1984 Ferrari 288 GTO
The Group B regulations have been covered exhaustively in relations to the rallying monsters it spawned (more on that later) but the regulations also covered circuit racing, leading to the only car on this list that can really be called beautiful. The Ferrari 288 GTO – Gran Turismo Omologato – was based on the then current Ferrari 308GTB for the sake of expediency in getting the required 200 examples built but little of the original design remained by the end of the process.
Most of the steel body panels were replaced with fibreglass, kevlar and carbon-fibre to save weight and create the enormous flares needed to clear the much wider track and tyres. The wheelbase was stretched by 110mm because the engine had been rotated from a transverse to a longitudinal placement. The V8 engine was actually reduced in capacity compared to the 308GTB, dropping to 2.85-litres, which, with the FIA equivalency ratio of 1.4, allowed it to be turbocharged to compete with engines of up to 4.0-litres.
That sadly never happened as, due to several tragedies in the World Rally Championship, the Group B regulations were rescinded. Still, 272 lucky road car owners including Niki Lauda, Keke Rosberg, Eddie Irvine and Michele Alboreto were able to enjoy the 400hp, 5.0-second 0-60mph time and 189mph top speed.