The Corpus Christi Old Car Museum Auction

Lot 134
1979 Ferrari 308 GT4

Selling on Saturday

1979 Ferrari 308 GT4


• Documented by experts as the last U.S. example built
• Original U.S. market GT4 with A/C, sunroof, Alpine audio
• Long-term ownership; service records included since 1981
• Complete with original manuals, jack, tool roll, car cover
• Excellent avenue into the elite world of Ferrari ownership
• Ferrari’s inaugural V-8 powered GT road car

2,927 CC mid-mounted Tipo F106AL DOHC V-8 engine, four twin-choke Weber carburetors, 230 BHP at 7,700 RPM, five-speed manual gearbox in rear transaxle, four-wheel independent suspension with double wishbones, coil springs, and anti-roll bars, four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes; wheelbase: 100.40”

As Ferrari’s all-new successor to its Dino-badged 246 GT and GTS, the 308 GT4 represented a total re-think at Maranello to satisfy its hungry global markets. Debuted at the Paris Salon in October 1973, the 308 GT4 was the first Ferrari road model to be powered by a V-8 engine, the design of which was rooted in the development work performed for the 1964 Ferrari 158 Formula 1 car. Styling of the chiselled, Scaglietti-built 2+2 body of the 308 GT4 was fresh and bold, the work of Marcello Gandini for Bertone. It also marked the first new production GT car from Ferrari that was not designed by Pininfarina since 1953.

Topped by four twin-choke Weber carburetors, the new Ferrari’s DOHC 3.0-litre V-8 engine delivered 255 BHP in Europe and 230 BHP in emissions-compliant tune for the United States. While relatively overlooked by Ferrari collectors until recently, the original 308 GT4 exerted an influence over Ferrari’s future road-car designs far greater than its production numbers (2,826 in all through 1980) would suggest. In fact, the 308 GT4 predicted Ferrari’s subsequent V-8 road cars for the next two decades, firstly the Mondial 8 in 1980. The 308 GT4 also garnered the praise of the motoring press when new and throughout its run, with Road & Track magazine’s November 1979 road-test report declaring it a “…driver’s car in every sense of the word.” With a performance envelope including 0-60 MPH acceleration in 7.8 seconds, a 16-second quarter-mile time, and top speed approaching 140 MPH, this Ferrari’s credentials were solid.

Numbered 15448, this Ferrari 308 GT4 was completed at the Ferrari factory in December 1979 and by chassis number, it was the last example of the 308 GT4 sent to the United States. It is documented in the Ferrari Market Letter (9 August 1980 – Vol. 5 No. 16) as one of the last two examples produced for the United States – 15438 for the East Coast and 15448 for the West Coast. This example, 15448, was purchased new at Ferrari of Santa Monica on September 15, 1980 by Charles Breen, who retained the car until 1999 and had it maintained by authorized Ferrari mechanics. Finished in Rosso Chiaro (China Red) over black Connolly leather upholstery, 15448 was also factory-equipped with Borletti air-conditioning, a sunroof and Alpine audio system. As offered, 15448 has just 19,365 indicated miles of use at the time of cataloguing. In August 2013, it was shown at Concorso Italiano at Quail Lodge in California, where it received third in class honors in testament to its quality and end-of-production status.

A prime example of the Bertone-designed-and-built 308 GT4, 15448 clearly benefits from the care and storage it has enjoyed within the Corpus Christi Old Car Museum Collection. In addition to a dossier of service records dating to 1981, this outstanding Ferrari 308 GT4 includes the factory-issued books and manuals inside their proper document folio, a car cover inside its storage bag, the roadside jack within a correct storage pouch, and tools inside their correct roll. Certainly, one of the finest of its kind, 15448 is not only an outstanding example of the 308 GT4, it also provides an excellent and enjoyable entry into the elite world of Ferrari ownership.

Meet Our Sales Team