The V8 powered, Pininfarina-styled Ferrari 308 had been on the market for five years when the 308 GTSi was introduced in 1980. Offered in both coupe (GTB) and Spyder versions (GTSi), the big difference between the "i" and its earlier Weber-carbureted brethren was the switch to Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection. Though the new injected motors provided better driveability than a smog legal "carb car" with its add-on air-pump and maze of emissions tubing, the GTSi's performance was off by a full second in 1/4 mile time. This, combined with the switch from 14" Michelin XWX to 390mm Michelin TRX tires made the new car drive, sound and perform differently than its predecessor. For some, the injected car marked the beginning of the end of the true Ferrari feel, with its raucous intake manifold sounds, peaky engine performance (and plug-fouling idle, which fanatics always seem to forget). The 308 GTSi was not without problems. The paint, by Glidden) was short-lived, in particular the metallics, so a GTSi that has been properly repainted may be preferable to one with its original paint. The Michelin TRX tires used a metric-sized rim limiting the choice to one brand/type of tire; many have been changed to either the 14" wheels from an earlier carbureted car or 16" wheels from a newer QV (four-valve) 308. Most importantly, a batch of the 1980-81 cars suffered from incredible oil consumption. A few of the oil burners were given new engines under warranty, and nearly all have been updated by now, but their reputation persists. As with all Pininfarina-bodied 308's watch for rust in the door skins, dried-out interiors, weak second gear synchros and finally (and most important) service history indicating the last timing belt replacement, water pump and belt tensioner replacement. Poor or non-existent service can make your bargain classic 308 GTSi into a very expensive proposition. However, if bought right, around $25,000, a good, well-maintained GTSi can provide all of the sights and sounds of later V8 powered Ferraris at a fraction of their price.

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