The time I valeted an ’85 Ferrari 308

As a valet, you get some interesting cars that come through. Some of them are cool because they’re expensive and others are cool because you never really see them on the road. I find the latter more exciting personally and that is why this experience was so memorable for me. This is when I got to valet park a Ferrari 308.

What Happened

I remember when it was first pulled up. I thought it was a Lotus Esprit which would’ve been pretty awesome too. But once it got a little closer I realized it was a Ferrari 308 and that’s when I started getting excited. When you’ve been valeting as long as I have, it takes something special to really get you going. Most of the folks I work with are at least sort of into cars so we lock on to the unique fairly quickly. Luckily for me, I noticed the fastest and called the dibs. Obviously the fairest way of deciding who gets to park it. Usually, I’m more courteous and let other people drive the nice cars if they want to, but I was going to be selfish with this one.

To be honest, I was expecting to get the usual “Can I park it myself?” or “Do I have to valet?” None of that happened here. The guy got out and was really chill about it all. He didn’t ask for it to be put up front and didn’t say “be careful” as he handed me the keys. He didn’t even ask if I knew how to drive stick which almost everyone always does. So I couldn’t tell if he was either a really trusting guy or if this was his whatever car. After all, it was just the Spaghetti Factory. And if it was just his whatever car, then I wonder what his weekend car is.

The Car

When I got in, it smelled like most old cars do; old oil and gas, my favorite. Honestly, if they made a scented candle that was called Classic Car with Leather seats, I’d probably buy it. The first thing I noticed about it was the dog-leg gearbox. I’d never seen one before and I’d only really heard about it in the V12 Vantage. The car itself drove quite smoothly which I wasn’t expecting. The clutch was like butter and I didn’t struggle to get it moving. I only say that because you never know with classics. Sometimes they’re smooth but sometimes they’re really touchy.

Once everything was parked and settled I wanted to do some research on the car since I saw the quattrovalvole badge and the historic vehicle text on the plate. It turns out the name quattrovalvole refers to the four valves it now had per cylinder. Since the car had to be fitted with catalytic converters to comply with emissions regulations, this was Ferrari’s quick fix. The change brought the power back to 240 hp. The model is also easily recognizable by the louvers on the sail panels which I think look great.


Parting Ways

When the gentleman came back out I happened to be the one who pulled it up. The V8 sounded amazing on startup from inside the cabin and pop-up headlights are always cool. I asked the guy what year it was so that’s how I know it was an ’85 but he didn’t seem all that willing to talk about it. I would’ve loved to find out the backstory on where the cars been and how it ended up in his hands but I guess that will have to remain a mystery. Regardless, this will always be one of the most memorable cars I’ve ever driven as a valet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 64 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here

11 responses to “The time I valeted an ’85 Ferrari 308”

  1. 0A5599 Avatar

    What kind of mustache did the driver wear?×700.png

  2. P161911 Avatar

    The one time I sat in a 308, I realized that I would have to drive it barefoot. My size 12s would push two pedals at a time.

    1. 0A5599 Avatar

      If you floor the gas and brake pedals at the same time, it builds up a lot of heat.
      Why do you think so many Ferraris are involved in fires?

    2. dead_elvis, inc. Avatar
      dead_elvis, inc.

      Perfect for heel-toe driving!

    3. Troggy Avatar

      Similar experience with a F360 – and it’s worse on the RHD models because the transmission tunnel is biased to the right side to make more foot room for where the pedals where originally designed to be.

    4. fede Avatar

      the one time I did the same, it seemed to be quite uncomfortable. heavy pedals, heavy gearbox, at least for me a little too tight, I couldn’t really see all the gauges in the dashboard, and the pedals where quite a bit to the right.

      I loved it before, and I still love it now.

  3. dead_elvis, inc. Avatar
    dead_elvis, inc.

    There’s an Old Spaghetti Factory location that has valet parking?!

    1. Smaglik Avatar

      This confused me as well.

    2. Colby Buchanan Avatar

      Yeah it’s the one on the Balboa Penninsula in Newport. Parking over there is awful so the valet gets pretty busy. And it’s only $3 so.

  4. Batshitbox Avatar

    In about 1985 or ’86 I was working at a car museum that hosted meets on the lawn. During the Ferrari meet I was tasked with directing the entrants where to park. Every time a 308 showed up I was like, “Oh, go and put it over there with all the others.” Compared to the lovingly kept or restored ’60s models that were turning up the 308s were just something someone walked into a dealership and said, “I want a Ferrari” without specifying a model got the keys to. These were the Ivan Boesky days.

    I considered myself very lucky to be 16 and working a job that overexposed me to Ferraris new and old. If you ever get a chance to see a Ferrari meet-up do it. If you think the sound of a V-12 is pleasant, try listening to 10 or 15 of them at once.

    1. outback_ute Avatar

      The Nic Cage Gone in 60 Seconds theory, which is pretty right. If you want a toy the same money on one that doesn’t have huge depreciation is a good idea and these days they are so fast they must be boring/frustrating to drive on normal roads