Ferrari 288 GTO

Some of Ferrari’s most memorable sports cars were introduced in a short three-year span in the mid-1980s. With its introduction in 1984, the 288 GTO preceded both the F40 and Testarossa in production but with less than 300 ever produced, remains considerably rarer than every other modern road-going Ferrari supercar, Enzos included. The GTO was spawned by new FIA Group B race and rally homologation regulations introduced for 1984. Ferrari endeavoured to create a car that would embody the glory days of the 250 GT models and of course the 250 GTO in particular. The twin-turbocharged 288 GTO was the result. It benefited from the extensive racing experience Michelotto had gained from its successful campaign with the Ferrari 308 models. In order to satisfy Group B regulations, construction of 200 examples was required. The 288 GTO proved enormously popular, however, resulting in an additional order of about 70 cars.

Using a sturdy chassis built of tubular steel, the 288 GTO had a wheelbase of 96.4 inches, more than four inches longer than that of the 308 series. A four-wheel independent suspension featured coil-over dampers. The doors, boot and bonnet were made of aluminium while GRP and carbon compound formed the balance of the car’s bodywork. The design itself resembled the 308 GTB, but the 288 GTO had more flared wheel arches in order to accommodate the eight inch-wide front wheels and ten inch-wide rear wheels. Larger spoilers were also fitted at the front and rear – a product of extensive wind tunnel testing. The rear wings had three slots behind the wheel, a fitting tribute to the design cues of the original 250 GTO. All cars were delivered left-hand drive and painted Rosso Corsa.

Following the theory used in the 308 GT/M’s engine placement, the new V-8 engine, Tipo F114B, was mounted longitudinally instead of transversely. This all new 400 horsepower engine featured four valves per cylinder with Weber-Marelli electronic fuel injection and was originally developed for Lancia’s rally racing programme. The tremendous horsepower was provided by way of twin IHI turbochargers – one per cylinder bank – with two Behrair intercoolers.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in May of 2009 at Ferrari S.p.A., Fiorano Modenese, Modena, in August 2009 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California, in May of 2010 at the Grimaldi Forum, Monaco and will be auctioned off by Gooding & Company in August of 2012 at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

400 bhp, 2,855 cc fuel-injected V-8 engine with twin turbochargers, five-speed manual transmission, four-wheel independent suspension and four-wheel ventilated disc brakes. Wheelbase: 2,450 mm (96.4 in.)

Sources: RM Auctions and Gooding & Company
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel, Tom Wood, Ron Kimball and  Brian Henniker

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