Supercars On A $50,000 Budget: A TV Legend With A Ferrari Badge


For less than $50,000 you can pretend that you're Tom Selleck.

The Ferrari 308 was one of the coolest cars of the 1980s. The car reached peak coolness as Tom Selleck's ride of choice in the show "Magnum P.I." Right now the 308 is one of the least expensive Ferraris that you can buy, so now is the perfect time to invest in one. The 308 had a 10-year lifespan from 1975 to 1985 and several versions were built. The example that we found is a 1980 308 GTSI Targa that is currently for sale by Beverly Hills Car Club. Could this car get any more Hollywood?

The 1980 308 was powered by a 2.9-liter V8 making 202 horsepower; the US version had less power. Earlier US-bound 308 models produced 237 horsepower, but the switch to fuel injection in 1980 dropped power in order to satisfy emissions regulations. Two years later, the 308 quattrovalvole brought horsepower back up to 240 ponies. Even though the 308 isn't the fastest car by today's standards, you can still enjoy some "Magnum P.I."-style shenanigans with the Targa's removable roof. With the roof removed, everyone will be able to see how cool you look with your retro 1980s sunglasses and Tom Selleck mustache. We think that the 308 will be an awesome toy and a good investment. Here's why.

The television connection gives the 308 some intrinsic value, but you can always fall back on the value that the Prancing Horse badge brings. Even the most hated Ferrari, the Mondial, has been starting to gain a bit of traction on the collector market. A pristine 308 can easily go for over $100,000, so the 1980 model that we found for half the price is a pretty good deal. The car is a little high on mileage with 69,289 miles on the clock, but it does come with a spare tire and service records. It may also hurt that the car is black on black instead of the typical Ferrari red. This 308 is definitely not the most pristine example that we have seen, but what should you expect from a Ferrari for less than fifty grand?

When you think about what you are getting for the asking price of $48,500, it is clear that this could be a good purchase. Not only do you gain entry into the exclusive Ferrari Owners Club, but you will enjoy the classic dynamics that aren't present in today's supercars. The 308 comes with a five-speed gated manual transmission. In today's supercar market gated-manuals have become practically extinct, so getting the chance to buy one at this price seems like a good investment. Maintenance on an old Ferrari can turn into a massive headache, but who said that owning a supercar was supposed to be easy? Supercars from the 1980s are barely faster than today's hot hatchbacks but they are less about speed and more about the driving experience.

If all you want is speed, go out and buy a Mitsubishi Evo or Nissan GT-R. However, if you want something that is pure and mechanical, go the classic route and enjoy the sights and sounds from the driver's seat of the Ferrari 308.

If you are willing to dish out the cash, and make the sacrifices that come with owning an Italian supercar from the '80s, you should look at the 308.

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