This V12-Swapped Ferrari 308 Is The Ultimate One-Man Garage Build
Photography by Grassroots Motorsports user “mke”
Swapping engines is a daunting task, especially so if the metallic heart transplant in question is being carried out in one’s own garage. Even if set up with the most straightforward plug-and-play small-block V8 adapter kit and all the tools required to wedge some extra displacement below the hood, there’s still the issue of finding enough time to DIY or enough money to drop it off at “the shop.” Many swap projects ultimately end up in a state of limbo, engine bays barren and half-assembled cylinder heads still wrapped up in moving blankets long after the motivation withered.
The more complex examples of these mix-and-matches require an immense amount of perseverance and mechanical aptitude, or else a fat check to see them through to the running, driving end. This is an example of the former, and one of the most involved stories of home-brewed engineering we’ve ever come across.
It’s told in much greater detail over on the Grassroots Motorsports forum thread where the owner, a one “mke,” details the work he’s done over the course of the last decade and change (and we encourage anyone with some time on his or her hands or a hankering for some terrific procrastination fuel to read it in full right here), but here are the basics: engineer has a 1984 Ferrari 308 GTS QV and a V12 from a Ferrari 400i that was pulled from a junkyard, and wants to combine them. Engineer doesn’t mind putting a new motor in the car, but wants to retain the sincerity of the “Quattrovalvole” badge next to the license plate so sources a four-valve Testarossa head from the same junkyard to play Dr. Frankenstein with. Engineer proceeds to bore the motor out from 4.8 to 5.4 liters, machine his own camshafts, and embark on what can only be called a Homeric odyssey of metal work to harmonize it all.
The build is nearing completion and is purportedly going to make horsepower in the 900 range once it’s all buttoned up (mke mentions nitrous should he fall short of those figures, naturally), but regardless of the outcome’s exact degree of incredible, this is one of those adventures where the journey is at least as enjoyable as the destination. Hop over to the forum thread linked above to build it vicariously. Prepare to scrape your jaw off the floor and feel complete inadequacy and awe at the same time.