Friday, 10 April 2015

Ferrari 328 GTS

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

The 328 represents an important chapter in Ferrari history. Its predecessor, the 308, saw the firm experimenting with and refining a newly-lucrative formula of mid-V8-engined sports cars; the Magnum P.I. model (sorry, you can't talk about the 308 without Tom Selleck's moustache bristling in from out of shot) originated in 1975 as a lithe, lightweight road-racer with glass-reinforced plastic bodywork, weighing in at just 1,050kg, although economies of scale saw the body construct switch to steel in '77. As the model matured, it mellowed into a gentleman's express of a thing, and when it evolved into the 328 in 1985, a raft of new-wave thinking was drafted in. The profile was softened, the engine enlarged, you could specify air-conditioning and ABS; electronic ignition made it more reliable and powerful, the all-syncro five-speeder was friendly, the seats were comfier. And you could order it in left- or right-hand drive.

This, then, was Ferrari's pioneering step into the realm of the everyday-usable cavallino rampante. The 328 - available as a coupé (GTB) or targa (GTS) - offered 270bhp, could accelerate to 60mph in 5.9 seconds, and would go on to 163mph. But you could happily pootle to the shops in it, and get stuck in traffic jams without panicking, and use it to commute to the office. The Dino 246GT of 1969 had blazed a trail for commerically viable mid-engined Ferraris, the 308 added a V8 into the mix, and the bloodline has continued through the 328 to the 348, 355, 360, 430, 458, and right up to the shiny new 488... but the 328 is arguably the zenith of the formula. This is the moment that it all really started to work.

The one you see here is a 1989 GTS that's covered just 7,000 miles from new - and yes, it's a cliché, but they really do look best in Rosso Corsa with Crema hide, don't they?
Spotted at Joe Macari - click here for more.

No comments: