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Ferrari 488 GTB: celebrating the 308 GTB’s 40th in style

7 February, 2015

It’s been 40 years since Ferrari came out with the legendary 308 GTB, the marque’s first mid-engined V8 model, and now we have this — the Ferrari 488 GTB. It looks a little like a 458, doesn’t it? Don’t go thinking that this is just a normal 458 with some garnish, though — the most notable change is not aesthetic, but mechanical.

The 458’s brilliant 4.5-litre V8 is out of the picture here, replaced with an all-new turbocharged 3.9-litre V8 developed by Ferrari’s Formula 1 and World Endurance Championship engineers. How does 661hp and 560lb·ft sound? That’s said to make the 458 GTB good for the 0–100kph dash in three seconds, and 0–200kph in just over eight seconds. Fiorano is dispatched in one minute and 23 seconds, a full two seconds quicker than the 458.

Power isn’t everything, and you can bet Ferrari weren’t going to leave it at slapping a pair of turbos onto the engine. Aerodynamically, the 488 GTB is reported to produce 50 per cent more downforce and a reduced coefficient of drag, thanks to the double front spoiler, base-bleed side intakes, and active rear diffuser and spoiler. The F1-Trac and E-Diff work in conjunction with a revised Side Slip Control 2 (SSC2) system, keeping the 488 GTB stable around corners.

Inside, it’s all modern Ferrari, with the steering wheel the main business hub, and the rest of the cockpit tastefully finished. The 488 GTB is set to make its debut at the International Geneva Motor Show in March this year.

Taipan – surpassing interest

“It’s merely a passing interest,” insists Selby — despite owning three variants of the classic VW Beetle, including an unusual VW van that was sold as a body kit for a Subaru. In his defence he points to a 1961 Ford Thunderbird, a car that he converted to right-hand drive. However, on the VW side of the ledger, since he opened Allison Autos in Whanganui 27 years ago, Selby has built 15 VW-powered Formula First cars, followed by a beach buggy, restored a derelict Karmann Ghia, and hot-rodded a common or garden Beetle into something that has to be seen to be believed. As speed is not something generally associated with classic VWs, though, Selby is still waiting for this particular modification to catch on amongst the hot rod faithful.

Travelling companion

It’s easy to see why the Morris Minor Traveller was one of the best-loved variants of the Morris Minor. Introduced in 1953, it was equipped with the same independent torsion bar front suspension, drum brakes, and rack and pinion steering as its saloon sibling but, with their foldable rear seat increasing versatility, many Travellers were used as trade vehicles, says Derek Goddard. Derek and Gail Goddard, the owners of this superbly restored example, have run Morris Minors since before they were married in 1974.
“Our honeymoon vehicle was a blue Morris Minor van — it was a rust bucket,” says Derek.