A unique right-hand-drive Ferrari 308 GTS QV is ready for auction in the UK. What makes this particular 308 so very special? Well, it’s one of only four in the world known to employ a V12 engine.
The reason for this 308’s heart transplant goes back to the vehicle’s first owner, Nigel Hudson. In March 1985, Hudson took delivery of his new Ferrari 308 GTS QV but was left underwhelmed by the power output (177 kW from the standard 2,9-litre V8).
Despite personalising the car to his tastes – including adding a white leather interior, metallic blue chiaro paint, air-conditioning and an optional deep front spoiler – he still felt something was missing. Unfortunately, more grunt could not be found on Ferrari’s options list. So what Hudson did was fit a bigger engine.
The 400 series Ferrari V12 in this 308 GTS was his engine of choice. The 4,8-litre four-cam unit was fitted by Nigel Mansell’s Emblem Sports Cars in the late 1980s.
“The results from the creation of this car are quite astonishing. The 4,8-litre, for-cam, Ferrari V12 is known affectionately as ‘Nigel’s Flyer’ … it is something very special indeed,” said Will Smith, sales manager of Silverstone Auctions, which will be putting the 308 under the hammer.
After being in storage for 10 years, the current owner bought “Nigel’s Flyer” in 2013 and fully restored the engine, gearbox, brakes and suspension, under with Hudson’s supervision. The exact power output is unclear, but it should be somewhere in the region of 230-250 kW considering the engine’s output in other Ferrari models such as the 400, 400i and 412.
With only 233 right-hand-drive 308 GTS QV models made, this V12-powered 308 is incredibly rare and the sale includes its original books, manuals, jack, tool kit and a comprehensive service history, including the receipts for all of the work recently done.
The 308 V12 is expected to go for between £50 000 and £60 000 (between R847 000 and R1 017 000, at the current exchange rate), a seemingly reasonable price for a truly unique 1980s classic Ferrari.