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Headlight louvers; body colored or black

Discussion in '308/328' started by etip, Jul 13, 2008.

  1. etip

    etip Formula 3

    Apr 4, 2004
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    I have searched, but can't find any info on what dictates the headlight louver color. Some are body colored, some are annodized black. What determines what color they are? Is it year? Option? Model (GTS vs. B)?
    Thanks for the input.
    etip
     
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  3. Robb

    Robb Moderator
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    Feb 28, 2004
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    I Believe that on the 308qv the euro vents were always body color, and the us cars were always black. Not sure before 1983 model year.

    The 328 for all markets were always matching the body color.

    Robb
     
  4. Shark Sandwich

    Shark Sandwich Karting

    Jan 22, 2008
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    Well, conventional thought says that the up-until-83 (carb and 2v FI) cars had body color for the U.S. ones, and black for Euro. That being said, I have dozens of pics that were taken by me or my dad at Algar in Pennsylvania from 78-82 or so, and there's certainly a few 308's brand new on the showroom floor with black vents behind the headlights, some carb, some FI. Body color predominates, but not 100 %.
    In spite of the fact that this was a "serial production" Ferrari, they were still largely hand built Italian cars. It's not out of the realm of believable that every once in a while the worker would grab whatever vent piece fell under his hand back in ' 79 when he was putting the car together, as long as he had a matching pair !!
    There was another thread somewhere about 85 mph speedos too. In these same pics, I have 4 dated 03/82, and of these 4, 3 GTSi's have an 85 mph speedo, and 1 has a 180... go figure. I know the changeover was right around then, again maybe "parts-bin" procedures were in effect here !!

    Art
     
  5. RVIDRCI

    RVIDRCI Formula 3

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    #4 RVIDRCI, Jul 13, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    I think it depends on what market the car was built for, the customers preference, and ??? I have a late 85 Swiss Euro, body color front louvers, no black rear "air foil" and a shallow front spoiler, so go figure ?

    personally I like the body color louvers, but they do attract rock chips.

    Here are a couple shots from a recent 308 gathering for side by side comparison.
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  6. Spasso

    Spasso F1 World Champ
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    #5 Spasso, Jul 13, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2008
    For US cars the fender louvers were body color from the factory until the 308 QV came out. On those the fender and bonnet vents were black.

    I have read that some of the fender vents were painted black on earlier US 308's by some dealers to upgrade the look to enhance resale.
     
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  8. etip

    etip Formula 3

    Apr 4, 2004
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    Thanks for everyone's replys. So... Safe to assume that my US 1981 308, which has black fender louvers, is incorrectly painted black and should have body colored?
    OK.... Thanks again.
    etip
     
  9. Argento839

    Argento839 F1 Veteran
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    If they are painted, then they are not factory. If original, I think they should be anodized.
     
  10. etip

    etip Formula 3

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    The car has been in a garage for about a year having motor and trans rebuilt, so I haven't looked at the louvers in a while. I will check if they are painted or anodized.
     
  11. etip

    etip Formula 3

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    And these photos just make me want to go get a deep euro front spoiler!!!! It's never ending.....
     
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  13. Dr Tommy Cosgrove

    Dr Tommy Cosgrove Three Time F1 World Champ
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    officially all 308's had body colored vents from the factory all the way thru the end of the 2V injected cars in 82

    1983-85 (the 4V cars) were black on the US cars and body colored overseas.

    If you ever see a 76-82 308 with black vents, they were painted that way over here by someone else, they most certainly never left the factory that way.
     
  14. Dr Tommy Cosgrove

    Dr Tommy Cosgrove Three Time F1 World Champ
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    they are anodized or at least they are supposed to be

    whenever I see the pre-82's with them it's a Krylon job
     
  15. Shark Sandwich

    Shark Sandwich Karting

    Jan 22, 2008
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    Well Doc,

    I would tend to agree with you, but I have some kodak pics that suggest otherwise, including one with 3 GTSi's and a Mondial on a transporter outside Algar, one of these GTSi's (a silver one) has black headlight louvres. I am computer stupid and I don't have a scanner, but if I can scan this pic, I will, and post it. This particualar transporter pic is dated 07/81, and I took it, although I was 14 at the time and barely remember it !! Just a cursory look over this whole pile that I dug out of the basement also shows some variation in rocker panel colors (black vs. body color), but the pics with this all seem to be clustered around mid- ' 82.
    Could every one (admittedly not many) I see here in the dealership and on the transporter with black louvres be an aftermarket or dealer job as you say ?? sure, I guess, I certainly can't say. But it would seem odd that this is the case way back in 1981 when they were new, but maybe you're right.

    Art
     
  16. Dr Tommy Cosgrove

    Dr Tommy Cosgrove Three Time F1 World Champ
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    #13 Dr Tommy Cosgrove, Jul 14, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2008
    If they were black the dealer did it or a previous owner did it. Ferrari didn't. Trust me on this one. I am not saying you don't have picyure proof that they are there, just that Ferrari didn't do it

    (By the way, like you I have a thick book of pics I took growing up in the very early eighties (most are from 81-83) and I have noticed the 180/85 speedo thing too)
     
  17. rizzo308

    rizzo308 Formula 3
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    i would go the euro spoiler for sure makes them look so much better ( theres one on ebay think it's going for $450) ..... need to watch the speed humps and drive ways do you need a rear dek lid spoiler
     
  18. etip

    etip Formula 3

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    No, I have the rear deck lid spoiler already. I will get a euro spoiler when time/funds allow it; paint and body will be the next project to tackle.
     
  19. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    The comment about anodizing is indeed correct, the painted ones (body color USUALLY) were an earlier treatment 1975 -1979....

    When the hood louver was added to North American cars the fender vents became black anodized to match...

    I have a 1977 car that sat at Ron Tonkin until Summer 1980, at which time it was "updated" with black anodized fender louvers and a rear spoiler as dealer installed items..

    I think that is also the reason now there is such a variance, as if you were buying the car htye'd do whatever you want...

    I'd be interested to know though, as a anodized louver should have a different part number from a primer painted one........
     
  20. GeoMetry

    GeoMetry Formula Junior

    Apr 14, 2008
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    I like the body colored vents better and I don't like the rear spoiler. I also like the black A pillars. So why did I replace my beautiful 81 308 GTSi with an 85 GTSi QV? Because I hate rust! If I ever need a repaint and maybe even if I don't I would like to buy a spare set of vents and have them painted body color. Then I could switch them out to match my mood.
     
  21. Dr Tommy Cosgrove

    Dr Tommy Cosgrove Three Time F1 World Champ
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    OMG there are two of me out there! I can't believe it

    I feel exactly 100% the same. My favorite 308 is the 81-82 model but I bought an 84 QV for various reasons. However I have been slowly replacing items to make it look like an 82 model. I even swapped the Momo for a Nardi and went so far as to have the two slow down lights put on the dash on each side of the steering column. I even took the rear defog metal plate and changed it to an "aerial" one. I know...

    I have an early hood w/o louvers that is painted and ready to go on AFTER I replace the radiator with a better, larger aluminum unit with upgraded fans (the hood vents help that run hot thing some I am sure so I need to boost the cooling system first)

    My car is black so the black vents and black a pillars is a non issue at this time but if it gets a red re-spray, it's getting black around the windshield and the rear spoiler is coming off too.

    Yes, I have issues, but that's the way I first saw them as a kid and that's what I have always wanted.
     
  22. Shark Sandwich

    Shark Sandwich Karting

    Jan 22, 2008
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    Geez Tommy, if you want to complete the project, I'll swap you my late ' 82 2v engine for your ' 84 :)

    I also understand the power of what is first imprinted upon you as a kid. I've been lucky enough to have two 308's in my life, and want a 365BB, want an early Bora, etc, but the first Italian Exotic I ever saw as a 9 year old was the orange LP 400 on the Feb. 1976 cover of Road and Track.

    ... so guess what I think of when someone says "Italian exotic??"

    ... an orange LP 400. Well, maybe Monica Bellucci too. :)

    Art
     
  23. timr

    timr Formula Junior

    Sep 24, 2006
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    1977 GTB Steel US Model Black #20817. Original black painted louvers. Early 308's had the louvers the same color as the body, not anodized. If you strip them you will notice they were not anodized.

    Tim
     
  24. Dr Tommy Cosgrove

    Dr Tommy Cosgrove Three Time F1 World Champ
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    The ones that came black on all the US colors starting in 83 are. I have a black metallic QV. Mine are anodized. There was no reason to anodize them before then at the factory since they were getting painted
     

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