16-17 August 2013

From the Estate of William H. Tilley

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Lot 233

1979 Ferrari 308 GTS

  • Chassis no. 26891

Sold for $63,250

240 bhp, 2,926 cc 90-degree V-8 engine with four Weber carburetors, five-speed manual transmission, four-wheel independent suspension with coil springs and anti-roll bars, and front and rear disc brakes. Wheelbase: 94.1 in.

  • Offered from the Estate of William H. Tilley
  • Matching-numbers example
  • Successor to the 246 GTS

Introduced as the replacement for the Dino 246 in 1975, the 308 has a solid place in Ferrari history. Designed by Leonardo Fioravanti, of Pininfarina, it quickly won over many enthusiasts for both its looks and performance. Often associated with the TV show Magnum, P.I., as the 308 GTS played a starring role in the series, capturing the hearts of many as it chased down criminals on the islands of Hawaii with actor Tom Selleck behind the wheel.

The 308 shared both its tube-frame platform and double-wishbone independent suspension with the Ferrari 308 GT/4. The powerplant is a 2,926-cubic centimeter transverse V-8, producing 240 horsepower with a top speed of 156 mph. The 308 GTS proved to be the more popular variant of the 308 model, with a total of 3,219 examples manufactured.

The 308 GTS entered production in 1977, and while similar to the 308 GTB, the main difference between the two was its convertible top, which provided the pleasure of open-air driving. Ferrari made sure to reinforce the chassis to account for the missing roof, leaving the handling dynamics of the GTB largely intact. Removing the 308 GTS’s targa top is simple, and it easily stows directly behind the rear seats. Luggage space is provided directly behind the engine bay in a separate compartment.

This car is painted in a stunning shade of metallic grey, which appears to almost take on a very classy dark brown hue in certain light. This 308 GTS appears much more subtle than the typical red and beige color combination seen on most 308s. The installation of aftermarket side-view mirrors give this 308 GTS a much sleeker appearance than the stock mirrors provide, and an aftermarket Kenwood stereo has also been fitted.

While the paint shows some signs of wear, it appears to be mostly original, with only minor touch-ups apparent. Minor pitting has been neatly touched up as well, and there does not appear to be any significant damage repair. The interior is nicely patinated, which is consistent with car’s age and mileage. The aftermarket gold-painted BBS wheels nicely bring the interior color to the car’s exterior, and they are fitted with modern Pirelli tires. The car’s original spare wheel and tire are still intact and are as they came from the factory. When driven by an RM specialist, the car started with the turn of a key, and the clutch, shifting, and braking performed with ease.

For many first-time Ferrari buyers, a 308 GTS is an enticing proposition. Combining one of Pininfarina’s timeless designs with top-down motoring and a V-8 for a fraction of the cost of modern eight-cylinder Ferraris, a well-maintained 308 is often hard to pass up. This 308 GTS is no exception, and in fact, it was one of the cars in the collection that Mr. Tilley enjoyed driving the most. Included are also the original yellow jack, the owner’s manual, and the service and warranty books, with their respective pouches. With just over 33,000 miles on its odometer, it is ready to be enjoyed by its next owner.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

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California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

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Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

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California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

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California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

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Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

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Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

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California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

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United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more