Ferrari's line of highly successful V8-engined road cars began with the 308GT4 of 1973. Originally badged as a Dino, the all-new 308GT4 2+2 took over from the preceding Dino V6.
The newcomers wedge-shaped styling - by Bertone rather than the customary Pininfarina - was not universally well received, but the performance of the amidships-mounted double-overhead-camshaft 3-litre V8 certainly was, and a new two-seater car using a dry-sumped version of the same power unit debuted at the Paris Salon in 1975.
Built on a shorter wheelbase, the stunningly beautiful 308GTB marked a welcome return to Pininfarina styling. Subsequently updated with four-valves per cylinder, the 308 was superseded by the mechanically similar but larger engined Ferrari 328GTB in 1985. By increasing both bore and stroke, the quattrovalvole engines capacity was raised to 3,186cc which, together with a higher compression ratio, revised pistons and improved Marelli engine management system, lifted maximum power to 270bhp at 7,000rpm.
Top speed was raised to within a whisker of 160mph with the sprint to 60mph covered in 5.5 seconds. On the outside, the addition of Testarossa-style moulded bumpers, a deeper rear valance and an unobtrusive roof spoiler could not disguise its underlying beauty.