It’s arguable that the two most most iconic exotic sports cars of 1981 were the Lamborghini Countach and the Ferrari 308 GTBi. While images of the space ship that was the Countach hung on the walls of practically every peri-pubescent boy in America, it was the Ferrari that had both greater name recognition, accessibility and star power for those who could afford to drive them.
After all, it was the red 308 piloted by the mustache of Tom Selleck that was the co-star of the hit TV show Magnum PI. Don’t believe me? Too old or too young to remember? HERE are the opening credits and theme song which features the car in more cuts than everyone besides Mustache Man.
Clever were the producers of that show who knew they’d draw in viewers of all sorts by including both mustache and car. I’ll leave it to your imagination and discretion to figure out who preferred what. But regardless, both red Italiano, and tan Selleck were clearly a 1-2 punch for the viewing audience. Because of that combo, the producers were left only to bathe in their fat stacks of cash for the 8 years that the show ran.
Ahhhh, the image of a rosso corsa (Italian racing red) Ferrari hauling ass along the roads of Hawaii in front of the eyes of the American public once a week was the best marketing the company could have possibly asked for. While Toyota was airing commercials with women in the throes of ecstasy as the economical Corona wagon magically appeared in the bedroom, the 308’s TV show had a Magnum in its trousers…and behind the wheel.
Yes, you gotta love a red Ferrari. Red, red, red…OH WAIT! (Imagine the needle being ripped off of a record sound). Sorry, this one is yellow. Yellow. But…yellow is nice too. If nothing else it’s rare. For example, when you order a Ferrari the order form looks something like this:
COLOR (check preferred) :
[ ] Red
[ ] Blood Red
[ ] Ferrari Red
[ ] Rosso Corsa
[ ] Fire Engine Red
[ ] Red Headed Stepchild
[ ] Not Red At All
Those are your options. So to get a yellow one in those days, you had to learn Italian, go to Italy, show them swatches of what yellow is, and sit there as they spray the yellow on the sheet metal. Then, to make sure you end up with your yellow car, you had to bribe your best friend with a case or two of chianti classico and a spectacularly pungent wheel of parmigiano reggiano so that he’d sit there overnight to guard it. As always, be sure to pay your friend off AFTER you take delivery of the car…in a suit of yellow. You never know.
Otherwise you may return in the morning to find that the spray booth foreman lost his minestrone and repainted it in “the right color” because he thought it was a prank order for a Ferrari taxi. He thought it was like someone had called in a large pineapple, onion and anchovy pizza to be delivered their surly neighbors house because said surly neighbor yelled at their dog.
Pineapple, onion, and anchovy. Yellow Ferrari.
But why not yellow? Who are these red purists anyway? It looks great on this car! especially with the cream interior. Kind of like a Hostess cupcake. Remember those? They came in chocolate and…yellow. I’m not sure what flavor yellow is other than, well, yellow. But they had a cream filled center. Although that cream was white and the cream of the interior of this car is cream, or tan, or beige or something like that. Either way, I think it looks fab-you-luss. Especially if you live in a tropical or subtropical or desert climate. Bright colors just work so nicely in those environments.
I said all of that to say this: This gorgeous hard-top Prancing Horse has 37,910 on the odometer and a sexy body sculpted by Italian designer Leonardo Fioravanti of Pininfarina. Yes, the designer of this car’s name is Leonardo. Of course. It has a manual transmission with what could be described as a “long throw” gated shifter, and a 2.9 liter V8 engine. You can check out this clean-title example of the 1981 308 GTBi
Asking price for this giallo (yellow) 308 is $69,000 and can be viewed HERE on craigslist. And don’t forget the chianti.