Ferrari 328 GTS 1987

History knows many examples when a brand became synonymous with the device it produced. This happened, for instance, with the Xerox copier and Scotch tape. Similarly, Ferrari became synonymous with a fast, beautiful, and invariably red car, and years later, Michael Schumacher became synonymous with a person who drives quickly.

The Ferrari 328 was introduced to the public in 1985. It couldn’t be called entirely new at that moment: though calling the creations of the Commendatore (referring to Enzo Ferrari) a mere restyling is impermissible, the 328 was a logical evolution of the 308 model. A reliable mid-engine sports car with “everyday” ambitions, it was produced in two body versions: GTB and GTS. GTB stands for Gran Turismo Berlinetta, a coupe version with a fixed roof, while GTS denotes a “targa” body type with removable roof sections. Notably, when the prototype was created in 1984, the body was a convertible, but it never went into series due to marketers fearing competition with the Mondial Cabriolet.

Perhaps, their fear was justified. The 308 and 328 models became some of the most successful sales projects from Maranello in the GT class. Several factors contributed to this. The first was the price, around 160,000 dollars in today’s money. The second was the relatively high reliability of components and assemblies for Italian sports cars. Although the 328 had an inherent defect of the engine oil radiator hose wearing through (merely), the problem was easily solved, and the car otherwise caused little trouble. The third factor was the use of galvanized metal in the body. If you think rust is only a problem for cheap cars, sports car engineers working without composite materials might surprise you.

The chassis is based on oval-shaped steel tubes, enhancing overall torsional rigidity without the need for extra reinforcements. The advantage is less weight compared to classical technologies for similar chassis. Most of the body is made of steel, with an aluminum hood and the floor being a sandwich of steel and composite material. Pininfarina was responsible for the design, as often happens with Ferrari, but Carrozzeria also contributed a few pennies to the final version, making some tweaks in terms of aerodynamics and aesthetics.

The suspension on both axles is independent, built on a basis of double unequal-length wishbones – a classic sports scheme. Koni telescopic dampers and conventional coil springs are responsible for the suspension’s stiffness and the overall driving characteristics of the car. In 1988, the only significant update brought a greater negative camber to the suspension, and even in the base configuration, added ABS to the large ventilated disc brakes with two-piston calipers!

Speaking of configurations, if we look inside, we’ll see an example of Italian design from those years: leather luxury, almost sporty instruments on a compact dashboard, and a closed-type selector for the manual 5-speed gearbox. This selector, becoming a trademark feature of Italian sports cars (though not exclusively used by them), is designed for greater reliability of the gearbox components. The relatively high power of the engine could easily ruin a gear during incorrect shifting, which the unique selector aims to prevent. For the driver’s comfort, the cable-operated clutch was replaced with a hydraulic one, reducing the effort needed to press the pedal. The instrument lighting turned orange, following the GTO model, and the dashboard itself is designed on the principle of “what’s truly important”. Hence, the speedometer and tachometer take precedence, while in the available space live the sensors and lights that will warn you in case of a dangerous situation for the engine. Leather dashboard and ceiling linings are optional, as are the presence of air conditioning and even a “metallic” body color. Unfortunately, Ferrari did not publish statistics on cars purchased “in base”.

The power is provided by the F105CB engine. It is a variation of the Ferrari Dino engine family, tracing its lineage back to 1955. Named after Enzo’s son, Dino, who convinced his father to develop a new line of V6 engines. Unfortunately, Dino passed away a year before the appearance of the first power unit in the series. Later, based on these developments, V8 engines were created, which were produced in one form or another from the late 50s to the early 2000s. In this case, the 3.2-liter V8 engine developed a solid 270 hp and had four valves per cylinder. The model index – 328 – is formed from the engine’s displacement and the number of cylinders. Some components, unlike predecessors, were made of aluminum. The fuel system used Bosch k-jetronic, as with the 308, while the ignition was controlled by the new electronic Marelli MED 806(A). As a result, the car could accelerate up to 267 km/h and reach the first “hundred” in 5.5 seconds.

In 1988, Enzo Ferrari passed away, the man whose iron character and tough demeanor created what is still loved, envied, and even worshipped today as Ferrari. The production of the 328 ended in 1989, and many of these cars were bought but never saw civilian license plates. They were purchased out of respect and as a tribute to Enzo. This partially influenced the total number of 308 and 328 sold, reaching 20,000 units.

The material was worked on by:
Owner: artem3977777
Photographer: mccarthy606
Text: its_sokol