It might have been found in a backyard and not a barn, but this is quite a story nonetheless. We find out how a local collector stumbled across an abandoned Ferrari 308.
Words: Wilhelm Lutjeharms
A "barnfind" – a word that brings up countless thoughts, dreams and articles about what many of us hope will happen to us someday.
With the rise of the internet and social media, publicity surrounding these finds have often been very public. What is also increasingly the case, is that owners have a better understanding of the "potential" value of the car a collector may be trying to pick up at a good price.
Now and then these finds do pop up in South Africa, but that happens rarely… even more so when it comes to Ferraris! But, as one collector in Cape Town found out, they still seem to be out there!
While working with him on another project entirely, we started talking about barnfinds and he told me that they had found a Ferrari 308 GTB in the backyard of residence not far from Cape Town’s CBD. It sounded almost unbelievable!
He initially phoned me saying: “You should come and see it when we load it, this is quite special!” I couldn’t make it that special morning, but I sent a photographer who captured the car as it has been standing in the backyard for years. One almost never sees a Ferrari in this state, even less so somewhere in a backyard where it has been parked outside for numerous years.
An associate of the collector saw the car advertised online, but there was no picture attached to the advertisement. They thought it was either a con, or it was some type of kit car that was being sold.
“We went to the house and upon arrival the then-owner immediately said no pictures would be allowed. I walked down the driveway and had a closer look under the cloth and plastic covers and realised it was a real 308. All of us were simply astonished to have found this car, especially considering where it was and the state it was in.
“When I looked at the chassis number I realised it was a very high number. That is when I told my colleague, and passionate collector, to come and have a look at the car because I thought it could be a special car to buy.
“Some negotiations took place after a second visit, and the next day we collected the car on a loadbed truck. The high chassis number, by the way, means that it is one of the last five carburettor-fed 308s that were manufactured."
But it gets more interesting...
Further research has revealed some interesting information. It seems the car was ordered with Nero (black) as the exterior colour, only to be changed to red while on the production line. This means the body of the car was never painted in the colour it was ordered. The new owner has now decided that the car will be restored to its original colour of Nero. It is also interesting to note that the first country of delivery was South Africa.
From day one the plan was to fully restore the car. Having stood outside for so long, there is no other option but to completely strip it down and do a full, nuts-and-bolts restoration of the car.
The owner has worked with the Ferrari specialist Carlo Viglietti before, and has entrusted him with the mammoth task ahead, as Carlo also recognised the potential in this sad-looking 308. In fact, very quickly after the car arrived in his workshop he started stripping it.
If all goes to plan, the car will be on the road later this year.
Follow the restoration at @CarloVigliettiMotors on Instagram.