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1979 Ferrari 308 GTB - Kean Interest

Kean Suspensions Pays Tribute to a Great '80s Italian Stallion the Only Way It Knows How: Fully Restored and Mere Inches Off the Ground

Jonathan Wong
Jul 12, 2019
Photographer: Jack Howells

This is a classic tale we've all heard before, but it's the special twist that always keeps us coming back for more. That childhood dream car your heart holds a special place for. The one that turns from fantasy to reality once cost is no longer a burden. The one you stared at on the wall endlessly. In Andy Neirinck's case, that car wasn't just a Ferrari, but the one a certain Thomas Magnum helped turn into an icon on Magnum P.I.: the 308 GTB.

1979 Ferrari 308 GTB Vented Hood Photo 20/20   |   1979 Ferrari 308 GTB - Kean Interest

A little background on Andy and his brother, Kenny, who started Kean Suspensions in 2008 (the name comes from combining both names, KE for Kenny and AN for Andy): Auto mechanics by trade originally, they found their true calling when customers kept coming to them in need of assistance to get their air suspensions set up correctly. "During those early days of riding on air, we helped people who had problems with it," Andy says. "After a couple years of doing it on the side, we started doing it full time, and it's been a success ever since." Needless to say, Andy applied his expertise of going down low to his 308 exquisitely.

Andy sourced a '79 European-spec steel body chassis sight unseen from the original owner, who lived in Sicily. It only had 78K kilometers on the odometer (in his words, "a good, but not perfect low-mileage car"). This particular model is especially sought after, since it comes with a carbureted engine and is also equipped with a very rare dry-sump system, all of which was rebuilt and finely tuned, as it was a 40-year-old car leaking oil and was in need of some TLC.

1979 Ferrari 308 GTB engine Photo 20/20   |   1979 Ferrari 308 GTB - Kean Interest

But power isn't the major focal point here; it's the delicious styling for which we've developed an insatiable appetite. After driving it for a while, Andy decided he had to rid the car of things that were driving him crazy. And, after taking it apart, he discovered it had already been repainted. He freshened the Rosso Corsa paint (not the car's original burgundy color, which is also a rarity, he tells us) and shaved and removed several parts for a cleaner look. The fenders were also reworked to allow for more extreme lowering from the air suspension in order to hug the custom 18-inch AL13 mesh wheels. The interior is a subtle work of art, with custom upholstery and features that help maintain its period-correct flavor. "Everything matches the bodywork perfectly," Andy says. "It's really where I feel at home." Even the ROBIN-1 license plate is a touching tribute to the build.

1979 Ferrari 308 GTB leather seats Photo 20/20   |   1979 Ferrari 308 GTB - Kean Interest

It took several years to complete his 308 GTB dream, but Andy was able to customize it in such a way that respects the original design while applying a high level of quality that would make Magnum very proud. Don't you love stories with a happy ending?

 

1979 Ferrari 308 GTB Trunk Lid Photo 20/20   |   1979 Ferrari 308 GTB - Kean Interest
By Jonathan Wong
505 Articles
1979 Ferrari 308 GTB - Kean Interest
Tuning Menu
Owner: Andy Neirinck
Hometown: Evergem, Belgium
Occupation: Kean Suspensions Co-Owner
Instagram: @keansuspensions
Engine: Rebuilt with new gaskets, bearings, valves, valvesprings, bearings, cylinder shells, timing belt/tensioners, fuel lines, high-voltage coils; air-conditioning delete; rebuilt carburetors; yellow-plated bolts, springs, and engine assembly parts; relocated oil cooler
Drivetrain: Upgraded clutch and pressure plate
Footwork & Chassis: European-spec steel body; custom Kean air-ride struts with Koni shocks; Powerflex bushings; Accuair E-level rocker switch and I-level with Accuair Endo tank and hard lines; powdercoated wishbones; upgraded sway bar and wishbone bushings
Brakes: Rebuilt brake calipers; new brake lines
Wheels & Tires: 18x10 front, 18x10.5 rear AL13 wheels with gloss black hardware, brushed gold centers and polished outer lips; 215/35R18 front, 235/30R18 rear Toyo tires
Exterior: Roof spoiler, window wipers, foglights, and right-hand electrical mirror deleted; left-hand electrical mirror replaced by early model manual mirror; black painted emblems; carbon-fiber front and rear bumper, left-hand mirror; polished and brushed front grille; new door, hood, window, side markers, and rear light seals; shaved license plate holes; replica ROBIN-1 Magnum PI Hawaii license plate; Rosso Corsa paint
Interior: Period-correct cassette deck; updated fuse box; new Ferrari gauges, buttons, handles, light bulbs, fasteners; beige leather upholstered seats, door panels, headliner, sunvisors, and center console; black leather dashboard and pillars; black carpeting; quick-release steering wheel; carbon-fiber rearview mirror; Accuair rocker switch mounted in ashtray
Thanks: My brother, Kenny, for all the hard work he did on it; Sxywheels for providing us with the perfect wheels; and most of all, my son, for having the patience while we worked together on this build

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