Mercedes Benz 380 SL

Lot Number 523

Mercedes Benz 380 SL

  • Sold for: £13,750
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The Dino 208 GT4 is the smaller brother of the Ferrari 308 GT4, revealed at the 1973 Paris Auto Salon, and was specially designed for the Italian market to avoid the heavy taxation levied on cars, in those days, with engines above 2-litres. The 208 remained in production from 1975 until 1980, with a total of 840 units receiving Maranello"s stamp of approval, and, as this was a specific Italian market model, all were produced in left-hand drive. The exterior design of the 208 GT4 is very similar to its bigger brother with a pronounced wedge-shaped body penned by Bertone, a look that was very much 'in vogue' with the style of the period. Within the angular body, there were some attractive design details, like the boomerang-shaped air intakes on the sail panels that bordered the rear quarter glass and the tunnel effect of the inner sail panels to the flat vertical rear screen. The left-side intake ducted cooling air to the oil radiator and the right-side sent air to the carburettors. The overall design was very tight and well balanced and the shape has stood the test of time very well. The only obvious external differences between the two models were the 208 GT4"s single exhaust pipe and the plain aluminium finish for the louvres on the front lid and engine cover as opposed to satin black on the 308 GT4.

The 1991cc, 90-degree, V8 had belt driven twin overhead camshafts per bank, transversely mounted in unit with the all-synchromesh, five-speed transmission, which was below, and to the rear of the engine"s wet sump. It was fitted with a bank of four, twin-choke Weber carburettors, producing a claimed 180hp which was enough to propel the 208 to a top speed of 112mph.

A steel body with some lightweight aluminium panels was mounted on a tubular steel chassis and the wheelbase was a neat 2,550mm. The running gear is made up of independent wishbone suspension, disc brakes, coil springs and hydraulic shock absorbers at all four corners with both front and rear anti-roll bars.

Our vendor purchased this 208 GT4 (chassis 11820) in Portugal in 2015 and spent £25,000 with "Roda Classics" in order to bring the car up to his high standards. The expenditure included a full respray in its original colour of Giallo Fly, along with fitting four new tyres, replacing the windscreen, and fresh Ferrari carpets. The wheels, brakes and suspension were also refurbished during this comprehensive restoration and the vendor informs us that the car benefited from over 200 hours worth of detailed attention in order for it to look like it does today.

He imported the car into the UK recently and entrusted his new Ferrari to marque specialists, Foskers, who went through the 208, adjusted the clutch and carried out a full service. Supplied with a NOVA, a UK MOT issued in June this year, its Portuguese log book, and a Ferrari supplied Certificate of Conformity, this very pretty, matching numbers example, is ready to be UK registered and enjoyed by its new owner.


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