308 carbureted or 308 Quattrovalvole, what will it be?
Considering my used Ferrari 308 is one of my favorite Ferraris of all time, I wanted to share my personal experience and opinion as to what I notice to be the difference between a carbureted 308 and a 308 Quattrovalvole.
Recently, I spent some time in both models back-to-back and made the following assessments. While the 308 carbureted was a 1978 Ferrari and the Quattrovalvole was a 1985, I did not find there to be seven years worth of newer technology, comforts, or enhancements that made the car more “modern”. There are some subtle differences in the interior design, switches, etc., but overall, most people would not realize one car was seven years newer than the other.
I will say, however, the 308 carbureted car is a blast to drive. The performance is what seems to be far better than that of the Quattrovalvole, and the sound is second to none. Of course, the nuances of dealing with a carburetor can be a challenge. Maintenance is certainly more challenging, and making sure those carburetors are working properly all of the time can be a chore. However, if you buy a nice, used Ferrari that has been maintained properly, by people who know what they are doing, you can get an excellent carbureted example. And if you do, I believe you will think it is one of the most fun 308s you can possibly drive. Now yes, it can be more challenging dealing with those carburetors, but once the Ferrari gets going and the distinct sound of the motor is heard, the hassle will be well worth it.
On the other hand, no one will turn their nose up at a Quattrovalvole 308. This Ferrari is an excellent choice, handles outstandingly well, and is still a wonderfully performing car. Much of what makes this 308 special today is the iconic design; and if you're anything like me, it is almost more enjoyable to stare at the car in your garage than it is to drive it, especially in the summertime when the heat is unbearable. Let's face it, if you are fortunate enough to have the ability to buy either the one, you will not make a mistake.
My recommendation is, if you are looking for a used Ferrari 308 that is a little bit easier to own and maintain, you probably want the Quattrovalvole. However, if you can tinker with the Ferrari yourself, and you are willing to deal with the nuances of a carbureted Ferrari, I promise the sound and enhanced performance will leave you grinning from ear to ear.
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