In the heady days of the 1980s, the FIA developed a new formula to dictate production-based race cars in both rally and sports car racing. It was the time of turbocharging in Formula 1, and that turbo technology had spilled over to the World Rally Championship in the form of the revolutionary Audi Quattro. Soon, it became evident that turbocharging would be the way forward, and it seemed that each few months a new iteration of a race car was being launched with even more power. The formula created was known as "Group B" - like its prototype "Group C" brothers, it would standardize a series across various manufacturers. What the rules produced were race cars that seemed unbounded by rules; indeed, you only needed to produce 200 examples of a loosely related road going car. As a result, we saw some unreal creations - most are associated with Rally, like the 13" shortened Audi Sport Quattro and mid-engined supercharged and turbocharged Lancia Delta S4; but few remember that the rules also dictated sports car racing. As a result, notable manufacturers Porsche and Ferrari jumped at the opportunity. From Porsche, we saw the development of the legendary 959, with its twin-turbo charged, watercooled flat six, all-wheel drive, active suspension and 6-speed transmission. It was technical, complicated and totally German. Ferrari decided to go another route; back to its routes, Ferrari produced a lightweight version of the 308 GTB with a new twin-turbocharged version of the V8. Dubbed the 288, it reintroduced the world to the legendary title "GTO" - Gran Turismo Omologato. It was little more than a race car for the road:
Model: 288 GTO
Engine: 2.9 liter twin-turbocharged V8
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 13,000 mi
CLICK FOR DETAILS:1984 Ferrari 288 GTO
1984 Ferrari 288GTO, Ferrari factory Classiche certified with books, tools and service records. Car now in Yokohama, Japan, ex Switzerland and France. Swiss taxes paid. Superb example, extremely well cared for from day one. Power windows and working air conditioning. Accident-free example looks almost new with show quality repaint by Zanasi. Easily accessible to inspect. HISTORY: 2/1985, New to Crepaldi, authorized Ferrari dealer in Milano, Italy. 9/2001. To second owner in France and registered in France. 2012 Offered by Garage Zenith SA in Swiss. Classiche certified 9/2012, Sold and shipped to Japan. Prior to delivery, comprehensive maintenance performed with invoice 20,000+CF, plus new set of Michelin tires mounted. 10/2013. Registered road legal in Japan with the transportation authority. Car driven 2,000 km since major service. A superb example to show and enjoy, as it is one of the truly great driver's Ferraris.
Price: $1,895,000 obo
The E30 M3 crowd loves to pat themselves on the back with the incredible gain in value over the past year many have experienced. Frankly, they're small potatoes compared to these hot Ferraris. In the past year and a half, top value on 288 GTOs has more than doubled - from around $700,000 for a pristine example to around $1.7 million. That curve has flattened out slight in the past few months, but is still generally headed upwards. Although the GTO was ultimately eclipsed by the F40 in enthusiasts' minds, it's an important part of Ferrari history that is now recognized in value. This particular example is ahead of the curve, but not by much - and these 288s don't grow on trees. For most of us, we'll be lucky to see one in our lifetime, but the rest of the time we can dream about the awesome days of Group B and the wicked cars it spawned.