Author: Joe Sackey
Foreword: Nicola Materazzi
Published by: Veloce
Format: Hardback (250 x 250)
A significant number of some of the world’s most desirable modern sports cars have passed through the hands of Joe Sackey. This makes Sackey a lucky man, but he is not averse to getting his hands dirty having also restored several of these cars too. In doing so he has acquired first hand knowledge of these cars, which qualifies him to write about, for instance, the Ferrari 288 GTO.
Often a misunderstood and overlooked supercar, the 288 GTO is in fact a highly respected vehicle by those in the know. There are those who question whether this model is worthy of those three famous initials…GTO, but that is a matter of personal interpretation and knowledge of the Ferrari family of cars. Announced at the Geneva Motor Show in 1984, the 288 GTO was indeed first intended as a Group B racer but when that series was shelved, the model was sold as a road car.
Sackey’s book is attractively presented and contains many evocative images of the car undergoing testing and in this sense is a worthy volume to add to one’s collection. What is disappointing is that the book contains many scans of the parts catalogue (in Italian), owner’s handbook and service book, sales brochure, magazine covers featuring the GTO, as well as letters and invoices, which make up a substantial portion of the book. While this is interesting information, it hardly explains the design and development of this significant model and being somewhat short on words, it would in a sense, appear to be a missed opportunity.
The 288 GTO’s inspiration came unquestionably from the 308, but the car’s designer, Emanuele Nicosia (he is not mentioned), sought to create an innovative substitute for the BB and to revive the tradition of the road/racing 250 GTO. Although there are obvious similarities with the 308, the 288 GTO is both longer (thanks to a longitudinally-mounted engine) and wider making the car appear lower.
The book’s Foreword is written by Nicola Materazzi, the designer in charge of the project at Pininfarina. Each chapter is introduced to the reader by a short textual explanation followed by a selection of well-chosen images. However, the section on what the press said at the car’s launch contains no more than 150 words and although Sackey says that the press were ‘enamoured’ by the 288 GTO, this is not supported by anything other than 20 scans of magazine covers. Having said that, the book does contain important information on all chassis numbers.
Review by: Glen Smale