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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.
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 production examples were eventually completed by the time production was discontinued in early 1986.
During the 1980s and 1990s, one particular family amassed the largest collection of cars in the world, through a limitless budget and passion for all things automotive. From records released in the early 2000s, this Royal Family spent close to $80m with Pininfarina alone. In theory, all 288 GTOs were built in Rosso Corsa and left-hand drive. This car was delivered new to a representative of said family and subsequently (and almost immediately) returned it to Pininfarina in Turin. At this time, the car was uniquely refinished in Nero with a red stripe down the waistline and fitted with a bespoke interior, as well as being subjected to a comprehensive rebuild and complex conversion to RHD specification. Understandably there is some uncertainty surrounding the number of 288s reconfigured by Pininfarina for the family. Historians generally agree there were just 4 in total. This example was said to be the one that received the most use once within the collection. Years later, in circa 2012, having suffered from being sat outside for a number of years in high heat and humidity, the family set about having the car restored. At that time the car had covered circa 1,500 kms. Not bad given it was part of a collection said to be containing 7,000 cars!
The GTO was sent to a main Ferrari dealer where it would be subject to a comprehensive restoration. Stripped to its bare frame and tub, every component was either refurbished or replaced. The full restoration process is extensively documented in the accompanying history file, with no bolt or screw exempt from the meticulous restoration. The car was refinished in it’s Pininfarina specification of Nero, with black leather ‘Daytona’ style centres, a grey suede dashboard and headlining, a smaller diameter steering wheel including thumb recesses in the rim and Pininfarina script on the lower spoke. Following this it returned to the family and received limited use.
This example was purchased directly from the original owners by DK Engineering in 2015 and imported into the UK. Completing UK registration, we carried out an additional major service including cambelts. Such was the limited use from new that at this time, post-restoration, the car had covered just 1,800 kms. Since then, the car has been used sparingly. It returned to DK Engineering for a major service once more in 2019 and to date presents superbly with just 2,800 kms now showing.
An unrepeatable example, offered publicly for sale for the very fist time, this very low mileage 288 GTO is a fantastic example of the spending power of the family in question, from a time of bespoke customisation that won’t be repeated. It presents today as what is believed the only example to have "escaped from captivity" and is "on the button", ready to be used and enjoyed and is available to view at our showrooms outside London immediately.
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