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Hagerty Employee

$25K black-sheep Ferrari project car: Interesting or insufferable? | Hagerty Media

"I am always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught." Winston Churchill's words are ringing especially true in my ears, because I'm using them to justify the $25,000 I just spent on a long-dormant Ferrari. Some people read books to learn. I get my hands dirty.

Hello Larry:

I think it's a great idea to buy any sort of project you like and get out there and git er done! Now, I will courteously, and respectfully disagree with you on that Dino being a Ferrari. That's a Fiat Dino. Calling that a Ferrari is like calling a 924 a Porsche. 🙂
That said; you're in it cheap and you've got all kinds of fun ahead of you during the re-build. I wish you well!
New Driver

As wonderful as the Porsche 924 is, it does indeed suffer from having an Audi sourced motor..
Hagerty Employee

Yeah, that's a solid point. That, however, begs the question: Where does an automobile's DNA live? Is a Lotus Elise a Lotus even though it has a Toyota motor??
Advanced Driver

A Toyota motor in a Lotus sounds like a dream come true! Imagine a turbo supra drivetrain in a Lotus Esprit!
Hagerty Employee

Thank you. I'm in the camp that the Dino is a Ferrari. Of course opinions vary, but the Dino V-8 and the basic frame survived in the 308 made famous on TV. That car is, of course, badged a Ferrari.
Intermediate Driver

With all due respect, Ferraris don't seem to be Swamibob's forte. The Fiat Dino was a whole 'nother Fiat-badged vehicle. There was a coupe and convertible version made with 2-liter and 2.4-liter engines. The convertibles are worth, on average, around $100k these days... some Fiat, eh? Even the coupes are worth about half that.

You could call this early car a Dino 308 GT4, sans Ferrari moniker, and you'd be correct. Ferrari ultimately brought the Dino line into the Ferrari fold by the end of the GT4's run.

People used to tell my father the Dino 246 GTS he bought for $30k in the '80s wasn't a real Ferrari. He didn't mind, we'd always refer to it as a Dino anyway. Of course, today he could trade his Dino straight across for multiple "real" Ferraris.

The answer lies not in people's emotions, but in the VIN. Does the car have a Ferrari or Fiat manufacturer VIN? If it has a Ferrari VIN, it doesn't matter that the Dino used to be Fiat. If it has a Fiat VIN, it doesn't matter that it eventually became a Ferrari.
Pit Crew

Dino was the marque not the model and was reflected in the badge.

What badge did the 924 have sold new? All the ones that I have seen have Porsche badges just the 914 which some people refer to as a VW.

I call all mid-engine six and eight cylinder Ferraris Dinos. No disrespect meant.

The same people that quibble over this stuff are the same "Porschephiles" that complain about the 996 and 986 sharing headlights. I guess they have never heard of the 912.
New Driver

I don't care, that thing is cool! I dig a lot of the oddball Ferraris. OTOH, It'd be a lot cooler with some real horsepower. Where's my Sawzall? Imagine rolling up to C&C with an LS3 barking out of that baby. Mmmmmyeah.

I'd like to see how this project progresses. I suspect that there will be a lot of stories before this car is done.

A few years back I bought a Bentley for roughly the same reasons, and had some interesting lessons in British/German car engineering.
New Driver

Hello Larry
Congrats on starting this project. Very cool car. I would guess that most of the armchair purists out there have never even sat in a cool car like this. It is way too easy to be a critic in this digital world.
Doug McDougall
Intermediate Driver

I have been a "promiscuous" car owner since I started driving 15 years ago. So far I've owned 13 cars including three 1997-98 Lincoln Mark VIIIs, a 77 Ford F-150 ranger, 88 Ford Bronco, 1980 Fiat Spider 2000, 1971 Olds Cutlass, 2019 Hyundai Sonata turbo (my wife's but a truly awesome ride anyway), 04 Silverado, 88 Jeep Grand Wagoneer, 91 Jeep Cherokee Pioneer, 01 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder, and a 98 Expedition. I started with Ford products and learned my way around the toolbox with them but have since branched out to anything that looks like a good deal, can be at least hand cranked, and isn't consumed with rust. From my standards I'd say that was money well spent. Take the badges off the 308 and it could easily be any one of Bertone's more famous styling adventures from the 70s and 80s (Lamborghini Jalpa, Fiat X1/9, Alfa Montreal, so many more). I can't wait to hear about your adventure with it! Congrats!
Pit Crew

The styling of the 308 GT4 has really grown on me lately, especially when fitted with later 308/328 wheels like yours.
Good luck with it; I’d love to follow along with the progress!

New Driver

Larry, great looking Dino! Love the euro bumpers, and looks great in black.
Ferrari came out with the Dino 308 gt 4 2+2 to compete with the Porsche 911.
It has a longer wheel base than the regular 308, which makes a handling car.
I also have a 75' GT4 I got mine about 5 years ago. I'm a big fan of these cars. I believe they are a bargain now for about $50k. Mine is fully sorted and makes me smile every time I take it out for a drive on Mulholland. A lot of engineering has gone into this car. Niki Lauda tuned the suspension.

Intermediate Driver

First Ferrari I ever drove was a 308 GT4 (the day I passed my driving test actually!) and it was truly an eye-opening experience after having cut my teeth on big-block American muscle cars.
Once behind the wheel, your ears and seat of the pants will never be able to tell the difference between a 308 GT4 and 308 GTB/S.
As the author is surely aware, these Bertone beauties are starting to get the respect they deserve and prices are starting to creep up. Hope to see your project updates over on FChat.
New Driver

By those pictures, it looks like we are neighbors.
Hagerty Employee

That was the seller!
Intermediate Driver

Congrats! as the owner of another "black sheep" Ferrari, (1987 Mondial 3.2 Cab), I can empathize that others will tell you that your car isn't a "real" Ferrari. To hell with them. Asking what model Ferrari they have in their garage usually shuts them up.
A big advantage to the 308/328 V8 is how easy they really are to work on, and how rarely they actually need to be wrenched. Generally regarded as the most bullet proof engine Maranello ever drove out the door. Have fun, and take heart in the fact that both of our cars, like all gated shifter models, and going up in value little bits at a time.
New Driver

I want to hear more!
Coincidentally, I rode in an immaculate late 308gt4 over the weekend and fell in love. "Real" Ferrari or not, after 30 seconds of that exhaust tone, who would care?
Good luck and keep us up to date.