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Lot '53: Ferrari Dino 308 GT4

Classic & Vintage Cars & Motorcycles, Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers (23 June 2010)

Introduced at the Paris Motor Show in November 1973, the 308 GT4 Dino broke new ground for Ferrari in several ways. The first production Ferrari to feature the mid-engined V8 layout that would become the mainstay of the range in succeeding decades, it was also the first production Ferrari to feature Bertone (rather than Pininfarina) bodywork, the young Marcello Gandini doing the actual design.

The angular 2+2 styling got mixed reactions at the time, with some journalists saying it owed more to the Bertone-designed Lancia Stratos and Lamborghini Urraco than to a traditional Ferrari, but it is now widely considered to be a classic in its own right. Badged as a Dino to begin with, it finally got the famous Prancing Horse badge in 1976.

The chassis was based on the Dino 246 but slightly stretched to make room for a second row of seats. Power came from a 3-litre V8 integrally joined with the gearbox and featuring a dual overhead camshaft with quad Weber 40 DCNF carburettors to produce a healthy 250bhp. Performance was suitably brisk with 60 coming up in 6.4 seconds on the way to a top speed of 155mph. With a low centre of gravity, a stiff frame and double wishbone suspension all round, the handling was well up to the job and was widely praised. Just 2,826 GT4s were made before it gave way to the Mondial 8 in 1980.

First registered in January 1978, this particular car has had just four owners from new, the current vendor having owned it since 1985. A design engineer and national motorcycle racing champion, he has always maintained it himself to the highest standards and the two owners before him were also well known engineers: Geoff Richardson, the Grand Prix racing driver and winner of the King's Cup air race, and Trevor Wilkinson, the race engine builder.

The car has only covered 29,000 miles from new and has done no more than 7,000 miles in the current 26 year ownership. It is said to be totally original and unmolested throughout with no welding, painting or other restoration, with a lovely original interior. Ziebarted from new, it has also been regularly waxoiled. Said to run and drive beautifully and just issued with a fresh MOT, it must surely be one of the most original examples left.

Prices for this once-unloved Ferrari have risen strongly in recent years and this one looks very tempting at the guide price suggested today.

Lot Details
Auction Classic & Vintage Cars & Motorcycles
Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers, Leominster, Herefordshire
TypeCar
Lot Number'53
Estimate£10000-£13000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£10100
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1978
Condition rating0
Registration numberAUE 158S
Mileage-
Chassis number13882
Engine number13882
Engine capacity (cc)2926
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors