308 / 328 Buying Guide
The Ferrari 308 / 328 is probably the best and most reliable way to own a Ferrari, with its low servicing costs and excellent reliability they really are exceptional value, however, they all suffer from the same issues, none of them major, but it is important to budget correctly when buying a car that needs work or attention. The main concerns are;
Service history is essential to give an accurate picture of the quality of maintenance the vehicle has received, with these older cars renowned specialists often give a better quality of service than certain main dealers because they actually look after more of them. There are ways of showing if a car has done more miles than indicated but leave this to a professional, cars without a documented history should really be avoided unless they are very good value and you intend to keep it a long time to re-build a confidence in the car for resale. Make sure the service book has its first page (not torn out) with chassis numbers clearly marked and showing the original supplying dealer stamp. All service history's on these cars should be supported by a well documented history file with bills and receipts for work carried out, old tax discs and MOTS to prove what year each mileage was done and whether the car has been unused for several years.
Rust is a bigger issue on 308's than 328's because they were not galvanised however the areas to watch are the still the same, these are; 1) The rear part of the front wing below swage line, the inner wheel arch liner rubs and holds moisture which will cause a swelling visible from the outside after a while, not an expensive repair but once it starts to swell you have about 12 to 18 months before it becomes a real issue, watch out for poor repairs using filler and make sure that you feel the thickness of the metal for consistency. 2) The doors can have an issue in several different places, a) the outer edge of the door skin is in line with the front wheels and can get pebble dashed from road stones and grit, an easy repair if it is caught early enough. b) the lower door seal, if corrosion gets in here the repair is more difficult hence costing more to put right. c) If the car has spent a lot of time outside or being used in poor weather conditions rust can occur through the door, above / on the swage line directly below the window guide from inside of the door which is not very well protected, this is a more expensive repair but still not a major problem. 3) Where the front and rear bumpers bolt up-to the steel bodywork (top edge of the swage line) water / moisture can get between the two surfaces and cause damage, you will need to run your finger along the top edge of the swage line, do not worry if it is uneven but you will need to inspect further if it is very rough. 4) Sills are pretty tough but check them all the same, a more common however problem is that the sill has had meeting with a kerb and has a dent usually in the rear 3/4 of its length, you need to get on your knees and look along it, they should be level front to back.
Engines are very tough, Power outputs varying from 214 BHP for a two valve fuel injection car to 270 BHP for a 328, they will take a lot of abuse as long as they are looked after. they should hold 85 PSI at cold start up, which when hot will be about 40 - 45 PSI on tick over, rising again to 85 Psi under load. Oil leaks are quite common either from the cam cover gasket (forward engine bay) probably caused by the heat of the exhaust manifold below it, its a pain to fit and should be done at the next valve clearance service. Cam seals can also leak, usually from sitting cars that have not been used enough, I like to see a car has done 1000 miles a year, (my personal view that these cars should be used and not become museum pieces) These engines can do high miles as long as they are looked after, miles will affect value but not your pleasure!
Gearbox and Clutch the gearbox is a pretty tough item, Expect second to be difficult for the first 10 miles, then it should have a little resistance but go in OK! watch out for the gearstick jumping out in first and reverse gears which shows a badly worn gearbox. Clutches can last 30000 miles plus but make sure the pedal requires a good push before declutching, if the pedal declutches high its probably on its way out.
Extras These should include, Roof cover, Tool Kit, Jack in Roll, Leather wallet and original service pack books and of course a spare wheel (Some are the rare space saver other are full size).
Water! 308's and 328's are pretty water proof (GTS models) in heavy rain they can weep a little through the door / windscreen seal (just enough to get a wet leg) but compared with most convertible or targa cars they very good.
Servicing costs will vary to whom you use, We carry out cam belt services and lube services for our own cars. but we use Stratstone Ferrari our customer cars. They are excellent value and will look after your tipo with the right attention to detail and protect your investment so that it maintains its value please call us for their details.
Accident Damage make sure that you carry out a HPI check on Finance outstanding and any insurance accident payouts, if a Ferrari has a CAT C or D rating it will considerably effect its value, if you are considering a damaged repaired car it is essential that a Ferrari professional inspects the car for you. The front end is prone to the odd knock and it is not very well supported, Lift the front luggage compartment and look down between the pop up lights and the floor, you will see a box section frame that supports the wings, look carefully for any signs of creasing as these supports are rarely changed in an accident. Most of these cars have had new windscreens (they seem to chip quite easily) make sure the outside (external) edges are flush with the bodywork or the metal surround can come out at speed it also can make a noise and the internal rubber bonding is tidy inside - obviously if it does not look like a good fit its time to get a watering can!
Good luck and enjoy your car, its about your tastes and not your friends, driving is a personal pleasure which expectation differs from each and every person and not necessarily what the loudest person in the pub thinks.
WalkerSport will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding this guide, please remember that this is a basic guide and not an manual, WalkerSport cannot be held liable for any omissions or incorrect advice given as this is our personal opinion, when WalkerSport purchase a car we carryout a thorough inspection followed up by a major mechanical check over.