1984 Ferrari 288 GTOSOLD
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Estimate: ú210,000-240,000

Sold: ú232,000

When Ferrari announced in 1983 that it was to build a modern day GTO it sent the hearts of red-blooded Ferraristi into dangerous flutters, while others blindly reached for their cheque books without a second thought. The name GTO, after all, recalls what many regard as the ultimate Ferrari and the promise was that the new 288 GTO would be no different. Maranello had already been quoted as saying that it would be the fastest and quickest accelerating Ferrari ever built, one insider later describing the homologation special as 'an act of faith to the racing world'; neither Ferrari nor its customers were to be disappointed.

It was the 308GTB that Ferrari chose as the base for the 288 GTO, a car, like Porsche's contemporary 959, designed for international Group B racing and for which a minimum of 200 examples had to be built; indeed the metamorphosis from 308GTB to 288GTO was to be no different than that from 250 GT SWB to 250 GTO two decades earlier. But although visually fairly similar to the 308, the left-hand drive only 288 was to differ radically under the skin.

Not only was there an immensely strong steel tubular chassis, against the 308's semi-monocoque structure, but also the engine was moved from a transverse to an in-line layout, necessitating a 4.5in increase in wheelbase. The engine was basically the 32 valve 308/Mondial V8 but strengthened in many areas with improved lubrication and cooling. It also had twin IHI turbochargers and twin intercoolers, separate Weber/Marelli ignition and fuel injection systems for each cylinder bank and a 1mm smaller bore to give 2,855cc - important given the FIA's 1.4 turbocharger equivalency factor which multiplies capacity to 3,997cc, within Group B's 4.0 litre limit. And potent the V8 certainly was, producing a highly impressive 400bhp at 7,000rpm and a huge 366lb.ft at 3,800rpm; allied to a five-speed, magnesium cased gearbox, it provided staggering performance - 189mph, 0-60mph in 4.9 seconds and 0-125mph in a stunning 15.2 seconds!

Notably, much of the GTO's design came from the Ferrari F1 designer Harvey Postlethwaite, and it came as no surprise to find extensive use of Kevlar, carbon fibre and other high tech composites for the stress-bearing areas of the GTO's beautiful, Pininfarina styled, glass fibre (but with steel doors) body. The latter, against the 308, was widened behind the rear side windows into engine air scoops while the rear used an elegant, integrated spoiler; a particularly nice touch was the three brake cooling slots in the rear wings, imitating one of the 250 GTO's famous trademarks. Wings front and rear were also radically flared to accommodate an almost 4.0in increase in front and rear track and huge 225/55 front, 265/50 rear tyres on 10in x 16in composite alloy racing rims. Behind them were large Ferrari/Brembo ventilated disc brakes, while wishbone/coil spring suspension and an anti-roll bar were fitted front and rear. All of which made the 288 GTO one of the most desirable Ferraris ever built, not merely a purposeful and effective machine, but one that was also a statement of Ferrari's classic love and commitment to racing. Just 278 examples of the 288 GTO were built (including track versions) compared to over 1,300 of the later F40.

Manufactured in 1984 and delivered on the 24th April 1985 to Albert Obrist of Gstaad Switzerland, the car remained in his ownership until 1987 when it was imported to Great Britain Having passed through several owners, who are documented in the accompanying comprehensive history file, the Ferrari was purchased by the current owner in 1998 and has covered only 8,459 kilometres from new. The red paint work is in fine order and the interior shows very few signs of wear, including the black leather seats with red inserts for which four point harnesses have been fitted together with the original inertia belts, .

Like the rest of the car, the engine, which starts first time, is in excellent order and breathes through a factory fitted sports exhaust system; the standard system is also supplied. The owner can confirm that the camshaft belts were replaced in September of this year and a large file of bills, including those for servicing the car from Maranello Sales and other leading Ferrari specialists, accompanies the car, together with all MoT test certificates dating back to 1988 which confirm its low mileage. Complete with the original Ferrari wallet containing the original hand books, a complete tool kit, all road fund licence discs dating back to 1994, a 288 GTO spare parts catalogue, and a road fund licence and MoT test certificate valid, respectively, until May and June 2008, this extremely fast, rare and much sought-after Ferrari is in excellent order throughout.

Reference Number 13812

as of 10/5/2007

Car 1984 Ferrari 288 GTO
VIN ZFFPZ16B000054235