Purchasing a used Ferrari 308 is a big decision and one of the key factors to look at when determining value is the history of the Ferrari services and here is why. First, maintenance is so important and it is not just the maintenance itself that is important, but who does the maintenance can be just as important. For example, if you are looking at a carbureted Ferrari, you are looking at a very, very unique car that requires a technician with a unique skill to be able to work on a carbureted 308. And, since these cars are becoming rarer, it is becoming that much more difficult to find technicians with the experience and ability to service them.
Another very important item to understand when reviewing the 308 is to be sure you understand the difference between a timing belt service and a major service, and knowing exactly what Ferrari services were done to that particular car. What we see happen a lot is service centers performing timing belt services and calling them major services, and there is a big difference between these two, especially cost-wise. Therefore, it is critical when you are reading the service records to look at every single line item and make sure everything that should have been done for a major has been done and that there is not any deferred maintenance. To give you a specific instance, we once had a Ferrari come in with a major service in its records and we noticed that the cam seal and cam covers were not replaced at this time, which is typically when they are replaced; while this may not seem like a big deal, replacing these seals and covers can be very labor-intensive and add up to 20 or more hours of labor, which can end up costing quite a bit.
The reality is that buying and maintaining a Ferrari 308 is not that expensive as long as you know what you are buying up-front and do not end up with a list of deferred maintenance items. As long as you remember to look at the service records in detail and ensure the technician is experienced with a 308, then you should be able to determine exactly what kind of Ferrari you are buying. Whenever in doubt, find someone who can assist you in understanding the service a carbureted 308 requires so you are not blindsided after the purchase. As mentioned, if you take the steps beforehand, you will find that a 308 really is not that cost-prohibitive.
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