Upgrading a 1978 Ferrari 308 GTS: Muffler Systems

March 7, 2013 Comments (0)

In 1995 I bought a 1978 308 GTS Euro spec Ferrari with a rebuilt engine and 13K miles on the long non-functioning odometer. It had had a serious accident on the right front corner. This is the fourth in a series of short articles about how we repaired and updated it.

Do you hear what I hear?!

Whether it is the first notes of a Beethoven symphony or the blipping of the throttle on a V-12 Ferrari engine, sound moves us all.

The exhaust sound is arguably the most frequently personalized aspect of performance car ownership.

Aftermarket tuner systems generally differentiate themselves from original equipment by offering improved materials, finishes and designs that are “tuned? to be less restrictive, more powerful and noticeably louder.

Late model automobiles are equipped with stainless steel exhaust systems. They have replaced the steel versions which were given to rusting. However, the two metals respond differently to sound. While stainless is unquestionable longer lasting, it does so at the expense of the more mellifluous tones produced by the softer mild steel which played such a huge role in creating the Ferrari V12 mystique. In today’s high revving and high performance V8s, stainless OE and most aftermarket systems produce a hollow, raspy sound, which has become the hallmark of high performance motors.

While working on my 308 throughout the winter I noticed that the paint was flaking off the main body of its Ansa Sport muffler, pronounced Awnsa, and I wondered what the next step might be. The thought of buying a new muffler simply because the existing one, though structurally fine, was unsightly, seemed wrong.

WASRED muffler

By chance, I was recently digging into the Bobileff Motorcar Company’s site to add them to the MMR Goods & Services Directory as a restorer. That’s when I noticed that they also offer other services and one of them is the ability to rebuild Ansa Exhaust systems. I called and spoke with Gary Bobileff. He is owner of the company and a concours judge, a vehicle appraiser, and a person who is respected in the sport. I posed my problem to him.

Gary informed me that his company refurbishes the steel Ansa units which were built to fit V12 Ferraris of an earlier period. (There is a slide show on the site showing how they repair a Daytona muffler.) I asked him why? “The reason that people have the older Ansa systems rebuilt to exacting original specs is the sound. When installing a stainless system on a Ferrari 275, or Daytona, the sound nearly disappears. By staying with mild steel, the sound resonates not only from the tail pipes, but the entire system. This creates that beautiful melody throughout the rev ranges. This music can only be truly appreciated with an original mild steel system!”

But what about mine? He explained that my muffler, like all Ansas for V8 Ferraris, is stainless steel and that his company doesn’t have the capacity to work on these units. Gary suggested that a local metal refinisher would probably be able to refresh its appearance with the application of a good high heat coating. That would solve my problem reasonably and inexpensively.

The MMR Goods and Services Directory, with the Specialty Services – Metal Coating and Refinishing filter checked, will lead you to a number of good people who can recoat your older Ansa Unit.

But if you need to have your older Ansa system replaced, consider having it refurbished with Bobileff Motorcars in San Diego. Good people doing good things.

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