1978 Ferrari 308 Gets Turbo Treatment
Sports car features parts from at least seven different Ferrari engines.
For years, Ferrari V8s made their power the simple way. The naturally aspirated 308, 328, 348, 355, 360, 430, and 458 grew increasingly more potent. They were all motor. No superchargers. No turbos. The 288 GTO and F40 supercars are the most notable exceptions to that rule. While not quite as well known as those exotic machines, the 308 enhanced by ATS Racing that you see here is also an exceptional V8 Ferrari.
In the video above, The Smoking Tire‘s Matt Farah takes the blue brute around the Eagles Canyon Raceway in Decatur, Texas. The 1978 one-off features an engine originally intended for blasting down the Bonneville Salt Flats that comprises the parts from at least seven other Ferrari power plants and a single turbo. All of those alterations and a modified firing order mean this car’s engine doesn’t resemble what factory workers installed back in the late 1970s – not in the cosmetic sense or the sonic sense of the statement. Whereas the original car made 189 horsepower at the rear wheels, this weapons-grade wedge generates 572 rear-wheel horsepower.
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That number is hard to hate, but Farah finds the enhanced 308 to be difficult in corners because its steering weight seems to change depending on which direction he turns. On the plus side, the turbo V8 delivers its massive power in a linear, predictable fashion and is more often than not on boost. Even after short shifting, Farah’s able to hit 125 mph down a straightaway. Flat out, the 308 allows Farah to shift the dog-leg manual gearbox at a stratospheric 8,500 rpm.
The more Farah drives ATS Racing’s thoroughly reworked Ferrari 308, the more he loves it. It may not make its power the simple way it once did, but it earns Farah’s affection in an old-fashion way: by putting a smile on his face.