SSlowing down to this car makes me feel like Magnum PI (remember that 80s TV show, with Tom Selleck?), only without the looks or the Hawaiian shirt. I think I can get the shirt!
What we’ve got here is a later version of Magnum’s mid-engine two-seater (all those 308s), a1989 Ferrari 328 quattro valvole GTS (Spider). That alphabet soup indicates a removable roof, while a GTB (Berlinetta) is a hardtop.
These things have a long history, with the platform starting as the 308 in 1975 and continuing as the 328 until 1989. This is the era when the horse dominated the world of exotic sports cars and of course it had to. be painted red.
| Buyer’s Guide: Ferrari 308/328 1975-1989
It first appeared with a fiberglass body and dry sump engine. This body material caused a lot of controversy and Ferrari turned to more traditional construction by 1977. But, what is the classic market, that first model is what all collectors want and is now worth more than a steel car!
The 308 was powered by a 2.9lt V8 engine (originally 2927cc), which was fuel injected in 1981 and upsized to 3.2lt for the 328 series in 1985. They arrived in Australia in 1986 and then cost $140,000 – almost $20,000 more. A Porsche Carrera and the price of a substantial house in most capital cities at the moment.
Controversy aside, it was a popular car due to the relatively rare number of people who owned it. People loved his look and eight seasons as the star in a TV series certainly helped cement him into popular culture.
In an earlier life, I had a GT4, an unloved Ferrari (yes, there was such a thing!) It was a Bertone 2+2 with similar mechanicals to this car. I had it for about a year and used to take my twins to school in it and the hum of the engine lulled them to sleep. I loved the car and it was fantastic on the open road. At the time I lived in Tassie, where there are lots of open roads and you can enjoy a car like this.
Driving this car is a similar experience. It’s not entirely pleasant threading through traffic, but once we got it on the freeway it was really, really, good. Good stiff suspension, good damping – many cars of this age let this go, but this example did not.
I’m a fan of the gated gearshift, and the ratios are nice. This is a dogleg with really good placement. When you get it up a bit in the rev range, it feels great. You roll down the windows to hear it, so you get the full induction and exhaust noise. Who needs a stereo?!
This is the engine that really puts a smile on your face. It has been fitted with individual throttle bodies, but is otherwise stock. New, they claimed a healthy 198kW at 7000rpm.
I’ve raced half a dozen Ferrari models over time, and I’ve owned two or three and you can see the appeal in them. They are very Italian in some respects and the whole experience is a bit theatrical. The driving position is period-specific, short in the leg and long in the arm. My family were Fiat dealers at one stage and they were the same.
It’s a car that excites you and reminds you why we love driving.
The way I see them is that they are fun to drive and add value. Whether it’s this week, next year or the year after, they are now in a position where they will appreciate in the long term. This car is a good example – it last sold in 2010 for half its current price. Which is no reason to hide it under a dust sheet – they are designed to be driven and you should enjoy it!
It is next to the Heli Factory in Melbourne, Priced at $195,000.
1989 Ferrari 328 GTS
|engine||3.2lt Quad Cam V8|
|power||201kW @ 6600|
|Torque||313Nm @ 4600|
|Suspension||independent, double wishbones, coil springs, anti-roll bar, hydraulic dampers (f&r);|
|Brake||Power Assisted Vented Discs (f&r)|
|The weight||1463 kg|
|0-100 kmph||5.6 seconds|