1975 Ferrari Dino 308 GT4 Coupé Project
Ferrari's family of immensely successful V8 road cars began in 1973 with the 308GT4, a model badged until 1977 as a Dino, thereafter as a Ferrari. The Maranello factory's first V8-engined road car and first mid-engined 2+2, the 308GT4 was the work of Bertone rather than the customary Pininfarina. By placing the front seats well forward Bertone made room within the 100" wheelbase for two children or one sideways-seated adult in the rear, while the compact engine/transaxle package left space behind the engine bay for a 5cu ft luggage compartment. Although the newcomer's wedge-shaped styling was controversial, the performance of its quad-cam 3.0-litre V8 did not disappoint, the latter's 255bhp (DIN) proving sufficient to propel the 308 past 150mph, with 60mph coming up in under 7 seconds. All-round independent suspension and a stiff chassis ensured that the handling was what one would expect from a Ferrari.
Road & Track
magazine was most impressed by the 308GT4's blend of speed and civility when they tested one in 1974. 'Apart from the performance, which you take for granted in a Ferrari, and the aforementioned remarkable flexibility of the engine, perhaps the most outstanding feature of the Dino 308 is the excellent ride it provides. The progress, compared to earlier Ferraris, is enormous.'
This Ferrari Dino 308 GT4 is believed to have been in the Schepens family's possession since the end of the 1970s. A family member believes that the car must have been purchased by Roger Schepens following a front-end accident; it is probable that he was only the second owner of this car. As the Ferrari was nearly new, Schepens is believed to have repaired the car and kept it, first in a showroom near Ghent where it is known to have been standing for many years. Later on it moved to his garage where Bonhams rediscovered it. A family member remembers the Ferrari had been sitting on blocks in the same corner where we found it since the 1980s -1990s. Covered in towels and blankets, this Dino was clearly the pride of Roger's collection. He must have taken off the air filters before laying-up the car, the engine being covered with towels. Unfortunately, the air filters and engine cover could not be found. This car is very well preserved with no obvious signs of rust while the interior remains in excellent condition; indeed, the odometer reading of 17,000 kilometres could well be original. We were unable to find any registration papers for the Dino in Roger's garage, and so the car is offered without documents. An increasingly sought-after 1970s Ferrari and a most worthwhile restoration or re-commissioning project that should be relatively straightforward.