A Washington Ferrari collector set a world speed record for a Ferrari last week, with an average 275.4 mph in a 288 GTO. The secret to its speed? A 540-ci Chevy big block, boosted by twin turbos. Enzo, meet Louis.
The run by Steve Trafton, 64, in his 1985 288 GTO came after two years of work and previous attempts at the record. The 8.8-liter GM engine gets fed by two Borg Warner turbos producing about 17 psi, good for somewhere between 2,000 and 2,500 hp.
Trafton, a retired investment banker with several other Ferraris in his garage, had the car built by Texas Ferrari expert Bob Norwood, and drove the car himself on the Bonneville Salt Flats earlier this month for the AA/Blown Fuel Modified Sport record. That class requires engines larger than 500 cubic inches.
"Ours is stock body," Trafton told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. "It not only holds the world speed record for its class, it's the world's fastest Ferrari and the world's fastest sports car," he said.
But the question remains: is a Ferrari without a prancing horse on its engine block still a Ferrari? The answer will have to get hashed out without Trafton, who says he's retiring the 288 from speed record chasing to focus on his other hobbies, such as extreme kayaking.