Gran Turismo Omologato


Those Italians certainly know how to weave magic with words, eh?  Touring car  constructed for homologation’ doesn’t really have the same ring, does it? But no matter how you say it, the GTO badge has been applied to an interesting variety of motors. But the definitive GTO doesn’t really warrant the name. Because, well, it’s not really a Grand Tourer, and it wasn’t built for homologation. The heavy reference you can see above with scary, hairy animals gives some clue to the impression that the Pontiac marketeers wanted to create with their Muscle-bound behemoth.

And anyway, without getting too QI on a monday morning, the word homologation, which comes from the Ancient Greek term for ‘agree’, is a bit of an awkward word in any case. We’ve certainly never seen it used for any other purpose than for describing road-legal racing cars.

So here goes for the simplest definition we have found of homologation, thank to our friend Mr Wiki: “Where a racing class requires that the cars raced be production vehicles only slightly adapted for racing, manufacturers typically produce a limited run of such vehicles for public sale so that they can legitimately race them in the class. These cars are commonly called ‘homologation specials’.”

Of course, the all-time beauty that is the Ferrari 250 GTO (above)  did indeed eace extensively in the 1960s and went on to be one of the most valuable and totemic collectors’ pieces ever, while the beefy take on the rump Ferrari chassis of the eighties the 288 GTO was the result of a stillborn class of racing, but one that according to experts is one of the most raucous and explosive Ferraris ever to find a legal home on the streets.

Which one floats your boat?


8 Responses to “Gran Turismo Omologato”

  1. The 250 is the prettiest, the Pontiac the most muscular and the original muscle car, but I personally lust after the 288. I saw Chris Evans's white one at an event last year and it has been on my desktop ever since.

  2. michaelfordham

    Agreed Jacko. The 288 in the flesh looks way, way beyond its Ferrari cousins of the same era. Never driven one, but would love the opportunity…

  3. Just to throw a spanner in the works, what about the Mitsubishi GTO? Badged as 3000GT for UK markets FYI.

  4. michaelfordham

    HA! I was wondering if anyone would mention the beefy Japanese GTO. Strange muscular styling but a truly full blooded car, I believe. Good spot.

  5. hippotech

    Fosker's Ferrari once told me they …ahem, raced the 288 GTO and an F40 on the M20 past Brands Hatch and the 288GTO was marginally quicker and a complete animal of a car.

  6. I think the real question is are you a jeans and t'shirt person or suit and brefcase person, the 250 is unshaven a little ruff and kicks ass. The 288 is sharp, suited and booted! 🙂 with a brefcase and lets face it ladys love a rogue that is difficult to tame grrrrrrrrrrrr lol

  7. michaelfordham

    It seems to me that everything that bears the GTO badge has a certain rakish ruffianism encoded into its design.

    Thanks for the perspective, and here's hoping we haven't seen the last GTO.