THE quote “I sell engines. The car I throw in for free” is often attributed to Enzo Ferrari.
There’s no evidence he ever said this, but it’s a neat quote that summarised his obsession with engines.
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If Il Commendatore was alive today and was absent-mindedly scrolling through Craigslist Chicago, he’d doubtless disapprove of this 1975 Subaru WRX engine-swapped Dino 308 GT4.
The vendor originally bought the car with no engine and transmission, the whereabouts of the 3.0-litre V8 unknown. Otherwise the car remained largely stock apart from wiper motor connectors and a functional speedo, bits that Il Commendatore could probably throw in for free were he alive.
With a 208kW engine punting around 1100kgs up the road, it’ll doubtless be quicker than the original V8-powered version, which could only manage 100km/h in a relatively leisurely 6.4 seconds. In other words, about as fast as a top-end Hyundai i30.
The car was originally silver from the factory but resprayed white. Still one of the few mid-engined 2+2s (we can think of the Lotus Evora and then we’re struggling), the Bertone-styled 308 GT4 is also one of only two Ferraris since 1951 that wasn’t designed by Pininfarina. If you’re a loyal Wheels magazine reader you’ll know the other one.
We’re waiting with keen anticipation for the first online commenter to point out that the 308 GT4 was never badged as a Ferrari but was a Dino instead, just so that we can collectively share in that rosy glow of satisfaction that comes from pointing and laughing at people who don’t click the link.
If, like us, you back an underdog, then this mutt of a thing will probably appeal. But then getting it approved for import to Australia would probably be harder than mating a WRX engine and gearbox to 43 year old Italian ironmongery. As Il Commendatore almost certainly didn’t say, “God loves a trier.”