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  • Three owners from new
  • UK delivered with optional air conditioning, electric windows and full leather interior
  • Complete with original factory invoice, owner’s manual and service book, tools and maintenance records
  • Preserved in original condition with 9,400km from new
  • Ferrari Classiche certified
UK delivered, 9,400km and continuous history from new

1985 Ferrari 288 GTO

“After the pause the GTO explodes up the road almost unimaginably quickly, as if tugged to the horizon by a huge elastic band. This isn’t merely fast- it’s electrifying.” Classic & Sportscar, July 1995.

The Ferrari 288GTO

Probably the three most evocative words in automotive history are Gran Turismo Omologato, GTO. The original Ferrari 250 GTO was developed to win the fiercely competitive FIA GT Championship in the early Sixties and took the title for Ferrari in 1962, 1963 and 1964 against stiff opposition. For decades it’s been the most prized Ferrari of them all and one of the most valuable cars in the world. Any latter day revival of the name by Ferrari would only be allowed for something very special indeed. It was.

Thirty years ago, at the 1984 Geneva Motor Show, Ferraristi clamoured to get a glimpse of the company’s first ‘homologation special’ supercar: the new 288 GTO. It was fast- the fastest road car the company had ever put into production. It was also beautiful, styled by Pininfarina and a muscular, exquisitely detailed evolution of the classic 308 silhouette which had debuted almost a decade earlier. And it was rare: so rare, infact, that despite also boasting the most expensive price tag ever attached to a Ferrari road car, all were sold before production had begun. It’s been the same story ever since.

Just 200 were initially planned and they were intended to compete in the legendary Group B racing class. In the end the series was banned at the peak of its popular appeal- the cars were simply too fast- but Ferrari forged ahead and the 288 GTO was born instead destined for a life on the road instead of the track. Basic elements were derived from the company’s contemporary 308 GTB Quattrovalvole, but beneath the skin the GTO differed radically, mounting its V8 longitudinally in a new chassis with a longer wheelbase. Twin IHI turbochargers boosted power to a mighty 400bhp at 7,000rpm, providing 0-100km acceleration in a blistering 4.9 seconds and a top speed of 306km/h. Nothing else came close in its day.

Such power and speed necessitated equally dramatic bodywork, the GTOs benefitting from contemporary F1 technology with fibreglass panels combined with lightweight composites such as Kevlar and carbonfibre. The shape was refined in the wind tunnel, and was characterised by flared wheel arches, distinctive front and rear spoilers, four additional grille-mounted driving lights and what has become one of the cars trademark design features, its prominent stalk mounted side mirrors. Warm air was evacuated from the engine compartment by- what else- three angled vertical slats inspired by those gracing the flanks of the car’s illustrious predecessor, the 250 GTO.

In the end a mere 278 examples of the 288 GTO were built, 1984-1985, making it not only the first ‘instant collectible’ Ferrari flagship, but the rarest. Barely five years after production had ended, the original $84,000 launch price had increased tenfold, and nowadays the best examples are likely to be found only in significant collections given the cars stratospheric value. It is arguably the most prized Ferrari of the past four decades, its modern day habitat basking under spotlights rather than lighting its own path down a challenging Tuscan road or Californian highway.

This Motor Car

This exceptional example was ordered via Maranello Concessionaires in November 1984. In April 1985, Ferrari SpA issued an invoice to John Samuel Hurst of Wargrave, Berks for £59,590. The car was collected from the factory using ‘EE 016 AK’ export plates on 12 April 1985 and barely driven afterwards.. In 2004, now UK registered, the car was sold only for the second time to another British owner, and in December 2012, with the odometer showing 8,877km, to its third. Since then it has been regularly serviced, including a major overhaul by Autofficina Bonini in May 2019 at 8,907km

It is unusual to find a 288 GTO which has a continuous, well documented history, all its original paperwork, its original accessories, and all the available options. Chassis no. 55721 is the best surviving 288 GTO we have ever come across.

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