There’s been a lot of talk about Ferrari’s rumored plans to introduce a V-6-powered, entry-level sports car in the near future. It may sound awkward given the company’s tradition with V-8 and V-12 powerplants, but the Italians have done this before. It happened between 1968 and 1976, when Ferrari launched the Dino marque for models powered by engines with fewer than 12 cylinders. Once called the “lesser Ferraris,” the Dinos carried 2.0- and 2.4-liter, V-6 units, as well as a 3.0-liter V-8 under their rear bonnets. The most iconic Dino was the 246 GTS , but the 308 GT4 received some attention as well.
Produced for eight years — four with a Dino badge and four as a Ferrari — the 308 GT4 featured a 2+2 coupe body and a wedge design penned by Bertone. The 3.0-liter eight-banger generated 250 horsepower at launch, but the engine lost 20 ponies when it crossed the pond to America due to slight modifications. Weighing in at about 2,500 pounds, the 308 GT4 wasn’t astoundingly fast, but it was quick enough for Elvis Presley to buy one. It’s actually one of the last car he purchased nearly a year before passing away in 1977.
40 years have passed since its official launch, and the 308 GT4 is finally getting the love it deserves from Ferrari aficionados as the company’s first production car to feature a mid-mounted, V-8 engine. Hit the play button above to watch a happy owner talk about his 1975 Dino-badged sports car in an enchanting Gear Patrol video .