Before and After  

My car is a US market car and was apparently given to one of the San Fransisco 49er's as part of his signing on deal. Unfortunatley I have not been able to find out his name, "yet".

Being US spec it was fitted with a catalist system. I have now removed the system and put in new piping which has changed the note of the car for the better and released more power. I am currently having new tail pipes made from stainless steel and hopefully by the time the body is finished I will have the pipes ready to go on.  

I recently read a piece in Classic & Sports Car about running a 308 and in it there was a "specialist" explaining how costly it is to run one. He was saying that you have to budget around £3,500 a year.  Having run this car now for almost 2 years and a Mondial before that, I have to say it was complete rubbish. He went on to list the prices of parts as follows. Cambelt change £750, Tyres £200, Water pump £250, discs £150 and pads £69 and take an hour each to fit at £52 per hour labour totaling £400.

Now I bought a water pump from Eurospares For £80 (saving £130), Discs I priced for £50 each, pads £30 and would be fitting them myself. A saving of £320.

Timing belt is the best though. I take the car to a guy who is an ex Rolls Royce engine builder who runs his own garage. He charges £300 to fit belt and tensioners. Thats £450 less than the Ferrari dealer..

I know what your thinking, "What about service history" I have 2 thoughts on this. I don't trust service histories, it's too easy to fake them. Also you leave your car in to a dealer but do you really know who is doing the work.  I would rather leave my car with someone who I know will be working on the car and there has to be bills to prove the work has been done. The money saved this way means you can run one of these cars maybe not on a shoestring but properly maintained none the less. Also by doing a little bit of the maintainance yourself you surely get a bit of pride to.   

My 308 was starting to show signs of rust bubbles on the front wing lower panels so I decided to put it through a full body restoration. This is the car now stripped 15/03/05.

 

 

The next job is to circle with marker any imperfections on the body so they can be taken out.

 

 As you can see I now have the car painted. Yes the colour has changed. Since I was a small boy I wanted a red Ferrari especially a red 308, so now was my chance to fulfill my dream.

 The paint is only on so I haven't started to flatten and polish yet.

 

The last pic shows the bonnet has just been flattened and has the first coat of polish on. If the rest of the car comes out as well I will be very happy.

It's April and the good weather must surely be close at hand. The whole car apart from the front spoiler has now been polished. This is how the right side came out. I have started to put the door back together. I rebuilt the window motor while I had it out. The wire mechanism for the winder is a little tight so I will spend some time getting this right before I go any further. 

As the tail pipes were showing signs of age a good friend of mine who runs an exhaust centre made me up 4 tail pipes made out of Stainless steel. once they were polished up they really finished the car off.

 

It's almost there. The sun came out this morning and I just couldn't help myself, I had to get the car out so I could see how the finished product looked. I am very very pleased. Just a few little odds & ends to finish off and it will ready for mot time.   

My friend Ciaran O'neil who is a professional photographer (and has won lots of awards) took the shots you see below because he was so impressed with the way the car came out. He took about 50 but I would have ran out of space if I'd used them all.   

That's Mr O'Neil taking the pics of the car.

The cars last show at Kilbroney (Rostrevor) before being put away for winter. I was a very proud man that day.

11/03/06. Well took the car out today to go to a show outside Dublin and only made it the length of Lisburn as the engine and electrics died. It had refused to start last November but I put this down to the battery being done and bought a new one at the time. To cut a long story short it has turned out to be the alternator that has given up. So time to take the old one out and get a new one.

18/03 Got the alternator out. It's not so much a hard job as a fiddly one. To do it you take off the offside inner wheel arch (6 10mm nuts) and once this is off you can get at everything. Now the air con unit does have to have all its bolts removed and bottom bracket taken off so you can move it enough to get at the alternator. Then you do have to lay under the car to get at the 17mm bolt that holds the alternator to the block. Once all the bolt are slackened you can then get the belts for the air con and the alternator off. This would be a good time to replace them if they are worn. Now if the alternator on your car is original like mine is there is a backing plate that guards the wires going into it. It is held on with 4 8mm nuts and has to be removed to allow you to get to the wires on the alternator. It's a bit fiddly removing them but has to be done.. The only thing in your way now is the main water pipe. what I was able to do was losen it off at the top mount and manauvre it enough out of the way to allow me to get the alternator out past it. Once out it was a straight forward replacement.

New Alternator

I rembered from when I was rebuilding the car that I could move the rear bumper in if I took the large blocks off that hold it out so far. I have been having a think about this and although I do like the Euro look better than the USA style bumpers, I know the USA bumpers give better protection. So I did a bit of playing around and have managed to get the bumper moved in a good 2 inches. I did this by taking out the blocks and fitting metal tube over the 4 bolts that hold the bumper on. The idea of this is that if I do be unfortunate enough to have someone bump into me the tubing will act as a cushion and collapse before any damage is caused to the car. I think it make the car look a little better and is a good compromise. Plus I can always revert back to the original spec if I so wish. Next jobs the front bumper and then the timing belts. Oh and I tightened the handbrake a litte today.  

Sat 9th June was the "All Ireland Italian Motor Day" and of course I had to bring the 308 along. The event was excellent with 82 cars, 10 bikes/scooters and one fiat tractor on show. Here's just a couple of photos of the event the rest of the event can be seen at www.niimc.net  

A company called Star Car Hire needed a Magnum 308 for a display in East Kilbride Scotland and asked me to bring the car along. After many phone calls I finally agreed to do it although I wasn't that keen as it ment 4 days away from the familly.

The car was put on a trailer at my house for the trip across. A really nice guy called Sean looking after things.

   

The front spoiler got damaged going onto the trailer. A little job to be fixed over the winter.

Once we arrived at East Kilbride Shopping centre it we got the car off the trailer and in a quickly as possible as it hadn't stopped raining since we left home. The next photo is the car be put into position. And that is KITT coming in next.   

The 308 and KITT parked in place ready for the veiwing public.

After a bit of polishing the 308 is tucked up for the night.

These posters were all over the place advertising the cars, which were there to promote Fathers Day. 

And this is the sign that was beside the car. It eventually made it's way into the boot of the car

The explanation about Magnum PI and the car.   

The public arrives.

My car wasn't alone. James Bonds Aston and Lotus were there to. The Aston was in amazing condition.

So for the rest of Saturday and Sunday I just watched and chatted andcleaned and put the barriers back everytime someone moved them. There will be a lot of camera phones about over the next month or so with the 308 as a screen saver.    

Once Sunday 6pm came it was a mad rush to get the car out and onto the trailer so we could make the boat in time. The security guards helped push the car out as we weren't allowed petrol in the cars. Very strange feeling steering along inside a shopping centre. Really wish the engine had been going as I'm sure the sound would have been something else.

We got to the terminal with plenty of time to spare so Sean took the opportunity to have his photo taken with the car. The people at the terminal were quite amused by us. A van on Irish plates, an American from Taxes driving, and a Norn Iron man as passenger. Oh and it had stopped raining. We eventually made it home at 3am. It could have been quite a boring trip but Sean made it worthwhile with with his stories. Thanks Sean.