The first thing I noticed when I got in a 308GTSi, was the steering wheel. It looked exactly the way I was going to design mine in the Maserati. This was a coincidence? I thought not. This new 308 was the first one to include fuel injection, a consequence of the fuel crisis and pollution control devices that were now ubiquitous in all cars. Still the performance compared to the Merak was superior. The 308 GTSi had 202 horses and weighed 300 lbs less than the Merak. It was faster.
I bought it and pretty much used it everyday, weather permitting. One day I went to an outdoor mall in Connecticut with my girlfriend, and when we returned to the car I found a business card under the windshield wiper.
It read, “If you are as good looking as your car, give me a call.” My girlfriend grabbed it and stuck it in her purse before I had a chance to memorise the name and number.
Many of the other exotic cars I had owned, or my friends had, needed to be cared for. This one was a daily driver. It worked well. It did everything you would want in this type of car. I guess that is why they were so popular.
Another time I almost got punched out because of the car. My girlfriend and I went to Greenwich, CT for drinks one evening, and sat at the bar drinking Jack & Juice. A drunk came up to us and the guy slurring asked me to sign his napkin. Not having any clue what he meant, I said, “No thanks.”
He said, “You are Tom Selleck, I saw you get out of your Ferrari. I want an autograph.”
I told him to bug off and he kept insisting, getting louder all the time. Finally I turned my back on him and he grabbed my shoulder and tried to spin me around, while the threw a wild punch that passed close to my ear. Fortunately his buddies grabbed him and pulled him away, apologising. The bartender wouldn’t charge us for the drinks, I guess he was worried that I would sue him.
I liked my 308, but I missed the V12 Ferraris. The 308 never had that sound that the 12 had. I thought the sound was the icing on the cake. Imagine watching a movie without the sound?
I kept driving the 308 everyday, although I would not take it into Manhattan. The potholes would have destroyed it. Now that I had an office in the country, life was easy. I got to drive my car to and from work everyday, although it only took me 10 minutes to get there. Barely enough time to warm up the engine properly.
Business was good so I started looking for another V12.