RM Sotheby’s Monterey Sale Preview
1976 Ferrari 308 GTB “Vetroresina”

Knotty Nawadhinsukh Words by Knotty Nawadhinsukh
“And This One He Made Later…”—Much of Fioravanti’s earlier works of the Daytona, the Dino and the Berlinetta Boxer influenced the 308’s styling (particularly the pointy front and side ducts)

Introduced at the 1975 Paris Motor Show, the Ferrari 308 GTB (B for Berlinetta) penned by Pininfarina’s design genius Leonardo Fioravanti was the “Belle of the Ball” at the show. Seen as a replacement of the 246 Dino, the 308 GTB now had the 3-Litre V8 and the mechanicals derived from the Bertone-designed 308 GT4 2+2.

3-Litre Ferrari V8 for U.S. market was wet sump and because of emission regulations has less horsepower than Euro-specs, but should make up for it for being 150 lbs. lighter than steel-bodied GTBs

But unlike the outgoing Dino and the GT4 as the so-called “entry-level” Ferrari, there was the initial intention that the new 308 GTB series was to be constructed using the Seventies’ version of modern technology of fiberglass or exotically in Italian, “vetroresina”. The idea was to make the 308 GTB models lighter but at the same time more rigid than the previous use of alloy as a way to improve the power-to-weight ratio.

Bigger bumper and smaller front spoiler than European version also required to be legal Stateside

However, the story goes that the early process of mass-producing glass-reinforced plastics in Italy at the time proved more problematic than anticipated for car-making (and another story that Ferrari may have upset a few Italian steel workers by choosing fancy materials like “vetroresina” to build the car!). In any case it was decided by mid-1977, that in the interest of easing production and meeting the ever-growing global demand for the 308 GTBs, the GTSs and the later versions, steel bodies were the way to go.

Fly Yellow paint and saddle interior still original, this Berlinetta is Classiche-certified

Therefore of the total production figure published of just under three-thousand of the first series of carbureted 308 GTBs recorded, only 712 of them were made of fiberglass. One of which is this original  Giallo-Fly example here and will be part of the RM Sotheby’s Monterey Sale this coming 24th to 25th of August at the Monterey Conference Center.

All important original documents including tool kit and jack are included in the sale

This is one of a handful of early U.S. delivered “vetroresina” cars with a relatively low mileage. It is Ferrari Classiche certified and currently resides in California. Given such a condition and the “unintentional” rarity value uniquely associated with this model prized by a number of Ferrari collectors, the auction result could be very interesting indeed.

(Estimate: US$180,000 – $220,000)

A little over 14,000 miles on the clock—not bad for 40-plus year old car

All Photos Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s