by Charles Maher Click Here to purchase from CarArtInc.com
Going retro might seem to be a recent phenomenon, with the VW Beetle and Porsche Boxster serving as prime examples. The concept -- success is best achieved by repeating what worked before -- was the basis for the 1984 Ferrari GTO.
If you are only a little familiar with Ferraris, the 1984 GTO (often referred to as the "288 GTO", although the official factory nomenclature was just "GTO") might be indistinguishable from the standard Ferrari 308, which was their most popular model. A bit of studying would reveal some significant differences however. The 1984 GTO is 4.3 inches longer than the standard 308; this was necessary when the drivetrain mounting was changed from transverse to longitudinal. The body is an assortment of kevlar and other exotic composite materials, unlike the steel and fiberglass of the standard 308. The fenders are flared and there is an integral rear spoiler. To further connect the 1962 and 1984 models there are three cooling slots, this time on the rear fender.
Cynics might call the GTO nomenclature a marketing gimmick, but in this case there is plenty of justification. The essence of a Ferrari, its engine, is very special in the 1984 recreation. It is based on the 308 Quattrovalvole (Italian for "four valves") with the heads modified and compression ratio lowered to 7.6:1. Induction is by way of twin turbochargers, the Formula One practice of the time. The turbochargers are from IHI, a Japanese company, and are relatively small. Their size sacrifices some power but in return the engine is more flexible. A conventional wastegate limits boost to 11.6 psi. Power is available throughout the RPM range, unlike extremely peaky high output racing engines or even the 1962 V12 engine in the original GTO.