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1985 Ferrari 288 GTO

A fully matching-numbers example showing just 18,800km on the odometer and with full red-book Ferrari Classiche certification

One of only 272 Ferrari 288 GTOs built, complete with its original tool kit, jack, spare wheel, warranty card, service book and pouch

Fresh from a major mechanical and aesthetic overhaul at Rossocorsa, the official Ferrari concessionaire in Milan, totalling in excess of €100,000 euros

A desirable ‘lusso’ specification car, fitted with optional electric windows, air-conditioning and full black leather seats

Delivered new in 1985 to Turin, Italy

Chassis no. ZFFPA16B000054801

+44 20 3621 2923

The Ferrari 288 GTO

G – T – O. Denoting Gran Turismo Omologato, it’s an acronym which, for Ferrari disciples, represents the summit of the mountain. For those of a certain age, it brings to mind the sultry 250 GTO of 1962 – a car which for myriad good reasons is now among the most valuable on the planet. But for others, it’s the razor-sharp Pininfarina lines of its successor, the 288 GTO,

Not even Il Commendatore could ignore the frenzied popularity of Group B rallying in the 1980s. A new dawn of homologation specials had, as a result, dawned, and the FIA formula’s loose framework of rules and minimum production requirement of 200 cars suited Ferrari to a tee. Here was a prime chance for the Prancing Horse to flex its muscle and show the manufacturers nipping at its heels who was boss.

The result was the 288 GTO, a technological tour de force which genuinely moved the supercar game on and boasted performance the like of which had never been seen in Maranello, let alone the rest of the world. Thanks to the emergent art (or should we say black magic?) of forced induction, there was 400bhp on tap from the 2,855cc twin-turbocharged V8. Coupled with a tubular spaceframe chassis and lightweight bodywork crafted from then-newfangled composites such as Kevlar and Nomex, that meant 0–60mph in under five seconds and a top speed of over 190mph. These were ground-breaking figures in 1985.

And where to begin with that fabulous Pininfarina-engineered shape. A fleeting glimpse in the corner of an eye might fool you into thinking this is a 308 GTB. But look properly and you’ll realise Leonardo Fioravanti’s classic design was elevated to an entirely new level – primmed and pruned, swollen and elongated to make it look like a proper purposeful road racer. The nods to its illustrious forebear the 250 GTO are nothing short of perfect. Among the very best looking Ferrari of them all? We’d struggle to disagree…

An appropriately princely price, the disbandment of Group B and a global oil crisis meant only 272 Ferrari 288 GTOs were built, making the model by far the rarest of the ‘halo’ Ferrari supercars for which it trod a path. For context, 1,311 F40s left the factory in Maranello.

Regardless, Ferrari had proved that there was demand for extreme, low-volume performance sports cars. It gave it the confidence to continue the legacy of the GTO with a run of limited-production flagship models culminating in the hybrid-powered LaFerrari – models which are only becoming more desirable.


This Ferrari 288 GTO

The 288 GTO we’re thrilled to be offering from our facility in Turin left the Ferrari factory on 15 February 1985, finished in Rosso Corsa and stamped with the chassis number 54801. It was configured in what’s commonly held as lusso specification, which comprised electric windows, air-conditioning and seats upholstered entirely in black leather (it’s a common misconception that the red fabric seat inserts seen on many GTOs were optional extras, but they were in fact standard specification). For a model which is eminently useable, especially compared to its more hardcore successors, we believe these simple creature comforts are definitely worth having on a 288.

Having been supplied new to the official Ferrari concessionaire in Turin, chassis number 54801 was sold in May of 1985 to its first owner, who paid the princely sum of 132.6m Italian lire for the pleasure. The Ferrari remained in Italy for 13 years, during which time  passed through the hands of a number custodians, one of whom reregistered it in Bergamo with the number ‘BG 809784’. In 1998, the car was exported to France, which is where, in 2006, it was presented to Ferrari for Classiche certification, which it duly received.

This Ferrari 288 GTO was acquired from a Swiss dealer by its current custodian in 2020. Chassis number 54801 has recently returned from Rossocorsa, the official Ferrari concessionaire and specialist in Milan, where it underwent a major mechanical and visual overhaul, the total cost of which exceeded 100,000 euros. In addition to the removal and comprehensive service of the twin-turbocharged V8, the body was repainted, the shock absorbers were rebuilt, all the belts and fluids were changed and the engine bay was professionally detailed.

Showing just 18,800km on the odometer and benefitting from a fresh major overhaul and clean bill of health, chassis number 54801 is a top-tier example of this ultra-desirable 288 GTO. The original tool kit, jack, spare wheel, warranty book, service book and pouch and, of course, the Ferrari Classiche binder  are the proverbial cherries on the cake.

By far the rarest model in Ferrari’s line of ‘halo’ supercars, the 288 GTO is a car which melds connoisseur subtlety with earth-shattering analogue performance. It’s small wonder why it’s considered by so many disciples of the Prancing Horse to be the marque’s mid-engined Holy Grail.


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