MMR Blog

Upgrading a 1978 Ferrari 308 GTS:
No Spare

Posted on April 1, 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 seventh in a series of short articles about how we repaired and updated it.

We Don’t Carry a Spare!

I bought the car in Chicago from a baseball player who was on strike at the time. The car came with the airless spare sitting in the passenger seat because the front spare compartment was filled with stereo equipment. I drove the car home, removed the stereo system, but never replaced it with the spare tire. I use the front compartment for luggage.

I have had one flat tire in the past 20 years. We have AAA Road Assistance. I carry pressurized cans in my safety kit. Maybe I’m lucky.

Working with Spencer Guder of Spencer Restorations in Canterbury, CT (no website), we cut the spare tire mount off the floor platform, ground down the rough edges and then sprayed the whole compartment with NAPA Stone Guard Black #4004. This stuff hides a lot of sins; it is very tough and abrasion resistant. It comes in black or white.

The empty wheel well

The empty wheel well

The missing piece

The missing piece

Whereas the heat from the engine and exhaust manifold insures nothing freezes in the rear luggage compartment, the front tub’s proximity to the radiator does the same thing up front. Later Model 308s have a vented area on the hood lid that allows heat to escape upwards. Presently, on this hood, heated air is routed around the tub and down under the car on each side. Some owners of later 308s and 328s complain that air coming out of the aforementioned vents washes over the hood and windshield and into the passenger compartment when the Targa top is off. The vents make sense and they are a factory development, but the plain hood does look clean. I am torn.