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Driving experience comparison b/w Ferrari 328 and G body 911

Anyone have any driving experience between the two? Comparisons both positive and negative? I know that the F cars carry a much higher maintenance tax, but I typically drive my extra cars less than 1k a year.

Thanks,
Milan
Old 02-07-2019, 07:09 PM
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Based on the title, I thought you were asking for a comparison between BMW 328 and 911.
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Old 02-08-2019, 04:48 AM
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Crap, you're right, I tried to go back and edit the title, but it won't let me.
Old 02-08-2019, 04:57 AM
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My friend has a 1981 Ferrari 308 GTS which is similar in looks and in the ten years that I've driven along with him I do not recall a single twisting road driven at speed.

He cruises in it and does jack rabbit starts to beat out SUV's at intersections on lane ending roads.

The car gets lots of attention the once or twice a year he takes it out.

It's not a driver, it's an investment, a garage queen.

I would hope the 328 is a bit more than that for you.

The best things about my friends car is the gate shifting and engine sound.

EDIT:
Based on banking curves to get on the highway and parkway cruising with wide turns the 308 indeed feels heavy and not as light footed as a 911. Translate that into the Ferrari is more sure footed and the 911 more challenging to drive if you like. Most people like that challenge.
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Last edited by kach22i; 02-08-2019 at 05:23 AM..
Old 02-08-2019, 05:16 AM
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Search back in the OT archives and you should find some threads from Wayne (the founder) when he bought either a 308 or a 328. I think he found it quite agricultural with heavy steering and not a particularly quick car. At the time I was thinking of getting a 308 and he kind of put me off. I went and bought a 356 and never regretted it for a moment.
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Old 02-08-2019, 05:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yorkie View Post
Search back in the OT archives and you should find some threads from Wayne (the founder) when he bought either a 308 or a 328. I think he found it quite agricultural with heavy steering and not a particularly quick car. At the time I was thinking of getting a 308 and he kind of put me off. I went and bought a 356 and never regretted it for a moment.
I was thinking the same.
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Old 02-08-2019, 05:39 AM
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Thanks, I'll try the search button.
Old 02-08-2019, 06:31 AM
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Owned both, for many, many years.

90% of the 328's are GTS models. I wouldn't own one of those if you gave it to me. As bad as a 911 targa is, in terms of torsional stiffness, an open 308 or 328 Ferrari is far worse. Drive one over a set of railroad tracks at speed with the top off and be prepared to be disappointed. So, my comments will refer to the closed version of the car, the GTB. I'll compare it to a 911 coupe, as I tend to think targas aren't serious driver's cars (and I have owned 2 of them, so no *****ing...)

The build quality of the 911 is much better. If you like the sound a 911 door makes when it shuts, you won't like the Ferrari. If you like the solid feel of the steering wheel in a 911, you won't like the Ferrari. If you like to drive your 911 on real roads at speed (assuming you haven't screwed it up by lowering it to "look better") you won't like the Ferrari. If you like the driving position and visibility of a 911, you won't like the Ferrari.

A 911, for all of it's simplicity and hand-built nature is a car that is, and feels, far more sorted out than the Ferrari. A 328 was the pinnacle of development of the early small Ferraris (the 348 and later cars were completely different) and had more than 1400 changes from the 308. Well, it needed 1400 more... Most here are familiar with the 911, so here's what a 328 is like:

The driving position sucks. The relationship between the steering wheel, pedals and seat is wrong. The steering wheel is adjustable (if you do some disassembly) but can't be put into a good position. It's tilted too much. It's also way too small and also blocks most of the gauge where you most want to see them. The seats suck. They are as unsupportive as a base 911 seat, but also uncomfortable for any distance. There was no sport seat option. Headroom is limited, try to be shorter than 5-9, 5-10.

The gated shifter is no big deal. I don't know why people mention it. If you don't like the way a 911 shifts, it's because you have lousy technique. A 328 won't help you. As a bonus, you get to hear a clacking noise with every shift. Yippee. You should know that 2nd gear will be unavailable until the gearbox is warm, so plan on using 3rd in place of second until the gearbox is happy. A 328, like any of the little Ferraris, is geared really low. You will be shifting, a lot, even in town driving. When warming the car up, and keeping the revs down, you'll be shifting every couple seconds. 1, 3, 4, 5... about that quick. At highway speeds, you'll turn a million revs. Where you might be turning in the vicinity of 3,000 revs in a highway cruise in a 911, in a 328 you'll be closer to 4,000. This makes for lots of noise. You'll seldom hear the exhaust, as it will be drowned out by the mechanical cacophony generated a few inches behind you. At first, you might think it's neat. Later, you won't.

Which brings up the radio. Radios were dealer installed items, so you'll get an aftermarket installation in every 328. The speakers were factory installed, and they are crap, maybe as bad or worse as those in a 911. There are front speakers only, there were never any in the rear, and you can't turn them up loud enough to drown out the engine noise. The low frequency drivers were installed behind the carpet in the doors, so imagine what clarity that provides. If you want to listen to the radio, first you must raise the electric antenna, with a switch. It doesn't do it for you when you turn the radio on, nor does it lower it when the cars turned off. It's electric, but it's up to you to run it up and down. Every time.

There are bad reflections in the gauges. I tended to wear a black shirt when I drove mine, to minimize this problem. The gauges are poorly lit (red) and difficult to see at night. There are bad reflections in the windshield from the dash. The inside mirror (of a coupe) gives you a view out the back that's about completely blocked by the 3rd brake light in the roof. You have to move your head around to see if anything is behind you.

The A/C sucks. It doesn't blow enough air to do any good on a sunny day, or one where the temperature is above the low 70's. Roll the windows down and you'll get a lot of noise but very little airflow. You'll also notice that you can feel some of the heat coming off of the radiator, as it exits out of the vents and around the sides of the windshield. Interior ventilation is even more complicated to operate than a 911, in that the fresh air and heated air are separate from the A/C and also separate for the two sides of the car. The controls are a mix of manual levers and electric switches which open and close the ventilation ducts and the flow of heated air. The switches have rows of little idiot lights to indicate how far open the vents are, which are hard to see in daylight. If the switches fail, you'll not be able to adjust anything. I doubt there's a long term supply of the switches, either, so beware. The fresh air intake is close to the road, so it will ingest all manner of small rocks and sand particles, which the system will dutifully deliver into the car.

There is no glovebox, just a storage box in between the seats that's hard to reach when driving. The latch operates with on the the keys on the keychain, which is inconvenient when actually driving the car. You don't just need the key to lock the thing, you need it to open the damn latch to open the box.

On the plus side, the interior is trimmed fairly nicely, although the leather quality is less than the more expensive Ferraris. Carpets are nice, the interior smells more expensive than a 911.

As for performance, if you rev it to the redline, it will probably outrun a 911SC and be comparable to a Carrera 3.2. The redline is around 7700 and it sounds a little strained at those revs. You will be working harder than the guy in the 911.

Steering is slow, which is made worse by the steering wheel position and how you have to use the wheel, Watch a bus driver, to get an idea of the technique. You can't toss it around like a 911. If you crank the wheel too hard, too fast, you'll break the front tires loose and plow straight on. This is something that won't come up if you're a good driver but it might catch out the occasional idiot. A 328 wants the front end to be loaded progressively. Steering feel is less than a 911. It's adequate. A 328 has decent brakes but it won't like greasy or sandy surfaces, especially downhill, much like a 911. They don't corner as flat as some people claim and you have to watch how quickly you hustle one through a fast left-right transition, like a chicane. The engine is heavier than a 911 and the weight of it is higher in the chassis and it can be a problem if you are not ahead of it and a good driver. You can spin one of these without getting off the throttle, although I doubt there'd be an instance on a public road where you'd run into that. I know a few tracks where that might bite the unskilled.

A 328 will bottom on frost heaves and dips at highway speeds. The part that hits first will be the cover shroud under the radiator, followed by the radiator once you wear a hole in the shroud.

The only real luggage space is in the rear trunk, which is vastly smaller than the 911 trunk. Soft bags only, unless you have a set of the nice looking, very expensive and fairly useless Ferrari fitted luggage. Anything you put in the trunk will get warm. Passengers are useful for holding drinks, food and anything you want to stow in the cockpit.

DIY service is more difficult, some repairs are a real pain in the ass. Some things, like suspension bushings, are not the "lifetime" items taken for granted by most 911 owners but
definitely more frequently replaced. Timing belts are an added item every 5-9 years, valve adjustments are more expensive because there's nearly 3 times as many valves and half of them are a huge pain to get to. Maintenance costs aren't as bad as people like to claim but they will be higher on a 328. Parts are also harder to find and I wouldn't take it for granted that you can always find them.

If you break certain things, like the stupid little stalks on the steering wheel for operating the lights, or a front fog light lens, I wish you luck in finding a replacement. You used to be able to wave a thousand dollar bill under someone's nose and be rewarded with your new part but I think those days are gone.

Ferrari drivers are worse than Porsche drivers, so caveat emptor when it comes to finding one that hasn't had an absolute idiot in the ownership chain. There will also be more owners/mile in a Ferrari.

Washing and waxing one is more work than a 911. More nooks and crannies. The engine cover slats are a huge nuisance to keep looking nice.

Etc.

Last edited by javadog; 02-09-2019 at 06:26 AM..
Old 02-08-2019, 07:30 AM
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This ^ is the best post I've read on this forum in 10 years.. thank you for the factual, sarcastic and well written opinion. That was enjoyable !
Old 02-08-2019, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by javadog View Post
Owned both, for many, many years..........
Wow, it certainly sounds like you have a lot of seat time.

All sins are forgiven if it puts a smile on your face and you feel a little tingle or rush just sitting in it.

Does a Ferrari 328 do that for you Javadog?

Did it ever do that for you?

Does an old 911 do that for you?
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Old 02-08-2019, 09:41 AM
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I have enjoyed all of the cars that I have owned, for one reason or another, but I have lost interest now in having a large fleet of different cars to drive. Likewise, I have enough seat time in everything that I’ve owned that I have no particular desire to revisit any of them. It’s pretty unlikely that I will ever own another Ferrari, I may or may not on another Porsche but I cannot see myself owning another 911 of that era.
Old 02-08-2019, 09:57 AM
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I agree, very well written.

The 308/328 cars are something I have desired to own.
Old 02-08-2019, 10:30 AM
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vv3H9_H6POg

My firends video.
this willhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vv3H9_H6POg get you close
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Old 02-08-2019, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doug_porsche View Post
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vv3H9_H6POg

My firends video.
this willhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vv3H9_H6POg get you close
Well done.

I like the Tea Cup Vs Beer Stein analogy.
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Old 02-08-2019, 03:48 PM
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I should bookmark this so I can come back to it every time I get an itch for something red and Italian.
It'll save me a few $.
Old 02-08-2019, 04:43 PM
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Yes. Excellent post. I suppose many sport/supercars from that era will feel more or less agricultural today. The last ten years I rarely drive my 911 more than a hundred miles a year. I do enjoy it but the drives, I suspect, are more for the benefit of the car than me.
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Old 02-09-2019, 01:33 AM
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Well done.

I like the Tea Cup Vs Beer Stein analogy.
+1

Nice production. Subbed to their channel.
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Old 02-09-2019, 05:27 AM
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Damn Javadog..that's quite the honest opinion.

I think for anyone wanting to own a 308 or 328 its more of a dream based on the high profile status when these cars were new and when we were young men or teenagers during the '80s. The shortcomings of these cars are very obvious as new cars today are just so good even the plain jane appliance models when comparing to cars of 35+ years ago. So it really depends on your expectations and where your "bar" is.

I own a bunch of '80s cars and I actually enjoy driving them, knowing their limitations. One of the things that keeps me passionate about them is the great styling.

For some of my cars the aftermarket has done a great job in producing parts to really enhance ownership and make the cars much more enjoyable to own and drive..things like suspension bushings, leather skins for the seats, improved exhaust systems, etc etc. If you like to tinker '80s cars are really quite fun and rewarding.
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Old 02-09-2019, 06:19 AM
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When I sold my 73S using a broker and had the check in my hot little hand there was my teenage dream car a 308 GTS on the showroom floor with 50K miles calling my name. After reading the excellent post above am I ever pleased I didn’t act on impulse and bring it home. Whew what a hot mess!
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Old 02-09-2019, 06:15 PM
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Do you recall what year the 308 Gts was?
Old 02-10-2019, 04:55 AM
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