The Ferrari Dino 208 GT4 is the smaller brother of the Ferrari 308 and was revealed at the 1973 Paris Auto Salon. The model was conceived and designed for the Italian market, where cars with a larger than two-litre displacement engine were subject to a value-added tax of 38%. In order to circumvent this restrictive taxation, the engine was downsized to 1,991 cubic centimetres, making it the smallest production V8 ever used in a Ferrari road car. As this was a model specific to the Italian market, all were produced in a left-hand-drive configuration. The Dino 208 GT4 remained in production from 1975 to 1980, and with just 840 units receiving Maranello’s stamp of approval, it remains a rarely seen Ferrari.
The 208 GT4’s 90-degree V8 engine contained belt-driven twin-overhead camshafts per bank, transversely mounted, with the all-synchromesh, five-speed transmission assembly below, and to the rear of, the engine’s wet sump. It was fitted with a bank of four twin-choke Weber carburettors, producing a very capable 180 horsepower.
The exterior design of the 208 GT4 is similar to its 308 big brother, with the obvious external differences between the two models being the 208 GT4’s single exhaust pipe and the plain aluminium finish for the louvres on the front lid and engine cover, as opposed to satin black on the 308 GT4. With a pronounced wedge-shaped body, penned by Bertone, a look that was very much in keeping with the sharp-suited style of the period, there are a number of important design details, such as the boomerang-shaped air intakes on the sail panels, which border the rear quarter glass. The left side intake ducted cooling air to the oil radiator and the right side sent air to the carburettors, essential to making the most of the small-capacity V8 engine. The overall design is compact and well balanced, withstanding the test of time and shifting fashions.
This highly original 208 GT4 was first delivered to Mr Gian Carlo Raccagni in Brescia in May 1976 and remained in his ownership for the following 39 years. In March of 2015 the car passed to Dima Automobili before being purchased by ex F1 driver, Alex Wurz, in May of the same year and registered in Monte Carlo. The car then passed to the current vendor who imported it to the UK on a NOVA but has decided to let the new owner be the first registered UK owner. We are advised that the car is in a very original and overall good condition. The car benefitted from a cambelt change in July 2016 and has only covered 100km since and is described to drive superbly. This 208 GT4 provides a wonderful opportunity to own an unmolested car with an excellent history, as well as the chance to be the first UK registered owner.