A Car Noob Dives Into Ferrari Ownership and Fixes the Factory's Mistakes


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It’s no secret that owning a Ferrari is at the top of the bucket list for many car enthusiasts. Powered by screaming, high-revving engines and draped in beautifully designed bodywork that could only come from Italy, few other makes can surpass the drama provided by Maranello’s finest.

Of course, the flip side of the coin is that the road to Ferrari ownership is often paved in heartache and bank account-draining maintenance and repairs.

Just ask Denver, Colorado, resident and 308 GTSi owner Mark Lavanish. While his car is now a fast, reliable machine that Mark doesn’t hesitate to drive on extended road trips across state lines, it wasn’t always so.

When he first acquired the Ferrari, it started giving him problems after precisely one day of driving. An aging heater hose split open, sending coolant spraying all over the Ferrari’s engine bay in a perfect imitation of Old Faithful. “If I had known then what I know now about 308s, I would have punched myself and driven to a Toyota dealership,” he now chuckles.

Luckily, ignorance is bliss, especially when it comes to high-end sports cars. Despite a rocky road to get the car to the state it’s in today, Mark persevered through a full restoration on the Ferrari. He’s ended up with a stunning-looking example that also boasts seriously upgraded performance.

P.I. in the Sky

Mark admits that his love of the 308 goes back to a certain famous TV show that featured a large mustache behind the wheel of a red GTS. “My first love was a ’70s-era Corvette, before I even knew what a Ferrari was,” he says. “Once I saw ‘Magnum P.I.,’ I obviously fell in love with Ferraris.”

Years later, another car show reinforced Mark’s desire to own a 308. “I saw a 2-and-a-half-minute short on the Velocity Channel with Wayne Carini showing three different Ferraris varying in price range from a $4 million 1950 166 Barchetta to a 575M for $150,000 to a 308 for $20,000 to $50,000.

“That put the idea of getting a 308 in the back of my mind,” he continues. “Shortly after that, I found myself with some extra income and was toying with the idea of buying a sports car but was having trouble coming up with a good choice.” Porsches and Corvettes were too common, and the Maserati GranTurismo was too expensive.

“Then I remembered the short with Wayne Carini and started looking online for 308s,” Mark explains. “I started daydreaming about what it would be like to own a Ferrari and really liked the thought of it.” He also figured a 308–unlike a newer sports car–wouldn’t drop in value, so he’d be able to sell it for the same price he paid.

As luck would have it, an eBay search turned up a Fly Yellow 1981 GTSi that was for sale locally. As 308 models go, the 1980-’82 cars are on the low end of the 308 hierarchy, with the lightweight earlier fiberglass 308s and the later Quattrovalve cars being the most desirable.

Thanks to its two-valve heads and Bosch CIS fuel injection, the one he was looking at put out a modest 205 horsepower. But the cars still boast balanced handling and the engines love to rev, even if they aren’t the most powerful around.

Figure a 1980-’82 Ferrari 308 can be found for less than $30,000–that’s a bona fide classic for minivan money. (Although, as our subject has learned, perhaps it’s best to start with a creampuff backed up with a full service history.)

No Lifeguard on Duty

“The car hadn’t been driven in several years,” Mark says. “The owner had passed away, and the family had hired a local shop to get it running again and sell it for them.”

Strangely, the mechanic practically tried to talk Mark out of buying it. “He told me that the car would be very expensive to maintain over time and that they broke down a lot,” he recalls. Once he saw the car in person, though, Mark was undeterred by the mechanic’s advice and bought the Ferrari on the spot.

It was a brave, perhaps somewhat foolish move by someone who, at the time, knew nothing about cars–“let alone Ferraris,” Mark adds. Cue a massive and expensive education on the perils of Italian exotic car ownership.

“The engine had a subtle stutter at idle, which turned out to be a bad ignition module, but other than that, it ran okay,” Mark recalls. Elsewhere, though, things weren’t that great. The original and dried-out heater hoses began to split as soon as he began driving the car, the fuel lines were original, the shocks were frozen, the suspension bushings were shot, and the steering rack was worn out. The list went on.

The exterior looked good, but the carpeting was dirty and the leather on the seats was dried out. “The windows were slower than a constipated snail, and the cats had blown all their material into the muffler, creating a ton of back pressure on the engine,” he recalls. “Other than that, the car was in showroom condition!”

It took but a day of driving for the aforementioned heater hose to split, at which point the 308 was flat-bedded to a mechanic for a full service. After spending more than half what he paid for the car on its repairs and deferred maintenance, Mark was back on the road in his dream car.

But not for long. Mark was soon involved in a car accident when a driver suddenly pulled out in front of the Ferrari. “Luckily, neither of us was going very fast, and the damage was minor,” he says.

The 308 was delivered to Glen Watt of Colour Restoration, who specializes in painting Pebble Beach winners, including a $34 million Bugatti. “Black has always been my favorite color for any car, so that’s what we changed it to,” Mark says. “It had to come out of pocket a bit, but it was well worth it.”

Mark, who is a civil and structural engineer by trade, performed some of the work on the car himself. “I thought this would be a great opportunity to get to know my car as well as perform some much-needed maintenance,” he says. “I did a lot of the disassembly, which was a lot of fun, and also changed out the fuel lines, upgraded the headlight system, changed out the A-arm bushings, serviced the window motors, and installed new driving lights.”

The 308’s curvaceous body was stripped to bare metal, and any rusty areas were repaired. The side markers were removed and the holes filled in. “We also changed the front of the car to European style with a Euro bumper, valance, grille and driving lights,” Mark adds.

Rinse and Repeat

Once the Ferrari was reassembled, Mark was again behind the wheel of his mid-engine dream car. But you guessed it, not for long.

About two weeks after the car was repainted, one of the valves in the Ferrari’s 3.0-liter V8 engine snapped in half. That’s not a common occurrence, but the sodium-filled valves that Ferrari fitted to two-valve 308s can become brittle over time; in the worst-case scenario, this happens. The result is an engine that needs to be rebuilt.

The 308 was parked for a year while Mark saved up for an engine rebuild–not exactly an inexpensive proposition when it comes to a Ferrari. As it turned out, the whole episode was a blessing in disguise. From the first time he drove it, Mark wasn’t happy with the engine’s power. “I was very disappointed and desperate to get the car to a more respectable level of performance,” he says. “You couldn’t get the car to do much below 4500 rpm. Even then, you couldn’t do much.”

While he was biding his time, Mark began frequenting the Ferrarichat online forum. There, he heard of a company called Carobu Engineering that specialized in improving the performance of Ferrari engines. One of their most popular upgrades for the 308 series is a larger, 3.5-liter version of the 3.0-liter. “I made a few calls asking about their operation and what I could expect from a 3.5-liter engine,” Mark explains. A subsequent visit to the New Mexico shop sealed the deal, and the Ferrari was soon delivered to Carobu for one of its 3.5-liter engine conversions.

“The seed for the idea of increasing the displacement of the 308 engine beyond 3.2-liters was planted at the time when we were rebuilding 360 GT Michelotto racing engines for one of our racing clients,” says Tate Casey, who owns Carobu Engineering along with technician Bert Wehr. “We noticed that the bore centers and the main bearing saddle spacing and size for the 360 engine and the 308 engine were the same. While the 360’s 85mm steel, thin-walled Nikasil-coated liners wouldn’t drop into the 308, we visualized a redimensioned 360-style sleeve working fine, as Ferrari had already done the bulk of the engineering.”

This rebuild centers on a 78mm billet crankshaft that replaces the original 71mm Ferrari item. The crank not only enlarges the engine’s displacement, but it also sheds around 10 pounds from its internals. Reducing rotating mass frees up horsepower and improves throttle response. Like the 360 Modena engine’s factory crank, Carobu’s custom cranks are drilled and hollowed to achieve that lightness.

The stock liners were replaced with 85mm ceramic-coated steel cylinder liners. The combination of larger pistons and a longer-throw crankshaft results in a displacement of 3541cc.

That wasn’t the only internal engine work. Stock 308 connecting rods were mated to 10.5:1 Razzo Rosso pistons. The V8’s heads were also ported for better airflow, and the original valves replaced with sturdier stainless-steel valves. Reprofiled camshafts have also been added. A Razzo Rosso lightweight aluminum flywheel reduces the engine’s weight by another 10 pounds.

The 308 retains its original Bosch CIS fuel injection and ignition system as well as the original cooling system. Spent gasses evacuate through stock headers that lead into a Magnaflow muffler. The five-speed gearbox also remains as it left the factory, but the clutch has been upgraded to a stronger Razzo Rosso unit.

Along with the added straight-line performance, Mark wanted to improve the 308’s handling and stopping ability. To this end, he installed adjustable coil-overs from Nicks Forza Ferrari in Custer, Washington. These are adjustable for rebound and compression.

The larger, three-piece Compomotive Motorsport wheels are, by far, the most dramatic additions to the 308’s appearance. Similar in style to those used on the legendary 1984 Ferrari 288 GTO, these measure 17 inches in diameter and are wrapped in Bridgestone Potenza tires. In order to allow the wheels to fit, Carobu used a fender lip roller to massage the wheel arches. Carobu also installed a Girodisc brake upgrade kit. The kit uses bigger, two-piece rotors on the front and Wilwood calipers at all corners.

After a year or so of work, Mark was finally able to experience his Ferrari in its renewed state. “Why these cars weren’t built this way to begin with is beyond me,” he says. “The throttle response is incredible, and with the lightweight flywheel, the engine spins up much faster. It’s like being shot out of a cannon compared to the how the car used to be.”

Making the experience all the sweeter was the fact that the 308 handled the drive home to Colorado from New Mexico without a hitch. Blown heater hoses and self-destructing valves were now a thing of the past.

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Comments
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nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
2/2/18 10:20 a.m.

What a beautiful automobile.  I'll have to bookmark this article as a reality check for those times when I'm tempted by a 'too good to pass up' exotic classified ad.

Jumper K Balls
Jumper K Balls PowerDork
2/2/18 10:40 a.m.

I clicked on the article already wincing and expecting an LS swap and was pleasantly surprised!

 

Also this shot!

Holy carp!

84FSP
84FSP SuperDork
2/2/18 11:06 a.m.

I was just in the the Maranello Ferrari museum last week pondering the many ways my automotive pedigree would be improved by the ownership of such a beast.  Doing some mental math on what this took to do puts it all into perspective for me. 

A beautiful beast to admire from afar.

dannyzabolotny
dannyzabolotny Reader
2/2/18 11:07 a.m.

Now I want one of these, except I'd do all the work myself. Sure it won't help the resale value, but the amount of money I'd save is astronomical. At the end of the day it's still a car, and I've worked on countless BMW engines, so an 80's Ferrari should be pretty simple in comparison.

MotorsportsGordon
MotorsportsGordon Reader
2/2/18 11:38 a.m.
dannyzabolotny said:

Now I want one of these, except I'd do all the work myself. Sure it won't help the resale value, but the amount of money I'd save is astronomical. At the end of the day it's still a car, and I've worked on countless BMW engines, so an 80's Ferrari should be pretty simple in comparison.

I recall reading something to the effect that Steve matchett wrote that when working at a ferrari dealership he saw some extremely good mechanics brought to tears working on certain Ferrari’s.

pointofdeparture
pointofdeparture PowerDork
2/2/18 11:54 a.m.
dannyzabolotny said:

Now I want one of these, except I'd do all the work myself. Sure it won't help the resale value, but the amount of money I'd save is astronomical. At the end of the day it's still a car, and I've worked on countless BMW engines, so an 80's Ferrari should be pretty simple in comparison.

I think you have that backwards. Countless BMWs are simple in comparison to an 80’s Ferrari...the valvetrain is an order of magnitude more complex between the quad cams and shim/bucket setup, and then you have the access issues.

I read a 308 service guide once, and after seeing the dance involved in the valve adjustments required every 15k, which you would THINK are at least kinda simple (hunch over the front bank to keep hold on both of the two shim tools while blowing the shims out of the buckets with compressed air ALL AT THE SAME TIME, by feel alone because there is no light) I would approach one with a significant sense of humility.

dannyzabolotny
dannyzabolotny Reader
2/2/18 12:25 p.m.
pointofdeparture said:

I think you have that backwards. Countless BMWs are simple in comparison to an 80’s Ferrari...the valvetrain is an order of magnitude more complex between the quad cams and shim/bucket setup, and then you have the access issues.

I read a 308 service guide once, and after seeing the dance involved in the valve adjustments required every 15k, which you would THINK are at least kinda simple (hunch over the front bank to keep hold on both of the two shim tools while blowing the shims out of the buckets with compressed air ALL AT THE SAME TIME, by feel alone because there is no light) I would approach one with a significant sense of humility.

Well I'm a masochist when it comes to cars so I'd probably enjoy it. I guess I should have specified which BMW engines I've worked on— the late 90's V8's with quad cams and variable valve timing. I've also worked on the V12's and the M5 V8's with quad variable valve timing. Those engines are quite finicky too— if you have the timing even a hair off then the computer throws errors and CEL's all over the place.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
2/2/18 12:25 p.m.

Unless I somehow end up in a position where I can afford to pay someone to do regular service above maybe oil changes on a Ferrari, I fear my R53 MINI will be about as exotic as my cars will get.

At the same time, it amuses me when folks will say how they will do maintenance on a Ferrari but then cry about how putting a R53 into "service mode" is such a big deal.  On many Farraris, many routine service procedures often starts with "remove engine." 

Blaise
Blaise Reader
2/2/18 1:04 p.m.

Shouldn't this be titled, "car noob buys Ferrari, then pays a shop to install parts designed by a ferrari specialist to upgrade from factory spec?"

A bit misleading. Still a cool car, but certainly not what I expected from the title.

dculberson
dculberson UltimaDork
2/2/18 1:10 p.m.
Ian F said:

At the same time, it amuses me when folks will say how they will do maintenance on a Ferrari but then cry about how putting a R53 into "service mode" is such a big deal.  On many Farraris, many routine service procedures often starts with "remove engine." 

I see where you're coming from, but if you think the payoff from owning and servicing an R53 comes even close to a Ferrari 308 then you're a philistine!

Vigo
Vigo UltimaDork
2/2/18 7:29 p.m.

I'm not scared of much mechanically and I'd put up with almost anything for the 308's curves. But, if i were paying the same money it'd be hard for me to not pick a 348. More modern performance, and while the styling isn't as universally liked, it is right up my particular alley. 

dannyzabolotny
dannyzabolotny Reader
2/3/18 1:25 a.m.

I agree, for the money I'd rather have a 348. I've always loved the mini-Testarossa styling of it, plus the engine is longitudinal in the 348 versus transverse in the 308, making a lot of basic maintenance much more straightforward.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
2/3/18 7:40 a.m.
dculberson said:
Ian F said:

At the same time, it amuses me when folks will say how they will do maintenance on a Ferrari but then cry about how putting a R53 into "service mode" is such a big deal.  On many Farraris, many routine service procedures often starts with "remove engine." 

I see where you're coming from, but if you think the payoff from owning and servicing an R53 comes even close to a Ferrari 308 then you're a philistine!

True...  the payoff for owning a prancing horse is a bit higher than with a MINI. But it also becomes a personal understanding of one's limits. I have a house full of hopes and dreams projects. A 308 would be an order of magnitude more involved than any of them, save maybe my 1800ES (due to the extensive rust repairs in my future).

I've also been in a 308. Holy crap is that a cramped car...

efahl
efahl New Reader
2/3/18 2:48 p.m.

Back in 2007 I found a cherry Euro-spec 348 in Detroit for $34k.  I ended up buying a Porsche instead, but now think I should have got them both...

200mph
200mph New Reader
2/3/18 6:33 p.m.

When I owned my 308GTS, a great thrill was finding interchange parts for less than Ferrari prices... things like Fiat lights and switchgear, Mercedes 190E brake pads, etc.

The handling wasn't "balanced"... they pushed like a dump truck in stock trim.

Other than an appetite for wheel bearings (due to less than optimal bearing seals), we did just normal, frequent maintenance, and it was a great, fun car to own and enjoy.  

Wish Ferrari still made a GTS version of their mid-engine offerings.

 

kb58
kb58 SuperDork
2/3/18 8:06 p.m.

I remember reading somewhere that you never ever want to damage the nose on a 308 as they're insanely expensive. Is that still true?

Robbie
Robbie PowerDork
2/3/18 10:09 p.m.

I was just talking to a close buddy about finding some type of downtrodden exotic as a project. Like the (is it jalpa?) one in our build threads here.

I think I would angle for a lotus esprit.

Mike
Mike SuperDork
2/4/18 12:07 p.m.

To each their own, and I'd love a Ferrari someday, but I think I'd stick with Porsche until I could afford at least a 360, making a possible exception for a 456. I'm afraid of the 355 and earlier.

AaronBalto
AaronBalto Reader
2/4/18 7:46 p.m.

I bought a 308 Quattrovalvole in 2014 before the market went crazy. Then I stumbled on a motor that I also bought--it was around $3k which I thought was cheap insurance against the unspeakable. Every time I read about one of the 3.5 liter builds I start fantasizing about big power. But really, the car is plenty of fun as it is. The QV was intended to make up for the power lost when Ferrari went from the Weber downdraft carbs to Bosch CIS injection. It worked, and it makes the cars fairly easy to live with.

I have done a bunch of work on the car myself--and I'm only an OK wrench. I did a QA1 coilover conversion, a big brake conversion, and the usual fluids etc. I did manage to get myself in over my head with a timing belt and tensioner service, but a more talented buddy came over and saved my bacon. 

It's a gorgeous car (duh) and the Ferrari Club guys really don't care if you spent $10m or $30k for your car--if it has the horsie, you are good to go. I'm glad I was foolish enough to ignore the naysayers and take the plunge.

irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
2/4/18 10:06 p.m.
Blaise said:

Shouldn't this be titled, "car noob buys Ferrari, then pays a shop to install parts designed by a ferrari specialist to upgrade from factory spec?"

A bit misleading. Still a cool car, but certainly not what I expected from the title.

ditto.

#yesIamjealous

but

#letskeepitgrassroots

StuntmanMike
StuntmanMike New Reader
2/5/18 10:08 a.m.

Beautiful car and exactly what I would love to do myself if I had time. But I dont so if I were to start again for the money a C5Z in great shape would be less than the entry price of a Ferrari, and you could just pretend its an exotic. Incidentally, I have a 4th gen Camaro with C5Z DNA that I have to pretend is an exotic! 

wearymicrobe
wearymicrobe UberDork
2/5/18 10:37 a.m.
Ian F said:

Unless I somehow end up in a position where I can afford to pay someone to do regular service above maybe oil changes on a Ferrari, I fear my R53 MINI will be about as exotic as my cars will get.

At the same time, it amuses me when folks will say how they will do maintenance on a Ferrari but then cry about how putting a R53 into "service mode" is such a big deal.  On many Farraris, many routine service procedures often starts with "remove engine." 

Remove engine is actual the easier way. You can do cam belts on a 355 with the engine in the car but you really do not want to. 

Blaise
Blaise Reader
2/5/18 10:42 a.m.
irish44j said:
Blaise said:

Shouldn't this be titled, "car noob buys Ferrari, then pays a shop to install parts designed by a ferrari specialist to upgrade from factory spec?"

A bit misleading. Still a cool car, but certainly not what I expected from the title.

ditto.

#yesIamjealous

but

#letskeepitgrassroots

How boring would this site be if mazdeuce's R63 was just dropped off at a dealership?

te72
te72 New Reader
2/6/18 12:31 a.m.
Ian F said:

 

On many Farraris, many routine service procedures often starts with "remove engine." 

Having removed the twin turbo setup on a third gen Supra with the 1jz, with the engine in the car, I can honestly say that a lot of times, this is the easy route. Shoot, I'd be willing to bet I could have mine out and back in in a weekend, and mine is beyond crowded, as far as engine bays go... on a relatively stock example, gimme 6 hours.

 

On the subject of the 308 here, I would not be upset to find that face greeting me when I opened the garage door. Granted, most cars look better in black, but wow. I did the "feasibility test" of a 360 a few years back, after driving a 458 for part of an afternoon. That car still haunts me from time to time.

Osterkraut
Osterkraut UberDork
2/6/18 6:55 a.m.
irish44j said:
Blaise said:

Shouldn't this be titled, "car noob buys Ferrari, then pays a shop to install parts designed by a ferrari specialist to upgrade from factory spec?"

A bit misleading. Still a cool car, but certainly not what I expected from the title.

ditto.

#yesIamjealous

but

#letskeepitgrassroots

 

Idea of "grassroots" as drifted a bit over the years. 

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
2/6/18 7:21 a.m.

In reply to Osterkraut :

This is not exactly a new subject of discussion.  The GRM folks have commented in the past how we forum members tend to be more...  "budget conscious..." than the typical subscriber to the magazine, few of which participate in the forums. 

dculberson
dculberson UltimaDork
2/6/18 7:27 a.m.

Yeah, I don’t know why but for some reason a bunch of people here think the 20xx challenge is all that GRM is while conveniently forgetting about the UTCC. The budget on this car can’t be any worse than an average UTCC winner. 

Blaise
Blaise Reader
2/6/18 7:37 a.m.
dculberson said:

Yeah, I don’t know why but for some reason a bunch of people here think the 20xx challenge is all that GRM is while conveniently forgetting about the UTCC. The budget on this car can’t be any worse than an average UTCC winner. 

Not what I said. No hate for those who have big $ and nice cars. Hell, I'm on my way there!

"A Car Noob Dives Into Ferrari Ownership and Fixes the Factory's Mistakes"

^ There's my beef.

"Upgrading a Ferrari 308 in every way" How's that? This guy didn't dive into or fix anything - which is fine. Just misleading, and I'd love GRM to stay away from misleading headlines.

dculberson
dculberson UltimaDork
2/6/18 8:35 a.m.

Ahh, yeah that makes sense. Sorry. So maybe the question is, whose hands are dirty? If it's not the car's owner's hands, well...

irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
2/6/18 8:50 p.m.
Blaise said:
dculberson said:

Yeah, I don’t know why but for some reason a bunch of people here think the 20xx challenge is all that GRM is while conveniently forgetting about the UTCC. The budget on this car can’t be any worse than an average UTCC winner. 

Not what I said. No hate for those who have big $ and nice cars. Hell, I'm on my way there!

"A Car Noob Dives Into Ferrari Ownership and Fixes the Factory's Mistakes"

^ There's my beef.

"Upgrading a Ferrari 308 in every way" How's that? This guy didn't dive into or fix anything - which is fine. Just misleading, and I'd love GRM to stay away from misleading headlines.

Also my point. I don't necessarily think "grassroots" means "cheap" - I very much think, for instance, that the Lambo Jalpa build is Grassroots.  I don't own any project cars that I did for $500....I buy good parts and try to do a good job within my budget. But I definitely think "Grassroots" means doing mostof the work yourself. Buying a car and then having a shop install a bunch of stuff on it isn't grassroots - whether it's a Miata or a Ferrari. IMO.

 

te72
te72 New Reader
2/6/18 11:03 p.m.
dculberson said:

Ahh, yeah that makes sense. Sorry. So maybe the question is, whose hands are dirty? If it's not the car's owner's hands, well...

This right here. I'd define a grassroots build as anything built in your home garage. Are you gonna have to outsource some stuff? Most likely, depending on how well equipped your garage is, and the scope of your project.

 

Money really doesn't even enter the definition if you ask me. I've spent an embarrassing amount on my Supra over the years (not an uncommon story in that world), yet, I know every inch of that car. Took it apart and completely refreshed the mechanicals over the span of a couple years. It's a brand new Toyota... that's 30 years old!  Point being, I turn my own wrenches. I do some minor fabrication. I'm getting into welding. I don't have my own machine shop, had to outsource that. I can't see electricity working, so that still puzzles me. All adds up to my ridiculous car being a grassroots car, at least by any definition I can come up with.

 

Ironically, no grass on the property... hmm.

gearheadmb
gearheadmb Dork
2/7/18 7:02 a.m.

There is a lot of saltiness in this thread. The guy wanted a certain car, and he bought the cheapest one. We all know it's a bad idea, and we all have,and most of us will, continue to do the exact same thing. Then when it started to go sideways he did what he could do himself, and farmed the rest out. Not so different from what we all do. It wasn't the cheapest way to do it, but he ended with a good quality finished product. 

Do you know what I like about grm features? Diversity. When I was a kid I had subscription to Hot Rod. By the early 2000s, after they switched from "Prostreet" to "Protouring" it seemed like every feature car was a 60s car with an LS and airbags. Every tech article was how to put an LS or airbags in your 60s car. It got so freakin boring. I like grm because it gives you 31 flavors. They won't all be your favorite, but it's nice to have the variety. Would you really want to have every article be how to set up a miata for autocross in your driveway? 

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
2/7/18 7:20 a.m.

In reply to gearheadmb :

I agree with that. Variety is what keeps things interesting here. I personally want more of everything. More cheap cars. More expensive cars. More home welding. More shop fabrications. More metal. More composites. More gas/diesel/electric/hybrid/race car/daily driver everything. More. 

Blaise
Blaise HalfDork
2/7/18 7:23 a.m.

In reply to gearheadmb :

I like variety. And this is good variety.

I don't like misleading titles.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
2/7/18 9:48 a.m.
Blaise said:

In reply to gearheadmb :

I like variety. And this is good variety.

I don't like misleading titles.

I don't see it as misleading. Whether he did the work or paid for (really how many of you are building 80s-era Ferrari engines in your garages) he still was the driving force behind it. 

irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
2/7/18 1:39 p.m.
gearheadmb said:

There is a lot of saltiness in this thread. The guy wanted a certain car, and he bought the cheapest one. We all know it's a bad idea, and we all have,and most of us will, continue to do the exact same thing. Then when it started to go sideways he did what he could do himself, and farmed the rest out. Not so different from what we all do. It wasn't the cheapest way to do it, but he ended with a good quality finished product. 

Do you know what I like about grm features? Diversity. When I was a kid I had subscription to Hot Rod. By the early 2000s, after they switched from "Prostreet" to "Protouring" it seemed like every feature car was a 60s car with an LS and airbags. Every tech article was how to put an LS or airbags in your 60s car. It got so freakin boring. I like grm because it gives you 31 flavors. They won't all be your favorite, but it's nice to have the variety. Would you really want to have every article be how to set up a miata for autocross in your driveway? 

I don't think anyone here is salty about the car, nor what the owner did with it. The car is gorgeous, and there is nothing wrong with having someone else do the work if you can afford to and/or don't have the experties. We all do it sometimes. I think the only saltiness is the evolving definition of Grasroots (which is a matter of opinion either way).  And of course a little bit of jealousy ;)

dherr
dherr Reader
2/7/18 2:57 p.m.

Agree that getting out the checkbook and "fixing a Ferrari" may not be grassroots, but we all remember the 308 very well from our youth and most of us have fantasies about buying one cheap as they are just so gorgeous to look at.  I remember looking at these in the early 2000s and they were in the 20K range and something I could stretch to buy as a "toy". So  as a reader, forum member  and subscriber, I enjoyed reading the article and drooling over the pictures. Not how I would do it, but it was worth my time.

With that said, the Lambo build was even more awesome. Most of us here on this board do as much of the work we can ourselves and take pride in it. But I want to read about more than that too, so when GRM points out more expensive builds and projects on cool cars, the more the merrier.

So perhaps the fix is to just title them different such as "Ultimate checkbook build - Ferrari 308" verse " Grassroots build - LSX mid-engine Yugo home garage build"

pres589
pres589 PowerDork
2/7/18 3:33 p.m.

Remember the guy that was working on putting a twin-turbo LS motor into a 308 using a Subaru transmission?

I wonder how that all worked out.  I would guess "not at all" due to the length of time since that thread came back up again.  

te72
te72 New Reader
2/7/18 11:38 p.m.
pres589 said:

Remember the guy that was working on putting a twin-turbo LS motor into a 308 using a Subaru transmission?

I wonder how that all worked out.  I would guess "not at all" due to the length of time since that thread came back up again.  

There's a pretty good reason that most LS engines mounted in the middle use the Porsche G50... turns out, it's not made of glass and glitter, like Subaru transmissions!

 

Cool idea, but part of why so many build threads bum me out when they fail to reach the goal. I get that things don't always work out, but it's sad to see what could have been sometimes. Also part of why I haven't really put any effort into my build thread, even though the car is perfectly driveable.

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett MegaDork
2/8/18 6:01 a.m.
te72 said:
pres589 said:

Remember the guy that was working on putting a twin-turbo LS motor into a 308 using a Subaru transmission?

I wonder how that all worked out.  I would guess "not at all" due to the length of time since that thread came back up again.  

There's a pretty good reason that most LS engines mounted in the middle use the Porsche G50... turns out, it's not made of glass and glitter, like Subaru transmissions!

 

Cool idea, but part of why so many build threads bum me out when they fail to reach the goal. I get that things don't always work out, but it's sad to see what could have been sometimes. Also part of why I haven't really put any effort into my build thread, even though the car is perfectly driveable.

Don't forget the person who started the thread sold the car, and the 2nd owner was the one doing the turbo-LS madness. 

te72
te72 New Reader
2/8/18 10:46 p.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett :

Definitely worth noting. Cool when new owners continue a build thread that they didn't start, but I haven't seen it happen often...

chandler
chandler PowerDork
2/10/18 8:33 p.m.
Pete Gossett said:
te72 said:
pres589 said:

Remember the guy that was working on putting a twin-turbo LS motor into a 308 using a Subaru transmission?

I wonder how that all worked out.  I would guess "not at all" due to the length of time since that thread came back up again.  

There's a pretty good reason that most LS engines mounted in the middle use the Porsche G50... turns out, it's not made of glass and glitter, like Subaru transmissions!

 

Cool idea, but part of why so many build threads bum me out when they fail to reach the goal. I get that things don't always work out, but it's sad to see what could have been sometimes. Also part of why I haven't really put any effort into my build thread, even though the car is perfectly driveable.

Don't forget the person who started the thread sold the car, and the 2nd owner was the one doing the turbo-LS madness. 

It was actually three owners in, second owner parted pieces then started LS then sold it to a college student who was using it as a school project.

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