A Ferrari that's not afraid to get dirty

Who doesn't want to own a dirt-flinging Ferrari from the golden age of rallying? This Group B-spec 308 is headed to auction.

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James Mann/RM Auctions
Who doesn't want to own a dirt-flinging 308 from the golden age of rallying?
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1978 Ferrari 308 rally car
Spanish rally ace Antonio Zanini desperately wanted a Ferrari for the tarmac-oriented Spanish national rally championship. A Ferrari dealer in Spain coughed up this 308 GTB. 
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1978 Ferrari 308 rally car
Zanini dropped the car off with Michelotto, the preparer responsible for the factory-built 308 Group B cars. Basically, instead of coming out of the factory as a body-in-white and being converted to Group B spec later, this was a dealer car upgraded to Group B spec in period.
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1978 Ferrari 308 rally car
Michelotto fitted adjustable suspension all around, bigger anti-roll bars, an uprated braking system, a quick-ratio steering rack, a competition clutch, and a close-ratio gearbox. Standard 308 GTBs made something like 250 hp in Euro spec; this Group B-spec transverse V8 made 280 hp for Zanini.
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1978 Ferrari 308 rally car
This car has been refurbished, not restored. The interior looks used but not tired. RM Auctions claims the car has only travelled 12 miles since it last raced in 1985. 
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1978 Ferrari 308 rally car
Interestingly, Zanini only finished one race in it—Rally Oscana, and he blew everyone else away. A protracted development meant it only saw the last rounds of the 1984 championship. In the very last race the car retired with a broken brake line.
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1978 Ferrari 308 rally car
For the 1985 season, Zanini was contracted to Peugeot. Another driver took his place; again, bad luck would sideline the car.
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1978 Ferrari 308 rally car
The car's last race was the 1985 Rally Catalonia. The car left the stage and no one was around to push it back on. That was the end of this car's rally career.
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1978 Ferrari 308 rally car
Notice the low-mounted light pod. That's a divergence from the bulbous hood-mounted light pod on the factory Group B cars.
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1978 Ferrari 308 rally car
At one point, the car was redone in a "Cimarron" livery—no, not the GM vehicle of ill repute. Cimarron was a Spanish jeans manufacturer, and jeans were a hot commodity in the 1980s.
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1978 Ferrari 308 rally car
The auction listing claims that wearing its Cimarron duds (not shown in the listing), it became famous as a Scalextric model. That's dubious ... the only Cimarron-liveried Scalextric model an internet search brings up is a 288 GTO. Close, but no cigar. 
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1978 Ferrari 308 rally car
While it's not a factory-produced car and didn't see much time in competition during the golden era of Group B, regional or otherwise, it's a relic of an era in which Ferrari thought it well and proper to go play in the mud. 
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1978 Ferrari 308 rally car
Remember, this line of rally-bred Ferraris would lead directly to the aforementioned 288 GTO, one of the greatest Ferraris of all time, and one of the last ones to be overseen by the old man himself.
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1978 Ferrari 308 rally car
Enjoy the rest of the photos of this lovely 308. The car will be sold at the Paris RM Auction in early February. This listing can be seen . RM estimates it could sell for up to $358,000.
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1978 Ferrari 308 rally car
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1978 Ferrari 308 rally car
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