Jay Leno tells this 1984 Ferrari 308 GTB's amazing story
Jay Leno meets the man who fell in love with a Ferrari 308 GTB back in 1984 – when he couldn't afford it – only to be reunited with the vehicle when restoring Ferraris some 35 years later
Calling any Ferrari ‘affordable’ shows the wealth of a man, but we can let Jay Leno get away with it – especially when it’s a 1984 Ferrari 308 GTB he’s talking about. Once the foray of those who wanted to be Tom Selleck, what Leno showcases in his latest video is a story greater than any Magnum, P.I. plot device.
Jay talks with Donnie Callaway, the man so affected by Ferraris that he dedicated his life to them. Callaway’s father used to race Ferraris, so his childhood wa filled with infectious stories surrounding the Italian marque.
More Ferrari 308 greatness!
- Dream or nightmare? Subaru-powered Ferrari 308 GT4
- How to buy the perfect Ferrari 308
- Ferrari 308s for sale on AutoClassics!
‘Growing up in Los Angeles, back then they were everywhere. A little more than now, I think. You just get addicted. You’re hooked. The smell, you touch them and they’re soft. They’re amazing,' Donnie told Leno.
Infatuated at a very early age, Donnie pursued a career as a Ferrari mechanic. He begged the local establishments, but they informed him that he was going about everything the wrong way. Told to try the local dealership first as a form of initiation – Hollwood Sportscars – Donnie begged for a job and was taken on a delivery driver aged only 21.
Except, this was a delivery job with a difference. There was no van and no boxes to carry; Donnie was personally delivering factory-fresh Ferraris to new owners. Celebrities, actors, politicians, Callaway got to hang out with society’s elite. It was therefore only a matter of time before he wanted one for himself.
Hollwood Sportscars eventually took delivery of a brand-new Ferrari 308 GTB in White. Donnie fell in love, yet fate had other ideas. Unwilling to allow Callaway to pay in instalments, he simply couldn’t afford the Ferrari outright on his wages. Despite his pleading, the car was sold.
‘Fast forward a bunch of years, I’m restoring Ferraris and it’s my hobby that affords a very nice lifestyle. It’s my passion and I go crazy about my restorations. I have a little bit of money saved so I reach out to my parts guy who dismantles these [Ferrari 308s] and I ask if there is anything available’.
As it turned out, Donnie’s supplier had a 308 GTB poised for chopping. Donnie couldn’t see it go to waste. ‘There’s just one problem’ he was told. ‘It’s white’.
To understand the animosity around white Ferrari 308s, you need to turn back the clock and remember that Magnum P.I.’s Ferrari was red. And to those with money, only a red Ferrari would do. For Donnie, however, having fallen in love with a white example back in 1984, he had to have it. Then, upon seeing the vehicle, he realised the Ferrari was the very one he longed for originally. Thus started the restoration of Donnie’s dream car…
Classic Cars for Sale
Delivered new by Ferrari Import Kroymans, Hilversum, the Netherlands, 31 October 1979. Matching colors, matching numbers. All important papers, books and invoices included with the car. In total only 502 400’s were produced from 1976 to 1979. This 400 GT/A is one of the more interesting and fast 2+2 GT’s you can buy, especially for this money. It’s enlarged V12 4,8 liter 340 bhp
2006 Ferrari F430 Spider F1Grigio Silverstone over Nero Daytona seats with grey inserts. Carbon fiber inserts. Only 15k miles. New top. New Michelin tires. 90% clutch remaining. Lowered (factory shocks). Serviced. Scuderia Shields. OEM Exhaust. Tool kit. Tire inflator kit. Owner's manual set. Both keys & key code cards. Service Records.Thank you for viewing our 2006 used Ferrari F430 Spider fo
Guide price: £90000 - £105000. Delivered new to Venezuela in 1997 for use in the Ferrari Challenge SeriesOfficially certified as one of the 108 cars produced by the factory for track useSourced by our vendor from the United States in 2008 for use in the Ferrari Owners Club GB SeriesExtensive works included a BTB race exhaust system, carbon fibre panels and interior, and a full engine rebuildTh