Ferrari's line of highly successful V8-engined road cars began when the 308 GT4 of 1973 took over from the preceding 246 Dino V6. The newcomer's wedged-shaped styling, by Bertone, was not universally well received, but the performance of the 3-liter V8 certainly was. A new two-seater car using the same power unit, the 308 GTB, debuted at the Paris Salon in 1975. Built on a shorter wheelbase, the stunningly beautiful GTB marked a welcome return to Pininfarina styling.
The 308 was superseded by the mechanically similar but larger-engined 328 in 1986. By increasing both bore and stroke, the engine's capacity was raised to 3186 cc, which, together with a higher compression ratio, lifted maximum power to 270 horsepower at 7,000 rpm.
Top speed was raised to 160 miles per hour with 0 to 60 mph covered in 5.5 seconds. The elegant simplicity of Pininfarina's original 308 had been updated by the addition of molded bumpers and an unobtrusive roof spoiler. Motor magazine observed: "In our book, this is still the most beautiful of all contemporary exotics-a gorgeous looking car."
Possibly the lowest mileage 328 in the world, and one of the last built, the exceptional "time warp" example shown here has covered a mere 87 miles from new. Finished in Rosso Corsa with beige leather, the car comes with the original certificate of origin. FAF Motorcars, Inc., of Tucker, Georgia, supplied the car new to the current owner and it has never been registered. Both factory tool kits are in place and the unused owners' manuals are in their wallet. The overall appearance is as if the car were delivered just days ago. The 87 miles covered over the past 13 years have only been accumulated through routine start ups, done to avoid any ill effects from prolonged inactivity.
|1989 Ferrari 328 GTS
|Original List Price:
|Tune Up Cost:
|$387.09 two required
|Chassis Number Location:
|On plate on top of steering column, in driver’s door jamb and on top right frame rail next to engine in engine compartment
|Engine Number Location:
|On top of block, passenger side
|Ferrari Owner's Club, 8642 Cleta St., Downey, CA 90241; Ferrari Club of America, PO Box 720597, Atlanta, GA 30358
|Dodge Viper GTS, Ferrari Testarossa, Porsche 996
This car sold for $59,455, including buyer’s premium, at the Bonhams Geneva sale, held March 11, 2002.
I was sales manager at FAF Motorcars in 1989, a wild time to be in the Ferrari business. Virtually any Ferrari was hot property and the 328 was no exception. There was a waiting list for new cars and people were buying used 328s for more than the list price of a new one. Many Ferrari dealerships were selling new cars at MSRP knowing that buyers were immediately reselling for a profit.
To help combat this rampant speculation, FAF didn’t generally sell cars to people we didn’t know well, and we tried to avoid selling any cars for export. However, a check of old records revealed that this car had been sold, by regular SCM contributor and FAF co-owner, John Apen, to a Swiss national with a textile business who also had a home in the Carolinas, thus getting around our export concerns.
We never saw the buyer again so he probably returned to Switzerland with the car, and left it in storage for years.
In my opinion the 328 is the best built, most reliable Ferrari ever. Period. It is the product of a dozen years of 308 experience. It was solidly constructed, with a steel body welded to an oval tube frame. It featured simple Bosch fuel injection, a go/no-go electronic ignition system and an engine you serviced without removing from the car.
Most important, it was the last Ferrari that could be repaired by a good import shop. The following generation of V8 Ferraris evolved into temples to high-tech gadgetry. When something goes wrong with one of these technological marvels, you have to truck your car to an authorized Ferrari dealer-they’re the only place that has the computer necessary to fix your car.
Cars don’t like prolonged storage. Rubber seals become hard, shock absorbers seize, brake calipers start to stick and tires get flat spots. On the other hand, it only takes a minimum amount of attention to keep things from going bad. If this car was started and moved as little as once a year, it may be fine.
Assuming there were no storage-related surprises (and perhaps pigs can fly as well), this car was very well bought. 1989 was the last year for the 328s and they’ve become the darling of 308/328 collectors. Examples with less than 10,000 miles will sell for over $60,000. 328s with fewer miles can approach $70,000. A Ferrari dealer recently paid $63,000 for a 1,000-mile example and still had to pay shipping and a broker’s commission before he could bring it home. And he expects to be able to resell for a profit.
Here, the new owner’s biggest problem may be figuring out what to do with his new toy. Does he keep it as the lowest mile example in existence or drive it?
If he chooses the latter course of action, common sense dictates a complete $3,000 service before heading out onto the highway. If he does that, and then demonstrates the car’s solid condition by driving it for a few hundred miles, he may actually increase its value. Furthermore, he could probably enjoy his time-warp car to the tune of 9,000 miles (three years at the standard collector car usage rate of 3,000 miles per year), and then sell the car for what he paid for it, or more.-Steve Ahlgrim