The Ferrari 288 GTO Isn’t The Wild Ride You Thought It Was

To hear Ferrari’s mid-engine supercar world-beater described as “civilized” kind of takes a little of the mystique out of the car’s history to me.

The 288 GTO has always been hyped up as the turbocharged nutty car of the 1980s with lag that will leave you guessing, and then when the turbos spool up, they’re inclined to catch you unawares and probably backwards in a ditch. These were billed as demon cars; possessed with the intent to murder and maim.

When high-end Ferrari collector David Lee drops by Jay Leno’s shop, it’s always going to be worth watching. When he stated that the 288 GTO could almost be driven on a daily basis because it’s so docile, I was almost reduced to tears. He goes on to describe the cushioned seats and the nice heat of the car, and I’ve physically ceased to exist.

GTO is the king shit of homologation specials. Based on everything I know about homologation specials, they’re supposed to be near-race cars that beat you about the head and neck with sparse interiors and stiff suspensions. To see these two guys driving around town and holding a conversation inside the GTO with no issues makes me a little sad. It’s not particularly loud, and it doesn’t even really sound that good.


Smooth power delivery, Jay? Are you fucking kidding me? This is a 190 mph supercar from the ’80s, it’s supposed to be a little bit terrible and a lot scary. My entire world is crumbling around me.

Most 288 GTOs these days, now valued in the millions, have fewer miles on them than I drive in a month. It isn’t highly likely that many GTO owners have even really experienced the full depth of what the car is capable of delivering. With fewer than 300 examples sold worldwide, the model is basically an automotive statistical non-event.

It’s totally great and not out of touch at all to watch two multi-millionaires joke about $100,000 cars being inexpensive these days. Ha ha, poors it’s funny that you think six figures is a lot.


It’s great to hear Jay Leno espouse the Jalopnik ethos of “cars are meant to be driven” though, almost admonishing David Lee for calling the car’s value mileage sensitive. Drive your classics, man.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Most Popular

To Top