1985 Ferrari 288 GTO
Documents: US Title
- Just 729 km from new; arguably one of the best preserved in the world
- Believed to be one of 19 "lightweight" examples ordered without a radio or power windows
- Single ownership since 1993
- Virtually as new throughout
- Recent full service, including new timing belts
- Retains its original manuals, including original service book
- Application for certification submitted to Ferrari Classiche
Built and overseen when Enzo Ferrari was at the helm of his company, the 288 GTO was the second vehicle in Ferrari’s history to bear the fabled Gran Turismo Omologato moniker. Conceived to compete in Group B rallying, the series was disbanded before the 288 GTO ever turned a wheel in anger, yet the 272 cars built to homologate the model quickly found willing homes with Ferrari’s best clients. Today, it is a cornerstone of any collection of Ferrari supercars, and the car to which the F40, F50, Enzo and LaFerrari owe a debt of gratitude.
The 255th example built, this particular 288 GTO is perhaps the finest and most original example left in existence and therefore, can be counted amongst the most desirable Ferraris offered for sale in recent memory. Finished in Rosso Corsa (FER 300/6) over Nero (VM 8500) leather with matching black inserts, the car was ordered without power windows or a radio, believed to be one of 19 examples ordered as such, leaving the driver to focus on the task at hand and shedding precious ounces in the pursuit of relentless performance and making the car all the more desirable to connoisseurs and true driving enthusiasts.
When new in 1985, chassis number 57709 was imported to the United States by Robert A. Penkhus of Colorado City, Colorado, with the intention of being driven on the road in that country. As such, the car was converted to comply with DOT/EPA regulations by Amerispec upon its importation. However, the car was driven very seldom by Penkhus, and was offered for sale by him in the Ferrari Market Letter in May of 1986, listed as only having 290 miles (466 km) on its odometer. The car was subsequently bought by David Livingston of Seattle.
Livingston also did not put much more mileage on the 288 GTO, and by the time he offered it for sale in 1993, the car was listed as only having been driven 729 km from new. The car was then purchased by its current owner in 1993. Part of a significant collection, the car was subsequently parked and not driven since, and has remained in storage until it was discovered this year.
Upon the car’s discovery, it was immediately removed from storage and has recently received a full service, including changing of the timing belts, affirming its status as perhaps the finest and most original 288 GTO in existence. Accordingly, for such a low-mileage and unmolested example, chassis number 57709 presents in virtually as-new condition, retaining all of its proper and original factory markings throughout.
The discovery of this 288 GTO is akin to finding the proverbial needle in a haystack. Beautifully preserved both inside and out having only been driven 729 km over the course of its life, finding another 288 GTO like this simply might not be possible, given that the model is now over 30 years old. Despite its age, the 288 GTO remains a legend, and a car that is just as desirable now as it was when new, holding an important place in Ferrari’s history as the first supercar of its kind. Potential buyers should be asking themselves one question: When is the next time that I’ll be able to buy a brand new 288 GTO at the factory?