Classics for sale: Ferrari's forgotten WRC car

A Ferrari that went rallying? Your eyes don't deceive you. This is the Ferrari 308 GTB – Italy's overlooked rally hero...

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There was a time in Ferrari’s history when the prancing horse went rallying. Yes, rallying. In the 1970s, the FIA had a rulebook called ‘Group 4’, which was used in GT racing, touring cars and rallying at various points between 1966 and ‘81. The branch out into the forests wasn’t a factory-led project though, as Maranello had committed all its motorsport resources to Formula 1. Michelotto, a trusted Ferrari dealer, was handed development responsibilities of the 308 GTB, which went on to finish on the podium in the World Rally Championship.

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This model in our classifieds, chassis #32419 of the Pininfarina-designed cars, is one of the 14 examples that Ferrari originally manufactured with dry sump lubrication and Weber carburettors, rather than leaving the eligibility part to Michelotto.

In 2015 the car underwent a nut & bolt restoration with Ferrari specialist JMR Motorsport, which brought it back to period Group 4 specification. The main parts of the restoration were a reinforced chassis, new doors, bonnet and engine cover, lightened bumpers and windows, a larger radiator, new AP racing brakes and a hydraulic handbrake for tackling hairpins.

The car weighs in at under 1,100 kg, making it 200kg lighter than a standard GTB and with an increased 297bhp available from the 3.0-litre V8 engine, a recently installed original bought from a Ferrari concessionaire. Other changes to aid its performance on the stages include overhauls of the oil and water pumps, new plug leads and more powerful coils in the ignition system, and a hydraulic ceramic clutch.

Since the restoration, the car has been entered in a few events, finishing second at the Rally 2000 Virages and winning the Alp la Masella hillclimb, and was auctioned in Paris in February of last year. Being a Group 4 car means it’s also well suited to the race tracks, and has been used on occasion for track days in Spain. It’s eligible for several modern and classic rallies, and the sale comes with an extensive history of the car including invoices, receipts and other documentation.

At £224,990 ($294211) it’s certainly not a cheap classic, but in arguably the best condition it’s ever been in, and for a Ferrari with motorsport heritage that has trophies to boot, you can’t come much better than this without breaking the bank.

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