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I was at the P.O.C.I. convention in 1980 and the keynote speaker was Jim Wangers. He spoke about the GTO's history. At the end of his speach he told us what GTO really meant.

He said after they snuck the project through as an option code, they had to make it work. He sent a note to the late DeLorean or vice versa with the message G.T.O., as in Get Those Orders!!!
 

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You can find several definitions for GTO, depends on who you talk to;

GTO: Gran Turismo Omologato. It was first used for Ferraris, but was immortalized as a Pontiac muscle car name. It means, in Italian, a race car that has been made street legal.

Gran Turismo Omologato. Italian, `Grand Tour Homologous.'
 

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Randy,
I think you are a little off in your definition. From what I remember reading the car compaies had to sell a certain amount of cars identical to the race cars in order to fit in the grand touring class. I think the english word is spelled homolgation, italian is omologato.

The cars ferrari sold were 250s, hence the cars became 250 GTOs or 250 grand touring homolgation. which is a race car that can also be driven on the street.
 

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Tom said:
Randy,
I think you are a little off in your definition. From what I remember reading the car compaies had to sell a certain amount of cars identical to the race cars in order to fit in the grand touring class. I think the english word is spelled homolgation, italian is omologato.

The cars ferrari sold were 250s, hence the cars became 250 GTOs or 250 grand touring homolgation. which is a race car that can also be driven on the street.
Tom,

You're right. Ferrari produced the cars for the '61 "production" racing schedule. The FIA originally thought the cars were developed from the road-going 250 GT (which had been produced in relatively high numbers by that time). After the GTOs started racing (and kicking everyone's butt), the FIA took a closer look and realized that they were really based on the 250 Testarossa prototype. The FIA then temporarily banned the cars. As they are today, Ferrari was VERY influential. He threatened to withdraw all his cars from all series (sportscar and formula one) if the FIA didn't allow the car to race. The FIA backed down in a hurry and even though Ferrari hadn't produced enough cars to race in the "production" category, the FIA 'homologated" the car for racing. Hence Gran Tourismo Omologato or Homologated Grand Touring.
 
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