The Rare 288 GTO in Geneva

The Rare 288 GTO in Geneva

Of Ferrari's "big five" (LaFerrari, Enzo Ferrari, F50, F40, and 288 GTO), the 288 GTO is probably the rarest and, if it can be said at all, the least popular.

When the 288 GTO hit the market in 1984, it was the most extreme, aggressive, and fastest vehicle Ferrari had ever released. It marked the beginning of Ferrari's supercar history. Afterward, Ferrari's road cars became increasingly extreme. While the F40 is one of the most popular Ferraris ever and remains highly favored today, it wouldn't have been possible without the 288 GTO. The F40 was a further development of the then-legendary 288 GTO. However, subsequent extreme Ferraris became so much more extreme that the 288 unfortunately faded into the background. A casual passerby probably wouldn't guess that this inconspicuous vehicle marked the start of a remarkable success story.

In fact, the plan behind the 288 GTO was to create a rally car that would bring Ferrari back into Group B. To participate in the rally, the rules required 200 homologation street vehicles to be produced. In the end, 72 additional vehicles were made. Five GTO Evoluzione models were then produced for the final race, but only three of these examples still exist. The others were brought back to Ferrari's lab and used to develop important elements for the F40.

Because the 288 GTO was a completely new concept for Ferrari, numerous weaknesses were quickly identified. Consequently, some service tasks have to be performed repeatedly to keep the vehicle roadworthy. This makes owning such a car quite costly, let alone driving it. Hence, it's very rare to see this car on public roads, as most owners prefer to keep their example at home.

It's understandable if a layperson claims that the 288 looks very similar to a Ferrari 308. This is actually true. However, technically speaking, beneath the body lies a completely newly developed vehicle. So, if you ever see a Ferrari 308 from a distance, take a closer look, as it might actually be a Ferrari 288 GTO.

Another interesting fact is that the Ferrari 288 GTO, like the F40, could only be purchased in Rosso Corsa. It wasn't like today, where you walk into a Ferrari store, sit in the configuration corner, and personalize every detail step by step. The 288 GTO came as it was, and nothing could be changed. Of course, some buyers found it boring that everyone had the same GTO, so a few had their 288 repainted afterward in colors like white, black, yellow, or blue. However, this is very rare.

The example seen in Geneva remains exactly as it was at the time of its delivery. This historic work of art had never been seen before. However, a 300 SL with the same license plate was once spotted.

The Rare 288 GTO in GenevaClick on the photo for more photo's of this spot!

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