David Lee’s 1985 Ferrari 288 GTO Comes to Jay Leno’s Garage


Ferrari 288 GTO
Image from Jay Leno's Garage

The Collector Shares The Joy

David Lee is one of the best-known Ferrari collectors in the world among many other things. Jay Leno recently invited him to the show and Lee brought one of the most beautiful Ferraris of all time to Leno’s garage, a 1985 Ferrari 288 GTO. The car is unique for many reasons. Chief among them is the fact that the car was never sold in the U.S.

Lee, who made his money selling watches and jewelry, told Leno this was the hardest car for him to buy. Ferrari only made 272 of the 288 GTO and as Leno said, the car was overshadowed by the F40 that came out directly after it. People who weren’t avid supercar fans more or less forgot about the 288 GTO once the F40 hit the scene.

Ferrari built the vehicle for Group B rally racing, but Group B was ended due to safety concerns. When it ended, Ferrari decided to sell street versions of the car. It’s this scenario that made it such a rare car and such a low number of vehicles produced. The car gets a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V8. That engine makes 400 hp, which in the 1980s was an astronomical amount. Lee says the car can do a 0-60 mph run in about five seconds, which was extremely quick for the time period of the car.

What’s so impressive about the 288 GTO today is how modern it looks on the outside. It’s sleek and attractive even today. The interior is an analog lover’s dream with switches and toggles on the center console and a tall, gated five-speed shifter. It’s a gorgeous example, and we’re glad Lee decided to share it with the world.