Featured: Pragmatic Ferrari Search Lasts Minutes

Pragmatic Ferrari Search Lasts Minutes

Petrolicious Productions By Petrolicious Productions
June 27, 2014

Story and Photography by Tim Scott

It all started in the ’70s. My passion for cars as a kid was absolute and completely undiscerning. I was as intoxicated by a Matra Simca Bagheera as I was a Fiat X1/9. School holidays or family trips abroad were spent bothering new-car salesmen for brochures, and even yielded the occasional jackpot with an invitation to sit inside. A random love of all things automotive, clearly, but eventually one marque emerged standing head and shoulders above the rest. Ne plus ultra. Ferrari.

Those were the days before Ferrari memorabilia stores in airports, long before Ferrari branded shoes and golf clubs. Ferrari was special, exotic and, most importantly, exclusive. This passion shone undimmed into my adult life, and, having taken care of such inconvenient responsibilities as mortgages, started to coalesce into a very real plan for ownership.

A V12 was out–by 2010, when I was ready to buy, prices for the V12s had already gone stratospheric, and although my passion was absolute, it wasn’t quite so absolute that I’d consider a 400i. The decision was easy, dictated not just by budget, but by a genuine veneration for the model–the 308. Introduced in 1975, its sweeping curves and aggressive lines were, and are, some of Ferrari’s great shapes. Mated to a lusty, 255 bhp transversely mounted engine, it was all business.

My search began, and was underscored by a need to curb my boyish enthusiasms and trade them for a methodical, pragmatic approach. This lasted perhaps twenty minutes, at which point I spotted an advert by respected Ferrari dealer Mr. Nick Cartwright in Derbyshire, England. I made the call, jumped in the car, drove up the M1, and bought it. So much for pragmatic and methodical.

The object of my desires was a 1985 308 GTB QV, in Argento with Bordeaux leather and Rosso fabric inserts. It had traveled 27,500 miles, and was immaculate in every way. My knees went weak the moment I saw it. A week later, it rolled out of a transporter and into my life. A passionate four year affair started that was notable for its endless thrills and complete lack of drama. There was never a moment when I laid eyes on it that my heart didn’t quicken, and a tremor of excitement ran through me. I got it into the studio as soon as I could, eager to capture the lines and do it as much justice as I could.

I hope the shots convey something of its sublime beauty. One thing’s for sure–there isn’t a bad angle. I’m sure there are those who think that 255 bhp in a Ferrari is not exactly plentiful. But I was pleased as punch with mine, and when it’s clothed in a shape as good as this, power–or lack thereof–is besides the point. Add to the mix a barking, urgent exhaust note, and the click-clack of a classic open-gate Ferrari gearbox, and the 308 is elevated to one of the very best mid-engined Ferraris of all time.

My beloved 308 has gone now, replaced by a 1965 S2 Elan that is crossing the Atlantic as I type this. It’s not as pretty, and will supply a very different set of thrills. I’m not even sure why I’ve made the change, but I’m absolutely certain of one thing–the 308 won’t be my last Ferrari.

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David ToddJim LevittJohnAnthony Moodychris nesly Recent comment authors
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David Todd
David Todd

I also have a 308QV, in the usual resale Red. And it is utterly sublime to both look at and drive. Just a point though, only the original carb models had 255bhp, the fuel injected Q.V. has to make do with just 240bhp.

Jim Levitt
Jim Levitt

I had a 1987 4 valve Spyder I bought from my neighbor when it was a year old with 8K miles in 1988.. I had two near perfect years with her, did the 15K miles service and then I was offered stupid money and I had to sell her in 1990.
(Still netted $25K!)


A QV GTB, very well done! Beautiful car. I looked a lot longer and didn’t end up with as nice a car but bought mine sight unseen on eBay by sort of sniping the bid at the last minutes. Had it for quite a few years and ended up selling it on.

Cool story, thanks for sharing!!

Anthony P Moody
Anthony P Moody

Should Tim ever decide that being a world class professional photograph is no longer his choice, he will achieve equal merit and fame as a writer – beautifully written prose, delivered with an appropriate soupçon of personality.

Christijan Cuisinier Nesly

It seems the rear spoiler of 328 GTB is added !


Later 308’s had the rear deck spoiler but it’s usually black.


Lake Forest Sports Cars has a beautiful 18k mile QV that was mildly and thoughtfully turbocharged (with all the original parts to bring back to stock). It adds the 100hp the car should have had from the factory. Check it out.