1985 Ferrari 288 GTO
- Spiritual successor to the 250 GTO
- One of only 272 examples; matching numbers throughout
- Delivered with power windows and air conditioning
- Compliant with U.S.A. EPA legislation
- Recent major service by Ferrari specialists
THE GTO REINVENTED
The Ferrari 250 GTO, considered by many to be the finest sports racer Ferrari had ever produced, is the stuff of legend. The car was aided by an incredible racing record and sensational driving dynamics, but it earned its reputation the hard way, through victories in the toughest races the world had to offer. For Ferrari to even consider reviving the legendary moniker, any new GTO would have to match or surpass the 250 GTO’s record in motorsport.
The new GTO, commonly referred to as the 288 GTO, was born from the FIA Group B race and rally homologation regulations that had been introduced for 1984, meaning that, like many of the greatest racing cars in the past, it was built for the public largely so that racing versions could take to the track. Rules required a minimum of 200 road going examples to be built, but so great was the response from Ferrari’s most loyal and well-heeled customers that around 272 examples were built.
Despite the fact that Group B was ultimately cancelled and Ferrari’s fully developed and homologated car had no series to compete in, it was clear from the outset that this was a very special car and that the 288 GTO was certainly not going to disappoint the brand’s fans or customers, even without a place to race.
The car was styled by Pininfarina's Leonardo Fioravanti, the creator of the stunning 365 GTB/4 “Daytona”, and he later recalled Enzo Ferrari’s original design brief: “There was no specific instruction, just to produce a car based on the 308 GTB that could be used for racing”.
Although clearly following design cues from the 308, the 288 GTO was much more aggressive-looking, and in a fitting tribute to the 250 GTO, the rear wings had three cooling slots behind the wheels. Perhaps surprisingly, the road going 288 GTO was no spartan racer inside, as it boasted leather-upholstered Kevlar-framed bucket seats, optional air conditioning, electric windows, an AM/FM radio-cassette player, and a dashboard filled with a 10,000-rpm tachometer, a turbo boost gauge, oil temperature and pressure gauges, and a water temperature gauge.
The fact that the 288 GTO could reach a huge top speed of 189 mph was simply another reason for its almost guaranteed success, as it made the 288 GTO the fastest road car ever produced at the time of its unveiling,.
CHASSIS NUMBER 52475
According to the research of noted Ferrari historian Marcel Massini, the factory issued the certificate of origin for this 288 GTO, chassis number 52475, on 30 January 1985, and it was first registered on 6 February by Crepaldi Autos, of Milan. This early European-specification example has spent the majority of its early life in Italy. It wears body number 6 and is one of the earliest 288 GTOs manufactured during the limited production run. Additionally, it was delivered new with desirable power windows and air conditioning.
As one would expect of perhaps the most special Ferrari produced for many years, and one under keen and enthusiastic ownership, this outstanding 288 GTO was a regular participant in many Ferrari gatherings. These included the Ferrari Parade of Crepaldi at Monza in September 1986 and an appearance in Autoluce’s 1987 calendar. In 1987, under the ownership of Mr Fausto Pieroni, of Modena, 52475 took part in the 25th Anniversary GTO celebration at Mas du Clos in France, and it again took part in the Crepaldi parade in Monza. That same year, having travelled just 6,000 kilometres, 52475 attended the 40 Years of Ferrari gathering at Imola. Throughout its early life in Italy, this stunning GTO was regularly maintained by Motor Service S.r.l., and 10 years later, it attended Ferrari’s 50th anniversary meeting in Modena.
After passing through several new owners, 52475 was purchased by a Southern California-based collector of rare and modern road cars that were specifically engineered for racing. Upon arrival in the United States, the car was modified to meet U.S.A. EPA legislation. Later, this owner was able to fulfil his passion and build a collection that included such vehicles as Lamborghinis, a Porsche 959, an F50, and two F40s (including the F40 GT raced by the Monte Shell team). Adding a 288 GTO to his stable was perhaps the icing on the cake. As a Ferrari race team owner, it comes as no surprise that this owner had his own personal staff of mechanics, who have serviced this 288 GTO throughout his long-term ownership. Indeed, 52475 was garaged throughout his ownership and only saw the light of day to participate in regular charity events, where it was always transported to rather than arriving under its own power. By this owner’s estimate, 52475 covered only around 300 miles during his ownership of more than a decade.
This GTO, now showing just 31,000 miles on its odometer, has recently benefitted from a major service by a renowned Ferrari specialist in the UK, with the work including upgrading the cam belts and installing new tyres, . This incredible limited-production Ferrari is also offered with its original books and tools.
The 288 GTO was the first in a series of limited-edition Ferrari supercars, which eventually culminated into the recent LaFerrari. Whilst many supercars lose their appeal over time, the analogue 288 GTO stands almost alone in having its reputation enhanced, and its appeal is now greater than ever.