Despite the 308’s popularity in Rosso due to its starring role alongside Tom Selleck in Magnum P.I., Ferrari did offer a plethora of fabulous colours that eschewed the traditional Ferrari red. Perhaps one of the more interesting shades was Oro Chiaro, a light metallic gold produced in the time of the 308’s heyday for Ferrari by Glidden Salchi. While initially popular with Enzo-era Ferraris, throughout the company’s rich history a number of models have sported this subtle and sophisticated hue from the factory, and has more recently seen a return to popularity due to Ferrari’s Tailor Made program.
On a model so closely associated with the colour red, seldom-seen colours such as Oro Chario are becoming increasingly sought after, presenting the discerning enthusiast with an opportunity to stand out from the crowd. Not only does this particular 308 benefit from being finished in Oro Chairo from new, but with its designation as one of only 712 fiberglass-bodied ‘Vetroresinas’ built, surely only a handful of these cars, the most sought after of all 308s, left the factory in such an attractive hue.
Built to European specifications for delivery to Germany, chassis number 20695 was delivered new to Bernard Kummer of Hadamar, Germany, a small town located inbetween Cologne and Frankfurt. Delivered on February 14, 1977, it was originally finished just as you see it today, in splendid Oro Chiaro over a Tan leather interior, and fitted without a stereo or factory air conditioning, believed to be specially ordered from the factory as such. The car moved over from Europe to California in the 1980s and found its home in the San Francisco Bay Area with Tony Wright. Wright had the car repainted red before selling it to Patrick Ottis, who is now known as one of the leading vintage Ferrari restorers and specalists in the U.S. The 308 was sold by him to Barry Russinof in 1989 for a Fiat 8V bodied by Zagato.
Afterwards, the car moved to the east coast where it was purchased by Don Hekler of Annapolis, Maryland in the fall of 2005. Acquired through John Delameter (one of the founding members of the Ferrari Club of America), Hekler was no stranger to Ferrari’s and the 308 GTB shared garage space with his 250 GT/L Berlinetta Lusso. In a recent conversation with the RM Sotheby’s Private Sales team, Hekler recalled the 308 being a wonderful car and that he drove the car regularly to events around the U.S. north east, occasionally driving as far as Watkins Glen for track events. In Hekler’s ownership, the car sustained some damage to the front spoiler and nose following a collison with a deer. A pre-purchase inspection was carried out as a condition of the current owner’s acquisition, which found that no structural damage was sustained. This was rectified during the car’s restoration through the acquisiton of a replacement ‘new old stock’ Vetroresina nose.
Purchased by the current owner in the fall of 2009 and imported to Canada, restoration work began on the car to return it to as-new condition in its original livery with the work entrusted to Rocks Automotive Restoration of Toronto, Ontario. Well-regarded in Canadian Ferrari circles as a 308 specialist, some 1,200 hours were spent on the restoration and great care was taken in ensuring the car was factory-correct throughout. Its only deiviation from factory original was the addition a European-specification front spoiler, although this was offered as an optional extra in 1977. This can easily be removed and replaced with a correct, standard spoiler should the new owner decide to do so.
During the 308’s disassembly, it was discovered that the car’s original colour was Oro Chiaro Metallic, and it was accordingly refinished in that same shade. The car’s interior was retrimmed in Tan Connolly leather as original. While the engine was fully rebuilt, it found that the gearbox was in good shape and did not need to be rebuilt. Needless to say, it presents in spectacular condition both inside and out.
Following completion of the 308’s restoration, it was taken to the Ferrari Club of America Annual Meet in 2018, held in Watkins Glen, NY. There, the car scored 99.5 points in judging and recieved a Platnium award (97 points and greater). It was also was awarded Coppa Bella Macchina, an awared only granted following an intensive inspection and assessment of the car where it is determined that everything on the car is in perfect working order as originally designed by the factory. Further to this, the car also won a major award, being named the best “3-series” Ferrari of the show, beating out all other 308s, 328s, 348s, 355s, and 360s on show.
Presently showing just under 99,000 km on its odometer, the 308 has been driven just over 1,000 km since the completion of its resoration. The car is accompanied by a set of manuals including its original warranty manual, correct pouch, concours awards, tool kit with bulb kit, jack, emergency light, warning triangle, emergency window crank, and history file including receipts and photos of the car both before and during its restoration.
Thanks to its impeccable restoration, this lovely 308 GTB wants for nothing but a passionate new owner, looking for a tastefully specified Ferrari that stands out from the crowd for all the right reasons.