This beautiful original unrestored Ferrari 308 Dino GT4 2+2 has been sold to Belgium.
The Dino 308 GT4 made its public debut at the Paris Salon in October 1973 as a new 2+2 to supplement the Ferrari 246 Dino GT models that continued in production concurrently during 1974.
Aesthetically the newcomer was very different from its stalemate, the flowing, and voluptuous Pininfarina curves of the 246 replaced by a distinctive, sharp-edged wedge shape from the pen of Bertone.
No one really seems to know Ferrari's exact reasons for abandoning Pininfarina - the time honoured stylist for the products of Maranello - on this occasion.
One school of thought relates it to the existence at the Ferrari factory of a production line for the Bertons-designed Fiat Dino; another speculates that Pininfarina did not have the capacity to produce a design due to its workload at the time, while yet another theory suggests that Bertons involvement was instigated by the Fiat hierarchy.
Whatever the real reason, it was a Bertone-designed model that graced the Ferrari stand in Paris that autumn. Prior to this commission, Bertone had only produced three bodies for Ferrari - a show car for the 1950 Geneva Salon and two one-off specials in the early 1960s based on 250 GT chassis.
Initial reaction to the styling of the 308 GT4 was not particularly favourable, as it was so different from the much-loved 246 GT and had a relatively conservative flavour.
There were also echoes in the body details from other Bertone designs, the rear wing line being reminiscent of the Lancia Stratos and the overall profile akin to the Lamborghini Urraco.
This similarity was not so surprising, as Bertone was trying to meet very similar and exacting specification requirements with all three cars, but it nevertheless influenced reaction to the new Dino.
Despite criticism of the new models mundane appearance and lack of individuality, the Ferrari 308 GT4 was a cleverly executed solution to the problem of how to combine 2+2 seating with a mid-engined configuration in as 2550 mm wheelbase, which was only 210 mm more than that of the compact two-seater dino 246 gt.
The 308 GT4's transverse 3-litre engine was the first production Ferrari V8, although the company was no newcomer to this configuration on the competition front. The new engine/gearbox/differential arrangement was similar to that of the Dino 246 GT, being of unitary construction with the gearbox mounted under the engine.
The 90-degree V8 had belt driven twin overhead camshafts per bank, with four twin-choke Weber carburettors in the centre of the vee and exhausts on the outside. Compared with the Dino 246 GT, two extra cylinders and another half litre in capacity saw a considerable increase in power and torque, resulting in a rather more user-friendly overall package.
This was the first Ferrari to be made readily available to journalists; most previous full-scale road tests having been carried out with privately owned cars.
Once press people had the opportunity to drive the 308 GT4, and to sample its superior performance and driveability compared with the Dino 246 GT, together with its excellent handling and practicality, their initial scepticism abated and praise for the cars virtues was more forthcoming.
The body styling still did not receive particular acclaim, although, with hindsight, Bertone provided an elegant solution to a difficult set of design parameters. This achievement was more appreciated when the car's Pininfarina -designed successor, the Ferrari Mondial, was announced in 1980.
When the 308 GT4's design is examined closely, some pleasing details are noticed, such as the boomerang-shaped intakes on the rear quarter panels, the flat, tunnelled rear screen and the elegant simplicity of the instrument panel.
The 308 GT4 underwent various cosmetic changes during its six-year production period, but there were relatively few modifications under the engine cover. Essentially there are two generations of 308 GT4s, commonly referred to as Series 1 with a deep front grille and Series 2 with a full-width front grille.
Perhaps the most significant post-launch development, however, was the introduction of a 2-litres - tax break - 208 Dino GT4 2+2 for the Italian market, but this version was not offered for sale in any other country.
Early 308 GT4s were badged solely as Dinos, carrying no Ferrari insignia on the bodywork or in the interior. In 1975, however, the cars were re-identified as Ferraris due to flagging sales, particularly in the US, where this model was the only Ferrari-made product available - and yet it did not even wear a Ferrari badge!
Apart from the stylised chrome Dino 308 GT4 badge on the rear boot lid, the Dino identity disappeared hereafter. This change of strategy, however, did not lead to any alteration to the Dino chassis numbering system, the sequence continuing in its specific even-numbered series - created for the Dino 246 GT - right to the end of production, even when 308 GT4s were being built alongside Ferrari 308 models carrying chassis numbers in Ferraris odd-number sequence.
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