It is not often that you clap your eyes on a classic Ferrari and it is certainly not every day that you actually get behind the wheel of one. Well this last weekend I did exactly that in an immaculate 1989 Ferrari 328 GTS to be precise. The 328 GTS was the successor to the 308 GTS but obviously came with some improvements. The most notable one was the increase in engine displacement to 3.2L and this is where it gets its model title from (32 – cubic capacity and 8 – number of cylinders). The GTS was able to sprint to 100 km/h in 5.9 seconds and go on to a top speed of 267 km/h. These were seriously impressive numbers back then and since only 7400 Ferrari 328’s were built before the 348 arrived in 1989 it was rather special too. This was one of the last 328’s built in 1989.
On to the drive and this is where the magic starts. I cannot remember the last time I drove a raw driver’s car but I was quickly reminded how it went as I realised you needed some serious effort and muscle to just turn out of the garage. This was not a problem because I was so excited to be in the car I made sure I managed! I am not sure if many of you have heard a classic Ferrari accelerate but the noise that V8 produces will even give hipsters goosebumps. Lately I have been behind the wheel of very modern cars and even modern supercars but this was different in many many ways. There was no flappy paddle gearbox, no ABS, no power steering and certainly no launch or traction control. This connects you as the driver to every single component in the car. You control absolutely everything and if you don’t know how to control it or know where the limit is, it has enough ‘oomph’ to bite you.
Accelerating away from the lights and you can feel the car has some serious punch behind it, no turbo to give you that sense of rocketing away but just a feeling I cannot explain. The sound behind you, the vibrations under your bum and the fresh air in your face all combine to give you quite the ‘classic car thrill’. I absolutely loved the fact that you had to push the clutch all the way to the floor before the gearbox would let you change and this is something I have not experienced in a while after driving cars with gear changes that happen in milliseconds.
Cruising along the highway, people were taking pictures and asking me to gear-down to hear the V8 and this reinforces the point I am about to make. I wasn’t expecting to appreciate the car so much but now that I have driven one I can say that classic cars like this still have it and will continue to do so forever. It was born special and will always be special and although not many cars will be so lucky, this Pininfarina designed prancing horse will certainly maintain the respect and admiration it deserves.
Thanks again to the extremely generous owner for letting me take such a special car for a spin. I took a few more pics and they can be seen on FB here.