There is car racing Ferrari was a surprise to anyone. What makes the road car Ferrari unshocking same. A rally car Ferrari, though? It is a different matter.
Ferrari 308 GTB old car rally there, either, but one that is built with the Group B - the early 1980s breathing fire formula that led to a rally car so quickly and become so dangerous that changed the face of sports forever.
Officially, this was never a Ferrari project. Italian race team Michelotto built around a dozen 308S to Group 4 regs in the late 1970s. When Group B arrived, Michelotto figured any rules that spawned a Lancia Stratos would suit a contemporary mid-engined Ferrari, too, so the team built four 308S to compete in the European and Italian championships rally, with one of the cars winning the latter in 1982.
In the UK, the engineering company owner, race car preparer and Ferrari specialist Tony Worswick had the same idea, and this 308 here is the result: the only right-hand-drive Group B 308 GTB in Existence
As with the Italian cars, Ferrari was officially uninterested, but the UK distributor, Maranello Concessionaires, was compliant and the factory was quietly supportive. "Maranello would ring and say, 'Some stuff has arrived from Italy; it must be yours', "says Worswick.
The UK car's development and success, however, was down to Worswick. The base engine is the 308's 3.0-liter flat-plane crank V8, but the heads are Worswick's, with the top end designed to be as close as possible to a Cosworth DFV's. It revs to 7500rpm and makes 450bhp, driving the rear wheels through a five-speed gearbox with a dog-leg first
Power was to be quite common in the 308 GTB, which make up less than 300bhp as standard, but this car weighs only 970kg. A roll cage extensive make things a little stiff, but panels are in front of carbonfibre and Kevlar carbon - the application Worswick said Ferrari look and adopted for F40 - on the back. The fuel tank is located on both sides of the motor sponsons.
Bodywork addition, almost all of which is in front of the spare wheel and the radiator, all the while behind the wheel of the rear fuel tank is small. This means that the majority of the weight is within the 308 wheelbase is longer than compact Stratos but with other standards. No wonder people think it will make a good rally car.
It was not. Worswick remember with a smile, not only because 308 is a competitive, but also because the campaign across Europe and give the trophy home with great memories of the days when the demonstration, often sponsored by the local tourist board, bringing a decent start and the big money people are interested Ferrari to see a rally, for obvious reasons.
The truth is that the 308 is not only a good car to drive; it is one of the sensational, even today. The machine is brilliant, attractive clean of less than 2000rpm to build strength and linear all the way to the limiter. Sounds better than almost any throttle compete today and make a fantastic voice over overrun of almost all cars on the planet.
gearbox is wonderfully crisp - although rev matching awards and positive - while braking and steering the car to do what the competition had to do: feel better faster you drive. It's very nimble and cope well, and Worswick said it would shift even benignly - although I hesitate to explore that in the run at Cholmondeley Castle, home of Cholmondeley Power and Speed events, from this Friday (10 June) through Sunday, where you can see this car in action. This is a wonderful event, with a variety of cars, a relaxed atmosphere and of course ran really entertaining around the field, with some places to watch the car is driven hard. It's pretty easy to get too.
If the 308 was faster this time, must have felt in a spectacular time. You can see why the Group B were both so popular and so short, and why the opportunity to race the car, or at least indicate it, it dries. Until, that is, events such as the Goodwood Festival of Speed and Cholmondeley began a fixture here.
They give the 308 - and many other old cars competition like that - a new life. A chance to see them - and, most importantly, listen to them - in action, is back. I recommend taking it.
Tickets for Cholmondeley Power and Speed
Tickets are available at cpop.co.uk, the price of £ 24 for adults and £ 7 for children. Autocar readers can get 20%