1985 Ferrari 308 GTSi Quattrovalvole NFF - 503HP
- Location: Los Angeles, California, United States
- Condition: Used
- Make: Ferrari
- Model: 308
- Type: Convertible
- Trim: GTSi Quattrovalvole NFF - 503HP
- Year: 1985
- Mileage: 38,000
- VIN: ZFFUA13A3F0056517
- Color: Rosso Corsa
- Engine size: 3.93L V8
- Number of cylinders: 8
- Transmission: Manual
- Drive type: RWD
- Interior color: Saddle
- Vehicle Title: Clear
1985 Ferrari 308 GTSi Quattrovalvole NFF - 503HP description
The Ferrari 308 is one of the most iconic Ferraris ever built. With its Pininfarina-styled mid-engine, low and wide design, the car is one of the most recognizable cars in the world, and in recent years has climbed to the top of collectors’ lists, making pristine examples hard to find.
Yet while the beauty of the car is timeless, its drivability is less so. Stock versions of the 308 are plagued by high maintenance costs and reliability issues stemming from the design of its camshaft belts, head gaskets, fuel system, emission controls, electrical system, and cooling system, among others. Drivers have also long complained about the lackluster performance of the car, especially as compared to the car’s sexy styling, a fact that prompted an embarrassing bit on The Car Show whereby a stock 308 loses a head-to-head race to a Toyota Camry.
S/n 56517 is the result of a quest to design and built the most drivable and modern 308 on the road today, and is the realization of over four years of work and effort. The engine and components of the car have not only been completely rebuilt, but re-engineered, thereby eliminating all of the car’s typical reliability problems while boosting the displacement to 3.93 liters and the power from the stock version’s 230 hp and 188 lb-ft of torque to a whopping 503 hp at 8250 RPM and 357 lb-ft of torque at 6500 RPM while running on E85. This represents a naturally-aspirated output of about 128HP/L, which puts s/n 56517 on par with the best of today's supercars. Additional and substantial work has been done on the car’s suspension, interior, and exterior, which altogether combine to realize the quest of a modernized classic.
Work on this car was lead by Nick’s Forza Ferrari (NFF) of Custer, Washington. Akin to what Singer is to classic Porsches, NFF is the premiere shop for the restoration, enhancement, and modernization of the 308. Work is performed to the highest standards, beginning with computer simulated performance and design parameters, through exacting quality of build, attention to detail, testing, and delivery.
S/n 56517 presents a unique opportunity to experience a modernized classic. This is how the 308 is meant to be enjoyed: sexy, powerful, and reliable driving. With its superb engineering, design enhancements, aesthetic improvements, beautiful engine, interior, and exterior, and shy of 38,000 miles on the odometer – with only about 500 miles on the new engine – s/n 56517 is priced right at $125,000.
For more information, visit: http://www.503HP308NFF.com/
The list of s/n 56517’s performance, quality, and drivability enhancements is formidable. The engine size has been increased from the stock 2.9 liters to a whopping 3.93 liters (89mm bore x 79mm stroke), while still retaining the beautiful look of a stock engine exterior. The increased bore was performed by Race Engine Development of Oceanside, California using Darton ductile iron blanks machine to finished sleeves and a more-or-less proprietary software method, made available to Ferraris exclusively through NFF. The integrity of the sleeves and overall quality of the work results in a stronger internal engine rather than one that is weaker, which is usually the case with inferior bore jobs. The longer stroke is afforded by substituting the stock 308 crank with a Ferrari 360 crank, perhaps one of the most beautiful cranks ever built.
Other engine features include:
Custom engineered internals
Mil & aircraft spec
Double re melt, E4340AQ, chromoly steel rods
Custom forged, narrow pin boss, short skirt 11:1 CR pistons with ceramic head and dry film bonded skirt coatings
Shim under bucket
A fully electronic and programmable Link Engine Management System ECU
Coil-on-plug ignition coils with built in igniters
High-output 110 amp alternator
Scuderia Rampante fully synthetic fuel lines
High-flow fuel pump
E85 ethanol compatibility
Custom engineered damper
High-torque gear reduction starter that is stronger, lighter, faster, and requires less cranking amperage
Brisk Premium BOR12LGS silver electrode spark plugs.
S/n 56517 employs custom computer-optimizedcamshafts (including material and lobe design) by NFF that utilize nickel based hard facing alloys, which are homogeneous materials containing complex microscopic bi- and tri-metallics. The cams’ welding process achieved a metallurgical bond with the substrate that, combined with the overlay’s natural lubricity and their resistance to galling coupled with low RMS finishes, mean less wear on both the cams and the engine’s mating surfaces. In addition, they have very high thermal fatigue resistance.
While stock 308 camshaft belts have to be replaced every 12,000-15,000 miles at a cost of between $6,000 and $10,000, s/n 56517 comes equipped with NFF adjustable camshaft pulleys that have engineered to be compatible with modern-design belts, thus extending the service interval to 90,000 miles. Additionally, the pulleys are fully adjustable, which allow for better engine tuning.
S/n 56517 fixes another problem area by employing redesigned head gaskets. Stock head gaskets fail in part because of the crush o-ring design of the walking cylinder liners. NFF’s re-engineered head gaskets are viton coated carbon graphite bonded to a metal matrix core with selective 3D embossing techniques around the combustion seal, water, and oil ports, and lay on top of a flat deck cylinder liner, which afford worry-free driving.
While Ferrari still sells “Forza” branded head bolts as replacements for the 308, Ferrari doesn’t actually make these head bolts anymore. Instead, the “Forza” name is licensed to a manufacturer in China who is producing an inferior, failure-prone product. NFF’s re-engineered head bolts exceed the standards of the already very good OEM head bolts.
The engine also employs an NFF harmonic balancer. Every time the engine fires it makes the crankshaft twist as well as spin. After every twist the crank rebounds. This twist/rebound cycle is known as torsional vibration. If not dampened, torsional vibration can cause rapid bearing and crank journal wear, leading also to broken crankshafts and other problems. The NFF balancer addresses engine-damaging harmonics that are created when rubber deteriorates on OEM units. The balancer is three pounds lighter than the OEM version (responsible for a gain of over 8 horsepower), features indexed timing marks, and 60 less 2 tooth trigger wheel for aftermarket ignition systems.
A final point regarding the engine concerns the fuel system. Originally, the 308 was designed and came with carburetors, which facilitated adequate (but far from superb) performance. Unfortunately, the onset of stricter emission control measures prompted the implementation of mechanical fuel injection systems on the 308. These systems not only suffocate stock 308 engines, but also risk fuel wash if modified (which some inferior systems and shops are doing) given that they’re modified to deliver an amount of fuel that they simply can’t deliver. They are also by nature unequipped for integration into a precisely-timed engine. S/n 56517 incorporates a top-of-the-line Link G4+ Xtreme Black ECU that has been tuned and optimized for every stage of s/n 56517’s ignition cycle. Additionally, the ECU is equipped with a “Flexible Fuel” sensor that, along with s/n 56517’s FFV-compatible fuel hoses by Scuderia Rampante, facilitate the use of E85 ethanol.
The engine is beautifully finished with valve covers that were powder coated in Rosso Corsa by Embee Performance of Santa Ana, California and subsequently machine polished to accent the writing and style lines.
The result of this meticulous design and craftsmanship is a naturally-aspirated engine that puts out 503 hp at 8250 RPM and 357 lb-ft of torque at 6500 RPM while running on E85.
S/n 56517 comes equipped with a twin disc racing clutch and flywheel assembly that was engineered by NFF in collaboration with OS Giken in Japan for the engine's specific torque curve. The rear differential has been modified to 85% lock-up to make use of the increased torque and facilitate traction and acceleration.
The cooling system has been fully engineered to handle the engine’s increased displacement as well. It employs an NFF re-engineered radiator that is 3.10 inches wide, which is a whopping 13% wider than the OEM. This fully engineered radiator has fewer but much larger oval shaped coolant tubes, which impedes the development of corrosion that could impact the flow of the coolant. The NFF radiator has about 50 percent more fin area, and about the same increase in coolant tube to coolant area. The net effect is that it flows significantly more coolant and is a 36 percent more efficient heat exchanger than the OEM unit.
High-throughput Hayden 3680 “pancake” style 800 cfm cooling fans, and fully synthetic cooling hoses designed and supplied by Scuderia Rampante of Erie, Colorado, filled with Evans NPG + C waterless coolant, complement the radiator and ensure s/n 56517’s target engine operating temperature is always maintained.
The NFF radiator is matched with a custom NFF high-throughput water pump, replacing the OEM unit that was designed in the 1940s.
The exhaust employs a custom engineered, valved, andhand-welded Capristo exhaust made from 309 grade stainless steel (close to Inconel - used in F1 Racing) designed for very high temperature applications (>600*C) that employs mandrel-bent tubing and oversized NFF headers to facilitate the new engine’s breathability. Unlike stock 308 exhaust systems that only utilize one-half (two of four) exhaust pipes, s/n 56517’s exhaust system is engineered to utilize all of the four exhaust pipes, which again affords improved breathability and increased horsepower. S/n 56517’s exhaust system is matched to a set of twin Hyperflow catalytic converters to ensure smog compliance without compromising power output.
Suspension and Braking
The suspension and braking system have been modernized by employing NFF’s fully adjustable lightweight coil-over-shocks, along with polygraphite A-arm bushings. Stock production shock absorbers are designed to function in production cars, all of which are built exactly alike. Their shock design parameters are carefully engineered for a single application. NFF fully adjustable lightweight coil-over-shocks meet the special needs of highly specialized vehicles that have a great variety of ride and handling qualities.
The NFF fully adjustable lightweight coil-over-shocks offer a wide choice of heights, spring weights and six positions of valving, each of which has been fine-tuned to the needs and performance characteristics of s/n 56517. The shock absorber is machined from 6061 T-6 billet aluminum stock, which provides superior heat dissipation, maximum strength and quality appearance. Future adjustment is easily accommodated via a six-position damping adjustment, while an internally vented oil chamber which protects the top seal from excess pressure and stops leakage, nitrogen gas charging affords fade-free damping and consistent operation, and hydraulic anti-topping is standard. Internal 3-stage valve control automatically accommodates s/n 56517’s variations in sudden shock impulses for consistent damping under all road and speed conditions. Bottom threaded nut quickly changes spring preload to adjust ride height. A 9/16-inch piston rod and 1.25-inch diameter sintered metal piston operating in an inner steel cylinder assure rugged, dependable service. Springs are cold wound, chrome silicon wire then powder painted gloss black.
These coil-over-shocks have been reinforced by large 22mm/18mm diameter custom-designed ADDCO front and rear sway bars to ensure solid cornering and handling. 1045 ADDCO spec steel is the best material for anti-sway bar applications, as compared to 5160 Quenched and others, in a normalized aggregate comparison of shear modulus, yield strength endurance limit, and notch sensitivity.
Stopping power is ensured via the Girodisc “Big Brake Kit” consisting of enlarged slotted rotors and calipers, providing significant weight and brake fade-resistance performance benefits via forged aluminum four piston Wilwood racing calipers fitted with dirt seals for road use and kit specific braided stainless steel over Teflon brake lines. The Girodisc complete front brake system with calipers weighs in at 15.8 lb. less than the OE system. The Girodisc front discs are 3.3 lb. lighter despite being 36 mm larger. The Wilwood forged aluminum caliper is 4.6 lb. lighter than the iron OE caliper. The rear discs are more than 3 lbs. lighter than the OE unit, and offer a 36.4% improvement in surface area-to-weight for the rotor over OE. The light weight discs decrease the rotational inertia of the braking system and reduce unsprung mass.
The rotors are high carbon content iron for long wear and stable thermal performance, with zinc plating for corrosion resistance. The top hat section is aircraft 6061 T-6 billet aluminum with a gun-metal color anodized finish. The disc hardware consists of 10 cadmium plated alloy steel drive bushings which take the load from braking actions while maintaining the float between the hat and disc. Grade 12 cap screws with spring washers allow for float under braking while maintaining a rattle-free assembly while cold. The calipers are matched with BP-10 front and a Ferodo DS2500 rear brake pads to maintain the proper braking balance of the car.
The interior of the car has been meticulously restored using completely refurbished full-grain hide leather from the same European tannery that supplies BMW and Mercedes. GAHH of North Hollywood, California supplied Connolly type 3218E “Saddle” color leather for the seats, doors, and center console. Additionally, the outdated 1970s era fabric that customarily resides below the rear window and the underside of the targa top has been replaced with this same premiere 3218E Saddle leather. Black accent piping has been added to the outer edge of the seats for style and effect. The carpeting is new, two-toned tan/black Wilton Wool. The installation of the leather and carpeting was lead by NFF.
Center column switches were upgraded with a new Unobtanium “Unscratchable” 308 Switch Plate Set. Lever and Borletti air conditioner plate sets were supplied by Superformance in Hertfordshire, United Kingdom, as was a drilled aluminum pedal set. As a classy touch, GAHH 3218E leather was inserted beneath the drilled pedals for visual improvement. The notoriously slow and faulty stock 308 power windows were re-engineered to utilize two independent relays per door – a total of four relays to avoid stressing the charging system under operation and ensure window movement speed, power, heat management, and reliability.
S/n 56517 has an upgraded fuse box. The stock fusebox uses rivets to "clamp" the connectors on, and the "bus bars" across the back. With time, corrosion leads to a drop in the voltage to your car's electrical circuits and the production of heat, which melts the fusebox. Furthermore, the design of the fuse holders results in a very small contact area for the fuse that when oxidized leads to a poor connection. S/n 56517’s upgraded fusebox uses modern (standard and easily obtainable) glass AGC-type automotive fuses. It grips them solidly and resolves poor connections. The fuseholders themselves are ultra-reliable Buss fuseholders that do not rely on rivets to make the electrical connections, but rather soldered, heavy 12-gauge solid copper wire. The fusebox’s aluminum mounting plate is CNC machined and anodized black.
S/n 56517 is designed to be a driving car. Thus it has had its radio and air conditioner removed to facilitate enjoyment of the engine and improve cabin aesthetics. A center section was installed and recovered in Plonge black leather to accept the air vents.
The rear trunk toneau, which on stock 308s is vinyl and its zipper is typically faulty if not outright broken, has been replaced by NFF with a hand-stitched Plonge leather and equipped with a sturdy YKK zipper.
The front half of s/n 56517 was repainted in its stock Rosso Corsa in February 2012 by Arroyo Auto Company of North Hollywood, California, in order to correct superficial damage to the underbelly of the front spoiler inflicted by pebbles laying on a freshly paved road. The targa top was repainted black in 2015 by Classic Collision & Restore Co. of Bellingham, Washington. The front half of the car, lower front spoiler, front window sill, and bottom door and rear panels are all protected with Clearbra that was seamlessly installed by Bhane Mendoza of DOZA Designs of Beverly Hills, California, who is known to be the premiere Clearbra installer in Southern California. The front, side, and rear windows are tinted with 3M Crystalline window tinting from VIP Auto Customs of Pasadena, California.
S/n 56517 is fitted with a European-style grille, bumpers, and fog lights. The grille is custom and hand-made from an exclusive manufacturer in Australia. The grille is cut from 6 series aluminum to maintain structural integrity. The round leading edge and beveled trailing edge are matched to the factory original. The vertical uprights are installed and crimped as per original grilles. The grille is hand finished and was assembled with close attention paid to maintaining small details and exacting standards. The design, materials, and quality of build are better than OEM.
The same manufacturer also designed and fabricated a custom skid plate that is attached to the commonly neglected underbody of the front valence. The skid plate is made from a ¼ inch alloy plate and has been slotted to allow for wheel alignments without having to be removed. The mounting screws are counter sunk to avoid any interaction with the road.
The grille badge and European bumpers are supplied by Superformance. The bumpers were finished, painted in gloss black, and protected by Classic Collision & Restore Co. Installation was lead by NFF.
The rear right and left vents adjacent to the exhaust cover are powder coated in wrinkle finish black by Advanced Powder Coating NW of Bellingham, Washington.
S/n 56517 is fitted with very rare magnesium 16 inch wheels, which were restored and repainted by Arroyo Auto Company in 2012. The wheels are fitted with low-miles 205/55 VR 16" front and 225/50 VR 16" rear Pirelli P7 tires. (Note: the diameter and width of these stock wheels and tires are not sufficient to maintain traction, given s/n 56517's significantly increased horsepower and torque.S/n 56517's current owner rarely and carefully drove the car, and thus maintained the stock wheels for aesthetic purposes. It's highly advised that any new owner who wishes to experiences/n 56517's full performance capabilities install larger wheels and tires.)