1976 Ferrari Dino 308 GT4 Coupe
Marking a break with tradition, Ferrari turned to Bertone to style the replacement for the much-loved 246 Dino in the early 1970s and the new 308 GT4 broke with tradition in another key department, with the 246's V6 replaced by an altogether more powerful 3-litre V8, the first Ferrari road car to use this engine configuration. Whilst retaining the mid-engined layout of the 246, the GT4 also had occasional rear seats - Ferrari somewhat optimistically catalogued it as a 2+2. Bertone's design was a very much a product of the 1970s, with a sharper edged, more contemporary look than the flowing curves of earlier Pininfarina designs. The 90-degree V8 turned out to be a classic engine, going on to power generations of Ferraris, with quad overhead camshafts, four twin-choke Weber 40DCNF carburettors and a compression ratio of 8.8:1 for a healthy output of 255 bhp. Mounted transversely, the motor was mated to a five-speed transmission, with the traditional Ferrari slotted gate. The 308 GT4 featured rack and pinion steering, fully independent race-derived suspension with unequal length wishbones, coil springs and hydraulic shock absorbers plus anti-roll bars front and rear. The Dino had disc brakes all round and the alloy rims were shod with XWX Michelins. Competing with Maserati's Merak and the Lamborghini Urracco, the new Dino was significantly quicker than both its rivals, with a 0-100 km/h time of 6.4 seconds and a top speed in excess of 250 km/h. Despite some early misgivings around the styling, the Dino proved a resounding success, with just over 2,826 sold in seven years of production. The Dino is practical (it has a decent sized boot and the rear seats provided additional luggage space), relatively simple of maintain and very affordable, making it a great first Ferrari. The Bertone styling has aged gracefully and the renewed interest in the 308 GT4 has been reflected in the way prices have turned around in recent years.