1974-79 308 GT4: While most Ferraris wear bodies designed by Pininfarina, Bertone penned the 308 GT4's shell. This is just one of the factors that keeps this car near the bottom of the affordable V8 list. This was the first Ferrari designed with U.S. emissions in mind. Like many cars from the mid '70s, emissions hardware was still in its infancy and power was lost by reducing compression ratios.
For a few years, this was the only car that U.S. Ferrari dealers had available for sale, yet, initially, it wore the Dino badge, not the Ferrari script. This 2927cc engine was first rated at 240 bhp in U.S. trim with its four Weber carburetors. In May of 1976 the prancing stallion finally adorned the hood. The 1978 Series II engines were rated at 230 bhp, and the 1979 edition had only 205 ponies. This car is sometimes listed in the high teens, and "CPI" says look to pay around $21,000. Many enthusiasts see the 308 GT4 as a great track car.
1976-77 308 GTB, 1978-79 308 GTB/S 1980-82 308 GTB/Si, 308 1983-85 GTB/S QV: Now we come to the car that many consider to be the most recognized Ferrari in the world. Credit Tom Selleck's "Magnum P.I." with popularizing this Pininfarina-designed beauty. Some would say that the mid-engined V8 lineage has remained unbroken from this model right up to today's 360 Modena. We list 1976 as a separate entry here, because the first 712 cars were made from fiberglass. At $37,500, these cars get a premium over the 1976-77 $26,600 308 GTBs.
Initially, Ferrari owners objected to being lumped in with Corvettes and other "plastic" cars. Now these cars are considered more desirable due to their slightly lighter weight. The engine was the same as in the 308 GT4; fuel injection was added in the 1980-82 ($28, 575) models, and the 1983-85 ($31,675) 308 QVs (Quattrovalvole) got a pair of four-valve cams per cylinder head.
In 1977 Ferrari unveiled the 308 GTS at Frankfurt. Like the 246 Dino, this model had a lift-off roof that stowed behind the seats. While not a true convertible, many drivers prefer the GTS; and with 3,219 sold between 1977-79, more were purchased than the GTBs. Prices run around $28,275 for the 1978-79 308 GTS, $29,450 for the 1980-82 308 GTSi, and $31,675 for the 1983-85 308 GTS QV.
1986-89 328 GTB/S: Both the bore and stroke were increased in 1986, and the 308 QV begat the 328. Now displacing 3185cc instead of 2927, horsepower also grew from 230 to 260. You can recognize the 328s by their body-colored, more integrated bumpers. You can probably find a 1987 328 GTB for as little as $37,000, and a 328 GTS will poke at the upper dollar limit at $48,600.
1980-1982 Mondial 8 Coupe, 1983-85 Mondial QV Coupe/Cabriolet, 1986-1988 Mondial Coupe/Cabriolet 3.2, 1989-93 Mondial T Coupe/Cabriolet: Introduced in March 1980, the cars were not readily available in the U.S. until 1981. A Cabriolet was offered starting in 1983. This was the first time you could get a Ferrari V8 convertible with 2+2 seating from the factory. This model proved to be more popular than the coupe and continued on until 1993; Ferrari stopped making coupes in 1989.
Using the same 3.0-liter engine as the 308s, the Mondial got the four-valve heads in 1983 for 235 bhp. The Mondial 3.2 of 1986-88 made 260 bhp. Perhaps the best buys on our list are the 1989-93 Mondial T. Besides receiving the same 300-bhp 3405cc engine as the 348 two-seater, the Mondial T had its transmission mounted transversely. This lowered the drivetrain by about 5 in., which had a very positive effect on the car's handling.
"CPI" says you can pay as little as $22,250 for a 1981 Mondial Coupe. You can shop for a nice 1990 Mondial T Cabriolet ($47,300) and might even find a high-mileage 1993 for less than "CPI"'s $58,700 price.Buona fortuna.