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Ferrari 288 GTO

The Original Supercar

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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 supplied new to its first owner in Padova, Ialy, in June 1985. The car is presented in the standard colour combination of Rosso Corsa with Nero Leather interior but has the addition of unusual but most desirable orange inserts to the seats. The car is equipped with the essential optional extras of electric windows and air conditioning. The car remained in Italy and was used very sparingly until 2010 when it came to the UK and was purchased by its current owner. Before delivery the current owner had an extensive and thorough amount of work carried out making the car "tip-top" by a very well-known UK specialist. Since then it has been continuously well maintained and has covered a further 2,500 kms making the total mileage just 9,800kms from new. This car represents a superb opportunity to purchase what is the original supercar Ferrari with an exceedingly low mileage presented in superb condition.

This is the car used for the Classic & Sports Car front cover and article published in September 2013