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G,T and O are three letters that adorn the world's most desirable and arguably most valuable Ferrari. Second generation GTO's were born during the early 1980's when many leading motor manufacturers thought FISA's Group B regulations would evolve into the definitive platform for showcasing their most technologically advanced machinery. In order to qualify for Group B, FISA stipulated that 200 identical road cars had to be produced and sold to the public for homologation to be granted. However, Group B was destined to become a stillborn series and much to the disappointment of race fans the world over, Ferrari's 288 and the Porsche 959 never took to the track in anger. Nevertheless, like Porsche, Ferrari decided to go ahead with a limited production run for their super high performance Group B challengers. The 288 was the first mid-engined Ferrari street car to be fitted with a longitudinally mounted engine, this was an all-alloy Tipo F114B 90° V8 with a capacity of 2855cc producing a phenomenal 400bhp at 7000rpm thanks to twin IHI turbochargers at 0.8 bar of boost while Behr intercoolers cooled the charge air. As a result zero to sixty MPH was just 4.8 seconds and a top speed of 189mph was possible. These astounding figures meant Ferrari's 288 GTO arrived as the fastest production car in the world on its 1984 launch. As a nod to its predecessor, three vertical lourves reminiscent of the Bizzarrini-designed 250 GTO were carved into the rear wings while that flip up rear spoiler flared the tail quite magnificently.
GTO's were only available in Rosso Corsa and left-hand drive. Meanwhile, the interior featured a suede-covered anti-glare dash, Veglia instruments, a three-spoked leather rimmed Momo steering wheel and seats of similar design to the Daytona. Restrained and stylish but never overly luxurious, additional comforts could be specified by way of a luxury package that included air-conditioning, electric windows and a stereo cassette player. Full leather trim could also be selected (to replace the standard issue of leather with orange cloth inserts) along with rear fog lights. Unveiled at the Geneva Salon in March 1984 after a lengthy development period that had seen the worlds motoring press speculating avidly as to exactly what was beneath Ferrari's heavily disguised prototype, the GTO was an overnight sensation. Floods of collectors were gagging to - at the very least - place a deposit for this the newest, most desirable car in the world. Ferrari had originally planned to produce just the mandatory 200 units for homologation, however, demand was so strong that 272 examples were eventually completed by the time production was discontinued in early 1986.
This example was delivered new to Mr Cristiano Berloco of Modena in 1985. At the time he was a very senior doctor practicing in Rome and an heir to the large Nomentana Hospital and Clinic. He would only use the car very occasionally, whilst his son would use the car more regularly. Restrained and stylish, this example features the luxury package comprising of air-conditioning and electric windows.
The Massini report confirms that whilst the car was re-registered in the name of a finance company, Somafin S.p.A and later in the custody of Mara Martinelli, the car did, in fact, remain within the original owners family. The car was serviced annually by the supplying dealership SamoCar in Rome until 1988 when the car had 30,000 kms.
Researching the car ahead of our purchase from the family in 2014, DK spoke to the owner of SamoCar who remembered Berloco’s son, his flamboyant lifestyle and his driving of the car regularly. He recalled a story of how the young Berloco used the car a lot until one day the throttle stuck open on him on a busy street in Rome! Managing to find a safe place to stop, he turned the car off without any damage. The 288 was brought in to SamoCar’s workshop where the sticky throttle was rectified, but the car would only be used sparingly after.
For the next 25 years, the car remained in the collection but was very rarely used and almost completely hidden from public view.
A year after Cristiano Berloco’s passing at the age of just 49 in 2013, the car was advertised for sale, leaving the family ownership for the first time. DK Engineering purchased and imported the car after hearing of its whereabouts via a dealer and friend in Monaco. We had the car inspected in his workshop and after purchase carried out a major service including cambelts ahead of delivery to the customer without advertising. After registration in the UK, the car would be placed in storage under our care. Ferrari Red Book Classiche Certification was awarded and the car was chosen in 2015 to be part of a special display of Ferrari’s at the Goodwood Revival.
In 2018 we sold the car once more to a good friend of DK. At the time we carried out a major cambelt service and installed a full fire extinguishing system. Since then the car has been used sparingly and today presents superbly with 36,570 km and its Ferrari Red Book Classiche Certification. It is available to view at our showrooms outside London immediately.
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