuff I found called stone finish. It's very easy to spray on and can be painted over meaning I can get the correct black finish.
Once the stone finish dried, it takes up to 6 hours, I sprayed the area with satin black paint. I have to say it has came out very close to what the original finish was on the plenum.
The next 4 photo's are more for my benefit so I remember were everything goes. Plenum removed.
Around the water pump area.
oil filter side.
Cold start side.
23/07. Had a little bit of time this morning so I got started on the cam covers. I've decided to paint them red. I know it's not original but I always thought all Ferrari cam covers should have been red. It will brighten up the engine bay to. So took them off first.
And cleaned any oily residue off for priming.
3 coats of good strong primer. And now they are ready for painting.
And finally painted. They look a bit bright in the photo which was thanks to the flash on the camera.
31/12/09. End of year thoughts. Not much has happened. The engine is still waiting on the the car to be painted and cleaned for going back in the car. I still hope to have the car on the road by summer. But I may be parting with it if a plan I'm working on comes together. We'll see.
11/04/11. Is this how long the car has been sitting! Even I'm shocked at how much time has passed and I haven't done anything. I started to strip everything off tonight as I'm going to concentrate on getting the car done. I'm going to completely repaint the car, service the engine while its out, clean it and freshen the engine bay. It should look better than ever once done.
12/05. I've been doing a lot of thinking and have an offer of another project so its with a lot of regret I've decided to sell the car once its finished. I didn't come to this decision easily. I sat down last night and went through all the bills and counted them up. The UK total came to £47,548.14 and the US bills totalled $9878.43.
Unfortunately I only have history back to 11/05/1986 but the mileage is only 609 miles so I'm wondering if the car was just never driven considering who owned it first.
He's in the service book to.
Some of you from America might recognise that name, he was the guy who owned the San Francisco 49ers in 1980. He bought the car new that year. I even have the log book from the next owner in the US.
And since I'm logging things so any potential new owner can see nothings hidden, I have the original books
All the UK mot's are there to verify the mileage...
And I even keep all the tax discs to. Basically I keep every scrap of history I can find on the car.
17/05. Things have been moving on nicely. I have everything stripped off that needs to come off including doors...
And have started masking the car off in preperation for starting to the body.
10/11. Went over the car with a light coat of primer. This will be flattened back and will highlight any imperfections.
05/04/15. After the first dust coat I had to stop as I had other things to attend to. I have been working on the car when the chance arose and at the weekend got the car primed ready for paint.
And all the paint bought ready to mix.
23/05. Car now painted, well the main body. I still have the doors and engine lid to do.
Next was to flatten and polish the paint. The next few photos give an idea of how the finish is. Its almost to a glass finish.
27/06. With the body painted I started to clean up the front end.
08/10. All the body panels have now been painted.
and now all fitted to the car. Once its all back together it will get another polish.
25/01/2017. Ok I'm getting back up to date. I was away from the car for most of the year due to illness so unfortunately the timeline has gone a little out. We left off with the car painted.
Next thing was to fit a couple of bits back on.
And I bought a new header tank. The old one had a hole in it so I wasn't for taking any chances.
Next job was to remove the engine. I wanted to service it so a new owner will have nothing to do and it was to give me a perfect chance to clean the engine and engine bay. It's great to have a Daughter who knows what she's doing.
In no time at all we had the engine out.
As you can see we were taking no chances of getting the paint damaged.
Clutch change first.
Full clutch kit, timing belts and tensioner bearings.
New clutch kit fitted.
All the while the engine was cleaned and the engine bay. I can't find the photo of the engine cleaned
Cleaning up the belt covers.
Exhaust system checked over, cleaned and painted with high temp exhaust paint.
Next came the interior. It was to well patina'd (I know that's not a real word) for my liking and was letting the car down so thanks to skills I learnt from my Granda years ago I got stuck in to sort the seats.
Drivers seat first. All cleaned so I could see properly what repair was needed.
I had sent away for a repair kit which turned out to be excellent, well it better have at the price it was.
Drivers seat "repair" finished, it had to be finally sealed and fed to complete.
Passenger seat had somehow got a hole in it.
The kit came to the rescue again.
Passenger seat fully finished. What a difference. Thank you Granda and the Classic Leather repair Company.
Seats done I moved on to the ashtray.
Oh and while I was sorting things I found the original cover for the roof panel when its not in use. Apparently it's rare now.