THE CAR AND ITS OWNER
1982 Ferrari 308 GTSi owned by Stephen Wohlleb
WHAT MAKES IT INTERESTING
If this sleek Ferrari looks familiar to Tom Selleck fans, that's because he drove a similar car in the "Magnum P.I." television series, which aired from 1980 through 1988. "It is one of the more easily recognized of all Ferraris," Wohlleb says of his black coupe, "but it is sometimes mistaken for a kit car built on a (Pontiac) Fiero frame." Sports car aficionados know better. The 308, produced from 1975 to 1985, was ranked among the top 10 sports cars of the '70s by Sports Car International magazine. According to ferrari308.com, just 1,749 GTSi models were produced in 1981 and 1982.
HOW LONG HE'S OWNED IT
"I have owned the car for about seven years," he says, "but have always wanted a Ferrari. I had lost a beautiful, restored Jaguar XKE in an accident and selected this car as a replacement."
WHERE HE FOUND IT
"The car was listed in Newsday under 'sports cars' and the owner lived relatively close to my home," Wohlleb says.
The exterior was repainted just prior to Wohlleb's purchase, but he's since done major mechanical and interior work. He also installed a fire suppression system "as these cars have a history of engine compartment fires," he says. "Parts for this model Ferrari are readily available and not as expensive as one would think. I have a local mechanic that is both reasonable and talented with these cars."
TIPS FOR OTHER OWNERS
"Drive the car," Wohlleb advises. "The more you use it, the better it behaves. Low- mileage 'garage queens' are often the worst choice."
He says that similar Ferraris can be bought for the upper $20,000 to low $30,000 range. "Their value has actually been increasing lately, while other classic and muscle car prices have declined," he says.
"It's not as fast from a dead stop as many modern cars, but it handles back roads like it was glued," Wohlleb says. "I often take it to local car shows and to Ferrari gatherings, especially at North Fork wineries. I asked my wife if I now looked like Tom Selleck, but she maintains I have remained the short idiot she married years ago. Win some, lose some."