1985 Ferrari 288 GTO PrototipoSOLD

RM Auction: Ferrari - Legenda e Passione - Sunday, May 20, 2007

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Estimate: 400,000€-450,000€

506,000 € Sold

Specifications: 400 bhp 2855 cc twin overhead camshaft, fuel injected, twin turbo, intercooled V-8 engine with dry sump lubrication, four-wheel upper and lower wishbone independent suspension with coaxial Koni dampers and transverse anti-roll bars, Borg and Beck twin plate clutch with a five-speed gearbox, four-wheel servo-assisted ventilated disc brakes. Wheelbase: 2450mm (96.4")

Although built for homologation purposes, the 288 GTO was much more than that. It was a platform to demonstrate the street potential of Ferrari ’ s technological, racing-derived leadership.

The body was a monocoque structure, and utilized a variety of sophisticated composites – clearly influenced by Ferrari engineer Harvey Postlethwaite ’ s work on the championship winning Formula 1 Ferrari 126 C2 cars of 1982 and 1983. The stiffness of this structure gave the new 288 GTO tremendous stability and agile handling.

With any Ferrari, however, it is the engine that ignites the passions of the faithful, and the 288 GTO certainly did not disappoint. The V-8 engine had been turned 90 degrees – and the wheelbase lengthened to accommodate it. This new orientation left room for the engine ’ s raison d ’ etre, its twin IHI turbochargers, feeding the engine through a pair of massive Behr air to air intercoolers.

The engine bay is a wonder to behold; it is highly functional, of course, but beautiful as well, with its red wrinkle- finish valve covers and aluminum intercoolers. Even the rubber hoses in the intake system are red, to match the other details. With its Weber-Marelli electronic fuel injection handling induction chores, this new twin- turbocharged powerplant is capable of 400bhp. It is the delivery, however, that gives the car its personality – when the turbochargers kick in, the driver is pinned against the seat as the engine climbs a near-vertical wall of torque. The result was a zero to 100 km/h time of less than five seconds, and a top speed of more than 300 km/h.

The example offered here is the sole surviving factory prototype for the 288 GTO series. It is one of the four developmental cars built by Ferrari before production of the 288 GTO began. Two of these four were used for crash tests and subsequently destroyed. Another one was disassembled and sold as spare parts to a Ferrari customer who had crashed his car.

Chassis 47649 thus remains the only development car in existence and its prototype status is the reason it is not listed as one of the 272 production examples built. The car was owned by Ferrari until 1987 when a special Ferrari customer succeeded in buying it.

It has the very desirable four-point seat belts and fire extinguishing system, both of which were required for testing. It has just 9,650 km, almost all of which were undertaken by Ferrari test drivers.

Today, the car remains in excellent original condition, and has benefited from a recent service by Ferrari ’ s Classiche department.

Any of the 272 production 288 GTOs would be a rare find today. The sole surviving factory prototype makes it arguably the most important of all. Furthermore, all the production cars were finished in Corsa Red, making this prototype in Giallo Fly (yellow) instantly recognizable as the birth of a legend.

Reference Number 8575

as of 4/15/2007

Car 1985 Ferrari 288 GTO Prototipo
VIN ZFFPA16B000047649 
Exterior / Interior Color      Yellow /      Black 
Configuration Left Hand Drive (LHD) 
Transmission Manual Shift 
Options Exterior: Alloy rims
Interior: Leather interior, Leather steering wheel 
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