Ferrari 288 GTO


We’ve been known to blather on about the venerable moniker GTO before now. But every now and then we look at Ferrari’s 1984 incarnation of the Gran Tourismo Omologato and we weep with avarice.

Superficially, there is a similarity of the GTO’s body shell with the 308 that it was based upon. But look only a little closer and you can see the louvred, hunkered down fatness of this very special car that puts clear water between it and other Ferraris of the era.

The thing is, of course, that this Omologato was meant to be qualifying the car for the gobsmacking Group B class – and as such the sub-four litre engine was allowed to come with twin turbos.

Yep: this was the first production car to claim a top speed of 180MPH – and it could move from zero to 125MPH in 15 seconds flat. Even by today’s standards, that is pretty rapid.

Ferrari had to run the engine from front to back rather than latitudinally as it came in the 308, in order to squeeze in all the extra bit. As such the boot space that featured in the 308 was eaten up with intercoolers and all sorts of other trickery.

This is probably the last manifestation, along with the F40 of 1988, of ‘old Ferrari’. It had a brutish panache and purposeful stance – a remarkably forceful poise that you can see in the 430 Scuderia, say, or the recent GTO built on the platform of the outgoing 599 Fiorano.

This is definitely a founding member of our dream garage.