The Ferrari 288 GTO may look relatively benign compared to the Italian halo cars which followed it, including the F40 and Enzo, but the hardcore 288 GTO remains absolutely iconic.
Ferrari initially built the 288 GTO with the intent of racing it in Group B rallying. However, the FIA banned Group B rallying before Ferrari could enter. In response, Italian car manufacturer decided to build the 288 GTO for street-use. Production was limited to just 272 examples, making it rarer than the F40, F50, Enzo, and LaFerrari.
It is unclear how many examples of the 288 GTO reside in the United States but Jay Leno recently had the opportunity to sample one of them.
The 288 GTO in question is owned by David Lee, a prolific Ferrari collector in the United States. Lee’s car is a 1985 example and despite the Italian supercar being almost 35 years old, it still looks absolutely jaw-dropping.
Ferrari has only ever built three models affixed with its famous ‘GTO’ badge; the original Ferrari 250 GTO, the Ferrari 288 GTO, and the Ferrari 599 GTO. The 250 GTO is easily the most valuable of the trio and the 599 GTO is the fastest but to our eyes, the 288 GTO is the best looking.
Powering the car is a 2.9-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine producing 395 hp and 366 lb-ft (496 Nm) of torque. Each 288 GTO built also a kerb weight of just 2557 lbs (1160 kg), making it incredibly light particularly when you consider that it only features lightweight carbon fiber in its roof.