1985 Ferrari 288 GTO
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The details of this Ferrari 288 GTO
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RM Sotheby's - Monterey
15th Aug 2015
1985 Ferrari 288 GTO
400 bhp, 2,855 cc DOHC mid-mounted V-8 engine with twin IHI turbochargers, Behr intercoolers, and Weber-Marelli electronic fuel injection, five-speed manual transmission, four-wheel independent suspension, and four-wheel ventilated disc brakes. Wheelbase: 96.4 in. Please note that due to California emissions this vehicle will need to be purchased by a dealer or out-of-state resident. Also note the set of books that accompany this car does not include the service/warranty book. The year is 1985. Imagine standing on the side of a gravel road in the middle of a forest with dozens of other rabid fans. A dull roar is heard off in the distance. Whatever it is, it’s getting closer. The roar quickly grows louder and louder until it turns into the distinctive bark of a V-8, and then from around the corner… A bright red Ferrari flies over the hill, howling at 7,500 rpm, landing mere feet from where you’re standing. The car, accelerating with brute force, rockets past the group of cheering spectators, and then the driver slams on the brakes, throwing the machine sideways into the next corner. In an instant, the Ferrari screams down the road and out of sight, the engine still howling as the turbos spool up, and it rushes back into the forest. This was Group B rallying. It was introduced in 1982, and its rules and regulations (or lack thereof) beckoned for the creation of some of the most incredible rally machines ever built. The age quickly became known as the Golden Era of rallying. Unfortunately, the scene depicted with that red Ferrari would have never taken place. Group B was short-lived and disbanded by the FIA following a series of major accidents in 1986, leaving what could have been one of the fiercest competitors out of the fray: Ferrari’s newest GTO. The 288 GTO was developed by the factory specifically for entry in Group B, and as such, 200 road cars were required in order to homologate it for competition. However, Group B was banned before Ferrari ever had a chance to enter the series, leaving the car without a series to race in. This did not stop Ferrari from selling the GTO to their most loyal customers though, and 272 examples were built before production ceased. Enzo “Il Commendatore” Ferrari was still alive at this time and oversaw the appointment of the three most coveted letters in Ferrari history for the first time in two decades. Not only was the 288 GTO to be the first and rarest of the supercars that followed, but the “GTO” moniker would not return to Ferrari’s stable until recently with the 599. CHASSIS NUMBER 55181 This 288 GTO, built as a 1985 model, was finished in Rosso Corsa (300/6) over a Nero (VM 8500) interior and fitted with factory air conditioning and power windows, which were creature comforts not often seen on other 288 GTOs. It was sold new in Belgium to its first owner, Phillipe Lancksweert of Belgium, the co-owner of Garage Francorchamps, and was then sold by him to Raymond Peloso, a real estate developer from Newport Beach, California. Peloso offered the car for sale in the Los Angeles Times in October 1986, and at that time, the car was showing 4,600 kilometers on its odometer. By 1995, chassis 55181 made its way to Dean Becker, of Highland Park, Illinois, and returned to California later that year. In 1996, the car was sold to Gary Schaevitz, of Bedford Corners, New York. Schaevitz kept the car for the next four years. After departing from his collection, the car was sold in Florida, where it was owned by Dennis Crowley until the mid-2000s. The Ferrari was then purchased by its current owner, and it has remained wonderfully preserved and properly maintained in his collection ever since. In its current ownership, the car received an annual service in December 2014, which was completed by Ferrari of Central Florida, a timing belt service was completed in June 2015 at Ferrari of Beverly Hills. Also, it is important to note that the car is accompanied by a full set of books. Even though the 288 GTO might have been initially designed and conceived for use in motorsport, it quickly proved itself to be a very capable road car. While it delivers brutal performance and acceleration thanks to its twin turbochargers, rest assured, the 288 GTO can quickly get you to triple digit speeds and the brakes are responsive and very capable of bringing the car back to a stop just as quickly. The interior is comfortable, thanks to its sporting seating position and the added luxuries of factory air conditioning and power windows. The 288 GTO, considered today to be the first of Ferrari’s modern supercars, made an indelible mark on the automotive industry despite never seeing competition. It proved to be a thrilling car to drive on the road, and it is prized as much for its looks as its unique story. It has proven to be the lynchpin to completing the ultimate Ferrari supercar portfolio. As the first and rarest of the series, the F40, F50, Enzo, and LaFerrari included, it is difficult to acquire a proper example, much less one as outstanding as this GTO. While many 288 GTOs have been reupholstered and repainted during restorations, this example remains in fantastic condition as a well preserved and highly original example. As the saying goes, a car can only be original once, and this example would be an ideal acquisition for the enthusiast with an eye for originality. Above all, of course, it is one of only three models in over six decades of Ferrari history to carry the fabled three-letter designation so desirable that its value to collectors will remain uncontested for years to come. Its importance to the marque is rivaled only by the Prancing Horse itself.
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