Handmade parts in 308?

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by Horsefly, Feb 18, 2004.

  1. Horsefly

    Horsefly F1 Veteran

    May 14, 2002
    I've heard that the 308 series were the last "handmade" Ferraris. I have seen some photos of the older 250s and 330s that were stripped down to bare metal and at that stage, one can see how rough some of the handmade body parts are. Were the 308 body panels stamped out by machine or by hand? What are some of the "roughest" areas of a 308's construction? Just wondering because after noticing how "rough" some Ferraris look like under the skin, how could one tell if a 308 had been wrecked and repaired badly, versus what would just be original factory "roughness"?
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  3. ricrain

    ricrain Karting

    Nov 1, 2003
    Dallas Area
    Full Name:
    All the 308's I've worked on, from 77's to 85's were machine stamped steel body panels. Some hand work was done to get ultimate fit, such as leading and filling around the A-pillar area and around the quarter windows. Also, some hand filling around some of the more difficult sections, like fender lips and the rear lip.
  4. Smiles

    Smiles F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Nov 20, 2003
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Full Name:
    Matt F
    That certainly depends on your criteria for "handmade." As ricrain says, 308s (at least post-fiberglass cars) are made of stamped body panels, a practice which began with the Daytona. Prior to that, Ferrari bodies were hand beaten in smaller panels, test-fitted to a body buck, and then the panels were welded together. That's seriously handmade, and why they look "rough" under the skin.

    So, to answer your question, no 308 should look like that when stripped.
  5. Newman

    Newman F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner Professional Ferrari Technician

    Dec 26, 2001
    Full Name:
    I consider it a hand made car because it is assembled by hand rather than a robot. All the rivets, globs of dumb dumb and fitted components makes it hand built. The fiberglass factory tail panel I bought needs attention to make it nice once painted, not anything like a mass produced car of today. The brake lines are made on the car (they cant prebend them on a machine then feed them into the car) so no two cars have the same lines. The list goes on and on. Its hand built by todays standards but not if you compare it to panel beaters days.
  6. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
    Owner Rossa Subscribed

    Dec 6, 2002
    Houston, Texas
    Full Name:
    I have read that the most complicated fabrication on the 308s is the engine hatch. Sail panels were each mated to the horizontal stamping with grinding and welds.

    Everyone I have talked to about my paint work says "DON'T" refinish to bare metal, unless absoultely required. There is a poly filler ALL over the car, covering various seam lines. But major panels were machine stamped, then hand fitted.

    I have changed doors, etc, and minimal grinding is ALWAYS required with this procedure. To maintain even panel gaps. If they're not even, we make 'em even.

    The whole reason for the fibreglass 308s was to bring it to market ahead of die stamping the metal panels.
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  8. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
    Owner Rossa Subscribed

    Dec 6, 2002
    Houston, Texas
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    As an aside, I HAVE noticed some side to side variances between the left and right, on my 1977, so I guess we have SOMETHING in common with those old Vignales!
  9. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
    Owner Rossa Subscribed

    Dec 6, 2002
    Houston, Texas
    Full Name:
    Actually, a recent Forza interview with Mr. Scaglietti quoted him as saying the Boxer was the last run produced in his shop. I guess the 328's were the first factory runs. Would that be correct, anyone?????
  10. Drew Altemara

    Drew Altemara Formula 3

    Feb 11, 2002
    Tuscaloosa, AL
    Full Name:
    Drew Altemara
    I believe the last "hand made" Ferrari was the Boxer. Hand made being defined as patching together the body pannels over a wooden tub.

    I'll see if I can find the article. Maybe someone else can comment.
  11. Dave

    Dave F1 Rookie

    Apr 15, 2001
    Little Rock
    Full Name:
    David Jones
    Arlie, I have some shots of the original bucks that they used on the early 308s from the factory...
    Stop by the house and I'll let you see them, as I can't post them on the Internet because of copyright.

    I investigated this a few years back while helping a fellow owner find a bra for his cars for long distance drives.
    The finding was that you had to have a bra custom made to fit an early 308 or boxer because of the hand built tolerances.
    But starting with the 328 you could buy off the shelf.
    I can't verify, but I had heard that the change over start was implemented in late 1984.
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  13. yelcab

    yelcab F1 World Champ

    Nov 29, 2001
    San Carlos, CA
    Full Name:
    Mitchell Le
    There was at least one hand made part on my car, the passenger door actuating rod. I made that one out of my own hands.

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