When it comes to classic mid-engine Ferraris, one of the best looking by a wide margin is the original 12-cylinder Boxer. Judging a car’s aesthetics may be a largely subjective undertaking but you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t find the 365BB and later 512BB stunning looking pieces of automotive art. Pininfarina did a masterful job of combining equal elements of elegance and aggression when they penned the Boxer’s rakish design
The car hobby is as much about the people as it is about the cars, if not more so. Over the years we make countless connections thanks to our shared love of cars, some enduring and some more temporary. In a lot of ways automobiles serve as a metaphorical campfire for connecting with others who share similar interests. They're as much of a vehicle for getting us down the road as they are for forgoing strong connections with the folks around us
Open the engine lid on John Asselta’s 1978 Ferrari 308 GTS and the everything looks close to stock, at least at a glance. There’s the trademark wrinkle-painted air intake cover above what appear to be downdraught Weber carburetors. Look a little closer though and some differences become apparent. Rather than carbs, there are eight individual throttle bodies feeding air to the V8 engine. Another tip off that all is not stock in the Ferrari are the relocated plug wires and a fuel injection computer that has a cooling duct leading to it. Though it looks close to stock, this 308 has been upgraded in key mechanical area, resulting in a faster, sharper version of Ferrari’s mid-engine classic.
Ferrari is without a doubt one of the most universally loved car companies on the planet. The Italian firm's history is rich in competition heritage and it uses track dominating engineering that can be traced directly from its racecars to use on its street cars. Really, there’s very little to not like about its creations, whether it’s a vintage 12-cylinder classic or the latest turbocharged V8-powered 488 GTB. However, the company has produced cars that have not been as universally loved as others.
Anyone who attends track days knows what a slippery slope of car modifying it can lead to. A few laps around a track with a stock or nearly stock car has the owner quickly devising ways to get more speed, more handling, more braking and more performance in general from their vehicle of choice. It really doesn’t matter if it’s a Volkswagen GTI, or in the case of Dave Deisen, a Ferrari. Track days almost always leave you wanting more speed and control and faster lap times.
Ferraris have a reputation for being fragile, unreliable and expensive to maintain. And on the face of it, it's hard to argue with those sentiments. These are expensive cars to own for sure, but treated properly, they're far from fragile and unreliable. The 308 GTS pictured here is an excellent illustration of how to make a vintage Ferrari suitable for frequent or even daily use.