The Dino 308 GT4 was introduced at the Paris Motor Show in November 1973. The 308 GT4 finally gained the "Prancing Horse" badge in May 1976, which replaced the Dino badges on the hood, wheels, rear panel and the steering wheel. This has caused major confusion over the years by owners, enthusiasts and judges. During the energy crisis at that time many prospective owners were hesitant to buy such an expensive automobile not badged "Ferrari" being confused at the significance of the Dino name. Dino was Enzo Ferrari's beloved son who passed tragically in 1956 and his name was considered to honor his memory on the models it was placed.
The GT4 was a groundbreaking model for Ferrari in several ways: it was the first production Ferrari to feature the mid-engined V8 layout that would become the bulk of the company's business in the succeeding decades, and was the first production Ferrari with Bertone (rather than Pininfarina) designed bodywork. Pininfarina was upset by the decision to give cross-town rival Bertone the design, considering all they had done for Ferrari. The styling featured angular lines entirely different from its curvaceous 2-seater brother, the Dino 246, and was controversial at the time. Some journalists compared it to the Bertone-designed Lancia Stratos and Lamborghini Urraco, also penned by Marcello Gandini. From the cockpit the driver sees only the road. It has perfect 360 degree visibility, no blind spots, upright and comfortable seating position, a real trunk, a back seat for soft luggage, and very easy engine access. Enzo Ferrari himself took a major role in its design, even having a mock-up made where he could sit in the car to test different steering, pedals and cockpit seating positioning.
In an effort to improve sales until the 1976 official re-badging, Ferrari sent out factory update #265/1 on July 1, 1975 with technical and cosmetic revisions in many areas. Some of these revisions were implemented piecemeal by dealers. Some made all the revisions while some just made a few. This leaves many 1975 GT4's with a variety of modifications which are hard to document as "correct" to aficionados who may not understand the complicated series of events surrounding this model year. Some of the revisions included adding Prancing Horse badges, repainting in the Boxer two-tone scheme (lower half painted matte black), air conditioning fixes, etc. It also included bumper modification and exhaust changes for North American versions. It should be noted that the Dino 308 GT4 was the only Ferrari legally imported to the US in 1975, and it was also the year Niki Lauda won the Formula One drivers championship and Ferrari won the constructors title. The GT4 was the only 2+2 Ferrari ever raced with factory support.
- Body TypeCoupe
- Fuel TypePetrol
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