When Ferrari debuted the 308 at the 1975 Paris Motor Show, it was applauded by the automotive media. Designed by Pininfarina stud Leonardo Fiovanti, Ferrari’s latest sports car was hailed as a delicacy.
Car and Driver poured on the praise after its first drive of the 1977 308 GTB, describing the exterior as “stunning to look at, dramatic, sensuous and pleasant from every angle.” Of the interior, the magazine offered more of the same, claiming everything was in its right place. “Move your right hand off the wheel and it's drawn to the shift knob as if by a magnet.” It had subtle touches, from recessed sun visors to glare-reducing brushed trim. Driver comfort and modern design worked in concert.
Sounds like prancing horse perfection, right? Close.
Cut to me touring one of Southeast Michigan’s largest car shows, Rolling Sculpture, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Every July, the Big Ten college town shuts down the streets and ushers in droves of classic cars. The vehicle disparity is off the charts: Lotus Esprits parked next to jack-up Broncos parked next to prewar antiques. Amidst the chrome-clad chaos, a cherry Ferrari 308 caught my eye—or rather, the shiny box shoehorned in the passenger-side footwell.
I introduced myself to the owner and he confirmed my inkling that it was a CB radio. He explained that the original owner installed it, and when he bought the car used in 1985, he just left it there.
During the 1970s and ’80s, the U.S. was head-over-heels for the Citizen Band radio. In ’75, the trucker-lovin’ song Convoy topped the hit charts, and in ’77 Smokey and the Bandit hit the silver screen. The CB could be installed in your car for cheap and used for hours of highway entertainment. Before cell phones and Snapchat, this was your mobile chat room, replete it with its very own vernacular. Imagine rolling down the highway in a Ferrari, conversating with guys like Burt Reynolds.
Messing with perfection and making a mess of perfection often go hand-in-hand. Not in this case, however. The only two changes to the otherwise stock supercar were the CB and a wheel swap, from 14 to 16 inches. (To which we also give a resounding, “Hell, yeah!”) The four-cam transverse V-8 still purrs, and the Rosso Corsa is as vibrant as the day it was sprayed. Now, you can not only look badass, you can switch on your CB to listen to praise from those sharing the open road.
Sure, it’s like pouring BBQ sauce on your primavera. But if it enhances your weird sense of flavor, it’s still a delicacy in our book. Continua a fare il camion! (That’s Italian for “Keep on trucking!”) Let us know what you think about the setup in the Hagerty Forum below.