HomePick of the DayFerrari 308 GTS originally owned by Indy 500 champ Rick Mears

Ferrari 308 GTS originally owned by Indy 500 champ Rick Mears


For all those folks complaining about the jacked-up prices of collector cars once owned by famous celebrities, i.e. Steve McQueen, here’s a Ferrari 308 in nice condition originally owned by a bona fide motorsports great, four-time Indy 500 winner Rick Mears, and the asking price is in the normal range.

The Pick of the Day is a 1979 Ferrari 308 GTS that was purchased when new by Mears in California, according to the San Carlos, California, dealer advertising the Ferrari on ClassicCars.com.  The Indy champ owned the targa-topped spider for around six years and drove it 17,500 miles.

The 308 is powered by a 3.0-liter V8

That’s pretty notable celebrity stuff for a motorsports fan, who would remember when “Rocket Rick” ruled the big Indy oval, where he still holds the 500 record for the most pole positions, six, as a driver for Penske Racing.  His career spanned the late ’70s until his retirement in 1992 at the age of 41.

The 308 GTS has been a California car all its life, and stands in extremely nice condition with just 63,669 miles on its odometer, according to the seller.   The Ferrari has been well-maintained, the seller adds, and the dreaded timing belt change has been performed, making the car ready to be driven and enjoyed.

‘Magnum PI’ fans will recognize this profile

“According to records, the car was serviced by Canepa, Ferrari of Walnut Creek and Patrick Ottis, who is one the best Ferrari mechanics in the US,” the ad says. “Most recently, it had the major timing-belt service performed at 63,200 miles to the tune of $16k by local Ferrari independent shop, Taormina Imports here in San Carlos.”

The car has had three documented owners, the seller says, and comes with owner manuals, tools, original window sticker and the original registration cards with Mears info.

The Ferrari’s interior looks to be in good shape

The 308 was Ferrari’s base model from 1975 through 1984, when it was replaced by the 328.   The sports car, in coupe or spider configuration (GTB or GTS), was powered by a mid-engine 3.0-liter V8 that produced 240 horsepower in US spec.   The evocative body designed by Pininfarina became familiar to fans of the popular Magnum PI television series during the 1980s.

Despite this Ferrari’s motorsport celebrity provenance and apparent great condition, the asking price is a reasonable $53,995, which is below the average value listed by the Hagerty Price Guide.  Sounds like a good deal for such a cool car with a great history.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.


Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.



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