Last week I received a call from Silverstone Auctions asking me to shoot a Ferrari 308 GTS. This car has always been a dream car for me, I even had a Bburago 1/18th model of the hard top GTB when I was younger. This particular 308 GTS though wasn’t your normal example.
Normally the 308 GTS left the factory with a naturally aspirated mid-engine V8 producing somewhere in the region of 250bhp. This particular one on the other hand was producing somewhere in the region of 300bhp thanks to Nigel Mansell’s Emblem Sports Cars transplanting the original V8 with a 400i V12 unit.
It was originally sold by Maranello Sales Ltd in March 1985. The first owner was responsible for the V12 conversion as he felt the car needed a little more power to suit it’s looks.
Ferrari are normally very reluctant to release their engines for use in any project that isn’t theirs. But it is understood that Nigel Mansell was able to get a new 400i V12 direct from Ferrari for the customer due to his time as a Ferrari F1 Team driver in 1989 and 1990
Known as Nigel’s Flyer, it’s a well recognised example of the Ferrari 308 GTS. And while there are now a handful of these cars carrying the same conversion, this was the original and the only one to be carried out by Emblem Sports Cars.
It’s going to be a hard car to top for my shoots this year. It’s not often something as rare and special as this passes in front of my lens.